This week, my husband and I took a giant leap into downsizing and bought a house! We are officially moving from 2,500 square feet to 1,200 and I could not be more excited. When my husband and I decided to minimize and strive for financial independence, we knew it would take a lot of work and that meant saying goodbye to “normalcy” and many of today’s modern conveniences. In order to make the biggest impact on one’s ability to save, you have to start from the top. This being: housing, transportation, and food. So far over the past few months, we have dramatically increased our savings by eating out very little and cooking at home. I was also fortunate to sell my car for the exact amount that I owe. Granted, I did loose out on the $6,000 I put down on it last year. Fortunately, I will make this up in no time without having a car payment. Selling my husband’s truck is a different story. It is in great condition but he has racked up quite a few miles on that thing with his long commute for work. So for now, we still have that car payment. No one said this would be easy, and sometimes you just have a realize a bad investment.
As we continue to research better ways to save and minimize, we have come across so many incredible people throughout the country with the same goals in mind (i.e. FIRE or FIers). FIRE is a movement that stands for “Financial Independence Retire Early.” This can be interpreted in many ways. Here is one couples interesting story on their road to freedom that went as far as using cloth diapers! Kudos, guys! I’ve heard that’s a nightmare. Another great resource to learn more about this movement is from one of my favorite podcasts by the Minimalists (episode 193 on financial independence).
Many individuals who join this movement have different motives. Some love the idea of never having to work again. For me, I love being a veterinarian. However, in order to continue to love my career, I know that I need to keep my hours reasonable, be able to practice high quality medicine, and work somewhere that I am appreciated and respected. So although I am striving for the ability to retire early, my definition of retirement is likely very different from the traditional. I want to be able to retire from “mandatory work.” Read that again, let it sink in, and see how you feel. That sounds pretty nice doesn’t it? So my hope is that if I wanted to take off and travel, I can do it. If I just want to take some extended time to put into a hobby or family time, I can do it. Most importantly, it means that I can work on my terms. I say when. I say how. I say where, and I say why. After being so busy for 10+ years and finally taking a step back, it has been life-changing to discover all these different passions! I love to teach, I have a strong passion for mentorship and women-empowerment, and I have more time to focus on my health and well-being.
A surprising part of this journey that my husband and I have encountered is the push-back from a few people in our lives that don’t quite understand what the heck we are doing. I feel that Will Smith said it best that Parents Just Don’t Understand. For those individuals that may be reading this and are still confused, maybe Gary Vanderchuck will help set you straight (pay attention to the 8 minute mark). This is a revelation, and now my heart is filled with so much hope and happiness that I could explode. That being said, I know I am not the only soul it speaks to. What a wonderful concept to be able to truly live more of your life, make more memories, spend more time with those you care for, discover new passions, and seek more adventure. MORE of what makes life worth living. The best thing is, just about everyone can do this! However, this process is anything but easy. It’s hard work, time consuming, and inconvenient, but it is 100% worth it to get your time back.
Down-sizing our home is just one more big step for us. Sure, I will miss the great location we live in, our friendly neighbors, and many other aspects of our current home. What brings me peace and comfort with this big change is knowing that those things are no longer worthy of trading my life energy for. We still have a long way to go, but I am hoping you will continue to stay tuned through this exciting journey!
Lastly, I want to truly thank all of you (again) who have either written or told me in person that you have enjoyed reading my blog. Especially those of you that have been helped in some way. This process is exponentially more exciting by having the opportunity to write about it and share it with all of you! Keep the comments coming! Let me know if there is any topic on here you would like to see more of or learn more about. Don’t worry, I will put in the research! Share it with your friends and family! Every like and share goes a long way with allowing me to continue this blog. As always, feel free to private message me as well! Thank you for taking time out of your day to stop by!
“An office is for not dying. An office is a place to live life to the fullest, to the max, to… An office is a place where dreams come true.” – Michael Scott. The Office