Background, Getting Started


Save. Savor. Soar! This is our tagline and mission as we approach this journey to Financial Independence.

I think these three words succinctly capture what this journey is all about for me, and I’d like to stick with this as our tagline for FI & Fly Free:

  1. SAVE: In general, we need to save at a relatively extraordinary rate compared to the average person, to build that “perpetual money-making machine” that will fund our freedom
  2. SAVOR: Tomorrow is not guaranteed, and its important that we enjoy the journey itself towards Financial Independence (FI). Personally, I want a sense of balance between saving aggressively, but also choosing to pursue and fund areas of my life that bring a lot of joy: travel, giving, etc.
  3. SOAR:  Take the reigns and live your dreams: Fly Free!

More of our Backstory: Early in our journey to FI

I work in Healthcare and my wife is a teacher. We currently both enjoy most aspects of our jobs, and I think our careers still carry a lot of opportunity for growth in the coming years, but personally the allure of having complete control of our time and daily efforts is strong.

We live in New Jersey (NJ) with two children, and they bring an enormous amount of joy to our lives, but between work and family it can often get extraordinarily hectic. While Mr. Money Mustache is a personal hero of mine, he’s not particularly supportive of the New Jersey and New York region when pursuing FI; primarily for weather and cost of living reasons based on what I read, but I’ll do my best to challenge these assumptions and overcome the odds.

I consider myself both curious and highly analytical, and I enjoy both thinking deeply and writing. All of this combined should yield a lot of interesting ideas that readers could consider for their own journeys.

We are not currently at or near FI, we are relatively early on in this journey to be honest. We do currently have a higher than normal household income, but I think you’ll find us to be relatable and down to earth in many ways. I don’t envision us embracing extreme frugality to achieve FI, but I’m positive we can and will embrace a relatively simple life for living in “Jersey”. There is still plenty of fat to cut from our spending, and I’ll keep note of the areas where we are streamlining things to help raise our savings rate.  

Today we live in a townhouse, and we own two basic cars with a lot of miles. We use credit cards and are a few months into a more intentional travel hacking process, but recognize how critical it is to pay them off in full every month.

Front-load the sacrifice

In a recent episode of ChooseFI, I believe they were speaking with the White Coat Investor and the phrase came up: “Front-load the sacrifice”. This is such a visually rich phrase that really sums up what is necessary to achieve FI, and FIRE (Financial Independence and Retire Early) in particular.

It again gets back to the space shuttle analogy, and putting that hard work and effort in at the beginning to get the momentum going, and then over time you will have things so much easier.

I’ve chosen to focus on FI rather than FIRE specifically with this blog. I still need to explore the analytics and quantifying what it will take to get us to FI, but I am envisioning and dreaming of a roughly ten to fifteen-year journey that will have us retiring in our early fifties. And when I say retire, I’m more envisioning pursuing hobbies and maybe my own business; I don’t anticipate stopping all work indefinitely. Maybe some extended travel and exploration after wrapping up the standard employee work.

Hey, thanks for sticking with us and reading through our second post!