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Hi friends, and welcome to the Pocket Change Lifestyle!

If you’re here, you’re likely looking for a little bit of information about Financial Independence, or perhaps you’re curious about why we’re pursuing it. Join us on this journey to Financial Independence!

What is Financial Independence?

Financial Independence (or FI) is a growing movement of folks breaking out of the mold of the ‘American’ career and retirement path. It’s taking control of our finances, and making our money work for us. It’s investing in total stock indexes, contributing to a 401K or IRA or HSA or all of the above. FI has many meanings because it’s subjective for each individual and family. As such, this is how our family is defining Financial Independence, which also provides a framework for our future goals:

Financial Independence is about pursuing a counter-cultural lifestyle free from the conventional career and retirement path, by taking control of our financial life.

To us, Financial Independence is exchanging the “American Dream” lifestyle of a huge house, brand new cars, and years of useless credit card debt for more freedom. This freedom specifically revolves around working a regular 9-5 job for the next 35-40 years. We want to pay ourselves as much as possible to reach a point where our passive income (i.e. investments) can support our monthly expenses.

In other words, we want to pay our bills, expenses, and everything else we need without being chained to a 9-5 career for 40 years. This will give us the freedom to work on our passions, work for places or people we truly care about, serve and help others, travel, and even gives us the freedom to say yes or no to things that don’t align with our family goals. How exactly do we do that?

By paying ourselves first.

How Do We Get There?

Defining what Financial Independence is a good first step, but what’s the next step? Our journey to Financial Independence started sometime in May 2018. Mrs. Pocket Change and I both had the desire to buy a house, and also do better with our finances. We stumbled upon  the ChooseFI podcast, and have been soaking up as much information as possible. This put us at the starting line for the journey to Financial Independence. Since then, we’ve been doing all we can to evaluate and maximize our finances as we set our sights on the end goal. Below you’ll find the first few steps in our journey:

THE START

The single biggest step towards Financial Independence is to make the decision to start. To do that, you need to know what Financial Independence is, and what it means for you. You’re already here!

inventory

TAKING INVENTORY

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.​

budgeting

CHARTING THE COURSE – BUDGETING

Adopting the Financial Independence lifestyle requires change so it’s a good idea to revisit or start your 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.