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As you may know by now, we’ve been bitten by the early retirement bug. The Jeremy & Winnies and MMMs of the world are teaching people that early retirement is attainable with some planning and hustle. Just to be clear, by early retirement, I mean retiring under 40 years of age. I consider myself semi-retired and we are now looking to bring hubby home to rest or do something he enjoys. This must happen before we turn 40!
The exciting part is that we’ve pinpointed our “it” number and are actively working to attain it. The even more exciting part is that since we are totally and utterly debt free, our “it” number is not terribly out of reach! Our expenses in retirement will be relatively small because we’ll never take on debt or live beyond our means. With no mortgage, car notes or credit cards, our retirement funds can be stretched even into our “golden years.”
Since my husband is an incredibly private person, I don’t have clearance to post actual numbers (takes all the fun out of goal updates, right?) However, I can post the percentages relative to our “it” number. We have monies in our retirement savings accounts, but our goal is to have funds accessible in the next 2-3 years to live on. For the purposes of this plan, we aren’t counting that money since it won’t be available for 30 years or so. (Also, we won’t be adding in assets like our house or cars.) The good news is that we will have some extra money available to us in our 60s, but it means we will be pretty much starting from scratch to get to our “it” for our early retirement goal.
Where do we stand? We are at a whopping 1% of our goal. Not great news, but some news nonetheless. I am so very excited that we have at least named this monster! Now it’s time to slay it.
In the mean time, here is what we are doing to make this dream a reality:
- Saving, saving, saving – We are turning into save-a-holics – finally! Truthfully, I’m not big on budgeting anymore since we are debt free. What works for us is automating and increasing our savings. We can’t spend what we don’t have in our accounts. I just signed up for Digit & Acorns (sneaky but effective ways to save money) and we continue to increase our automated payday savings contributions. My fantasy is to bank at least one salary this year. We do get closer to this each time we up the automatic savings deposit amount. The hope is to eventually open our non retirement brokerage account and let compound interest do the work. I have a coin jar that I am filling up, too. Do we seem like we are on a mission?
- Income, income, income – What started as a side hustle to become debt free is now a full blown business. I have some concrete plans to get more income flowing through this avenue to help with banking one salary. This year, we are already trending for increase over last year! My blog hasn’t made much money so far, but I am hoping that will change soon as I add speaking, writing and coaching to my offerings. I am also looking to up my junk sales on Ebay and Craigslist. We have so much stuff in this house that we can sell. I am hoping it will add a considerable amount to our “savings snow ball.”
- Frugality with a purpose – As I mentioned before, I’ve changed my stance on all out, crazy penny-pinching. Since I’m able to get more $ for my time, I am looking more for time than money savings. However, I realize I need a good blend of both. I’ve vowed to save time by outsourcing things like grocery shopping, cleaning and academic assistance for our girls. The catch is that I’ve got to stay on top of my time to make sure I am getting the maximum return. I think they call it productivity!
Anyway, this is our goal and our related update. I am hoping it will inspire others to aspire to great things as well. One percent down and only 99% to go!