Goals, Motivation

Pushing the accelerator on our Financial Independence goals in 2019

It’s time to set some goals and take action.

We’re laying out our financial goals for 2019 to accelerate our journey to Financial Independence (FI)

I want to start by wishing everyone a Happy New Year, and success with your endeavors for 2019!

I’m particularly excited about implementing new goals and ideas to push the accelerator down a little harder for our journey to FI.  The FI Community really did seem to capture a lot of mainstream media attention during 2018, and I’m sure that will be sustained as we see new developments in the near future, such as Scott Rickens’ documentary Playing with Fire.

I’ve thought hard about what specifically I want to achieve this year from a financial perspective, and I think it all boils down to these four key topics:

  • Expand out our Emergency Savings account to 6+ months of living expenses: At the moment it’s sitting at a value between four and five months of expenses, and I want to pad that out further for more peace of mind.
  • Eliminate all of our student loans and consumer debt before the end of 2019

There are several components to these debts:

  1. Paying off the last of our second-hand minivan: Once we’re done with this ~$3,500 of debt, we will have zero car payments outstanding and own two reliable vehicles outright that are meeting our family’s needs
  2. Paying off the new windows for our townhouse: Several months ago, we replaced quite a few windows throughout our townhouse. It was frustrating to pay so much money, but it was badly needed; it’s a convoluted topic worthy of its own dedicated post to explain more.
  3. Paying off my student loans from business school: I’m down to ~$13,000 outstanding and keen to eliminate this before year-end
  • Sustain maximum 401k and 403b contributions, and begin layering in 457b contributions: We’ve just started 403b contributions as I detailed in a recent post, and we’re still adjusting to what that means for our monthly budget. I suspect the 457b contributions may not begin until around September, but let’s see what 2019 holds and whether the elimination of debts can free up some of our cash-flow to get all three accounts funded this year.
  • Contribute $5,000 to my after-tax investment account and building out my portfolio: This account will naturally fluctuate up and down depending on the market, but I’ll be satisfied if I can manage to invest another five grand and grow my portfolio.

So, there you have it, that’s what I aspire to achieve financially during 2019. It feels good to write things out like that and share it; you can keep me accountable and I’ll let you know about the successes and failures as the year unfolds.

I’m also really looking forward to our Hawaii trip planned for July. We’ll follow up soon to discuss how that’s coming together in our efforts to maximize the awesomeness while minimizing our cash costs.

Best wishes with your financial goals in 2019; I hope you’re also feathering those nests and optimizing, so you can also FI and fly free.

Getting Started, Motivation

Just. Get. Started.

This is the very start of our financial independence journey blog, and the theme is fitting: It’s important to just get started.

There is a good chance that you will find this to be a simple and consistent theme for people pursuing financial independence, and living a meaningful life in general: The single most important thing is to take action, and get the journey started.

You don’t need to have experience. You don’t need to have all the details figured out, and a perfectly efficient way to get there. Just getting started with putting your ideas and dreams into action will immediately put you ahead of so many others in this world.  

The most important aspect is really just be willing to get started and give it a try, bringing a positive and curious attitude to think about how you can continually improve your approach, and before you know it you will be soaring through the air faster than a falcon.

This blog is an authentic example of me living by this very philosophy. I don’t know how to build websites, or how to navigate WordPress,but I’m getting started and I will just keep iterating and trying different things to continually improve it.

It seemed like such a fitting topic for our very first blog post, and I genuinely feel it is the most critical aspect to keep in mind whenever you are interested in pursuing something new. There is an enormous gap between wanting to do something and actually doing something, and the reality is that most people can’t be bothered.

In many ways its very similar to a rocket launch: So much of the energy that you need to expend will occur at the very beginning to get you off the ground. But after a few moments you start that momentum and things get easier. As you push onward you begin to find the atmosphere thinning, earths gravity losing its grip, and before you know it you are traveling faster than you ever thought would be possible; You’re really flying!

Welcome to FI and Fly Free (FI&FF)!!

We’re so excited to have you here, thank you for taking the time to explore this. I really see the purpose of this blog as being an outlet for chronicling our steady journey towards Financial Independence (FI), which I feel is the purest form freedom that I can imagine.

The FI&FF goal: To be inspiring, entertaining, and delivering practical ideas to help others towards FI

My hope is to build a platform that readers will find interesting, inspiring, and generate ideas that could be considered for their own journeys. I’ve heard the gentlemen at ChooseFI use the phrase “aggregation of marginal gains”, and I’m a big believer of this philosophy to just keep making minor improvements and efforts, that will compound over time to generate substantially better outcomes in how we live.

What to expect:

I’ll aim to release two posts each week, and I’ll try to keep these posts bite-sized and something that can be read in less than five minutes. I am still working a W-2 job, so there may be periods where my work life gets crazy and the posts suffer, but I’m determined to be disciplined with the regularity.

About Us:

I believe we have done a reasonably good job at managing our financial lives compared to average already, but as you know, we in the FI community want to achieve the extraordinary, and you’ll see there is still an enormous amount of room us to optimize and accelerate us down the path towards Financial Independence.

At this point we do not have a specific amount of money or time frame in mind for achieving Financial Independence; We’re just seeking to continually raise our savings rate and optimize our efforts and approaches. As we find and explore new tools to help us evaluate or turbocharge our progress,we’ll share it all here.

We don’t have all the answers, but I hope you’ll consider walking with us on this meandering journey, and that ultimately together we can: FI and Fly Free. We’re glad you just got started.