Our Forever Home?

I know I am still pretty young but I realized that I not only have no idea what our next home looks like, or even if our our next home will be our forever home.  It’s funny how when you are on the path to FI previous plans can change and all of a sudden big decisions like this become even more important.

When we moved into our owner occupied duplex over 6 years ago our long term plan was to buy another duplex and then eventually a single family home for us, leaving us with two fully rented duplexes with a nice little income stream and then a space to call our own.  We have the other duplex now but as we have since decided leaving our full time jobs sounds more attractive than buying another home.  But that leaves us with the question of how long are we going to stay in our duplex and should we still be planning on our next home as well as planning for FI? Continue reading “Our Forever Home?”

The Year of Me

2017 was certainly the “year of me”.  My expenses for 2017 were definitely higher than I would like and I attribute this mostly to spending a lot of time and money on improving myself.  Yes Financial Independence will bring with it freedom but that doesn’t necessarily mean happiness.  I know that I need to find happiness in the now, today, and not wait for some future date so I have been working on improving myself in more ways than one over the past year.  Overall I would say this has been a success as I am becoming more comfortable with who I am and I find that in general I am pretty happy.

All of this improvement has come at a cost, and these costs have certainly added up.  My expenses in the personal care category alone more than doubled.  Ouch!  My hope is that many of these costs will not continue long term but I suspect that some will.  Here are some of the things I have spent money on this year and why. Continue reading “The Year of Me”

Celebrating Milestones

As I track our progress monthly I am keenly aware of how things are tracking.  Sometimes I will look at our numbers and projections mid-month though if we are close to hitting another milestone.  This past week was one of those times.  We might not be at our ultimate goal but I do love to celebrate the little things along the way.  So one evening after work I updated all of our figures and thanks to an amazing year in the market and continued strong savings we hit another big mark.

How did we celebrate?  In frugal style of course!  Over the summer a friend had given us a mini bottle of Champagne that she had gotten as a favor at a wedding but she doesn’t drink Champagne.  In my mind I had earmarked this bottle for just this occasion as I knew it was fast approaching.  So upon confirming the info and sharing the great news with Mr. SFF we celebrated.  Cheers to the little steps that mean we are one step closer to the ultimate goal of financial freedom!  

Mr. SFF also gave me one of his old cameras so now I can take some better photos for the blog.  🙂  Merry Christmas!

A Day of Freedom

This past Thursday evening we had a bunch of people over so I decided to take Friday off as I have some extra vacation time and didn’t want to feel rushed to end the party.  I got to sleep in a little bit still but was up before 8 and then had a pretty productive and amazing day.

A friend swung by the house to pick up something she forgot the night before just after I had gotten up. Mr. SFF and I were in the kitchen getting ready for breakfast when she came in. She inquired if we always had Fridays off. I of course do not but Mr. SFF often has a pretty flexible schedule on Friday. The comment did secretly make my smile knowing that hopefully within a couple of years this would be our reality, not only every Friday but every day of the week.

Knowing how lucky I was to have the day off, I certainly made the best of it. I did some normal house stuff like cleaning up from the night before, I ran a few loads of laundry, and even did some sewing things had been meaning to get to. Nothing amazing or thrilling but it was just so wonderful to have so much time to get this stuff done without having to eat into our weekend fun time.
Continue reading “A Day of Freedom”

Our 4th of July Adventure

Mr. SFF and I had a fantastic long four day weekend for the 4th of July.  The rain finally relented on Sunday and we had three glorious days of weather.  The best part though was the evening of the 4th.  We planned an evening hike with a couple of close friends and boy, was it amazing!

4.6 miles with 2800 of elevation gain.

The four of us carpooled to the trail head and strapped on our hiking boots around 6:30 pm.  I love hiking but this was the first time I had set out for a hike when I would normally be heading home.  None of us had hiked this particular trail but based on research we figured it would be one of the most direct routes to the top of one of the highest peaks in our area, giving us a clear view of the entire valley. Continue reading “Our 4th of July Adventure”

Loosening the Purse Strings

Since starting our journey to financial independence I have really tried to buckle down on non essential expenses.  I may have gone a little too extreme in some respects as I do of course still need to enjoy life.  A few weeks ago I posted on the Financial Independence boards of Reddit posing the question of what are others planning on retiring to.  I have this slight fear that I will be bored once I no longer have a full time job.  Some people found this question strange but being that I have a Type A personality who likes to have things neatly planned, this was an important question to me.

One of the things that I realized after reading all of the posts was that I had actually cut out some hobbies because they cost money.  One in particular is sewing.  I love being able to create things and sewing is one great outlet for this.  So this past month I decided I would loosen the purse strings a little and delve into some sewing projects.  I found a few free skirt patterns online that I liked as well as wanting to reuse a pattern for a dress I made 7 years ago.  With coupons in hand I headed over to Joann Fabrics to find some fabrics.  They had a few bins with fabrics up to 70% off so that is where I started.  I found two fabrics that would work well for two of the skirt patterns and on another sale rack I found two stretchy knit fabrics which were also on sale.    One I planned to make a colorful mini skirt and the other I planned for the dress pattern I have used before.

With a pile of fabric in hand I got to work.   Continue reading “Loosening the Purse Strings”

Fearing Older Car Repair Bills

I recently had a bit of a scare with my beloved 2007 Honda Fit.  First let me start off by saying I love my car.  I bought it when it was only a year old and never regretted it.  It has been so trustworthy and even though it has 128,000 miles on it I have had very few problems.  That was until we started to notice water INSIDE the car.  Yup, that is not supposed to happen.  And it has been a rainy spring.  So when we kept noticing water collecting in the rear passenger foot wells I called to make an appointment.

When it comes to water related issues, whether it is with a car or even a house, it can sometime be hard to diagnose.  This is due to the fact that water runs.  So you could have a problem in one spot but the water runs to a different place making it hard to find the actual culprit.

Initially we thought the water issue was due to the after market roof rack we had purchased which had damaged the seal at the top of the doors.  It turned out to be a good thing that I had to wait over a week for my appointment as one day when driving around Mr. SFF noticed a sloshing sound.  Low and behold after a little searching, he realized there was water the in rear, hiding in the compartment with the spare tire.  We then deduced that it was more likely a leak in the rear hatch and that water had sloshed into the rear passenger foot wells when going down a hill.  We removed the spare tire, tire iron and jack and pumped out this water and then had another week to evaluate.  I guess it was a good thing that it was rainy all week as we we able to note which side the water was at least running from.  We didn’t know exactly where it originated but we had at the very least narrowed things down a little.

A small puddle formed in the spare tire compartment after rain overnight.

Continue reading “Fearing Older Car Repair Bills”

Would a Shorter Work Week Do The Trick?

This whole journey towards FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) really has to do with changing our lifestyle and giving just just a little more time to play or do what we want instead of being stuck in the office.  Heading to the office five days a week, spending the whole time looking forward to those two days that make up the weekend, is just not a great fit for me.  Even though I get out at 4:30 every day I feel that most of the day is gone and between eating dinner and winding down for the day I don’t have enough time to do fun things.  My job is fine but I don’t love it.  And sometimes I end up mentally take the job home with me, making the day seem worse. Continue reading “Would a Shorter Work Week Do The Trick?”

Vitality – An Amazing Program!

For the past few years my employer has offered an amazing wellness program through Vitality.  Unfortunately in February my employer announced that they will no longer be offering this program after 3/31/17 because participation has been too low.  First of all, I am incredibly bummed that they are no longer going to be offering this benefit, and secondly, why were people not enrolled?!  This program was AMAZING! Continue reading “Vitality – An Amazing Program!”

Vacation Turned Delay-cation Turned Stay-cation

Last Tuesday we were supposed to fly out to the Denver area for a combined ski trip and also to visit my sister in law, her husband and my nephews.  Even three days out from our departure date we knew that this trip wouldn’t go quite as planned.  There was a blizzard on the horizon set to arrive on Tuesday, the day of our departure.  We got a notification on Saturday that one of our flights might be a problem as we were scheduled to go through New York right in the heart of the storm.  With this advance notice we were given the option of changing our flight without incurring any change fees.  We changed our first flight to go through Detroit instead of NY and as we were set to leave at 5:45 am we figured we would be able to fly out before the storm hit.

Sleeping the night before an early morning flight never goes well but even after tossing and turning for well over an hour, we got a notification that our flight was cancelled around 11 pm.  Bummer…but at least we knew the night before so we didn’t have to make it all the way to the airport in the wee hours of the morning before finding out.  We slept in a little bit (does 7:15 count?), had breakfast, and then decided it would actually be easier to drive over to the airport and figure out our options instead of waiting on hold for hours with the airline (the hold time on Saturday was 2 hours).  This turned out to be a great decision as the airport was a ghost town.  We didn’t see a single passenger, despite there not be a flake of snow in the sky, and only a few airport employees around.  Even all the shops were closed.  Apparently only 2 flights made it out that morning before things closed down which meant we had the full attention of the counter agent.  We decided since the forecast was estimating a couple of feet of snow it would be silly to head out west to ski/ride on Wednesday, plus the likelihood of actually getting out on a flight Wednesday was not likely as the storm was set to continue well into the day.  So with our flight rescheduled to Thursday we headed home to rest after a horrible night of sleep. Continue reading “Vacation Turned Delay-cation Turned Stay-cation”