Finishing Memorial Weekend and a FI Day Anniversary
As we all finish up our long Memorial Weekends, I’m sure the thought has crossed our minds if we really have to go to work on Tuesday, unless we have a moment where we say F*&# it and call in sick, which I’m pretty sure is the exact opposite way to show our boss how hard we work and deserve that pay raise come year end in corporate America. The good news is many of us out there are working on a different plan that relies less on the 9-5 job and more on having little to no debt and a couple sexy looking income streams. It is with those words that I am looking to recap a few things that happened this week.
One of these days in the recent past was my birthday, hold the birthday cards please, I actually don’t believe in buying birthday cards, I’m more original than that people, I’ll battle Hallmark anytime, picture a Greeting Card battle, because that’s what I’m doing right now! I’m usually pretty quiet, you will not see me at the club asking for bottle service or traveling to Las Vegas (I did this when I was wild and 21, I’m still alive and have a couple good stories though). In fact the last couple of times I asked just for a birthday dinner with my wife and a taste of my favorite beer or coffee. Mrs. Even Steven sometimes listens and sometimes not, she might plan a little something with friends, she loves it so since I don’t mind too much I smile and thank them for coming.
This time since I had family in town, so I was able to be with them and enjoy a couple beers at Lagunitas, who has a new brewery in Chicago. If you haven’t been I recommend making a stop, if you don’t know I love a good brewery tour, I’m throwing it out there as the best way to taste your favorite micro brew. My love of a good pizza also sent me to a local Chicago pizza place, which finished off our night with a great meal and a smile on my face, thanks for buying Mom and Dad!
Family Comes and Family Goes
As mentioned in an early post this past week my parents were in town and besides discussing anything technology related it was fantastic. As many of you can probably relate, explaining the ins and outs of their phone or computer is not exactly the thing that drives families closer together, I defer to Mrs. Even Steven on this one, my patience level drops to zero and I immediately thrust myself from the room talking to myself, then explaining that I have laundry, dishes, drywall, or scratching my nails on a chalkboard to do as I exit.
I’m kidding of course, I don’t know how to hang drywall! Having my family here was great, they are the most relaxed people in the world, more interested in having a Wisconsin Old-Fashioned and sitting outside than running around the city, but I mean who would blame them? I did learn a little bit more about my parent’s finances and health that certainly will be on my mind in the upcoming years, I think this could move to a priority in the next couple of years as we come to different milestones in our financial journey, that may need to be revisited. A story and a talk for another time.
I Calculated our May Budget (so far)
Just a quick update on our budget for May which has been surprisingly right in line with what we expected so far, which is good news to report. A few things have helped along the way including:
- Discounted museum tickets (thanks 9-5 job) and using the city of Chicago including riding Divvy Bikes, going to the park, and using public transportation
- Play games that are free, including volleyball, game night with heads up which is just like charades and most recently Chicago-Opoly, certainly not to be confused with Monopoly, that could be a post in itself and it just might be as we stayed up till after 1:00 in the morning with Mrs. Even Steven and I refusing to give up in any way, friendly draw went out the window around 11:30.
- Parents picking up the check a couple times, like the pizza birthday dinner for example. Since we have a couple people in the house who really like to cook that helped out as well on costs, only issue of course is going from 2 months to 6 mouths to feed, expenses go up, it happens and but planned for that.
Recalculated our Financial Independence Day and More FI Day Updates
I am in the process of setting up FI interviews(here’s mine and how to start yours) that are new to the blog, if it’s one thing that I have learned it’s I love hearing about other blogger’s stories and where they were, how they got here and where they plan to go, it’s one of my main motivations for setting these up.
It’s motivating and you know what else is motivating, seeing other people’s Financial Independence Day. It’s similar to J. Money’s Worth list, you see someone ahead of you on that list and start to think what are they doing differently? In some cases it get’s you wondering, checking your calculations, looking at someone’s budget, investment strategy, or Early Retirement Blueprint passive income of choice.
What can happen just by adding up some numbers and posting them to a website is nothing short of amazing, it’s why I have this page to motivate and keep each other in check. Steve and Courtney at Think Save Retire looked over others at the FI Day page and thought: let’s look at our numbers again I think we can do better, our calculations are not tight enough, we can cut our numbers by leaps and bounds, let’s figure this out. I highlight Steve and Courtney here for a couple reasons:
- We share many of the same US Census Bureau criteria, we are in our early 30’s with no kids aka Dinks (Dual Income No Kids) and a dog…
- Our initial Financial Independence Day declarations were very similar, my first was August 2020, Steve’s April 2020
- We both chose to blow our paychecks on fancy cars and stupid things early on in life, OK this could capture 70% of all Males in the United States
What happened is what I want to happen to all of us who read a financial blog, I want you to question if what you are doing is correct, I want you to look at your numbers and your mind and decide if I’m some 1950’s salesman selling snake oil, telling you that if you buy this it will cure all that ails you or if something I’m doing strikes a chord and you ask yourself if you need to straighten your finances out, listen, and take action on something, I know I have put this into action by reading the bloggers with a million views and ones with just a few.
The great thing in all of this is I went back and looked at my FI calculations because I was inspired. Think Save Retire updating to September 2018 made me update my numbers. One of the great things about how I have my FI calculations set up is largely based on debt. When my student and personal loans are completely paid off this gives me lower expenses, thus lowering the monthly income I need for my passive income stream. This is very similar with my rental income stream, once the mortgage is down to zero, the income stream makes a large leap upwards. It does not fit as easily into the 4% calculations that many FI bloggers, and other studies recommend. I would say calculations wise it might be easier, it’s as simple as Rent minus Expenses needs to be equal or greater than living expenses, once this occurs am I officially Financially Independent.
As I was putting in my numbers, the calculation arrived at the newly minted May 2020, so it is with great happiness that I am announcing we are officially 5 years away from Financial Independence. I have room in my calculations to get to this date and look forward to shifting my Early Retirement Blueprint strategy from my catalyst of real estate to other investments including stocks.
Slowed Down on Money Thoughts
I know it may seem like my thoughts have been on money, paying off debt, and financial independence, but my mind was elsewhere including family, friends, and a nice memorial weekend. Of course we tend to talk about money and finance here at Even Steven Money, but don’t forget your everyday life, the fun that is out there, it may seem like it’s all money, but remember it’s certainly more than that. Have a great week and don’t forget to visit the Financial Independence Day Page and Financial Independence Interview, it’s a great way to get involved with those on the road to obtain Financial Independence!