Hi Pocketchangers, and Happy New Year! Can you believe it’s already 2019!? Like many of you, we’re planning out the year ahead in terms of our lives including finances, business plans, and other life goals. We tend to replace “resolutions” with “goals” because they seem to stick better for some reason.
Before we get into our 2019 goals, let’s do a quick recap of our year.
Last year we discovered the Financial Independence movement through a podcast from ChooseFI. Through this podcast, we evaluated our financial lifestyle and came to the conclusion that we needed to make changes and take charge of our future. As lofty of a goal as that seems, it wasn’t too complicated. We just needed to get a few details into place:
The single biggest step towards Financial Independence is to make the decision to start. To do that, we needed to know what Financial Independence is, and what it meant for us to align our lifestyle with this movement.
If you’re going on an adventure to an unfamiliar destination, you’re not going without a GPS or a map. Likewise, with your finances, understanding what you have and where you’re going is a great next step. Here’s where we started on day one of our journey.
Adopting the Financial Independence lifestyle requires several changes, so it’s a good idea to revisit or start a budget. Here are a few of our favorite apps that we regularly use to track our progress, and even a sneak peak at our budget on day 1 of our journey.
As we have seen in past posts, we started with a financial inventory. Without truly understanding what is going on in your life, how can you chart a course for your future? This was the start of our life adventure.
Next, we did a complete budget overhaul to determine what expenditures we needed to reduce or cut altogether. For example, we made a switch to a new phone carrier, Mint Mobile, for a fraction of the cost of our already-good-deal from T-Mobile.
After reviewing our Financial Inventory and Budget, that gave us the opportunity to calculate the Savings Rate, the key figure in our plan to reach Financial Independence.
The Financial Independence trajectory is the toughest figure to determine, as it takes into account several other numbers, plus some assumptions about life. In addition, it asks the question, “How will you financially live life over the next 30-50 years?”
These are tough questions to answer, mainly because life can twist and turn at any time without warning. But, that’s also why we’re on this journey – freedom. Here’s the definition we’ve established for our ‘FI-Vision’ if you will:
Financial Independence is about pursuing a counter-cultural lifestyle free from the conventional career and retirement path, by taking control of our financial life.
Why try to calculate this number? The Savings Rate helps determine how much income is being saved that ultimately contributes to the savings goals we have to reach Financial Independence.
So, what does 2019 have in store for us? For starters, we’re excitedly hoping to hit our first FI goal that we just barely missed last year due to some unexpected expenses and the downturn in the market. Barring any crazy circumstances, we’ll definitely hit our first FI goal of $25,000 net worth.
We also plan to look at and evaluate Red Pocket, another phone carrier similar to our current cheap plan. We’ve noticed some dead spots in our area with Mint Mobile, and are curious if Red Pocket will have better coverage.
Next, we hope that we’ll be able to add a Baby Pocketchanger to our family but only time will tell. That will certainly alter our trajectory, but it’s a worthy cause!
Lastly, we hope to be able to continue to add funds to our 401K and our brokerage accounts, although we haven’t figured out the numbers on those quite yet. There are some upcoming expenses we need to save for before we are ready to put more money into the market!
Your turn: What are your 2019 financial goals?