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Living The FI Life: The Good

It’s coming up on the two year anniversary of when I discovered the FI movement (approximately, I don’t have an exact date). In honor of the occasion I thought I’d reflect on all the changes for the better that have happened in my life since then.

While this movement in its essence revolves around the math equation, I’ve found that living the FI life can bring a tremendous amount of other good things into your life.

As I dove headfirst into the movement, the finances part came naturally. What I wasn’t expecting was all the other amazing things that have happened as a result of being involved in this community.

Here’s a rundown of all the good things that living the FI life has brought into my life. I’ve written about a lot of these more in depth, so feel free to check out some of those links to old posts if you missed them!

Finances

On the financial side of things, the good things these last two years have been numerous. As I drank from the never ending stream of financial wisdom I see daily around the community, I implemented many beneficial things into my financial life.

It’s certainly paid dividends (see what I did there 😉 ).

From a top level, since July 2017 my Net Worth has more than doubled, increasing by nearly $90K from $66K to $152K. My savings rate has also pretty much doubled, hovering around 30% in 2017 to a little over 60% this year.

Wow, those are big numbers! It’s been a combination of things, from trimming my expenses to increasing my income (more in work section) that has done the bulk of it, but the actions taken to get to this point have been numerous.

I want to stress that even though I’ve had the knowledge of most of these things since July 2017, some of these took a lot longer to actually implement. It can be tough to change ingrained habits. Here is a timeline of the big financial wins that have happened in the last two years:

July 2017: Opened a Brokerage account and Roth IRA to invest all that cash sitting around, started tracking net worth and savings rates

December 2017: Opened HSA account to invest (also started the blog!)

March 2018: Switched savings accounts to a high yield online savings account

May 2018: Opened first credit card meant for the sign up bonus points (travel hacking)

June 2018: Hit $100K Net Worth!!

September 2018: Made first money off a side hustle

December 2018: Paid off my car (also one of my biggest financial mistakes), cut my yearly spending by $10K

These are just the big wins, with dozens of smaller wins that happen on a daily and weekly basis.

Getting your financial house in order may be step 1 on your way to financial independence, but you have to take care of the other parts of your life as well.

Work

On the work front, I’ve had also had some big wins. In the last two years my salary has increased over 40% from $69K in July 2017 to just over $97K currently.

I’ve gotten two raises and two promotions in that time which have really helped to bump my salary up and make my savings goals much easier to achieve.

With each raise has come more responsibility, where I’m now in the position of unofficially managing a team. The work experience has been good (though consisting of long hours including the commute), so it’s tough to complain about things on this front.

That being said, living the FI life has allowed me to keep an eye on things I can be doing to help live my ideal life. My mind is constantly thinking of things I can do on the side, or start up on my own at some point which could help lead to freedom much earlier than grinding it out in my current role for another 5-10 years or so.

While I haven’t made much progress on that side of things, having the luxury to think about these things, and choose whether to act on them or not, is a great spot to be in.

Relationships

I’ve also noticed that many of my relationships have been positively affected during this pursuit of FI.

My parents have done a great job in their own right of saving and investing throughout their careers, and we have had many discussions about the pursuit of FI and things to consider and think about.

They’ve been great supporters of me throughout my life, and I think our talks have helped frame both our mindsets and future plans. I recently gave them a copy of Work Optional, and I’m hoping they themselves can make the jump into a more stress free early retirement (in their 50s) in the next couple years!

It’s also led to some interesting discussions with my siblings. My younger two siblings are in college or just graduated, so they are just getting started. But getting them into the saving and investing mindset at that age will put them at a huge advantage! My older sibling is in a bit of a different situation, but he’s always been a saver with a mind towards a strong financial foundation.

While most of my friends are not particularly FI minded, I have attempted to broach the subject, and mentioned the concepts of it to a few of them. None of them have seemed particularly interested, but I’m still waiting for the day for one of them to reach back out!

In the last two years I’ve also gotten into a relationship, which, frankly, has been pretty amazing. The fact that she is FI minded and we’re both on our own journeys has eliminated one of the biggest causes of stress in a relationship. We both have a similar vision of what we want in the short and long term, and this pursuit of FI has put us in a great position to go after these!

Of course relationships are about a lot more than just money, but having these open and honest discussions are a great way to ease the money stressors that life throws at you.

Community

One of the best parts about this journey to FI has simply been the community. Being able to talk with likeminded people about this crazy thing called FI and hear about their own journeys is a huge boon to my life.

The journey can be a long and arduous one. It’s very easy to get discouraged by the length of time it takes. When you have no one in your life to talk to about these sorts of things, the ride can be a bit lonely and I imagine it would be easy to stray off the path.

Getting involved in the FI community has been a great way to get this sense of community and togetherness that we’re all working towards (or already achieved!) this goal.

You don’t need to have a blog or be a content creator to get involved in the community and meet others. Choose FI has local groups in hundreds of cities that all meet at various times. This can be a great way to meet others!

I can say with certainty that I have met some amazing and wonderful people at events like these (like my girlfriend 🙂 ) and others like Camp FI. Many of these people I can even see eventually being lifelong friends!

What better way to spend your Post-FI life with friends you’ve made along the journey and who are pursuing that kind of life for themselves!?

Living The FI Life: The Good

I’ve been extremely fortunate to have so many good things happen in my life in the past two years since I started this journey.

It’s really been amazing to see the kind of things that can happen when you really put your mind to something and take action. I’m excited to see all the other good things that will happen in the coming years!

That being said, though there has been so much good that’s happened, there’s also been several downsides I’ve noticed in the past two years.

Since this post has dragged on long enough, tune in next week to see the opposite side of the coin and some of the not so good things that have happened as a result of pursuing this FI journey.

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Have you specifically noticed any good things that have happened to you since pursuing FI? Let’s hear them!

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6 thoughts to “Living The FI Life: The Good”

  1. This a good way to step back and take stock (no pun intended 🙂 ) of undergoing such a change to your finances. Like you, I always had a savings mindset but didn’t know about all of this until I discovered it online. I am thankful that back in 2014 a family member (who is a financial adviser) asked me why I had around $40K just sitting in the bank earning literally just pennies. I then opened a Roth IRA and brokerage account and have been off to the races ever since. I regret missing out on the first five years of this bull market (09-14) but I can’t change the past. After all, the best time to invest if you haven’t already is right now.

    I discovered this movement around the same time you did, mid-late 2017. I started using Personal Capital in October of that year and my net worth has increased over 50% since then. During that time I also paid off the car, opened a HSA and an online savings account. No such luck on the relationship front here 😂, but that’s awesome that you found a partner who shares similar goals! I did not know about the local FI groups, thanks for that link. I will have to check it out. It would be nice to get involved with like-minded people as I currently don’t have that in my life.

    Very curious to hear about the not so good things that have happened since you discovered FI. To be honest, I can’t think of all that many in my life so I’m interested to hear what you have to say.

    1. Your journey sounds a bit similar to mine (with the big chunk of cash sitting around, then proceeding to get all your finances in order) so that’s pretty incredible! 50% increase in less than two years is no joke!

      Yea I hope you can certainly find more people in your local area to meet up with! The community has been one of the best parts so far I think, as it really gives you a sense that you aren’t alone on this crazy journey!

    1. It surely had to be that 😉 though I have to say I unfortunately didn’t discover you until I started my own blog! 😭

      Before then I pretty much only read the bigger ones (like MMM, RB40, Gwen, etc) as I really did not even know how many other bloggers there were!

  2. I’ve been pursuing FI for 9 years. 🙂 I can’t think of a real downside so I’m looking forward to the next post.
    It looks like the FI journey has been amazing for you. Good job and keep at it!

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