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…

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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…

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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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The Purge

Sorry horror movie fans, this isn’t a write up on having one night a year of complete lawlessness. Lawlessness does come in handy as a moniker when parsing lifestyle inflation and consumerism though. When Mrs. OG 2 and I came to the realization that I would retire in a handful of years, we also stumbled upon the concept of FI. Along with that came the perspective of what things/items would make the move to our new retirement hometown, Charleston, SC. Couple this with the cliché of ‘Do you own things or do your things own you’, we set out to PURGE our house. The rule was simple: If we don’t use it now OR it won’t be making the move the dream home, it has to go. We Own What? The realization of gluttony was staggering. As part of the FI journey, I cut out the lawn crew and set…

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Frugality: Stopping Short like Frank Costanza

The OGs are both feet (well 4 feet) into the FI pool. Going headlong into all of the pillars. One of which is frugality. However, we soon discovered there are certain things that we won’t skimp on. For those, we’re stopping short on like Frank Costanza. One of the regular conversations with FI frugality is how much is too much. You can read about early retirement extreme or some other minimalist sites about how far you can go to cut your spending down to dust.There was even a video floating around the interwebs about a guy who didn’t pay for anything. This was roundly dismissed by the masses, but it does demonstrate how far one can go to be frugal. Maybe eggs three meals a day that come from your own egg producing chickens, accompanied by some self-sustained hydroponic farm would be one of the cheapest ways to feed your…

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