It almost seems like fake news to me. In 2019 I started becoming interested in the FIRE (financial independence retire early) movement. The great thing about concepts in FIRE, like high net percent paycheck savings and consistent investing, are wonderful attributes for anyone to implement. They teach people discipline, how to conserve resources, what is important in life, and slow the want to consume. My consumption button is still very active, but this process of achieving financial goals has made that button smaller and harder to reach, which is a good thing (for me). I still love high quality goods, like great jackets, shoes, cars, etc. but know that many of those things are purchased then not put to good and consistent use. I’ve found ways to be able to enjoy nice things and travel, and at the same time, not expel money for those things. I feel quite lucky.
This post officially signaled the start of my personal $100k challenge. That challenge was a personal goal of growing my net worth by $100,000. Although that post signaled the start of my challenge, the real start date is this post from October, 2019. I gave myself until the end of 2020 to do so, or roughly 14-15 moths. I guess a key element of that goal is that I don’t actually make $100,000 at my day job. I had no idea if I would achieve the goal, if it was too much or even too little. Initially I wanted to try and achieve that $100k goal in 12 months, but felt like that timeframe might not be achievable. After some thought, adding a few more months to coincide with the end of 2020 seemed more reasonable, so I went with it.
To the Moon Alice
About every other day, I update my points, miles, and finances on spreadsheet that I have. I also have a quick net worth calculation that draws from those balances (the value of my points and miles is excluded from my net worth). I’ve settled into an aggressive savings pattern that actually has me Over the past few months I’ve noticed that my net worth was climbing very quickly. It seemed like I was going to actually achieve the $100k goal sooner than expected at the rate that I was going.
Then today I achieved that goal! After just 131 days (4 months and 9 days), I’ve managed to grow my net worth by $100k. It seems surreal, almost like a dream or something. In ways it’s not far off from imaginary, as the $100k is just a figure on paper that changes, and one which could go down substantially tomorrow. However and to be fair, it could also go up substantially if my investments stay strong. Certainly it helps that the stock market has performed well in the past few years (in my case), but for others who have been heavily invested since 2011 or so, it’s been incredible.
I’ve done some calculations, and I could consider myself financially independent, but I have a base number in mind for that which I haven’t reached yet. Fortunately that number isn’t very far away (another $50k or so). After that value is reached the next goal is reaching my retirement figure, or a number that I could actually feel comfortable quitting my job and retire, if I so choose to do so. I’m not saying that I would retire, but just that I could if I wanted to. I’m not calculating social security in my figures, as I don’t want to count on something that could change dramatically before I start receiving it. Some people do calculate it in their financial independence models, I just choose not to.
Reaching my goal is pretty cool. Again, I’m not writing anything about a $100k goal, or financial independence for chest puffing and ego boosting. I know there are others that have done much better in a variety of areas than me, and that’s fine. I know there are others who have underperformed me too, and that’s also fine.
Even though I love Tesla (and have since it started), I don’t own Tesla stock or other securities that have grown by nearly exponential rates. Not an Apple guy either (well I was but at that time I didn’t have any money to invest!). Both stocks have had major surges recently. My achievement has been steady and consistent. In the end, I can only control what my goals are and they actions I take to achieve them. So far, I’m on track….now if this damn blog would only make some money lol.
If I had 5 million in the bank, then growing my net worth by $100k from savings and investments in a little over 4 months wouldn’t be nearly as noteworthy as it has been. My achievement is more substantial than that. I’ve done some nice things in the points and miles space, but this achievement has more elevated meaning to me. As I’ve said before, it would be great to be able to list more specific numbers and have open dialogue about them, but unfortunately that’s not possible. Lots of dirty birdies out there.
Some aspects of FIRE are still unclear to me. It seems like people rush to get to a retirement figure they are comfortable with then retire, to then basically live in (near) poverty. Health insurance costs are also a very big concern that isn’t adequately talked about with the people pushing FIRE. To be fair, I haven’t had the time to read many FIRE related blogs, and have focused mostly podcasts. I got the jist of what FIRE was and how to achieve it, then applied that information to my own situation. Achieving my actual retirement figure will be more difficult I think, but I’m definitely going to give it a go.