A few years ago, we realised something had to change. We were both earning a middle class income (factory worker & teacher), yet were living payday to payday. We didn’t have any debt, apart from the mortgage, and we paid our bills on time. Yet, we weren’t getting ahead financially.
We were also heading quickly towards our mid-40s, realised we didn’t have enough superannuation to retire and wanted to have our mortgage paid off before turning 60. We also had two young children (one with health complications) and two teenagers at home.
Around the same time we were becoming increasingly concerned at the amount of waste our household produced, and the declining sustainability of the environment.
We then implemented The Barefoot Investor strategies. This had a massive positive impact on how we managed money.
Every single expense was examined and reduced or deleted if possible, whilst at the same time we were making huge changes to reduce our household waste.
It was then I had an epiphany – by reducing our household waste, we were also saving money. By being less of a consumer, we naturally saved money and created much less waste, reducing our environmental footprint.
Then we came across the Financial Independence Retire Early strategy where people retire in their thirties. (We wished we knew all this 25 years ago!)
We had obviously left it too late to retire in our 30s, yet started to seriously consider if we could reach financial independence before 60.
With a lot of number crunching, it turned out we could. This was an extremely exciting concept! And would only take us around 12 years.
Our current goal is to continue to reduce expenses to be able to live from the earnings of one wage only.
From 2020 and beyond, one wage will be budgeted using the Barefoot Investor recommendations. The other wage will pay the mortgage, and be used to invest in shares to create a perpetual source of income through dividends.
We could have a higher combined savings rate than 50% if we discontinued with the Barefoot Investor strategies and focused on saving every dollar, however we are trying to keep some balance by putting money aside for a holiday every year and for having a little weekly spending money.
At the same time, by living frugally, we will continue to reduce our household environmental footprint.
Each week I’ll upload blog posts about changes our family have implemented that have helped us financially and have environmental benefits.
I’ll touch on a variety of topics including frugal living, minimalism, budgeting, finance, consumerism, plastic pollution and waste.
Please note this is not a professional financial service, but rather the sharing of our journey.