August Recap and Even Earlier Financial Independence

I hope everyone enjoyed some time off during the Labor Day weekend, most likely spent growing a beard and saving money. I didn’t entirely plan to do a recap of August, I planned to give everyone a quarterly update on my financial independence, but something great happened that I wanted to share. Make sure to check out my first glance at Financial Independence here. Some of this is nerdy so proceed with caution.

Rental Income

Everything has been consistent with rental income, checks come in and checks go to pay off the mortgage as planned. The Florida rental has some minor costs including a special lawn service to keep the HOA happy, eventually the A/C will need to be updated or replaced in the next couple of months. Our Chicago rental has been business as usual, the next coming months could spark some change as both leases are coming due, both are great people and great renters we would hate to see either one of them go, but we are preparing if this does happen. We will be updating some electrical and creating a permanent entrance for privacy, so the next couple of months will be more expensive. The great news is we have an emergency house fund set up for expenses just like this.

Debt Repayment

In July I created a personal challenge to pay off all of my student loan debt by the end of April 2015, I have paid off another student loan previously, but this goal is an uber aggressive goal 9 month (now 10 month after I counted on my fingers) for my last and final student loan payment. The amount of the student loan is higher and the time frame is shorter which makes this the uber aggressive student loan payment plan. I will share the final numbers when I have made the final payment in April. My first month in July I was able to pay off 4% of the loan and in August increase the total percentage to 15%, I made a couple of XL payments. These payments included saving money from my 9-5 and my eBay side hustle. Based off of the 10 month projection I should be at 20% of my total loan balance, so I have fallen short of my goal so far. In most cases I would be worried, but my plan is back heavy as I plan to use any taxes, bonus, and raise I receive which will all come in the February-April range. All in all a little behind, but Rocky got the crap beat out of him and he still defeated the Russian in the end.

Side Hustle

As I have begun to discuss, my side hustle is buying and selling men’s clothing on eBay. Things have been slower over the last 2 months due to vacation and not listing many items, just letting the inventory slowly go down without replenishing anything. Over the past week I have been listing more and more and have already seen a positive result, crazy how that happens, put hard work in and profits come out.


Like our rental income our investments have remained the same, I have been pushing the wife to increase her 401K percentage because we have room in our budget to do so. I have been trying for about a month to have her increase this so we can become millionaires faster, I will keep trying I promise! I expect big changes for our investments after our taxes and my student loan is paid off, but until then I’m like a grandpa wearing cool black socks telling everyone I’m Super Cool for getting the company match and investing in index funds.

Financial Independence

Save the best for last right!?!? Every month I update our numbers to see if we are staying on track for our October 2020 goal of financial independence. It takes a pretty big change in our debt repayment to make a difference. So with great pleasure I am happy to announce our newly expected FI is July 2020, which is a 3 month difference!!! 3 exclamation points for that again!!!

A couple things happened to update our expected FI date.

  1. I paid off a ton of student loan debt.
  2. I updated the Florida rental property with the exact minimum payment and interest rate
  3. I work my arse off and focus on this like it’s my life because it is

What’s great about how I have our plan set up is any extra payments that I make which is from saving extra money by cutting costs, working overtime, my side hustle on eBay, only works to get to our FI date that much sooner. So I’ve built our FI date spreadsheet with our rental income doing all the heavy lifting, but when I go out and put in extra income it makes our goal happen that much sooner, so if I bust my arse, we can get to FI that much sooner. Currently we are less than 6 years away from our FI date; the manbear is slowly coming off our back and ready to fight on our side. Those of you who are new to the term Financial Independence I copied the definition below for your reading pleasure. Until then I’m going to keep, keeping on and I hope you will to.

 Financial independence is generally used to describe the state of having sufficient personal wealth to live, without having to work actively for basic necessities. For financially independent people, their assets generate income that is greater than their expenses.

How close are you from Financial Independence? Do you like receiving an update on my journey to Financial Independence? Mrs. Even Steven Money is this information considered limited detail?

34 Responses to “August Recap and Even Earlier Financial Independence

  • Haha I like that you put a question for your wife there at the end. October 2020, wow seems not that far away! I am looking at the end of 2030, I just did a post on the number for myself!

    Question on the rentals, being they are in other states you just have a property manager for those I would assume? Do they handle all of the maintenance and such being you aren’t there?
    Kipp recently posted…The Road to Financial IndependenceMy Profile

    • EvenStevenMoney
      3 years ago

      The house that we have in Florida is very close to Mrs. Even Steven’s family, so they handle any small maintenance requests and visits to the house. Anything that is major we will make the phone calls and decisions on major items that need contractor work. It certainly helps to have this in place, I think rentals should be as much DIY as possible because it’s all things you can manage and look up on your own. If we move from our Chicago home I still don’t think I would use a property manager with the internet and the number of things you can do with a phone or computer it seems unnecessary for me to give someone 10% or 1 month rent to handle these tasks. I think it’s more important to find someone you trust 100% if you do need someone to help out.

      • Gotcha, good to know. I agree that it probably should be DIY if possible and have someone who can take care of things when you are not around.
        Kipp recently posted…The Road to Financial IndependenceMy Profile

        • EvenStevenMoney
          3 years ago

          I am not a handy man, but I will take care of the things I can and work with trust worthy contractors when needed.

  • Sounds like everything is going well for you! I’m sure you’ll get back on track with your student loan payments. I look forward to tax return time for that reason! 2020 isn’t that far away, must be exciting! I’m not sure when our FI date will be, just because we’re still focusing on our student loans. I wouldn’t mind getting there in another 15-20 years.
    Erin @ Journey to Saving recently posted…August Budget ReviewMy Profile

    • EvenStevenMoney
      3 years ago

      I’m certainly excited, but I think focused is a better word for how I am treating our debt and investing.

  • FI is in sight for you! Also, I love your goal to kill your student loans! You should write a Dear Debt letter. I’d love your perspective!
    Melanie @ Dear Debt recently posted…Freelance Update: My One Month ReviewMy Profile

    • EvenStevenMoney
      3 years ago

      That’s a great idea, I think I will put it on my list of things to write, make sure I’m all caffeinated up so I’ve got a little bit of crazy energy running through me!

  • Way to go! And, I’m glad to hear that the beard is still a work in progress. I feel like maybe you should have a beard growth chart that you can display alongside a timeline to FI chart. We’re about 3 years from FI, barring any unforeseen circumstances or changes in plans. Onwards to a great September!
    Mrs. Frugalwoods recently posted…August 2014 ExpendituresMy Profile

    • EvenStevenMoney
      3 years ago

      If the beard was here for the extent of my FI I would consider it the greatest idea ever spoken, since I’m a little over a month in and I have 6 years to FI, I think I should hold off on the chart. 3 years, sounds great to me, keep keeping on.

  • Great job that you paid off a ton of student loan debt! And congrats on your new side hustle, buying and selling men’s clothing on eBay seems very a good pick!
    Clarisse @ Make Money Your Way recently posted…Fallback Careers: For Those Times When You Have to Hire YourselfMy Profile

    • EvenStevenMoney
      3 years ago

      Thanks, I do my best. eBay works for me, who knows it might work for you too.

  • Why is your wife hesitant on putting more money in her 401K? FI by 2020; has a nice ring to it. We plan to reach FI no later than 2026 but I’m hoping to get this done a good bit sooner.
    Kassandra @ More Than Just Money recently posted…Epic PF Fail: I’m Making the NYPD Rich!My Profile

    • EvenStevenMoney
      3 years ago

      She’s hesitant to have less money come into her account, she has always had more of a free spirit approach because she had no debt and made a good salary, I’m trying to harness the good and shed the bad. It’s nice to have a target that is out there that you know is within your reach but if you bust your a$$ you can make it happen sooner.

  • Nice progress, Steve! I’ll take a 3 month advancement any day all day! You should put a counter on your blog. I was looking for a plugin for one today because I want to put one on mine but the ones I found so far show days etc. and I want one that shows years and months only to get to FI.
    debs@debtdebs recently posted…Financial Mistakes of the Worst KindMy Profile

    • EvenStevenMoney
      3 years ago

      That’s a great idea, I think it would be nice to broadcast and keep a constant reminder for myself.

  • You may be in trouble for TMI with the Mrs 🙂 July 2020 is so close! It must be great to see your work paying off.
    Tre recently posted…August UpdateMy Profile

    • EvenStevenMoney
      3 years ago

      Her response when I mentioned I asked her a question in the end, was What! You posted it already!

  • Keep on kicking it, Steven. That is so cool that you are going to reach FI 3 months earlier than expected!!! #sohappyforyou #jealous. 😉
    Laurie @wellkeptwallet recently posted…How One Guy Paid Off an $86,000 Mortgage Loan in Only Two YearsMy Profile

    • EvenStevenMoney
      3 years ago

      Thanks for the congrats, we have a long way to go, but I see sunshine creeping in.

  • That is awesome! 6 years is not long at all! We’re still a bit further away, but forward progress no matter how small is better than stagnation in our case.
    Femme Frugality recently posted…The Best Place to Book Hotels for CheapMy Profile

    • EvenStevenMoney
      3 years ago

      6 years, it seems miles and miles away but in the grand scheme of things it’s right down the block.

  • Wow 2020…that’s right around the corner. Pretty awesome goal. My wife and I have been saving, but I’m gonna have to ramp up the 401k contributions as well. I’m also looking at rental property, but it would have to be outside of NYC, and I’d likely have to consider a property manager. As for your ebay side hustle, I’ve been looking into that recently, but thinking about Amazon FBA…I’ve sold on Amazon so I’m more familiar with it. I’m thinking about baby toys and stuff of that nature since we have a little one and my wife always finds some great deals. As for student loans, I’m actually not aggressively paying them off now because the ones I have left have such low interest (under 4%…some under 2%)
    Andrew@LivingRichCheaply recently posted…Would You Live in a Multigenerational Household?My Profile

    • EvenStevenMoney
      3 years ago

      I think if the property is within a short drive ie 15-20 min doing it yourself is a great way to get into a rental property, I suggest living in the property to really take advantage of the many opportunities it provides. I would say go for it with Amazon, I occasionally list items there, I mean getting a few extra dollars to see if you like it along the way seems smart to me.

      I understand your logical reasoning behind not paying off a student loan aggressively. I’m however on the irrational side that says I hate student loans, I hate them to death, I don’t care if they are 1% or 10% I want them out of my life, I’m not cool with being 40 and talking about my student loan from when I was 18. FI is all about reducing expenses to where your income is greater and this is part of that. 9 months of complete devotion to destroy student loans, obviously I get all worked up just talking about it! Thanks for sharing!

  • Great job on all of your progress! I have no idea when our FI date will be- I have never figured it out. I assume we will be FI when our rentals are paid off in around 12 years but I am hesitant to commit to that since that will also be the year my daughter starts college.
    Holly@ClubThrifty recently posted…Those Awkward Money MomentsMy Profile

    • EvenStevenMoney
      3 years ago

      I think it could be fun to figure out your FI date. Ours is largely based off our rental income, so figuring out the income versus expenses could be fairly easy and possibly motivating.

  • It is great to hear when someone’s goals get closer and closer – it helps me feel more optimistic about mine! Great job!

    I keep a spreadsheet where I track our finances, and budget – old-school style in Excel. But I have one column on there that tells me ‘how many years to FI’. It jumps around a lot as the markets move and our investments fluctuate. But it is great to numbers below 5 years! It keeps me motivated. I even have a post-it note by my desk at work that says “April 2019” – no one knows what it means, but when I get annoyed at work, I just look at it and smile!
    Mrs SSC recently posted…Bad Decisions Part 2: Easy credit, hard paymentsMy Profile

    • EvenStevenMoney
      3 years ago

      That’s great I think it’s so important to keep track of your finances and long term goals. April 2019 sounds fantastic to me.

  • Man your posts really pump me up, thanks for posting some cool content & I’m slowly but surely getting my way through your back catalog 😉

    In answer to your questions here:

    How close are you from Financial Independence? Good question, I’ve set myself a date of 3rd November 2029 (my 40th b’day) although feels like I could smash it before then 🙂

    Do you like receiving an update on my journey to Financial Independence? Love receiving it, hopefully you kept it up!

    Mrs. Even Steven Money is this information considered limited detail? Probably not a question for me although hopefully considered limited enough for your sake 😛 ha

    • EvenStevenMoney
      10 months ago

      It was fun just to go back and read this 2 years later, love seeing the progress we have made. I have a post in with some numbers especially detailing rental income, but have to run it by Mrs. Even Steven Money:)

      November 3rd 2029, well I certainly like it and you will find out as you go or at least I have that the goal is great, but seeing your finances drastically improve is such a great feeling along the way.

      • Thanks for the encouragement and agreed it is mostly about the journey and not always the destination..

        I’ll have to shoot you my FI date and join the Even Stevens gang too :)!

        • EvenStevenMoney
          9 months ago

          Please do, it’s always great to see others share where they plan to go and the path they plan to take.

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