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Road to Financial Independence 500K

 
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talia View Drop Down
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    Posted: Apr 13 2013 at 10:50am
I am curious to hear what does Financial Independence (FI) mean to the ladies of BHM.

For me FI means having 500K stashed away.  Not tied up in a house, but cash invested that is making me money without me even thinking about it, I'm well on my way.  

The road to FI meant me giving up some things that we do without even a consideration:

Salary - I live off 55% of my take home salary.  45% is automatically invested for me.  My 
goal is to increase the % of auto invest to 50% by 2014 and 60% by 2015.  So that by 
2015 I'm living off of 40% of my salary.

Ways to stop spending $$ - Every $ I spent is a $ that could have been saved. That mentality has helped me think about ways to cut expenses.  So instead of driving to work, I take the metro.  My gas guzzling SUV costs me about $300 a month to fuel, now I only drive it on the weekends and when the drive is over 3 miles.  The metro literally stops 1.5 blocks from the school where I teach, so I walk to the station in the am and back home after work.  

Retirement - I want to retire early enough in the game so that I can enjoy my life and pursue
some of the dreams/interests that I have.  For me that means travelling and teaching/volunteering overseas.  With two pensions that provide medical benefits - a public employees and a corp pension - I think I can walk away from the game and not worry about waiting until I'm old enough to draw social security and get medicare....cuz' there won't be any.

Debt - I don't carry credit card debt, only use them when I travel.  Student loan is the only debt I have and it is minimal enough that I can knock it out in about two years.

Blind consumerism - I shop only for what I need.  I'm not into the latest clothing styles, shoes, or must have handbags. I have a $2000 LV that a boyfriend gave me sitting in the bottom of my closet and I almost feel a bit ostentatious when I use it when I travel.  My clothing comes from thrift stores, with the exception of lingerie, and work out gear, sneakers.  

Food shopping - I have managed to cut down our household bill to about $250 -$300 per month for a family of 3, and I'm still tweeking it so I can get it to about $250 consistently.  We don't buy prepackaged, processed/frozen food, or sodas, no prepackaged juices....water, almond milk, green tea and making our own juices works well.  We eat fresh vegetables/fruits, very little canned stuff - aside from the soups, and lots of protein in the form of chicken and fish.

Home Expenses - Cable is a big drain at about $1,080 a year for the privilege of media telling you 
what you might want to purchase - commercials - and a ton of channels with jack crap on.  Looking into hulu/netflix subscriptions to finally cut the drain cord....of course not until after the basketball season cuz' my SO would have a cow.  

My biggest drains.....

Travel - I figure I've given up on lots of consumerism so that I can afford to travel, and when I do it isn't to an all inclusive, we rent apts and cook a majority of our food, but do eat out several times, we try to live like locals when we travel.  Our biggest expense is the airfare and any sightseeing that we do while we are there.

My SO says that I'm so frugal (cheap that I squeak when I walk)....I consider that a compliment, because he is uber frugal, most Europeans that I have met are.  

What say you BHM ladies, what does FI mean to you and what how are you getting there?  


Edited by talia - Apr 13 2013 at 10:52am
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niecy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote niecy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 13 2013 at 10:55am
This should be an interesting thread. I honestly never really set a plan for my financial goals although I should just so I know what I want.
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talia View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (5) Thanks(5)   Quote talia Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 13 2013 at 11:09am
I know Niecy, early on in my working career I did not set a plan either, and I never even blinked once when I'd purchase a $300 suit, when back in the day I was working in corporate.   I haven't always been this way, but along the way I realized that I need the flexibility to do things I want to do and not wait till  I'm 67 or hoping one of my relatives will die and leave me a large inheritance...lol.

I'm a visual person, so when I loaded up my accounts and tracked my spending using mint.com....suddenly everything was there...where my money drains are in red, and the good things in green.  I'm trying to get to more green than anything else.

Mint.com is also great for those who want to do a financial plan towards FI

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GoodGirlGoneGr8 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 13 2013 at 11:15am
I like this thread.

FI means having enough to live without ever NEEDING to work.

I need to start being frugal. I spend impulsively, and that's my downfall. I don't have that much debt, I just haven't taken the first step to get it paid off. I'll feel a burden lifted from my shoulders once I'm completely debt-free.

My name is GoodGirlGoneGr8, and I am not financially independent.
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talia View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote talia Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 13 2013 at 11:29am
Originally posted by GoodGirlGoneGr8 GoodGirlGoneGr8 wrote:

I like this thread.

FI means having enough to live without ever NEEDING to work.ClapClapClapClapClapClapClap

I need to start being frugal. I spend impulsively, and that's my downfall. I don't have that much debt, I just haven't taken the first step to get it paid off. I'll feel a burden lifted from my shoulders once I'm completely debt-free.

My name is GoodGirlGoneGr8, and I am not financially independent.

GoodGirlGoneGr8 ---- I would add....I'm not financially independent yet.....Clap You know what you need to do get your debt paid off and then you just make a plan.

Hello girl, you are preaching to the choir!!!!  You know exactly what I mean.  I want to work at what I want to do if I want to do it, not because I need to punch the clock to get paid.

My dream to - Travel around South America and teach English while I stop off at a couple of places....to fund my dream I will leave my money in US banks....and use the currency exchange rate to my advantage.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Alias_Avi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 13 2013 at 11:46am
What do you do for a living talia?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GoodGirlGoneGr8 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 13 2013 at 12:02pm
Originally posted by talia talia wrote:


GoodGirlGoneGr8 ---- I would add....I'm not financially independent yet.....Clap You know what you need to do get your debt paid off and then you just make a plan.

Hello girl, you are preaching to the choir!!!!  You know exactly what I mean.  I want to work at what I want to do if I want to do it, not because I need to punch the clock to get paid.

My dream to - Travel around South America and teach English while I stop off at a couple of places....to fund my dream I will leave my money in US banks....and use the currency exchange rate to my advantage.


Teaching English abroad?! That's amazing!!

You hit the nail on the head. There's nothing worse than waking up in the morning to get to a job that you HATE...simply for a paycheck. It's the pits.

My car is also a gas guzzler...unfortunately, I live in a state where driving is almost imperative. "Mass" transportation and/or sidewalks are pretty much non-existant. So my monthly gas bill exceeds my food expenses and my light bill combined.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote oh_so_moody Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 13 2013 at 12:51pm
Awesome thread.

My homebuying budget and 30th bday vaca are managed via Mint along with all my spending for my checking and saving accts.

It really gives you insight into where your funds are being allocated.

I eat fast food and shop too much.

Im working toward it though. But because of my student loan debt, I'll be mid 50's til I can truly proclaim financial independence.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote EPITOME Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 13 2013 at 2:22pm
i will not consider myself financially independent until all student loans are paid off
i have a lot of stuff so tbh i don't need to buy any material items as much as i try to convince myself i do 
the goal is to pay off all student loans within 5 years
this means living off one salary--we figure if we can do that for 5 years to aggressively pay off loans then we can pretty much do that forever. mre is not about that 30 year loan repayment life...unless i find something with the govt which will pay off everything after 10 years. that'd be nice too
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (5) Thanks(5)   Quote alynxx Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 13 2013 at 2:48pm
I love this thread Talia!

Things I am going to do to save my money:

- sell everything I don't need/wear on eBay this year
- stop buying crap I don't need (already winning with this one)
- save more than 1/4 of my paycheck monthly
- re-use my weaves more and stop buying more weave because it is "in"
- grow my own hair to a length that I can eventually stop buying weaves and wasting money on relaxers
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