Starting this blog has taken an enormous amount of effort. Not in the sense that there was a ton of stuff to do or highly difficult tasks to complete. But to get my butt off the couch and start it.
The initial effort to put in motion the series of events to get this post online required an internal battle. Just as many people find it overwhelming on where to start their financial independence (FI) journey, I didn’t know how to begin.
I have read a few blogs on the logistics of getting started and read countless stories about ridiculously successful bloggers. But every day I tried to start, I found an excuse not to finish my first post. My most common excuses were rooted in self-doubt, a lack of free time, and what direction to take.
Tonight, however, I’m going to take a step. Tonight, I’m going to win today’s battle.
In the fall of 2016 a coworker, who happens to be Chase from Chasing-FIRE.com, recommended I read Mr. Money Mustache, Mad Fientist, and JL Collins’ Stock Series. I was given strict guidance to read all the MMM blog posts in order to build my mindset of FI, then move on to the Mad Fientist and JL Collins for more in-depth applications. Probably the best advice I’ve received this decade.
Honestly, if you stopped reading this blog and followed that recommendation I wouldn’t be upset. Most importantly, you’d be on your way to FI, if you aren’t already.
MMM does a great job building up a theoretical FI badass. My favorite point in his writing is to understand that there is always someone out there more badass than you. I think about this concept almost daily, and this is where I am going to start this journey.
My Daily Financial Independence Grind
I’ll share my daily FI grind. I doubt I’ll blog daily, scratch that, I will not blog daily. But the daily struggle is where my story will start.
I don’t always make the most badass choice, but I recognize it and I, more often than not, choose a path that will get me to FI faster than the average Joe. Or at least the average 30 something I see in the USA Today retirement charts from time to time.
Back to the fall of 2016, I started consuming MMM and by January 2017 I was locked into Mint and tracking my FI progress. At various points I plan to share a deeper dive into my financial picture. Just to get things started, as of January 2017 my wife and I had $103,300 in student loan debt and today that balance is $68,738.
My goal is to be student loan debt free by October of 2020.
Yes, I’ve read about others who paid off $100,000 in under a year (people more badass than me), but I have a ton of excuses, like I don’t make anywhere near a six-figure salary and there are some things my wife or I are not willing to sacrifice.
Also, if we would have followed the 30 year loan schedule, the student loan debt free date would have been in 2039! So, I’m happy with our progress and plan. Plus, we have to live with our decisions and achieve FI at our pace.
Your pace is most definitely different.
The initial step to the daily FI grind is to get off the couch. I hate our student loan debt and I am attacking it with increased intensity. That debt and being aware of how it is limiting my progress towards a more secure future was my first trigger to start my FI journey.
Now that I started, I am cognizant of how decisions impact my FI journey and I own it. This is your life, you are in charge and it is up to you to trigger change.