Normally about this time of the month I post a mortgage update giving all the details of how much progress we’ve made, how much longer we’ve got, etc.
Since it’s my birthday month, I decided to take a slightly different approach. We recently celebrated my birthday, and as a gift to our entire family, we decided to pay off the house early!
We were able to take some money from savings, rearrange some things with my first paycheck of the month that we would normally budget, and come up with a enough to knock the rest of it out!
I’ve posted before about FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early). Remarkably enough, the initial plan was to go full speed ahead on saving and investing for 10 years from this birthday. I thought originally that we might start a couple of months behind, but as it turns out we’ll be starting right on time.
The plan is to switch from mortgage updates to FIRE updates. I’ll share progress as we go and the strategies that we use. The progress will likely be slow going to start and may be hampered at times by the stock market, but we’ll keep the plan in mind to not get discouraged.
We have a specific number in mind that we’d like to hit. That number doesn’t include the value of our house, car, or college savings accounts. It’s mainly composed of what we have in savings and investments. For obvious reasons, I don’t plan on sharing that final number at this time.
One common rule that I’ve seen to find your number is to take your annual spending and multiple it by 25 (up to 50). That gives you a pretty good starting point. Our final number is about 37.5 times our annual spending to give us some extra room. Given what we have invested so far through our 15+ years of working, we’re about 20% of the way to our final number. That means we’ll save the other 80% in about two-thirds the time it took us to do the original 20%. Pretty crazy, but entirely possible.
What do you do to celebrate your birthday? What crazy gift could you give to yourself this coming year to change you and your families future forever?