I am an elementary school teacher, landlord and father of four amazing kids, trying to reach my financial retirement in the next ten years. We enjoy frugal living in one of the most sought after Chicago suburbs as we manage our small budget to push us towards financial independence and early retirement. This blog will share some of our strategies and stories of our journey from $0 to FIRE.
This is something that I recommend to everybody trying to do better financially regardless of where you are at in your financial journey.
Every year I make sure that I take the time to set up financial goals; realistic ones! Based on what I know, meaning my incipient financial literacy, and what I have experienced in terms of my investments’ performance I start each year setting some new expectations for the new year.
Last year, just like the previous years, I surpassed my goals, which is totally fine and it actually boosted my confidence. With that said, I still keep myself grounded and continue to base my expectations on my real numbers.
Last year was truly exceptional with a 67% net worth increase. Part of that increase was a 50K legal settlement, but even without that windfall the increase would have been 48%, which is still amazing. Especially for a household of 2 adults and 4 kids living on one teacher’s income.
For this year this is how I see things going down…
First, I start with a very broad and general appreciation of 3% of the total amount of our real estate assets, including the home we live in. That’s the first big number at $39,300.
Next is our tax return that usually comes at around 10K. I get a lot of deductions because of the 4 kids, and all the morgage interest we pay. I am starting to think about changing my witholdings so that I can invest the money right away instead of loaning it to Uncle Sam for free.
Then, there is the break-down of the rental income. We have two rental properties, and we just bought a vacation rental in Michigan. We are in the process of figuring out how much we could rent it for. It seems like, according to market prices, we could rent it somewhere between $1,800 to $2,300 per week. So, I calculculated the rental income of this properrty at $1,850. We get about 10 weeeks out of the whole summer season and we are planning on using it for 2 weeks. 8 weeks will pay for the mortgage, and even at the lowest rate we should be left with about $900; maybe for unexpected expenses.
Finally from my teacher salary I manage to save $716, which was originally our student loan payment and after paying it off we repurposed the payment into our savings pot/bank. That amounts to $8,592 yearly.
Investments: I haven’t really put much effort into my 403B plan(Same as a 401K) because we have focused more in real estate investing. Why? Because I like the idea of building more cash flow and the leverage you get with real estate investing. My current balance is $74,441 in FSKAX(Fidelity Total Market), VTASX( Vanguard Total Market), FXAIX ( Fidelity SP500), and very little FXNAX(Fidelity Index Bonds). However, I think I am getting to my limit of how much property managing I want to do. From now on, I will use the cash-flow from our rentals to fuel my 403B plan. Once I hit 100K, I will move on to build up a 457 fund, in case I retire early, quit my job and want to access some of the money earlier than 59 1/2.
All this income comes to a total of $84,911, or 20%. This is how much I am hoping to increase my net worth in 2022. I will be more than thrilled if I shattered my goal/prediction like I have done in the last 3 years. We’ll see!
I just realize I have a disparity between my Mint and Personal Capital net worth. Mint shows $412K and Personal Capital $437K. I am not that concern about it. Mint lately has given me a lot of issues synching with Zillow, so I may consider going by my Personal Capital net worth of 437K instead.
If you read this, I hope this gets you excited about the power of getting a hold of your finances. The hardest thing is getting to the point of starting, committing and wanting to do it. Once you start everything falls into place.
If you have any question or I can be of any help I will be more than happy to share ideas with you for free. Just drop a comment below.
Here we are again at the end of another wonderful year. I have been away for almost 6 months craving to have the time to sit down and go through all the events unfolding in my life.
My last post was in June and little did I know what I was in for.
June is usually a very glorious moment for me because it means one thing: SUMMER! That is one of the benefits of being a teacher, you work hard through the year and then you get almost three months of beautiful weather and plenty of free time.
For me, free time usually means catching up with projects that need to be done with our rentals, driving our kids to summer camp, and our favorite thing of the year, which is going up north to Michigan.
Everything was happening as it should until I got the first phone call from one of my tenants letting me know that she was planning on moving. After two years, they decided it was time for a new beginning in a new state; a new chapter. Sometimes I wish I could do that, don’t you? Just pack up and go. However, with how crazy the rent prices have skyrocketed I figured this would give me an opportunity to raise my rent. This meant a lot of work ahead of me, nonetheless.
Then, just a few days before starting school, in the middle of my Michigan trip, I get a call from my other tenant trying to break the lease with barely 5 months renting from me. I couldn’t make this up. To make matters worse I have just gotten a flat and my spare was low as well. It turned out to be half a day of dealing with a car problem plus the tenant breaking the lease looming in my head.
I am not going to lie the idea of having two vacant properties at the same time was freaking me out. There is usually a lot of extra fixing and spending when a landlord switches tenants. I do have a nice emergency fund cushion for this kind of situation, but still; it makes me nervous. We have only one income, and I know that a tenant who feels shackled by a lease can cause a lot of property damage.
For a few weeks, I thought the tenant had put off the idea of moving but then it resurfaced and things got heated. I like to avoid litigations, lawyers’ fees, and long-drawn issues, so I agreed to a conversation and let them do the talk.
Negotiating with tenants and people, in general, is not an easy task. Everybody wants to win. I find that particularly males like to feel that they are getting their way and forcing the other party to simply accept their terms, even if those terms are quite unreasonable.
This is not my first time negotiating terms with tenants and by no means do I claim to be an expert. My starting point is always listening to what they want. What is it that will make them happy, and yes, feel like they are getting their way? In this case, the starting point is that they had a legal obligation and a binding document with me as the landlord. By law, unless I am able to find another tenant without lowering my screening standard, they are obligated to continue paying rent. Once that I explained this to them, without getting pissed off, they agreed to pay three more months of rent and get their security deposit back. I never understood what was their negotiating strategy but, as I said before, I always let them do the talk. I rejected the offer by saying three months is too much. Let’s do a month, and I will keep the deposit. They didn’t quite like that idea but in the end, they agreed. We set up a time for them to vacate the property, and I reviewed my expectations as far as the condition of the property goes when they were ready to move out.
Moving forward a month, they left and I was able to find another tenant. The property was in great shape. I was not able to rent it for a higher price, but I was able to rent for the same price I had before to a family that is covering the expense of the yard, which was about 7 months of $30 a week. So, in essence, I am getting a little extra a month and I was able to get out of a sticky situation without paying a lawyer, going to court, etc and I am getting more cash flow.
That property was not much work or money, except for a garage motor replacement that needed to be replaced probably since we moved in that house 6 years ago. Other than that, I touched up the walls for about 15 minutes, replaced a blind and it was done.
Our other rental was a different story though. It had a lot of different colors and we had not painted anything since we lived there. We had the pink girl room, the green and blue boy room, and other crazy colors that at the moment we thought were very modern and trendy but now we were just wondering what were we thinking? Anyway, painting a whole house was not easy, even on a teacher’s schedule. I put in 6 to 8 hours of work after my regular school day hours. It was exhausting! But I knew it was temporary, and I knew I could rent for an extra $300 a month. I was super pumped and motivated every day to work hard and get to the finish line.
November came, and both properties were rented with new tenants in and life was good again, plus we had a super exciting event unfolding very much at the same time…
Finally, after years of visualizing this moment and camping in the area, it happened. We found a home in our favorite Michigan spot! Since about March we had been exploring the idea of putting an offer in anything we could get our hands on in this area of Michigan. We didn’t want anything fancy, but comfortable enough for our family of six, and more importantly close to all the places we like to visit in this area, including beaches.
We put offers on 6 different houses and we were outbid in all of them. The most traumatic loss was a house that went to the market with a tag price of 250K and sold for 360K to someone who paid cash. At that moment, I was completely defeated. And if you have ever bid on a house and lost you know that feeling of having your dreams crushed…it’s hard! It’s hard not to get emotionally attached especially when it is a place that you plan to enjoy with your family or that may improve your quality of life. Anyway, after that blow, I gave up on the idea and told my wife that maybe we would have to wait a couple of years before we have a real chance to get something. I didn’t like the idea of keeping too much cash in the bank but I didn’t want to get another rental in my area. Then another house appeared on Zillow. We talked to our realtor and decided to go through the process one more time. We lost again. However, this time we were asked if we wanted to be a backup offer. We said “why not,” but with absolutely no hope of this really happening.
Almost a month later we got a call from our realtor asking us if we were still interested in this last property because the buyer was considering our offer. The financing of the winning bid didn’t work out and we were up! We could not believe it! We were about 10K away from the original winning bid in a super hot market and we were getting this house. Incredible. Actually, after our inspection, we got an extra 5K credit for a small repair that I will be completing next week.
Well, the portfolio now includes two rentals, our primary residency, and now our slice of paradise in Michigan. Which we will be enjoying for part of the year and also renting for about 8 weeks of the summer season. Rentals in this area are extremely sought after and you will be hard-pressed to find anything for under 2K a week after March.
Other advantages of this property are incredible low taxes, there is no water bill because we are on a well and in general gas and electricity don’t seem to be much either. We are looking at this property as a savings account. Every time we pay the mortgage bill it is a pleasure to see a huge chunk of the payment going towards the principal, instead of real estate taxes and mortgage interests; which by the way we got a 3% loan on that house. Simply incredible!
My prediction last year around this same time was to increase our net worth by 30%. We closed our year 2020 with a net worth of $260,583 and I was blown away. We surpassed our goal.
I predicted back then a 79-82K gain by the end of 2021 if I could replicate anything close to that 36% we achieved in 2020. I would have been more than content with a 79-82K gain. That would have been amazing!
But the results are in and they are definitely deserving of a drum roll….again I am blown away.
Well, we have reached $437,273 in net worth. That is a 67% increase. Out of that, we had a windfall of about 50K due to a settlement we received after our car accident and the injuries sustained by my wife. Discounting that amount our net worth would still have increased 48% which is amazing!!
We are very very pleased and grateful. I can’t believe how our net worth has grown so much!
Years back I heard J. Money talking in a podcast with Paula Pant about the importance of focusing on net worth. At the time, about 6 years ago, my net worth was in the red with a big student loan and not much in home equity either. I thought to myself, “man these tech guys in the FIRE movement make it look so easy.” He was just crossing the million-dollar mark at that point if I recall correctly. Man, was he right?! Once you start looking at your net worth and create opportunities for your money to grow the magic of compound happens in a very generous way.
I simply can’t believe it, and I have no words to express how amazed I am with this progress. No doubt in my mind that we will cross that million dollar line and beyond in a not too far future.
It is beyond my wildest dreams to see my family and me in this position.
My goal for next year
I will set up again a goal of a 30% increase in our net worth or about 131K.
I hope to achieve this by increasing my contribution to my 403B and potentially opening a 457 option through my job. I will continue with my two rental properties and the added income from the vacation rental in Michigan. I don’t anticipate the rental market prices coming down at all, although I do think that home prices will stabilize a bit in 2022, which may decrease our equity gains.
If you made it this far reading this post, thank you for hanging out on my site. I don’t know who you are but I hope you find this post empowering and pushes you to start your own journey of financial independence. There is no better day than today.
Please, if you have any recommendation or suggestion that has made a difference in your financial life drop me a comment below.
I wish you a wonderful holiday season and a great 2022 full of great financial success!
It has been a whirlwind of doing and doing after our move. I estimated that by April the dust would have settled and we would be up and running in our new home. Well…almost there. The big hurdle was moving the pool and having someone to install it I wish I would have trusted myself doing the whole job because the company that did it, did a very crappy job with the leveling. I know that in a not very distant future i will find myself fixing it. I won’t be able to live with a pool where the water is off level for more than 2 inches. I am not an anal person( That sounds weird!) but these kind of things do perturb me. I am very mechanically inclined person and anything off like that makes me pretty much have nightmares about the consequences of something not being properly installed. Okay, sorry! I am going off topic here. We have had few splurges since we moved to make our home comfortable, and enjoy it. Some of these expenses are a retractable automatic awning that covers the deck, some light fixtures, and the pool installation that comes with many expenses attached to it, like the electrical installation of an outdoor outlet and bonding of the pool to meet code requirements. We could certainly have refrained ourselves from reinstalling the pool in our new place but with kids we simply love having the pool right in the back. We go nowhere. We pay for no pool passes for 6 people, we don’t have to deal with people’s craziness, drive, get ready, etc…and not to mention that having a pool when a world pandemic hits it’s the most amazing thing ever; I know those events never happen but just in case.
The retractable awning we got installed is such an amazing thing that I feel compelled to include it in this net worth update. Even when it was a big expense, we didn’t hesitate getting it after experiencing it at our old house. When we first moved to our previous home we thought that these awnings were outdated and simply an old people’s thing. We were bound to take it down and pretty much give it away. Well, then the summer hit, and we started using it. It was a life changing event. Very quickly we realized that while all of our neighbors were hiding inside from the heat and sun we were pretty much living outside all day long. Our house was cooler too because the awning would prevent the sun from reaching into great part of our first floor. When we moved, we considered taking it down and bringing it with us but then decided against it; we didn’t want to complicate our move even more. I had enough going on with the relocation of the pool. So, we decided to get a brand new SunSetter for our new place. It’s about 16 feet long and covers almost the whole deck. I can’t tell you what a great product this is! I am not getting paid to write this. If you like to enjoy your patio or deck, Sunsetter is simply the most amazing product you can have. Umbrellas are a pain in the neck!
Another big commitment although it did not require any upfront payment and should provide at least a 30% savings as we go on is our solar system. We decided to join the many families that are going solar and got our system installed by SunRun. We signed up for their lease option which requires no money down and provides some savings to the home owner, besides the benefit to the environment of not using fossil fuels( Or not as much). Through this program, SunRun owns the system and takes care of its maintenance and insurance while we reap some savings. Now, our electric bill will be paid mainly to SunRun and maybe a few bucks to the local electric company, since we are still hooked into their grid and their meter. Our bill was around $150 a month, and I am expecting now for that number to fall somewhere around $100. I am sure I’ll write about it once the system is turned on- We are waiting for the electric company to replace their meter.
Another big event in our lives was that finally we received part of our settlement for our car accident in 2020. The lawyers did a fantastic job and that is coming from someone who was extremely skeptical about getting a lawyer to litigate the case. These people went beyond my wildest expectations as far as compensation goes and I am confident that without them we would have walked out with nothing or in debt with hospitals and doctors. Thanks to them we were able to receive 50K in compensations against a 100K coverage, despite the 88K we owed for surgery and hospitalization, plus about 6 months of physical therapy. No money in the world is worth going through what we went through but we are grateful for the compensation this firm achieved for us.
Well, without any further adieu, the numbers!!!
For someone who is a high income earner this may be nothing. In the FIRE community there are tons of people who achieve FIRE fairly quick or who are able to reach great saving percentages of their salaries(50-60%). I am happy for them, but that’s not my case. I have a teacher salary, my wife stays home with the kids and we have 4! So, for me, this is freaking unreal. Sometimes, I have to get a pencil and paper to do the math myself and confirm this is real. Five years back we had nothing but debt, even after becoming accidental landlords and when we had no idea about the FIRE movement we were living from paycheck to paycheck. We were afraid of loosing our tenant because we didn’t have enough in the bank to flip the property for a new tenant. It was stressful. Today, per Zillow, we have $1,009, 098 in real estate assets, more than 100K in cash and almost 70K in tax sheltered accounts. I still have to work, and I am not retired but I get plenty of time to spend with my family and explore my own interests. I am relying more and more on others to do maintenance jobs for our rentals and life is simply great. I could not ask for a better life. Every day I wake up and I ask myself “is this real?” This milestone is more than I ever imagined. I still remember myself counting all the money I had- $800 dollars- and packing up my suitcase before leaving my beloved Venezuela.
We continue doing what we have been doing, which is to stick to the budget, increase the gap between our income and expenses, and keep investing. I recently increased my contribution to my 403B plan adding extra $100 per paycheck. I could max out this year but I want one more puzzle piece in our real estate endeavors. We are looking into buying a vacation/short term rental property in Michigan but unfortunately we have been outbid twice by cash offers. The market is out of control even in rural communities. We want tiny slice of Pure Michigan near Traverse City. We love this area and we think that it may be our retirement spot. We have been camping and visiting the same spot for over ten years but we have never been in a position of buying a home there. We are currently bidding on a property but we won’t know until Wednesday (06-23). Wish us luck! We will be camping in the area next Friday too. We super excited about it. Plus we will be able to check out some other hidden places we have not seen yet.
Anyway, that is what’s popping in my neck of the woods. I would love to hear how is this middle of the year for you and your FIRE journey status.
Now that the dust has settled and our move has happened successfully I finally find the time to write an update on our progress.
I will try to make this short and sweet. We ended the infamous 2020 with a net worth of 274K. The prediction for 2021 is about a 71K increase.
Most of my net worth comes from real estate equity. After our move, we pushed our RE assets to 950K.
The housing market continues to show signs of strength and this spring should trigger some healthy increases as far as rent and house prices go.
Thanks to Mint I am able to track my net worth on a daily basis. This helps a lot! Especially when you are having a miserable day at work and feel like you have lost your purpose, which as a teacher we have had plenty of those moments this school year. If you are not using Mint and Personal Capital you are truly missing out. I highly recommend it. It does all the heavy lifting for you and it helps you make informed decisions about your finances. Both Apps are part of my financial GPS.
As it is today we are standing on a net worth of $308,890. That is an increase of $34,890 since January 1, 2021, which equals a 12% growth. That is already 49% of my 2021 goal. I thought I had surpassed the middle point of that goal due to a discrepancy I have in my notes and the data I am pulling from Mint and Personal Capital, but regardless, this is freaking awesome! I can’t even imagine what it will be when the best of the real estate season kicks in this spring and summer. And granted, my take-home pay is around 68K. So, money is definitely working for us.
That is in a nutshell where I am at.
If you want to know more about our move and details of how we made it happen, read on!
Buying a New Home
After going through almost a year of a pandemic-caused financial recession and observing an increased demand in the housing market for larger spaces we became part of the statistics. Being in a 3 bedroom house with no basement and 4 kids really pushed us toward our decision. I guess that if we had 2 boys and two girls that would’ve made things a bit easier, but having 3 girls and one boy complicated it all. Plus the added caveat that we have the potential complication of my mother staying again with us for a long period of time. We needed some extra space.
We were also at the point of finding another investment property. The options were buying another rental or buying a bigger home for us and turning our then current home into a rental. We chose the latter.
How did it happen?
We had about 40K in cash for a down payment but that would’ve wiped out our savings.
Thanks to a lender that I always work with he suggested we refinanced one of our rentals, pulling some cash out and with the historic low mortgage interest rates our payments would not change that much.
Our balance in that house was 117K, with a mortgage payment of $1,218. After pulling out a bit over 40K our balance became 165K and a monthly payment of $1,283. Those numbers include insurance and taxes.
In short, we bought a house and I didn’t spend any extra money. Well, we did, but if feels like I just moved money from one house to another and got to keep all my precious cash. Yes, my standing balance went up but the way I look at it is “ I don’t pay for it. My tenants do.” I appreciate that and I tried very hard to keep them happy by providing a living space well kept.
We have had a lot of expenses in the new place. We were given credit for some of them and some other we are just paying for it.
Some of the expenses were:
Windows: We got credit for 9 windows(7K), but we paid for the rest 6.(4K).
Radon mitigation. We got credit for it (1.4K)
Some DIY canned lights for our living room: Under $200.
We splurged on a Sunsetter for the deck- that was a whopping 5k. Our old house had it when we bought it. We didn’t like the look at first but we loved its functionality. These awnings turn your patio or deck is an extension of your living space. It was a big expense but during the summer we really spend our days sitting outside while our neighbors have to go inside and hide from the sun. An umbrella for 6 people just doesn’t cut it. Plus, now the fabric designs are much nicer than what we had. I am even considering replacing the fabric in the old house. I want my tenants to enjoy their summer, plus I like to keep my rentals close to selling conditions.
Then, last but not least, we have the big expense of moving our above ground pool. I took it apart myself. We’ll have to replace the liner and pay for the new install which comes to $1,046, plus permit $120, plus the electrical $300, plus $1000 to refill and fix the crater we left behind at the other house. That last expense should be tax-deductible since that house is now a rental.
We also decided to get a beautiful reclining couch for $3K. Not very frugal decision but our old couches had taken the beating of 4 kids for 13 years and they were literally ripped and losing their inners. We could never sit all together because they were not big enough. Now we have an awesome family lounging area where we gather, chat, watch movies, enjoy each other and that has tremendous value for us.
I know. Not very frugal, and it is a lot of money but we don’t pay for pool memberships or go anywhere in the summer other than our yard and forest preserves around. We usually take one trip to Michigan in the summer, and one to Wisconsin to drop our older girls at camp and the rest is a daily yardcation all summer long. We truly enjoy our house.
So…the tab please! After all these are put together we have spent about $13,666, plus the couch that we’ll pay in 3 years with zero interest.
Part of the reason behind these scandalous purchases has been the stimulus money we have been receiving. We really didn’t need it, more is coming and I just want to enjoy my house and my family. It seems like I always make everything nice for my tenants. I fix our house and instead of staying and enjoying it we just move. So now, we are good to go.
Today is the first day we will enjoy 70 degrees around Chicago and I just can’t wait to enjoy our awesome house this summer. After all, FIRE has no purpose if you can’t enjoy the journey to it. Right?
How about you? Any big financial movement this 2021? Any splurge? I would love to hear about any of your new plans or goals for ‘21 down below.
It’s hard to believe that the year we never imagined coming to an end has indeed ended… and at the same time, we look back and it’s unreal to see ourselves in hindsight going through all the things we went through; politically, socially, financially, health wise, as parents…this year really had it all and it has tested us in many ways.
I f you are reading these lines I hope you and your family made it through 2020 OK. Or at least I hope the worst is in your rear mirror. I wish you the best in this new yearly cycle. I don’t know about you but I sometimes feel even guilty for being in a position of somewhat comfort, whereas many other people are out of jobs or impacted directly by the pandemic. With that said, I think that the end of a year is always a great moment for reflection; for looking into our past year’s goals and make plans for the year ahead.
So here we go…
Just like for everybody else, health wise this year sucked. Financially though, this year was luckily fantastic for us. Given the nature of my teaching job and my several years in it, my family and I were shielded from losing my job and I am extremely grateful for that. We started 2020 with a net worth of $189,000, mainly in home equity between our primary residency and our rental property. Plus a little bit on my 403B plan which did also pretty good.
If I didn’t have Personal Capital I would have said, “meh, my year was just ok.” But when I look into my Personal Capital account I realize that what I did financially this year was simply amazing! My growth was $85,000!!! That is pretty close to my year’s salary (101K)!!! With a family of six? That is extraordinary I think!! That is a growth rate of 44% !!! Even discounting the almost 10K we received from the government due to Covid relief that would put us at a growth rate of 39%, which is still extraordinary. Why am I so excited about this? Well, first of all, I never thought it was possible to grow your net worth like that. Second, it is almost double the growth I had in 2018-2019, which was about 23% from what I can gather through Personal Capital; although I must confess I didn’t set it up correctly at first. So, the information I have is accurate only from April 2018 on. In other words from April 2018 until December 2019 the growth was 23%. But even If I was able to replicate this kind of growth in the neighborhood of 30% the results in just 4 years will be amazing!
Not to mention that I am still 8.6 years away from my early retirement age of 55. Even if I could hover around a 20-30% growth rate for 8 years the results would be more than enough for me.
Goals for 2021
As the year starts, we are all packed up and ready to move. If you have read some of my previous posts of this year you know that we have been contemplating the idea of moving. Despite the fact that we absolutely love this home we live in, a family of six people plus a grandma that comes to stay for long periods of time, puts a lot of stress on the family dynamics. This situation has pushed us towards a need for more space. Likewise, we have been contemplating buying another rental property that can provide a decent cashflow like the one we currently have. When we put all this together and the environment of historically low interest rates, we came up with the idea of simply moving to solve our space issue, at the same time that we would get to invest in another rental. By converting our current home in a rental property we are diversifying our portfolio. We currently own what I would call a B- property, and now we would add a Class A rental to the portfolio but modest enough that is still at an entry level in the neighborhood. If everything works out as planned my expectations are a 71K net worth increase or 25% growth rate.
So, there it is! One more year and I will be revisiting this post as I write to my future self today trying to hold myself accountable for these goals.
If you haven’t set up financial goals for yourself I hope this encourages you to do so. It has really been life changing for me and my family. This has helped me to take control of my finances. If you have any suggestion, comment or simply want to drop a line below, please do! I would love to hear from you and your FIRE journey.
This is a short post and update on the Net worth. My last net worth update was in August 2019, when I was around $185,000.
Today we are about 36% above that previous number.
We have had few hiccups due to our car accident. This spiraled down into a train of expenses that we did not expect but thanks to our financial discipline we have saved up an emergency fund that has been a life saver. We were in need of a different car after the accident, we got it. We did get a small loan because, why not? I may pay it off after we settle the car accident with the insurance, but in the meantime I prefer stashing the cash. I also had the opportunity of getting another car for an awesome price and then selling my current vehicle; that was another expense that I’m expecting to make back when I sell my current vehicle. I may even make a decent profit. The rest is the same as usual. We got a budget. We have automated everything so that every time I get my paycheck, money gets withdrawn and deposited right into our savings account. Looking into your net worth is a great exercise. I love Personal Capital and how easy it is to analyze where you are. Just few years back I had nothing, but a credit card with 9K in the red. I felt like I was drowning. I felt like there was not progress regardless of how much I worked. Today I feel excited about my finances and my future retirement. I feel that I am in charge of my money and I feel how little by little that money is freeing my mind from the daily oppression of having to work to cover my basics.
We are considering plunging into buying another property. We are debating if we should go for another rental near us, or a vacation home with potential to rent on a weekly basis through Airbnb.
I am wondering if we can keep that 36% growth rate for the next five years. Please feel free to share any ideas and opinions you think may help this family of six(Plus one) on their FIRE journey. I am thankful for being able to share this adventure with you.