In April of 2017, I became aware that I was in a downward slump. I had been feeling quite down for a couple of weeks, actually more like a few months. I was very unhappy with multiple aspects of my life, job, home, money, weight, etc. At 37 years old and I felt like I was a failure. I couldn’t even imagine working for another 30 years before retirement. No way! But I didn’t know what I was going to do. Career change? Move across the country? What? I was officially in what I would call a mid-life crisis.
So, I went to the library and picked up some books on retiring early. I have always looked at these books and felt like they were the next “get rich” scheme. Maybe I could find that easy answer. Except there wasn’t anything easy. They talked about investing money (which I had no extra), or purchasing assets (once again, no extra money). Where could I find more money? How would I make this work for me?
Then one day as I was sitting down to balance my checkbook, a regular monthly activity, I realized that we were spending more money than we were bringing in. You see, I wasn’t actually balancing my checkbook. I was paying bills and hoping that we would have enough money to take care of everything. As it turns out we were spending close to $1000 more a month then we were bringing in. Whoa!
I had to finally admit to myself that we had a problem, and it was with budgeting. I had always skipped the parts of this in my reading, because I didn’t think we had a problem. Well, we did, and it was a big one.
This led me to Dave Ramsey, and his baby steps. It only took a month or two for us to get rid of our non-mortgage debt, and never did follow the baby steps exactly. But, his teachings did make me think of money and debt in a totally new way. After Dave Ramsey, I sought more answers. Dave Ramsey bases his calculations on leaving it invested for 20-30 years. What if I didn’t want to stay in my job for 30 years?
I then found the FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) community. This is an amazing community with a wealth of information. It has taught me so many lessons about money, wealth and life. I have read many blogs and listened to many podcasts that have enlightened me to what is possible in the world of money. The only problem, is there is a lot of information and a lot of different recommendations. My goal is to find the path to financial independence that works for me and to share with everyone what I have learned.
In order to become financially independent, I need to become a millionaire. I will share more information on what my FI number is and how I calculated it, as well as many of the money mistakes I have made along the way. I am on a path to do this in the next 12-15 years. It may be a long journey, but I am going to make the best of it!