Today Was a Good Day on the Road to Financial Independence

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2019 has already proven to be the most stressful, gut-wrenching, slap-to-the-face wake up call that we could have ever received, but by the end of this year it also has the potential to be one of the most fulfilling and personally rewarding ones we ever lived through.

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If you’ve been following this blog for any period of time, you know my situation. If not, here is a very brief recap:

At the start of 2019, my wife and I came to full terms with our debt and the stinky butthole of a situation we had gotten ourselves into. We sat down and added everything together and found that we had $126,310.77 worth of combined credit card and student loan debt.

On top of this, we were paying out close to $3600 a month more in bills than we were bringing in from income. We had absolutely zero in savings, and we were very much at risk of losing our home that we had just purchased in June of 2018.

Since then we have been scrambling to stay afloat, at times barely even eating to save money. We have taken side jobs such as my wife’s now steady gig caring for dogs via Rover.com, and targeted our debt with every ounce of energy we have.

Today I wrote checks for $23,347.12, $1,660.84, and $2763.12 to pay off and close 3 more accounts.

It was a very good day.

If you haven’t been paying attention to the graphic on the right, here it is in it’s most updated form:

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The devil is in the details though, so keep reading to see exactly how the numbers break down…Read More »

The Road to Financial Independence – The Thrill of $9 Dollar Jeans

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I was determined to get a deal though. The deal bug was now crawling up my leg, looking for a nice juicy piece of flesh to clamp down on.

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Up until about four weeks ago, I wasn’t even aware of the entire Financial Independence movement. I may have heard the term thrown around on a post here or there, but overall the overall concept was about as foreign to me as people who don’t eat peanut butter on their hamburger. (You should seriously try it.)

As I started to understand what FI meant, I’m going to be honest that I went through some growing pains in my understanding of the effort. My initial thought was, “These just sound like a bunch of uptight tightwads that replace toilet paper with their read newspapers to save a buck.”

Slowly I began to realize though that my perception was skewed via the Facebook groups I was reading. The collection of posts all cumulated into a belief that every person on the group was cutting every possible corner that they could to save a buck, and I frankly didn’t like the sounds of that at all.

What in fact was happening was that each person on the group was making the money saving changes that made sense for them. Some were switching to LED lightbulbs in their homes, some were buying used cars to reduce loan length and cost, others were probably using newspapers on their backsides.

So I started to settle into this mindset instead. What were the things that made sense for me? I was frankly already doing a lot of things out of shear necessity, given our financial situation, but very quickly I got bitten by “the bug.”

We all know “the bug” I’m referring to. The bug is that thing that you kind of hate doing at first, but then it becomes a challenge, then kind of fun, and then an activity or action you extract great satisfaction from.

I got bit by the gym bug many years ago. At first, I hated the gym. I f*cking DESPISED the gym. Yet I kept going, and slowly started to enjoy it. Eventually I flipped the script and got to the point where I get really bummed if I don’t make it to the gym on a scheduled day.

With FI and frankly just being more frugal with my dollar, I was not a fan. I hated the fact that I had to actually start looking at price tags on things, and comparing, and shopping for the best deals. IT WAS A LOT OF WORK! I just wanted to grab the brand that I knew because it was familiar and walk out with it, even if it meant paying more because it had a “Swoosh” or similar well-know symbol stuck all over it.

And yet this past week I think I had a breakthrough!Read More »

Tuesday Tip Jar: Get Your Kids Excited About Investing

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Welcome to another “Tuesday Tip Jar” where I will share awesome savings and financial tips as I find them. I might not have something for you every Tuesday, but when I do, you’ll find it here!

If you’ve got a financial tip you think others would benefit from, please send it to me via my contact page at the top of the blog!

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My Dad spent every penny he earned.  If he earned 10 bucks, he spent 10 bucks. If he earned 1,000, he spent 1,000. If he earned 10,000…

You get the idea.

My in-laws are similar. They didn’t put any money into savings for most of their adult life, and struggled to make ends meet for many years.

So my wife and I were raised with that mindset, and thus spent many years ignoring savings, living for the moment, and in general being pretty silly with our income. The result is a mountain of debt, this blog, and a promise to ourselves that we will break this cycle with our kids.

My kids don’t get allowance. We’ve always been of the mindset that their allowance comes in the form of friends staying over and eating our food, them going to movies, us renting movies at home, vacations, and all of that sort of stuff. They do chores, but we explain to them that it’s all just part of being in this family, and working alongside mom and dad to keep things in order.

What we have done extensively however is helped them to hustle. They sell things in yard sales, on Facebook, or via side ventures, and they make a fair amount of money that way. My son just recently self-funded the purchase of a iPhone (a generation or two old), and some AirPods. Hell even I don’t have AirPods!

The agreement we have made with them however is when it comes to saving and investing. Our formula for them works like this:Read More »

Four Eggs on Six Figures

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I will not for a moment claim to have a life as hard as some folks do in this world. Not even close. So please don’t think that I don’t have perspective. I’m not looking for you to feel bad for me, but instead providing insight into the sacrifices that my family and I have had to make. I’m also giving you insight into just how badly we had “effed up.”

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In my very first post on this site, I talked about not being able to afford to buy my son a piece of pizza at a lacrosse game. I mention that while this is not unheard of for many families around the world, it was just plain silly that I couldn’t do so given my six figure salary.

I’ve had several people ask me just how bad things got, and just how close my wife and I were to a financial catastrophe when things hit rock bottom in January. I think some like to see just how far we’ve come and encourage us to keep going, and frankly I think a few are just buttholes who want to revel in how far down the drain we had swirled.

“I knew they bought a house they couldn’t afford.”
“Well what did they expect? They ate out 5 nights a week and bought new cars every other year!”
“If Dave could just stop buying television sets for a minute, they might have the money to pay the bills!”
“How can you be that fiscally irresponsible?”

Buttholes aside, I do think it is important to share our lows. If this blog is only about the highs and wins, it doesn’t really do anyone any good.

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Tangent: I’m now actively recruiting for my new band, Buttholes Aside, and we are looking for a bass player. Must be willing to wear spandex. Serious inquiries only.

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My wife and I need to be reminded of those lows, and reminded of the sting of those lows, even if we have made tremendous gains.

Trust me when I say that last part was by no means boastful. I can see that stat tracker in the column on the right just as well as you can, and I know we have a LONG way to go, but allow me to explain how far we’ve come…Read More »