My name is Mr. LifeMoneyFire, at least for now. As often the case with personal finance bloggers, some of us just want to stay anonymous, at least in the beginning.
To be honest, I was hesitant to include a “Mr.” since I want everyone to relate to this blog and the overall message and the experiences without bias. But, I thought, Mr. will be helpful since the Mrs. may post as well.
This is my blog. There are many like it; but, this one is mine. It’s true. There are many personal finance blogs. You can find a wide variety of subjects. Everything from how to save, spend, budget, or retire. Really good ones, too. Depending on your situation and specific timing in your life, you will gravitate to a particular personal finance subject-matter.
One thing that I noticed, though, no matter where you are in your life financially, personal finance is always, or should always be, top of mind. Whether you’re a personal finance novice and just getting started, or an expert with guru status, the best part is that age has nothing to do with it! You could be just starting your career, or just about to retire, and your journey on the personal finance spectrum of knowledge can vary greatly.
The Mrs. and I are both in our mid-to-late thirties. We’re not rich, nor do we come from a wealthy family. We’ve had numerous, hard-working modest paying jobs most of our lives, and we’re keenly aware that we don’t have a financial safety net to fall back on, aside from the one we are building for ourselves.
This blog will focus on our personal journey and lessons in the pursuit of Financial Independence and Early Retirement—FIRE, as it’s known in the community.
Financial independence means that you have enough money working for you that your money is now making enough income on its own to cover your living expenses. Giving you the freedom to never work again—who wouldn’t want that.
We have three guiding principles to help us get there:
LifeMoneyFire’s Guiding Principles
These simple guiding principles have been, and continue to be, the key to getting us to our personal finance goals.
- Save over 50% of Income
- KISS Investing
- Eat Real Food
#1 Save over 50% of Income
From a personal finance perspective, this is purposely #1. It’s simple, we work today to save enough money, so that one day our money will work for us so we don’t have to. The goal is to get to financial independence sooner in life, rather than later.
Saving over 50% implies three things: 1) The more we save, the less we’re spending on needless crap; 2) we’re avoiding debt like the plague—remember, in the accumulation phase, debt is your enemy; and, 3) our living expenses are low, and sustainable as we reach FIRE.
Together those three things mean that we’re getting closer to the freedom to do with our lives what we are passionate about doing. The freedom from the shackles of debt and excess consumerism.
If you’re working, you should be accumulating as much as possible while you can. A savings rate of at least 50%, no matter your income, is a great number to aspire to (see for yourself). The more the better. Today we’re at 51%.
#2 Invest using the KISS Principle
Keep it Simple Stupid (KISS). We are long-term investors, searching for long-term capital appreciation and wealth. We’re happy with keeping it simple and investing the majority of our investments in total stock market funds with Vanguard.
As JLCollins’ calls it, we’re on The Simple Path to Wealth. Check out his book: “The Simple Path to Wealth.” Or, you can read his Stock Series online which is well worth the time, and pleasant to read for a stock series.
Enough said on that, for now.
#3 Eat Real Food
You don’t hear this enough in personal finance blogs, but what’s the use of working decades to have enough money saved for financial independence or early retirement if you can’t enjoy it when the time comes.
The cost of healthcare is a real issue, and one that you have to plan for especially if you’re retiring early; but, most of it could be mitigated by taking care of yourself now and simply eating real food.
Real food to us means staying away from processed, packaged, and conventional foods and food-like substitutes including chemical substitutes, refined sugars and flour.
Instead, we buy raw organic fruits, vegetables, grains, seeds, and nuts, and cook at home.
Sure, in the beginning, this was a challenge for us, but the results speak for themselves—we feel lighter, healthier, clear-minded, and with blood work to show it.
It’s not about going on a ‘diet,’ it’s about understanding the facts about food, and the impact food has on your long-term health and well-being.
The right foods can be a powerful preemptive strike against our future cost for healthcare.
Think of eating real, raw, organic foods as the simple path to health, an investment in yourself.
By the way, in our first-year challenge, we ended the year spending less on organic, pasture-raised foods cooking at home than in any previous year buying conventional, processed foods and dining out. I’ll write about it in a blog post, one day.
These are our Guiding Principles on the way to FIRE; and we hope you’ll join us as we share our journey and lessons with you in the pursuit of financial independence and early retirement . Look forward to the discussions. Hope you enjoy it!