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This one podcast changed the course of my entire life! I left my job!

I’ve been listening to podcasts about finances for several years now. I would listen to hours of podcasts per day while commuting to and from patients houses as a home care nurse. I was listening to Choose FI podcast episode 256 with the flea market flippers as guests. What I was hearing was life altering. I have always been one to love the hunt of finding a great deal…I just had no idea you could make real money at it!

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Student loan paid off!

I PAID OFF MY ONLY STUDENT LOAN!

I mean, it was only $4,500 back in 2012 when I graduated so, not a huge deal. I can still celebrate another debt gone though!!!

I have been paying $50 a month on this loan since 2012. That only equals to $4,800 but what a waste of $300!

I saw that the loan was down to $455 and I’ve been holding onto this one simply because the interest was nonexistent anymore and it was my oldest line of credit technically. I’m sure my credit will take a hit for it being paid off, but I definitely feel better.

This reduces my monthly spending by $50, to bring my spending to a whopping $1579 per month-that’s with the $500 loan payment I have still that is my LAST DEBT! How awesome is that?

Now onto my LAST debt! It has taken a bit longer than I had hoped, but life is messy for sure! A few more months and I will be debt free!

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Weekly Summary

Financial Win of the Week:

This week I sent $1,000 to debt! Five star is going to be paid off by July! I originally predicted June, but recalculated and am being conservative. I also did something I don’t usually do…and it wasn’t very FI minded of me. Our community has been doing something called wine fairies. I decided to give back after having gifts dropped off on my porch twice! I spent about $200 to get gifts for 15 local ladies who deserve it! It feels SO GOOD to give back. In these times we really need to support each other and lift spirits. So, I consider this a win!

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Why I haven’t looked at my investment accounts in over a month.

I haven’t bothered to even look at my investment accounts in this crazy time. Why? If I look, I may see a dip in my funds. Even though I don’t have much right now in the way of investments, this still might be a bad thing to see. My brain might freak out and I might try to “time the market”. I won’t even bother taking the chance! I am just keeping the faith!

When the market evens out some, I might look. I am unsure when that even will bet obviously. They say on the Biggerpockets money show…the investor who ends up with the most wealth, is the dead one…meaning that the person who never looks at it, or forgets it is there becomes the wealthiest.

Even the best investors and most savvy people, are human. Humans have emotions. Humans make mistakes. Take the emotion out of it by not even knowing. Honestly, if you looked what is something good that could happen? Probably nothing.

So, my advice is for you to do the same. Just don’t look.

I plan to increase my contributions over the next few weeks. I know, the rule of thumb is to only invest the match in your 401k until you’re debt free, but during this time I think an exception is to be made. I have around $8800 worth of interest accruing debt left to pay off. Buying stocks on sale is more worth while to me right now. I plan to still pay down debt and it still should be paid off within about 2 months.

So, DON’T look at your portfolio if you can help it. Also, put MORE MONEY in if you can! The way I see it stocks are currently at a discounted price.

Don’t lose faith and remember what all the greats have spoken of. The 4% rule has accounted for this! Just keep on the path to FI!!!!

Thank you for reading!

How do you keep your emotions out of your investing?

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Weekly Summary: Financial win and fail of the week

FINANCIAL WIN OF THE WEEK:

Paying off my car is obviously the biggest win this week! I am saving $390 a MONTH in payments. Also, now that I own my car and have means to buy another car, I no longer need comp and collision on my vehicle. This means my insurance dropped dramatically. I was paying (splitting the bill with my husband) $81. Now, my share is only $25! How awesome is that? This is going to accelerate my debt payoff and subsequently my FIRE journey.

FINANCIAL FAIL OF THE WEEK:

I went to Walmart today for the first time in WEEKS! I saw a cute pillow and thought “my son would love that!” and bought it. $14.88 for a pillow. Admittedly it is pretty awesome-it’s a spider-man body pillow! I also saw a Pioneer Woman ice cream scoop that I had to have. So, I spent a little money I didn’t need to. I would say I regret this, but I don’t. I don’t think it was excessive even if it was impulse buying! No one is perfect and we all love something that is new and pretty once in a while!

Obviously I came out in the POSITIVE this week! We will see what next week holds!

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Car is PAID OFF!

It’s been a while since I have written anything!

Here is the scoop, with this coronavirus I have been in a funk. I have been homeschooling 5 kids, working from home, taking care of the dog and trying to maintain a household and my sanity! It has not been easy!

Also, my finances were at a standstill as we were saving for a house, so I kind of lost ambition to post here because it didn’t feel quite right. Well…our house was AGAIN ripped from under us. This time, by bad business practices on the listing agent’s part! That was taken as a sign that the house will not work out this year. I am a believer in everything happens for a reason and CLEARLY buying a house this year was not meant to be! We made the decision to stop pursuing a house and use some of the savings to pay off debts and some to fix up our current apartment a little more!

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Smart ways to use your stimulus check

As everyone knows by now, the first wave of stimulus checks will be in tomorrow! It has been pending in my account since Saturday. $4400. So many people are happy to see this waiting for them. I know this check is meant to STIMULATE the economy-which means spending/helping people pay bills…but, there are smarter ways to use this check!

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Stay the course!

With the world in panic, it is easy to buy into the hype. Understandably people are afraid right now. People are calling this the “apocalypse”. They’re saying the economy may never come back and that the world as we know it is over. Luckily, if you pay attention to the news you know that isn’t true. China has gone two days with no new cases of COVID 19. Sure, it took them about 3 months to get to that point, but the United States has really responded quickly to this virus. New York and several other states are now under a “stay at home” order. This is long before the timeline China or Italy instituted this. I am glad that the response has been so swift by our government here in the states. As far as the FIRE community goes…the posts I have seen and the conversation…is concerning. It seems that many people have joined the community between 2008 and now. Although, I am one of those people, hearing so many testimonies of FIRE still working in 2008 and the years after have given me faith. Staying the course is still THE BEST COURSE! Remember, the market ALWAYS goes up, over time! Remember what you’ve been taught, remember what retiring early or reaching financial independence means to you. Remember your why! Stay the course!

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Keep calm and save on!

Hey everyone,

I’m here to say be cautious, wash your hands, distance yourselves but STAY CALM!

This whole pandemic is unlike anything I have seen in my lifetime! I live in New York state which is the worst hit state so far. As of Sunday they will be closing all “non-essential” businesses (fun fact: apparently liquor stores are essential guys-woohoo). So many people are upset about everything closing and are on social media complaining of being bored etc. Luckily for us FIers…this is just another normal day in the life, with the exception of maybe having friends and family over. The rest of the state has to go without malls, movie theaters, salons or bars! It is crazy to see how upset some are about this. I mean, having a drink with some friends on a Saturday night is grand and all, but this is only temporary for a few months at most. People are acting as if they will never be able to go to another place of entertainment ever again! Luckily, with China starting to return to normal life there is a silver lining for everyone! It will be okay everyone!

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How pursuing FIRE makes life easier in every way!

Well, everyone knows that Coronavirus is spreading. Events and places of work are shutting down, schools are shutting down and who knows what they plan to do next! Many are panicking because they don’t have the money to stock up on the bare essentials ( even just enough for 2 weeks!) They know if they miss any work they won’t be able to pay their bills! Panic has ensued. Luckily for us, we are pursuing FIRE so much of this panic doesn’t apply to us. Let’s talk about how being on the path to FIRE simplifies life in times such as these:

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Debt Update!

My snowball is on hold currently, like I’ve said in previous posts! I’ve been struggling with this because I was so dedicated to paying off my debt. I keep having to remind myself that I’m still paying off debt in the way of minimum payments! Watching progress and seeing how far I’ve come really helps while I’m on hold!

Starting debt: $27,831

Current Debt: $17,445

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HSA eligible items you may be surprised to see!

The HSA is a powerful tool for investing! After my HSA funds go to the bank my employer uses (they will not allow me to deposit it directly into investment account) I transfer it to my fidelity HSA where i’m invested in their total stock market fund! I know most people use it for eligible expenses that year as needed, however if you can afford to invest in your HSA and pay out of pocket for medical expenses this can be an amazing tool! It is pre-tax, grows tax free and is tax free upon withdraw as long as it is for eligible medical expenses. Disclaimer- you must have a high deductible health plan to be eligible.

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Won’t you get bored if you retire early?

My simple answer to this is…hell no!!!!

This is one of the questions naysayers have regarding the FIRE movement. My husband included. When I announced to him that I would be retiring within 6-10 years he looked at me like I was nuts and said “Don’t you even want to work until you’re 40?” He looked at me like I was crazy and when he said that my brain about exploded. How could anyone think this? How does he think I’m the crazy one when he just said something so nuts? I soon found this is a pretty common question FIRErs get!

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Another Why of FI-Possible layoffs?

Well…just when everything was going super smooth, my debts would be paid off by June and I could retire in 6 years…oh AND I loved the job I had….good ole New York state decided to take 2/3 of our member population from our company. What does this mean? We don’t know yet…but what company can face that loss without any lay offs?

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Weekly Summary

Financial Win of the Week:

I paid $1200 to my capital one card this week!!! HOW AWESOME! I also sent $200 to medical debt incurred in the month of December. I sent $50 to my student loan (as a regular payment)! This capital one will be down to a $376 balance after the payment hits!  WOOHOO! This is my second to last credit card so this is very exciting because then it is on to the car! Also, I did not eat out much this week for lunch. I did eat today a A&W because I was in Cortland…and their burgers ARE AMAZING! I also got 3 t-shirt orders that I haven’t been taking for a while but decided to do these 3. I should make about $12 profit from each one so $36 not too shabby!

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Weekly Update


Financial win of the week:

Christmas was a success! Everyone loved their gifts and it was all worth the $$. I am happy it’s over though, paying off debt is like swimming upstream during the holidays! For new years we stay in and eat snacks (pepperoni, crackers and cheese) with some mixed drinks from alcohol we have in the fridge (we drink so much it is still there from last year lol). The kids get sparkling grape juice- which is currently $2 and some change at aldi’s by the way! It will be awesome. This week I spent $95 on groceries which isn’t bad considering last week we never even grocery shopped! It was too crazy with the holidays so we survived off of what we had. That’s a win for me!

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15 and pregnant to 35 and retired?!?!

So…here it is….the backstory. I mentioned this in previous posts but never really dove in. I’m not sharing this story to brag or because my story is great. I think this needs to be shared. So many teen moms limit themselves because of the stigma society puts on them and they just follow along and become a statistic. I refused to do that. I’m sharing in hopes that this will help someone out there know that they can make it and their life isn’t over because they became a mom early.

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Steps to FIRE

From what I’ve gathered thus far, there are many ways to achieve FIRE. There are a few things EVERYONE has to do to get there though! I thought I would try and tie together the steps to get to FIRE here in one post. I have noticed that the information is a bit scattered on other sources. So here is my take….

Disclaimer: it is best to start step #4 AFTER every debt (except your mortgage if you so wish) is paid off. The reason for this is, if you’re paying high interest on debt, investing doesn’t make much sense when you’re making lower or even returns with the interest you’re paying.

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Snowballin’!

Hey all!

Another 2 weeks in the books at the new job! I still am not at all used to being paid biweekly, but I do think it helps my spending stay low!

This week I paid off 2 medical bills. I also paid an extra $500 toward my Wal-mart credit card. We decided to take a small family vacation to Splash Lagoon this coming weekend, so we cash flowed that into the budget. It is costing us a whopping $500 for a weekend of fun! I’ll take it!

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My financial journey: a letter to my younger self

I heard this idea from another blogger on the ChooseFI podcast last week and was inspired to follow suit. I had a particularly rough day at work on Friday which got me thinking about this letter. I know that what ifs don’t help now, but if my younger self had done so much different I could be retired now. And so….here it is.

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Keeping Costs Low

I wanted to share how I keep my expenses SUPER low! I have always been one to look for every single way to save money! (I even went through the extreme couponing stage-literally like the ones you see on TV.)

Anyway, I wanted to compile a good list of ways to keep expenses low. I think most of these things are pretty repeatable! Some of them may take longer to repeat than others however!

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Taking the good with the bad!

I haven’t written anything in a while…but I’ve still been hustling! Hubby bought me a cricut for valentine’s day and a friend of mine recently got me…re-interested…in using it! I have since sold about 100 shirts! This is since the beginning of April. I have made around $500 profit off of those!!! That went straight to my line of credit debt!

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Chugging along

I am still plugging along on my FI journey. I haven’t posted in a while because with COVID 19 things were crazy for a while. I had my kids at home while working, I moved, I went on vacation among other things! Speaking of moving and vacation, I used some credit for those things, however they will be paid off this Friday! Very short term use of credit in order to get the points mostly! We aren’t always perfect! I have carried a small balance for about a month on one card. It will be okay though!

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