The 30,000 ft View of Our Journey to Financial Independence
- Eliminate ALL debt and wasteful spending…DONE!
- Side hustle like crazy…STILL HUSTLIN’!
- Achieve financial independence…WORKING ON IT!
Back in the mid-2000’s, we graduated from college, eager to grow up and start our careers! We’d only been waiting our whole lives for this moment in adulthood! Woohoo!
With college degrees and jobs in stable fields, we achieved what was supposedly everything that hard-working professionals should have as young adults. So with our professional lives in order, we felt the pressure to “settle” and buy new cars, a house and stuff to fill a house.
Though it is true that our choices are our own, we cannot say we were well-informed consumers. We wish we had taken a course or two in personal finance at some point prior to our 30s, perhaps before buying a house much larger than we need and other extravagances like new cars.
After tackling a personal health crisis, we thought there has to be more to life than accumulating tons of debt and working lots of hours to pay off debt.
Changing Our Mindsets About Money
Our old mindsets toward debt kept us in debt. Our old mindsets had us spending every dollar we’ve ever made (and then some).
Our new mindsets have us thinking about minimalism, essentialism, and investing the difference. Our new mindsets have us setting lofty goals.
Lofty Goal #1:
Debt Freedom in December 2016 April 2017 WE’RE DEBT FREE!
Lofty Goal #2: Financial Independence by May 18, 2019
|Taxable Brokerage Accounts We Use||Where to Sign Up|
|Betterment focuses on long-term investing, but they have fees. We have a brokerage account to see if it might be a fit for us. Use our affiliate referral link to try it out.||Sign up for Betterment|
|M1 Finance offers a platform free for investing by way of a brokerage account, which we use ourselves. Seriously, no fees. Use our affiliate referral link to try it out.||Sign up for M1 Finance|
|Stockpile is a great option to get kids and teens started in investing. We have accounts ourselves. If you use my affiliate referral link, you get $5 free!||Sign up for Stockpile|
|Vanguard is handles our retirement accounts and a brokerage account. We're investing only in Vanguard ETFs since they are free to trade.||Sign up for Vanguard|
Our Personal Finance Journey is on FIRE
Below is a list of major steps we’ve taken to change our lives. While money is an important component, the mental shifts we have undertaken are the reasons why we’ve made so many significant changes. We’re not advocating this path for everyone. Make your own adventure!
- We self-reflected and recognized that we had a problem with spending.
- We realized that we didn’t know how to budget our money.
- We spent tons of time reading personal finance blogs to figure out how to budget our money.
- We set up a realistic budget we could live to track our spending.
- We stopped going to restaurants (mostly).
- We started cooking meals at home.
- We stopped buying clothes.
- We started a side hustle.
- We dropped the attitude that it’s “just another payment.”
- We put our big house up for sale.
- We moved into a smaller house.
- We donated or sold most of our belongings.
- We challenged monthly expenses, such as our electric bill, water bill, and cell phone bill.
- We applied the savings from our reduced expenses to our debts.
- We make every debt payment into a celebration of our success!
- We set a lofty goal to pay off all debt by
the end of 2016April 2017 and we became debt free in March 2017.
- We set a lofty goal to be financially independent May 18, 2019!
- We started a business to teach others our side hustle!
- We take frugal vacations to places like Texas and Oregon.
- We sold the big house and shed its mortgage in May 2016.
- We paid off the small house mortgage in November 2016!
- We became a one-car household.
- We became 100% debt free in March 2017!
- We’re still side hustling while we save and invest for financial independence.
- We’re doing more action verbs.
- We’re investing for dividends.