Our Why of FI

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Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

For my friends and family, and it is no secret that I’m obsessed with the Choose FI Podcast and have been since February. A friend of mine had posted about a book they were reading, and then mentioned the podcast to me. I listed to The Why of FI episode first, and I was hooked. I went right back to the first episode, and I’ve been listening to it since then.

Kalen and I were already trying to get to a point where we were debt-free. It wasn’t anything similar to Dave Ramsay or any specific course/method, but we knew we wanted to pay off our student loans, credit cards, cars, and eventually our house. Of course, saying and doing are two different things. I’d go through and set up a “budget” and we’d never stick to it. Bills were paid, but then we’d use the credit cards again, and we’d never be strict about spending. We weren’t struggling by any means, but we weren’t being smart.

When I listed to that first episode, I immediately sent the link to Kalen and asked him to listen. He said he’d get to it after he was caught up on his own, and I kept on listening and sending those links. Once he actually listened, he started at the beginning like I did, and now he’s actually caught up (I am not, sadly). We signed up for YNAB (for students it is free the first year, the second year will be 10% off, and then rest will be paid in full), and gave every dollar a purpose. Basically, this podcast has changed our lives.

Where we just wanted to be debt-free before, we’re now pursuing financial independence. We’re saving more money, will start investing soon, and we’ve just implemented other changes that will be beneficial in the long run. Kalen has started biking to work again (unless the weather is terrible that day, because he’s really only 5-10 minutes from work now), and we invested in materials for raised garden beds. That was costly to start, but now they’re filled with flourishing vegetable plants, and those will reduce our summer grocery budget by providing us with fresh produce. I’m also working hard to be more tolerant of the heat, and therefore running the air conditioner less. I’m not 100% sure how long that will last, but as an example, the thermostat says 79 degrees, and I didn’t turn on the air. I kind of want a gold start for that.

So why are we so interested in pursuing FI? Well, there are a variety of reasons.

Pursuing Creativity

I have an Etsy Shop that at this moment is severely neglected. I have so many ideas for new jewelry pieces to create and some already created, but I tend to put that on the back burner when I’m incredibly busy, so since we’ve moved I’ve made nothing.

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Photo by Olliss on Unsplash

I also crochet and have not only a few bins full of yarn, but a closet. Yes, a closet. I made cowls mainly, but I have been known to dabble in other crocheted items. However, there is that time issue again, and so I haven’t picked it up in what feels like forever. My hands are aching to crochet.

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Photo by J. Kelly Brito on Unsplash

Writing is another creative passion of mine and, you guessed it, there’s no time for it.

Happiness
I’m not saying that we’re not happier, but can you imagine how much happier you’d be if you could do as you wanted, without having to worry about working? We both love our jobs, but it’s nice to have the option of doing what you want to do, and not what you have to do, you know?

Security
We’ve all been there at some point – wondering how we’ll be able to afford gas for the next week, or pay our cell phone bill, or buy those new shoes we actually need. If you’ve hit financial independence, you’re in a position of security and honestly, power. You don’t have to worry about how you’ll afford what you need OR want, because it won’t be a concern anymore.

And, our number one reason?

T R A V E L
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Photo by Christine Roy on Unsplash

As that photo indicates, you need some form of money to travel. But see all those pins, showing where you’ve been? I want MY map to look like that. We got bit by the travel bug when we went to Germany for those two glorious weeks last May. I didn’t want it to end, except I missed the cats. Those two weeks were amazing, and with financial independence, you have the ability to travel more than without.

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Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

Since we’ve been using YNAB, we’ve been more mindful of our spending and saving. That means we had some time to think it over and make some plans. Our original plan was to go to London for 9 days (boo, so short!), but when really looking at it, we realized that it was just too expensive right now. So instead, we’re going back to Germany! Munich, again, and for two weeks, again.

This time we’re being joined by Kalen’s dad and stepmom, who are retired now (jealous!), so it will be a different experience. I had wanted to be joined last time by someone, just because I think it’d be a blast to travel with friends and/or family, but no one could join us. This time, they asked if they could join us, and we happily said yes.

So next May, I’ll be gallivanting around Munich for two weeks, and in the meantime, we’ll be saving more and more money to fun future trips, and working harder towards that FI goal we set not that long ago.

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Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

If you haven’t heard of Choose FI before, PLEASE go check it out! I promise you, you’ll be thankful!

xoxo, Amber

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