by Guest Author: Amanda Williams at @debtfreeinsunnyca
“I’m going to quit my job in four years and live on a sailboat while traveling the world” - me two years ago.
I set this ambitious goal after some financially big things happened at work. That night Josh and I had a dream meeting. We planned what we could do with the extra money. Of course, we talked about what kind of boat we’d buy and then set a time frame for the goal. Josh knew it was aggressive, but I told him I was going to make it happen. Hold my drink!
The problem? We were still in debt and didn’t have any money saved to fund our dream lifestyle! How were we going to quit our jobs and set sail in four years if we didn’t have a way to pay for it?
We worked hard to finish paying off our debt and became debt free in July 2018. The intensity and drive wore off. We started relaxing and spending more money instead of saving it.
That’s when I realized we needed a new plan that catered to our desire to retire early. Up until this point, we had adapted Dave Ramsey’s baby steps to fit our needs. After getting out of debt, baby step 2, the plan is to save an emergency fund, invest 15% of your income, save for kids college, pay off your house, and build wealth and give.
Well, we don’t have kids or a house just yet, and we want to retire early, so the 15% is much lower than we’d like to be saving.
Enter FI/RE - Financial Independence Retire Early.
The idea behind FIRE is to save 50-70% of your income by living frugally and investing in index funds or real estate to reach financial independence in a short period of time - usually 10 years.
I heard of FI/RE years ago but wasn’t at the point to receive the information at the time. I knew we were headed that way after we finish our emergency fund, but I needed a method to get Josh fired up about it too.
When I got early access to the documentary Playing with Fire, I hoped it would be enough to get him on board. The film follows a San Diego couple as they cut their lifestyle to reach FI/RE. At each milestone in their journey, they shared how much of their income they saved by doing things like moving to a cheaper cost of living area, downsizing vehicles, and being more intentional with money.
The most significant savings increase came after they left California - no surprise there! That’s when Josh said, “we need to move out of California.” Those words were music to my ears. I kept quiet during the whole film. You guys know me. I can get a little bit carried away with planning things, and to a non-planner, it can be a bit much.
I wanted him to come to his own conclusion and share his thoughts on what we could do to improve our situation. My planner heart rejoiced when he said we needed to leave California. I knew this is what we needed to do to get our sailboat faster.
The transition from Dave Ramsey’s Baby Step Plan to FI/RE has been fairly easy. The stars have aligned for us to move out of California and focus on the big dream that started our financial freedom journey: Quitting our day jobs and sailing the world.
I look forward to sharing the ins and outs of our new plan and FI/RE life with everyone moving forward! Cheers to Texas!
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HEY I'M SAMI WOMACK
I'm the wife to my high school sweetheart, Daniel, + homeschooling momma to our 3 girls. I'm the Budgeting Coach + Motivational Speaker behind
A Sunny Side Up Life.
My family used to be in $490k of debt + living paycheck-to-paycheck, but after we hit rock bottom everything changed for us!
Now that my family has become debt free + gained financial freedom, I want to help your family do the same! My passion is inspiring women to live abundant lives through budgeting, intentional living, and positive thinking.
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