Hi. I'm gonna write my journal.
My first year after discovering ERE is ending with good results. I discovered the blog following Amazon books. Like much of you did, started from the first article and read through until the last. Then I came to the forums.
My first calculations indicated more than 20 years to retirement. Being 30 already, that would not be early. Heavily attacking the budget and starting to declutter, I soon could lower that number to 6 years. My wage is quite high (I probably will tell numbers latter), I was just not focused.
I took the approach of reducing the expenses rather then trying to improve the income. Quickly I realized that I should attack the bigger expenses first. Food (mostly eating out) and housing being the bigger.
Food would be easy to me to quickly change if I was still alone; but I'm married. We were already in the process of changing and bettering eating habits before ERE, because of health and not because of money. Since we married some three years ago. We tried a lot of strategies. Maybe I talk about it sometime. But to be short, this year is the last when I ever eat out out of pleasure. The exceptions will be social situations that we can't or don't want to avoid, or others that I decide that are fair. I took the decision power of the couple on that and it was not easy. Took me three years. By now I believe it's mostly done. So food budget is well under control. As we eat mostly brown rice and vegetables, with meat being rare, our food does not cost much. But the brown rice part is still expensive. Well, not much details yet or nobody will read my journal.
Food budget didn't need much of my focus to be improved. Quickly housing stood up on the way. We were renting. One year before knowing ERE we were living in Sao Paulo, one of the biggest cities of the world and one of the most expensive ones in Brazil. When we moved to the countryside (I could kept inside the same company, a bank), we lowered our rent. But it was still good money. Details later. Then the main aim of the year turned in my head to be: "stop paying rent". Or at least paying so little as to be able to forget about it. I had no idea how I would accomplish that, but I was determined and had good examples in this site. I researched a lot of options and finally were able to find a ubber-cheap house and little plot of land for as little as two and a half months of my wage. More details are on the thread I started at the time in this forum.
My wage improved well without effort of my part, not exactly because I got a promotion, but mostly because someone went away from the place and they had no option other than putting me in the function, as I was the only able to do it. It can drop again as soon as they get someone else, but the situation is holding up for now.
I sold around 50 books, not much more than 10% of the total (they are slow to sell here in my country). But having books on sell turned out to a habit. Buying the kindle did help with that. I bought some books by the end of the year, but much less that the amount I was used to buy (almost every month). Also developed a better strategy to buy books, being more selective and acquiring only what I really want not only to read, but also to keep. The ones I only want to read, I'll sell afterwards.
Well, more writing to come. But now the year is ending and my prediction is that I may be FI in 1.5 years from now. If I keep really focused, maybe even 1 year.