80 Days To ERE - Backpacking, Thru-Hiking, Van-Living & Shenanigans!

Where are you and where are you going?
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Jin+Guice
Posts: 293
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2018 8:15 am

Re: 246 Days Till FI!

Post by Jin+Guice » Sat Dec 29, 2018 9:49 pm

You know I hate cars. Have you considered getting a beater/ no car and then renting a car if you have to drive clients around? It's only cost effective if you don't have to drive them around that often, but you could show up in something nicer.

just
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:16 pm

Re: 246 Days Till FI!

Post by just » Sun Dec 30, 2018 8:33 am

I recently binged-read the livingafi blog. I think it's interesting to read blogs of people as they become FI and make the transition. I also liked his style - I'd want to read more post-FI posts.

His blog also made me realize how good I have it in my current job. Is his experience normal for US white-collar jobs? I'm Danish and haven't met people that are under that much pressure, so I thought it might be a difference in work culture?

2Birds1Stone
Posts: 526
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2015 11:20 am

Re: 246 Days Till FI!

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Sun Dec 30, 2018 5:14 pm

thegreatvoid wrote:
Sat Dec 29, 2018 2:13 pm
It rekindled my inner FI flame , that had slowed down after the initial honeymoon -phase and there's nothing better than sitting infront of a computer screen , on a job you hate , day dreaming about the escape with a positive role model.
This, so much this.

The first time I read the blog in 2014/2015 it was good but not yet relatable (I was only at maybe 3-4 x annual expenses). This time around, holy shit. The timeline matches mine very closely. Albeit he bakes in WAAAAAY more security into his plan than I ever would (3% WR + a paid of house).
Jin+Guice wrote:
Sat Dec 29, 2018 9:49 pm
Have you considered getting a beater/ no car and then renting a car if you have to drive clients around?
I have, but I still generally need a vehicle in the suburbs where I live. The train station is not walkable distance, and I need to take the train into the office 4-6 x a month, same with the airport (suppose I could uber this one), and then the whole driving around to visit clients, I don't think my employer would approve a car rental for local client visits.

At this point my time remaining working probably mitigates the long term costs of owning a vehicle, and I would have to fix this car before selling it anyway.

You will be proud, I had a moment of clarity after re-reading Dr. Dooms blog from the beginning. And I'm going to do a little test drive of the ERE life for 10 weeks this summer. NYS has it's own version of FMLA, which I will be eligible for by then. I have to figure out a few specifics, but it looks like I'll be able to take 10 weeks off, and they can't fire me for it.

This specific post was a good one, and sealed the deal for me today.

https://livingafi.com/2015/08/04/taking-a-gap-year/

I'm not saying anything is set in stone, and there are few scenarios that would hamper my plans......but there is a very high likelihood I am able to pull it off. I did in 2012, before even having real FU$
just wrote:
Sun Dec 30, 2018 8:33 am
His blog also made me realize how good I have it in my current job. Is his experience normal for US white-collar jobs? I'm Danish and haven't met people that are under that much pressure, so I thought it might be a difference in work culture?
It is a fairly normal experience, especially for someone in his line of work. Many office jobs are like that though, you are a highly specialized cog in the machine that is trained to do one thing very well, before all is said and done, you burn out and start losing your sanity.

The EU and many other places in the world have much better work-life balance. My own experience hasn't been as bad, but then again I'm a field sales rep who travels/works from home quite a bit which breaks the monotony. I've also flexed my FU$ many times over my career already.

So there you have it folks.....2018 might actually by my last *full* year of FT work, EVER

Details to come tomorrow with 2018 recap and 2019 plans.

2Birds1Stone
Posts: 526
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2015 11:20 am

Re: 246 Days Till FI!

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Mon Dec 31, 2018 4:42 pm

December & 2018 End of Year Recap

Assets
$124,800 Cash
$109,100 401k
$85,900 Taxable
$49,700 Roth IRA
$12,400 AG Holdings
$11,500 Vehicle Equity
$18,900 HSA
$9,400 Au Holdings
$421,500 Total Assets (-$5,000)

Spending
$550 Rent
$100 Grocery
$149 Entertainment
$200 Depreciation-Car
$18 Misc
$20 Health
$1,046 Total Spending*

Income
$10,971 Salary
$10,971 Total Income

90% savings Rate

$17,476 - Actual expenses, last 12 months (currently 24.12X, or 4.15% WR)
$15,000 - Actual bare-bone, last 12 months (currently 28.10X, or 3.56% WR)

Current 4% WR = $16,860

End of 2018 Wrap Up

Spending
$6,600 Rent/Utility
$1,135 Grocery
$957 Gas
$2,618 Entertainment
$1,000 Depreciation
$648 Vehicle Fund
$776 Travel
$1,315 Insurance
$489 Health/Hygiene
$895 Misc
$1,113 Gifting
$17,476 Total 2017 Spending (-28% YoY Drop)

Income
$60,072 Salary
$23,809 401k
$4,765 HSA
$3,250 Commission
$12,052 Interest/Dividends/Referral Bonus/Motorcycle Sale
$103,948 Total Income (+3% YoY Increase)

83% Savings Rate

$63,600 Net Worth Gain



Musings

Lowest Spending on record, ever.
Income included dividends and interest this year, so it's really down by 2% vs. last year.
Net Worth is up 17% this year vs. 42% last year.
If I remove car depreciation from my spending, I could cover my 2018 expenses with 4% of my assets.
Best Savings Rate since I started tracking/maxing out income in 2015.

Will have to do a combined household analysis tomorrow once SO's accounts update and we have some time :)

Will also save my more detailed non financial recap of 2018 and 2019 goals for tomorrow.

Happy New year!

classical_Liberal
Posts: 666
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:05 am

Re: 246 Days Till FI!

Post by classical_Liberal » Mon Dec 31, 2018 10:24 pm

First impressions of financial porn:
A) You're FI at 3.5% WR without a car (which you use mainly for work?). Run that on Cfiresim :D
B) Less than $100/month on food? WTF? How are you pulling that off? Particularly considering how health focused you've been this year.

wolf
Posts: 809
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2017 5:09 pm
Location: Germany

Re: 246 Days Till FI!

Post by wolf » Tue Jan 01, 2019 3:32 am

Well done 2Birds1Stone!
Great to see your lower spending, high income, high SR and NW gain.

And you've got lots of cash to buy stocks for a good price.

What did you buy within the Entertainment category? Just curious, books, Netflix, etc.? I thought about spending a little bit more on in myself, but then I reconsider the possible spending, because I assume that it won't get me much more value.

2Birds1Stone
Posts: 526
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2015 11:20 am

Re: 246 Days Till FI!

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Tue Jan 01, 2019 8:11 am

@c_L, in the name of complete transparency, I'll lay it all out.

To point A), this is true. Though I imagine without a car I would have incurred other transportation costs, trading a very low rent for a fairly car dependent housing situation. Though a solution to this would just be sharing a vehicle with my SO.

B) This is a bit misleading for several reasons. One being that I get fed at work, a lot! As someone who travels in sales, I get an $80 food/beverage allowance that is use it or lose it. So I eat out at nice restaurants all of the time when traveling or meeting clients in NYC. On those days I simply don't spend any of my own money on food, sometimes I am even able to bring leftovers home for the next day. At my last job I would hawk the common pantry where post bagel/lunch meeting leftovers were dropped off on an almost daily or at least weekly basis. I would consume said food, and even put some in a tupperwear for the following day. Additionally, my SO works at a grocery store, so she definitely purchases 50-60% of our household groceries (which we track too), but we also shop for staples at Aldi, and I just don't find food that expensive here. $.97/dozen eggs, rice, beans, pasta, are all super cheap. Chicken and beef (ground) I am able to get for $1-2.50/lb, greek yogurt, fruits and veggies (they rotate sale produce items weekly) but I recently got Avocados for $.59/each, Pineapples for $1.49, apples for $1.49 per 3lbs. Potato & Onions are usually $1.49 per 3lbs. When I eat at home I typically have 4 eggs and 2 slices of toast with a slice of cheese for breakfast, with a French pressed black coffee. Total cost is under $1
Lunch will typically be leftovers from dinner, which is usually some kind of protein + vegetable + starch. Total cost of our dinners is usually <$5 and provides us with a meal for 2 + leftovers for 2 lunches. But yea, pretty impressive grocery spending that would go up if I were to FIRE!

On that note, I also don't have time to spend money when I'm traveling a lot for work. I don't use my vehicle, or incur incidental costs because almost everything is reimbursed. I do wonder if I would feel deprived living on my last 12 months spending if I had a ton more free time. I don't think so, but it's worth noting. That budget has very little room for emergency spending and it's not one I would want to live on forever, especially with how relatively little time it takes from this point to build in a 20-25% buffer.

But on the other side, to J+G's point about minimum wage/PT work. I can increase my spending by 50% simply by working at McDonalds for 20 hours a week, if I needed to.

@wolf, for better or worse I will be dumping quite a bit into stocks over the coming three months. Then shifting my focus back on resilient and shorter term investments/savings till I lose that ability.

For entertainment, it's primarily eating out with SO, happy hours, a few dinners out with friends, I did buy 1 video game (Forza MSP 7), it includes entry fees to some parks and a botanical garden, as well as some misc spending on our vacation to Tampa over the summer.

We did do a lot of travel hacking so that category is also one I have to figure out in RE mode. I know I'll be spending a lot more than $60/month on travel when I pull the plug on work, especially since a big part of our plans is long term slow travel. But then we ditch the rent potentially?

My work travel allows me to charge everything on my personal cards and get reimbursed, so I'm earning sign on bonuses and CC hotel and airline miles at a very accelerated rate. When I'm unemployed my CC spending will drop by 95%.

2Birds1Stone
Posts: 526
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2015 11:20 am

Re: 246 Days Till FI!

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Tue Jan 01, 2019 2:48 pm

Combined Household Spending/Income Recap

Some nuggets into our combined household finances. You will see this is a big reason why I have a hard time letting go of the income for now.....

Combined Spending - $37,250
Combined Income - $128,000
Combined Net Worth - $515,100
Combined 2018 Savings Rate - 71%
Years of Combined Expenses - 13.8X
Current WR% - 7.23%
Current Income @ 3% WR - $15,453

Seppia
Posts: 825
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2016 9:34 am
Location: Italy

Re: 246 Days Till FI!

Post by Seppia » Tue Jan 01, 2019 3:52 pm

I’m also in sales and I’m on the same boat, the grocery spending just isn’t reflective of reality: I’m away from home almost 50% of the time, plus I have a very good canteen at work that we basically pay at cost (around $4 for a full meal with high quality ingredients, $2.5 for a light lunch).

In general I’m more or less on your same boat: with similar types of incomes, it really doesn’t make any sense NOT to pad the stash a bit unless the job is really really bad.
I understand the whole OMYS/golden handcuffs and stuff, but really if one can build some extra margin of safety with only a couple years work, why not?

2Birds1Stone
Posts: 526
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2015 11:20 am

Re: 246 Days Till FI!

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Wed Jan 02, 2019 1:31 pm

2019 Goals

Financial
Maintain 75% Savings Rate
Spending <$20k
Get to IPS Asset Allocation
Build 12 Month CD Ladder
Travel Hack 2 new CC's
Churn 5 New Rewards Bank Accounts

Athletic/Health Pursuits
Run 500 Miles
Cycle 2500 Miles
Swim 20 Times
Run a Half Marathon in <2:00
Run a 5k in <22:00
Run a 10k in <45:00
Cycle a Century (100 Miles)
Hit new time records on my favorite MTB Trails (GR, ES, RP, EW, SW, & CP)
Get and Stay <200lbs
Weight Train at least 3X a week
Bench Press 275 x 5
Squat 315 x 5
Deadlift 405 x 5
Eat Vegetarian 2 Days a Week
Avoid Alcohol 5 Days a Week
Meditate 15 minutes 3 x a Week
Average 10k steps a day
Complete an Olympic Distance Triathlon

Non Financial
Read 12 Non Fiction Books
Listen to 52 Podcast Episodes
Learn 12 New Recipes
Perform 100% of my own bike maintenance
Learn how to sew
Grow and increase our garden for 2019
Travel to 12 New Places
Join a Meetup
Socialize with non work friends 1x per week
Date my SO
Continue establishing and improving my web of goals
Be Present
Savor The Small Stuff, Every Damn Day
Mentor 3 individuals
Give Without Expecting Anything In Return (Time, Money, Etc)

@Seppia, I guess it is just a matter of making sure you're true to yourself and avoid moving the goalposts too much. 1 year of working to go from shoestring budget to relative comfort/emergency padding for changes in HC costs, etc, is not that imho.

suomalainen
Posts: 627
Joined: Sat Oct 18, 2014 12:49 pm

Re: 188 Days Till FI!

Post by suomalainen » Wed Jan 02, 2019 9:54 pm

Image

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=otXGqU4LBEI

Sorry. I'll show myself out.

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Jin+Guice
Posts: 293
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2018 8:15 am

Re: 188 Days Till FI!

Post by Jin+Guice » Wed Jan 02, 2019 11:45 pm

2Birds1Stone wrote:
Wed Jan 02, 2019 1:31 pm
I guess it is just a matter of making sure you're true to yourself and avoid moving the goalposts too much. 1 year of working to go from shoestring budget to relative comfort/emergency padding for changes in HC costs, etc, is not that imho.
I'm inclined to agree with you here. I've been reading the living a FI blog and I've realized that I don't understand what its like to be a specialist with one career or work in corporate America. After pushing you a little on the subject, you seem to like your job for the most part and you are pretty close to being FI, which is a major accomplishment. My point with all of the semi-ERE stuff is that if you are feeling trapped, you don't have to be.

Reading through some of the journals here, as well as MadFIentist and living a FI, where my perception is that people are trapped in jobs they don't like, pursuing an imaginary freedom that is already theirs, I can't help but point out that you don't have to follow in our role model's footsteps to remove your shackles. You also don't have to give up your dreams of becoming FI.

If I could work a full-time job that I liked for 1-3 years and achieve financial independence I would definitely do it. I'd put in 60-80 hours a week. If you added the criteria that I like the job, but I'm totally burnt out on it and I'd already been doing it for 10+ years, I'm not sure that I would.

I'll also reiterate that while I don't know your specific circumstances, a good salesman will always be in demand.

2Birds1Stone
Posts: 526
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2015 11:20 am

Re: 188 Days Till FI!

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:55 pm

SO and I spent almost two whole days discussing our 5 year plan......and it looks like this.

All 2019 - Work/Save/Learn - I will try to pull off short LoA
Spring 2020 - Sell everything, get rid of apartment/cars
June 2020 - Leave to Europe for 5 months
November 2020 - Travel to SE Asia for 5 months
April 2021 - Come back to USA, WORK for ~12 months
April 2022 - Begin Appalachian Trail thru-hike, flip flop style starting in Harpers Ferry WV
July 2022 - Summit Katahdin, spend a few weeks with family in NY
August 2022 - Continue AT thru-hike from WV, southbound
Oct/Nov 2022 - Finish thru-hike and return to NY to WORK ~9-12 months
Winter '22/'23 - Build Camper Van while working
Summer/Fall 2023 - Leave for long term van-life adventure, length ~12 months
Summer 2024 - Work? PT? Seasonal?

This represents approximately 30 months of slow travel and leisure, and 42 months of work/transition time between now and summer of 2024.

Surely this will impact our ability to get to full blown FIRE as a household, but WELL worth the experience.

I'll likely build a high level financial model to figure out that impact in timeline but doing some back of the napkin math....

Starting Net Worth ~$500k combined
Jan '19 - May '20 - Saving ~$100k during the final "push"
June '20 - March '21 - Spending ~$30k during Europe/SE Asia Trip ~$570k
April '21 - April '22- Saving ~$50k while prepping for thru-hike ~$620k
May '22 - November '22 - Spending ~$18k on thru-hike/gear, and another $2k budgeted for costs post-hike, pre-job. $600k
Dec '22 - September '23 - Saving ~$50k while building a camper-van $650k
Nov '23 - October '24 - Spending ~$36k slow traveling the US/Mexico for 12 months $600k

A ton of assumptions (flat market, easy to find work, costs, etc), but it looks like we could break even while enjoying half a decade of wild adventure in our 30's. At the end of 2025, I'll be 38 and SO will be 34. At this point we can go back to work for 2-4 years full time, and make the final push to FI. We can work seasonal/PT jobs instead. Even more likely we do something we haven't even thought of yet.

How does the saying go? Life is what happens when you're busy making plans.
Last edited by 2Birds1Stone on Thu Jan 03, 2019 7:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.

BMF1102
Posts: 39
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:26 pm

Re: 188 Days Till FI!

Post by BMF1102 » Thu Jan 03, 2019 4:39 pm

Just substitute Australia/New Zealand for Europe/SE Asia and I could have wrote that.. er well my NW numbers are quite a bit smaller. Say you're a mountain biker right? Have you heard of the Hut to Hut rides in the San Juan mountains from Colorado to Utah?? Might be something to put on your list while slow traveling in the camper van.

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Jin+Guice
Posts: 293
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2018 8:15 am

Re: 188 Days Till FI!

Post by Jin+Guice » Thu Jan 03, 2019 6:45 pm

Damn dawg, quite a plan! I'm interested to hear how you like slow traveling. I'mma be lookin' out for you in November of 2024, you better stop by NOLA!

2Birds1Stone
Posts: 526
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2015 11:20 am

Re: 188 Days Till FI!

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Thu Jan 03, 2019 7:19 pm

@BMF, I have not, but now I'm very curious. This will very much be a possibility during our year long road-trip. We want to travel really slow, MTB detours are guaranteed. When are you planning your trip for? Same timelines?

@J+G, it's definitely ambitious if nothing else. Ideally costs will be lower thanks to ERE type ingenuity along the way. Some side hustles while traveling? Maybe some market returns over the next 5 years? We literally have the cash to go do all of the fun stuff without work in between, but it's too easy to make some cash while looking for and building a van, or doing shakeout hikes and planning a long thru-hike. It also allows us to work partial years almost every year during the next 5, so we will earn income with almost no taxes. It also gives us points in time to re-assess our plan and adjust plans accordingly.

I also made a type in the back of the napkin math dates, corrected. November 2023....but we have to meet waaaaay before that. I'm really pissed I wasn't able to get into NYC while you visited in the fall. Definitely let me know when the next trip is planned :)

BMF1102
Posts: 39
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:26 pm

Re: 188 Days Till FI!

Post by BMF1102 » Thu Jan 03, 2019 8:59 pm

Yeah it looks pretty awesome... relatively pricey though :| check it out - https://sanjuanhuts.com/

2Birds1Stone
Posts: 526
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2015 11:20 am

Re: 183 Days Till FI!

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Sun Jan 06, 2019 10:13 am

That's pricey. I'm sure I could stitch together something similar and camp on my own. I follow a guy who initially thru-hiked the AT a few years ago, then MTB'd the Colorado Trail and thru hiked the PCT all in the same year (2018). The MTBing out west looks absolutely incredible. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to go back to work once I get a taste of that life.

Morning Weight - 209.8
7 Day Average - 211.0
Training - I've been trying to stay active despite the crappy wet winter weather here. Gym 4 times in the past 6 days. 3 x weightlifting, 1 treadmill run yesterday of 9.3 miles (15k). I also did two fast 2.0 mile runs outside at lunch time during the week. Only got on my bicycle once for a 3 mile cruise around the neighborhood, and a decent amount of walking. I'm realizing my athletic goals for 2019 are a stretch at best =P


Financial Plan Progress

UMB Bank has processed my HSA paperwork, and Fidelity should be receiving the funds this week. That will be $18,900 in cash to invest asap.

Vanguard Backdoor tIRA -> Roth IRA conversion settled yesterday, so that's another $6,000 cash to invest.

First 2019 paycheck on the 15th, $3750 into 401k to invest. Followed by the next 4 paychecks as well.

I have ~$40k sitting with Ally awaiting a bonus, which I'm trying to figure out when I can pull the funds out (either 1/15 or 2/15) but it was a nice promo. Deposit funds in Nov, and keep them till January for an extra 1% interest on top of their already competitive 2% APY. Once the bonus is paid out I will take $10k and put it into I Bonds, $10k into taxable stocks, and $20k into my CD ladder.

Asset allocation *should* be closer to 60/40 by April 1 or so.

183 day, y'all!

2Birds1Stone
Posts: 526
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2015 11:20 am

Re: 180 Days Till FI!

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:03 am

Morning Weight - 211
7 Day Average - 210.2
Training - hitting weights today with SO. Yesterday I got called into Manhattan and didn't have time to train or do anything for myself.

Week 1 - 2019 Recap

Well, the first week of the year was a mixed bag in terms of working toward my stated 2019 goals.

I hit the gym 4 times.
Lifted 3 x
Ran 3 x for a total of 13.3 miles
Biked 3.3 miles
Walked 13.5 miles
Worked 19 hours
meditated 0 times
had beer 5/7 days
No churning/CC hacking
No non-fiction book reading
No podcasting
Slept Ok
Weight -2.5lbs

Mentally it was a tough week. Between the car breaking down, my tooth issue, and having to go back to work after a pretty lax 2 week stretch of "wfh", I felt pretty depressed on the train yesterday.
One of my other big goals until I quit working, is to control my time/hours spent on work or work related activities (a la YMOYL). If I can measure these, then maybe it will help me quit faster, seeing a true hourly after tax wage can be humbling.

2Birds1Stone
Posts: 526
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2015 11:20 am

Re: 178 Days Till FI!

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:20 pm

Re-reading the ERE book for the 3rd time today. Boy did I need a refresher.....and I'm only through chapter 1. If this doesn't motivate me to follow through with my plans, than I don't know if anything will!

Morning Weight - 210
7 Day Average 209.9
Training - Hit the gym today, 5k yesterday, gym day before that.

Got the tooth issue taken care of. Car is still fucked, and we've successfully been a 1 car household for 15 days now. Looking into making this more permanent.

Stocks have been on a bit of a tear lately. CAPE back to ~29.......SWR now <3.5%

My care expenses for 2018 were <$12k, what the fuck am I waiting for =P

178 days till the first LoA, shit is getting real.

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