White Belt's Military Journey to FI

Where are you and where are you going?
bigato
Posts: 2208
Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2011 12:43 pm

Re: White Belt's Military Journey to FI

Post by bigato » Sat Jul 20, 2019 6:24 am

Ok, sounds terrible. Thanks for the patience on explaining it and sorry for being so harsh. I'd probably go full celibatory in that situation or just go to the places where you outright pay for sex (and probably save money that way).

white belt
Posts: 43
Joined: Sat May 21, 2011 12:15 am

Re: White Belt's Military Journey to FI

Post by white belt » Wed Aug 07, 2019 10:33 pm

July Report
Income: 7038
Savings Rate: 87%
Expense Total: 906

Housing - 350
Insurance - 54
Cell Phone - 24
Internet - 15
Music – 10
Mail Box – 20
Dating – 52
Food/Restaurants – 136 (no groceries)
Gas – 7
Shopping/other – 238 (bought lifting shoes)

Expenses were low because I only spent a week out of the month in the US, which means for most of the time there wasn't entertainment available and my food was all provided. I've ultimately decided to include food expenses that I spend during work travel from now on; the only expenses I leave off are those that are fully reimbursed.

Income is tentative because I need to confirm some of my deployment pay. I now include per diem money that I get for travel.


Financial Snapshot
Net Worth: $181.5k
Taxable: 55k
TSP: 68.3k
IRA: 31.3k
Cash: 28.2k

I'm going to deep dive my current asset allocation in a future post, but that's the overall picture. I'm thinking about throwing 20k in a 6 month CD to potentially use towards a down payment on a rental property in the future. I'm starting to accumulate some assets, so I need to put some more thought into my investment strategy. Currently I'm almost entirely in index funds with some TSM, some international, and some bonds.


Obviously the numbers from this month look amazing, but I don't think I'll be replicating that savings rate until I deploy again.

While deployed, I was able to get into a regular lifting routine. I've been following Starting Strength and my current 1 rep maxes are as follows (based on 1RM calculator):

Squat - 315
Bench - 203
Press - 135
Deadlift - 309
Clean - N/A (I just started learning proper form and I haven't gotten it down enough to add weight)

I'm trying to get to the 1000lb club for Squat/Bench/Deadlift at a body weight of 165 (currently at 827 lbs and ~162 BW). I think I still have a lot of room in my linear progression on all 3 lifts.

white belt
Posts: 43
Joined: Sat May 21, 2011 12:15 am

Re: White Belt's Military Journey to FI

Post by white belt » Wed Aug 07, 2019 10:50 pm

@bigato

Well it's all relative, and my current location is actually significantly more populated than my last duty station so I can't complain too much. Also I travel frequently for work to more desirable locations.

Besides the fact that soliciting sex work is illegal in almost all of the US, I also think that my strategy financially is actually cheaper in the long run. This is because if I find a partner willing to participate in something like a friends with benefits situation, I really only have to pay for the first date which usually isn't more than $20-30. From there I can have frequent sex with this partner with virtually no additional associated costs until we part ways, at which time the process starts anew.

white belt
Posts: 43
Joined: Sat May 21, 2011 12:15 am

Re: White Belt's Military Journey to FI

Post by white belt » Sat Sep 21, 2019 10:58 am

August Report

Income: 7200
Savings Rate: 74%
Expense Total: 1850

Housing - 350
Insurance - 54
Cell Phone - 24
Internet - 15
Music – 10
Mail Box – 20
Dating – 221
Food/Restaurants – 780 (103 on groceries)
Gas – 22
Travel - 102
Shopping/other – 252 (bought supplements to last a few months)

I spent 14 days traveling for work this month and another 4 days traveling for leisure, which helps to explain my high food expenses. Note that my per diem for just those travel days actually exceeds my total food expenses for the entire month.


Financial Snapshot
Net Worth: $198k
Taxable: 57.1k
TSP: 74.8k
IRA: 32.5k
Cash: 35.6k

My numbers are decent for August and my net worth climbed significantly. Pending a major market correction, I should reach the $200k savings milestone in the next month. Although to be honest, I’m so focused on the present that I actually have a hard time conceptualizing what ~10 years of living expenses really means. I’m still locked in to my current job for the next 2-4 years and frankly I am really enjoying my lifestyle. My job is incredibly rewarding and pays me well, and I’m more physically fit than I have ever been. I’m also learning a lot of new things everyday.

Beyond mental exercises, the last time I had more than a week or two of unstructured time that I control was probably the summer after college. Right now I'm still leaning towards focusing on music after the Army, but that could change over the next few years.

Future Stuff
In 2 months, I get a pay raise that will increase my income by $1042 a month. This will be the biggest pay raise I’ve ever received and should help me to boost my savings rate.

I think I pretty much hit the work trip lottery as I will be spending 2 months in Tampa working on a project. That means I’ll get to enjoy a much nicer area and I’ll earn $3800 in per diem for the trip. I plan on staying in a hotel with a kitchen and bringing my cooking stuff so my food expenses should stay on the low side.

Things are starting to solidify for my work timeline. Looks like I’ll be moving to a new and slightly nicer area in the late spring of 2020. I anticipate my housing expenses are going to rise when I move because I don’t think I will be able to find another setup as cheap as my current situation. I’m considering getting my own apartment since I know I will be in an Army school environment, which means no work travel. I find my current living situation with 2 roommates much more palatable since one of us is almost always traveling. Additionally, I’m going to try living in the nicer downtown area, about 13 miles or a half hour drive from work. This violates the common ERE building block of living close to work to minimize commute time and automobile travel, and will also drive up my car costs. However, up to this point I’ve sacrificed some social and dating aspects by living on base. I’m finally moving to a desirable enough place that seems to have some kind of nightlife/culture downtown that I’d like to enjoy. Housing expenses look they’ll be in the $700 range for a studio/one bedroom in a prime location and I’m ballparking my car expenses will increase by ~$100 monthly, so overall I expect my expenses to go up by $800 a month when I move. That is a lot of money, however I also think living in a desirable downtown location will increase my quality of life significantly. I’ll only live there for 12 months so I can always change to cheaper housing when I move again.

From preliminary research it looks like the area may be viable for purchasing rental real estate. I have to flesh out my plan, but I’d like to spend my first 3 months there learning about the market and building connections. Then I can see if I can find properties with numbers that work and purchase one or two before I have to move to my next assignment. I will need a good system in place for property management and my business as a whole since I won’t be local to the area for very long after I purchase the properties. I don’t plan on house hacking there since I need a place to live as soon as I move there and I think that would introduce a lot of stress if I have to also move into a new house that I’ve just purchased while doing repairs, finding tenants, etc.

Rental real estate will be must first foray into legitimately diversifying my streams of income. I’ve noticed that since I’ve been traveling a lot more for work, it’s harder to focus on DIY skills/projects. I know I’m a true salary man at the moment, but I really want to move towards a renaissance man lifestyle and to me a big part of that is getting another source of income.

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