Why y’all so Stressed?

OG2: In following the FI/PF world on social media you come across a lot of great success stories. Comebacks, debt payoffs, retiring early, world wide travel, not to mention you can make a lot of virtual friends. One other recurring headline is that people seem really stressed. In particular, stressed about work or their job. I’ll be the first to admit LIFE can bring all sorts of stress. Health or heartbreak with loved ones, less than ideal living conditions, the 7 deadly sins, bad luck and so-on. We are all in the same boat, needing to figure out how to manage these life events, both big and small. But it’s work related stress that seems to come up frequently and I just don’t understand why. Now, I’m no psychologist or sociologist, but I’ve been around for over 4 decades and have had a job since I was 14 making pizzas…

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3 Annoyances of FI

Wow, this one will definitely rattle the Howler Monkey’s into action. Here are the 3 things that annoy me most about the FI movement. Now granted, I’ll claim that this is experience talking. But I’m sure it’ll come across as ‘get off my lawn’ or I’m too conservative or plain ole, well, Old. #1 InsuranceI’m all for shopping around to get a good deal or save some money. Compare retailers, look online, consider used or buying in bulk. There are no shortage of options. However, sometimes going the least expensive route can be very costly. I frequently read and hear of those in the FI community touting how they shopped insurance and found the least expensive deal. Those are heralded as FI wins. But be careful. Not having appropriate coverage can be painful. I’ve always had USAA for our home and vehicles. I’ve never shopped for cheaper coverage. As a…

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Top 5 Surprises to FI

OG2: In pursuing a path to FI you work toward retiring early, having a high savings rate, reducing spending, eating at home most days, reducing lifestyle inflation, pulling multiple levers on tax advantaged accounts, and creating multiple streams of income. These and many more, are all things you can expect to delve into during your FI journey. What I’ve found interesting are the items that I wasn’t expecting or didn’t see coming as a result of my pursuit to FI. Without further ado, drumroll please…. Here are my Top 5 Surprises in pursuing FI. #1 Garbage More like the reduction of garbage. Logically this is obvious when you consider a reduction in buying things overall and also not creating a lot of food waste. Nonetheless, this wasn’t an outcome I saw coming. It showed up when I starting noticing that on garbage day, what used to be a pair of overflowing…

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The Numbers are In!

OG1 here. If you have been following my progression you know that we started our FI effort in the 2nd half of 2018, beginning with what are considered the foundational steps:  Fully load 401K, HSA and any other tax-advantaged accounts. We also began collecting information to track expenses and this is where we are at.My wife and I built a basic expense tracking spreadsheet and have tried to be as diligent with getting receipts as we reasonably can.  Everything is sorted and then accounted for by month. I see this as having two stages that I would call Flexible and Fixed. For the first stage, we are not going to focus on most of the defined payment streams such as the mortgage, various insurance plans or auto loans (those are the Fixed expenses).  We researched them all before we started each and the effort to improve them is not worth the…

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The Cleanest Path to FI

There are but a handful of things you use every single day. With those items, we all probably develop preferences. For me, I’m particular about pump hand soap.  Smell is one primary factor. Hospital soap smell is definitely out. In my visits or extended stays with family and the constant washing of hands, I have a visceral reaction to that particular smell. In general, I don’t like it  to be too aromatic. Nothing can ruin a good greasy bacon cheeseburger than inhaling the infused smell of Night Forest Rain Storm.  Also, I don’t want to be at the sink for a half hour trying to rinse off the residue of a particularly clingy soap. For some reason, I find the gel type of pump hand soap to take forever to rinse off. Since its creation of late, I love foamy soap. It’s just the right amount and rinses off with…

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