Find Freedom

I’ll be using this page to document my progress toward financial independence. After the introductory note, each year will have a brief summary including my age, savings rate, major life or money milestones, net worth, and time to financial independence.

Current net worth: -$72,900

August 3, 2017

I stumbled across the Financial Independence / Retire Early (FIRE) world in 2016, entirely by accident.

I had been making minimum payments on $130,400 of student loan debt and gaining no traction.

Searching for articles about debt repayment and spending reduction, I discovered the infamous pair of Mr. Money Mustache articles The Shockingly Simple Math Behind Early Retirement and News Flash: Your Debt Is An Emergency!!. Wakeup call is an understatement..

A year later, my spending is down, my principal payments are up, and my debt free date has shortened from 2026 to 2020.

As a complete – but welcome! – side effect, I’ve also projected that I can slash my working career in HALF from 40 years to 20 and quit my 9-5 by 2035 at age 47..

I’m still learning, and I fully expect my plans to change over the next two decades, but even if I fall short of this goal.. I’m still doing better than most of the population! Let’s figure this all out together!

2015

Age 27. Graduated, started my first full time job in July and invested 5% of my income in the pension from the start to get a 10% match. Began paying minimum payments on my student loan in November. Gross income: $36,000. Net worth: -$130,000. Debt free in 2026, financial independence in 2053 (age 65).

2016

Age 28. Started using YNAB (You Need A Budget) in January. Began paying minimum payments on my student line of credit in May. Discovered Mr. Money Mustache in June – panic closed the browser because I thought it was too late/too hard/too stressful. Read the entire Mr. Money Mustache blog in November, started listening to the Dave Ramsey podcast, and started believing in myself. Increased my student loan payments by $200/month for the last two months of the year. Savings rate: 39%. Investment growth: $500. Gross income: $66,000 (+$5,000 tax return). Net worth: -$111,000. Debt free in 2023, financial independence in 2047 (age 59).

2017

Age 29. Gross income: $74,000 (+$11,000 tax return).Savings rate: 58%. Net worth:  Debt free in 2019, financial independence in 2031 (age 43).