Last week I hit a BIG milestone. I’ve been creeping towards this milestone for a couple of years now. But last week, I HIT IT. I am now contributing the maximum contribution to my 401k plan. That’s right. $18,000/year is going into my retirement account (before the company match)! A few weeks prior to bumping it up all the way, I took it up 5% points and was only 5% away from hitting the maximum amount. Friday before I left work, I decided to go ALL THE WAY! I quickly ran the numbers at lunch and decided that it was possible, especially since we aren’t planning to leave our affordable home with affordable utilities anymore. It felt so good to hit Submit. Then I got to thinking…
After hitting Submit, I got to thinking how good it feels to be on FIRE. Last year at this time we were on the hunt for a much larger home with a much larger mortgage and bills. I guess you could say we were on a financial suicide mission. We nearly completed that mission until the house we had under contract turned up positive for mold. I never thought I’d be so happy to hear that dirty, 4-letter word. After all, I’m a microbiologist by day, so I understand the havoc mold can wreak on, not only a home, but on our bodies. We swiftly cancelled our contract, breathed many sighs of relief, and regrouped. We took a long, hard look at our lives and decided what we really wanted. That turned out to be financial freedom. Shocker, I know. 🙂
You Know You’re On Fire When…
It’s official. You know you’re on FIRE when you get more excited about buying stocks than buying shoes. I included a picture of some of my favorite winter boots that I have been rotating through the past couple of years. Fortunately, I get very little emotional pleasure from buying new boots these days. These days, I’d MUCH rather invest the money. Also fortunately, I bought enough boots in my less than frugal-minded past to last me a lifetime! WooHoo (Kinda)! This pretty much goes for other areas of my closet, as well. I have plenty of jackets, jeans, tops, sweats, jammies, etc. I have so many clothes that the bar is bending in my closet. Sad. But I’m also really glad I can eliminate the need to purchase ANYTHING new for myself for MANY years to come. No need to even think of implementing a clothing buying ban here.
Stocks, Mutual Funds, and ETFs. Oh My.
Boy have times changed. I used to hit the mall on a shamefully regular basis to drop good money on the latest fashions to impress…no one. I would meet friends for dinner out every night of the week (I’m really not kidding). Fast forward a decade (today): I got married on a shoestring, stopped buying paper towels, and I obsessively watch my investments go up, up, and away.
So, how has your financial outlook changed over the years? How did you get interested in frugality/saving/investing?
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