I and my wife are both 28. Both attorneys, both extreme INTJs (me -A, her -T). No children. Two small poodles. Late to the game on ERE and certain related concepts, but with a relatively strong foundation that should enable us to make rapid and nontrivial progress, if not to ERE or FIRE in the (very admirable) five year timeframe. We are both fairly content with and entertained by our work, so there is no material hurry for us. We are, however, drawn to ERE on a philosophical/moral level and we would both like to retire relatively young in order to spend quality time with the family we hope to have soon.
- Achieve a positive net worth
- Get out of debt
- Have children
- Buy acreage for homestead
- $440k in student loan debt (Household)
- No mortgage or rent for time being (hopefully I can stretch this another year)
- No car payment
- No other debt
- Income - 245k (Household annual, not including structured raises/bonuses)
- 50k in various tax sheltered retirement accts (401k, Roth IRA, HSA)
- 20k cash emergency fund
The plan right now is first to track spending to get a good picture of our actual monthly spending, then to apply ERE principles to aggressively minimize those expenses. After retirement contributions and taxes, allowing for a VERY generous 30k/y (2.5k/mo) living expense, that would allow us to put around 110k/y or 9.16k/mo toward that massive loan balance. Keep in mind that given our income, and by filling two 401ks and IRAs, living on 30k will mean a savings rate of about 85%. That would mean a $0 net worth in about two years, and debt free in about 4 years (with substantial retirement funds). At that point, we will have to reevaluate our position and consider whether she wants to retire, I want to move to a lower-stress job, or whether we want to sprint a few more years to a cushy finish.
In the meantime, before you all choke on that 30k/y number, my priority is to practice financial discipline to drive that number as low as possible without driving my wife nuts.
While I am currently fairly tight with my food budget, there is certainly some fat to be trimmed on that front (I've been known to buy flats of diet Dr. Pepper EVEN THOUGH I get all the free diet sodas I want through work) and I will start tracking that expenditure monthly.
I also tend to be a little profligate with my entertainment: Buying (used) books when I could read the myriad public domain books that already live on my Kindle or just go to the library; buying (on-sale) video-games when I could just play one of the (many) video games I bought on sale years ago and still haven't played.
I also have a relatively spendy hobby in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu - not as bad as some, but with travel, gym dues, gear, etc, it amounts to probably $2.5k/year. However, that's my only exercise expense and only hobby expense, so I am relatively unlikely to cut that at this point.
The plan for the Journal is to update at least monthly, perhaps oftener. I plan to track net worth over time, as well as post monthly numbers for spending and debt repayment. I will also reflect as I feel led on the process of learning this discipline and practicing ERE principles in a very ERE unfriendly setting.
Feel free to say hello. I'll respond when I can and update I have something to say.