Starting a new blog is hard. It isn’t easy to motivate when you feel like you are screaming into the empty abyss. I know I should be spending my time on search engine optimization, marketing, social media, and outreach, but those things don’t interest me as much as writing. So I decided to say “screw it” and just write the damn thing.
I’m not going to do any more “marketing” for the next three months. I’m not going to research SEO topics. I’m not going to promote my posts on social media. I’m not going to crawl forums and link to my posts in a covert attempt to drive traffic while appearing helpful. I’m just going to write, as much as I can, about the things that interest me.
I started this blog because the FIRE movement has changed my life. I was earning a high income, but I was spending it all as quickly as it came! I stumbled on The Millionaire Next Door, and it blew my mind! That year:
- I negotiated a remote working agreement at my job.
- I moved to Florida, a state with a much lower cost of living and no income tax!
- I bought a home that was well within my means. (Total home cost is less than 2X my yearly salary)
- I started saving aggressively.
- I discovered the magic of compound interest.
- I started investing every dollar that I could.
- I became obsessed with growth.
It’s been a fun two years! I’ve been able to put away more in the last 24 months than I did in the previous ten years. I had a real spending problem, and I didn’t even know it.
Learn. Teach. Repeat.
I love learning about new things! Every few months, I become obsessed with a new topic and consume as much information about it as I can. Previous topics have included:
- Real estate investing
- Martial Arts
- Environmental studies
After a few months of reading books and watching videos, I have this annoying habit of needing to talk at someone about all the nifty things I’ve learned! That person is usually my amazing (and very patient) girlfriend. This time, learning about investing and the FIRE movement was different! This time she was (slightly) interested.
I was showing her compound interest calculators. I entered our current savings and projecting what we’d have in 35 years if we just invested it! I was showing her historical stock market data for the S&P 500. Looking at the cash we had five years ago and how much it would be now if we had invested it instead of keeping it in a bank account. I showed her our current spending and calculated how much we’d need to retire if we wanted to keep living the way we had been.
Some of this information was extremely specific. We’re a working couple, and we both have high incomes. I know that doesn’t apply to everyone. But some of it was just incredible, and I was shocked to only learn about it in my 30s! I never understood tax-advantaged accounts like 401ks and Roth IRAs. I didn’t know that there were perfectly legal things I could be doing to safeguard my money and save for retirement.
I wish I had just wrote the damn thing
One of my biggest regrets over the last two years is that I didn’t write any of this stuff down! I was reading and watching videos constantly, chatting with my partner, and making plans. This blog is an attempt to right that ship. I’m going to dig through my notes and text conversations from the last two years and try to salvage them into some coherent posts about my journey to FIRE.
I want to break my posts down into the following topics:
- Definitions (FIRE, 4% rule, etc.)
- My personal Stories
- Tips for spending less money
- Tips for making more money
- The stock market for beginners (or people who have little interest in becoming experts)
- Tax-advantaged accounts (mostly for people in the United States)
Getting to know you
I also want to connect with other people on their financial independence journeys! Whether you are just starting, have been retired for years, or are somewhere in the middle. I’d love to chat!
Jon Kuperman is a software engineer and real estate investor. He’s always looking for new investments. He’s also hoping to achieve financial freedom through investing.