February – a short month and an opportunity to make a bigger dent than usual in the bad guy army. I was able to do so after a slow start in January! With my net worth growing each month, I thought that this time when visiting home I’d use some of it for the greater good through eating out. Learn more below in the lessons section!
Planned Army Statistics by Year (Unchanged from July 2017):
In July 2017, I posted to officially declare war on debt. Although the battles began discreetly in January, it was time to publically announce the commitment to destroy the greedy barbarians. Before getting into updates, let me share the three-year plan to rid ourselves of these bloody fools.
3 Year Loan Pool / Investment Plan
|Year||Cumulative Student Loan Pool||Cumulative Student Loan Payments||Car Loan Pool||Cumulative Car Loan Payments||Annual IRA||Annual 401(k)|
I will be around 3K short at the end of 2019 for my student loan pool, meaning that in the next 3 years side hustles / arresting expenses will be required to hit the goal.
Have a suggestion? Would love to hear it in the comments!
Army Updates for February 2018
Student Loans of the East
- Army Size: 29.6K (was 29.6)
- Growth Rate: Avg of 5.5%
- Weakness: Although large in numbers, the army lacks trained fighters. Each month they lose ~300 men
Auto Loan of the West
- Army Size: 8.2 (was 8.3K)
- Growth Rate: 5.5%
- Weakness: Sickness infects the army to reduce its size by ~120 each month
Loan Pool Savings of the North
- Army Size: 8.8K (was 8.4K)
- Growth Rate: 1.0% (Capital One360 savings)
- Weakness: Early career salary means an average of only 375 greenbacks soldiers graduate to fight each month
Lessons from February
“The most important thing in the world is family and love” – John Wooden
Will I Be Shunned For Eating Out ~10 Times in February?
Before revealing why I spent more money in restaurants in February 2018 than in all of last year combined, let me first start with a simple revelation.
One of my whys: FIRE and my financial kingdom have become one of the top priorities in my life. Not because of the bragging rights of having more time, but also to be able to use my wealth to make the world a better place and help build up the kingdoms of my family.
For me, this comes in many forms. Jack spelled out different ways to help the world in his post on direct charity.
The main reason people help the world through charity? Because it feels damn good to help other people!!
Please Forgive Me!
For the first two weeks of February, I was back at home enjoying the much needed time with my family. With my career taking me to different places within the US, going home and breaking bread with the people who are so important in my life is always an enjoyable experience. Seeing the young ones who have grown a few inches and started a new grade or catching up with old friends who are off on their own career paths really adds to the happiness bucket of my own life.
Typically on my visits home, people offer to pay for my meals but mostly, I refuse and we receive our separate checks. It just isn’t my style to be paid for, especially when the people offering may not be in a similar financial situation as me.
Little do some of them know the meticulous details and hours spent researching financial strategies or reading personal finance blogs; and now, even writing them myself, have become part of who I am. On this visit though, I decided to practice what we preach here at the Kingdom. Giving back or using wealth wisely.
I spent ~$250 at Restaurants in February…
Ah yes, please forgive me my fellow personal finance community members.
For the first time in my life, I was able to continuously pay for my friends and family whilst breaking bread with them and it felt wonderful! I feel no regrets!
OK my secret is out. I’ve accepted that the $250 that could have been used for my student loan pool and paying down debt has been sacrificed for my own happiness and pleasure. Even typing this out, the feeling of doing this hasn’t escaped yet.
This means I spent 2/3 the amount of Lily in February on restaurants alone. Can you believe that she lived on $300? Me either lol! This is why we continue reading her awesome personable blogs each week.
How Can I Write Personal Finance Advice and Do Such a Thing?
Because I wanted to show you the power of budgeting!! In the last few months, utilizing Budget Byes to reduce my grocery bill, I tasked myself with only spending $100 for the last two weeks of February – not an easy task for an active male in his 20s for sure!
By planning ahead the estimated expense gifting food over intriguing conversations with the VIPs in my life, I was able to do it without even missing a beat on my student loan pool. My grocery budget stayed around the average from the year, yet my happiness skyrocketed.
In other words, even with rare expenditures, I was able to still win the battle of February and keep on track to RID MYSELF of these BARBARIANS in the future.
I should also mention that no other sacrifices needed to be made, my IRA was invested into, my 401(k) contribution stayed the same, and the year continues!
The Takeaway For You
We all want to be perfect in our lives, especially when taking on an uncanny goal that most people in America aren’t able to sacrifice for. We strive for this perfection and focus so hard on the results that we forget to enjoy the process. If part of the process means spending money with your family while eating out – maybe that is OK sometimes.
Your life, your happiness, and your whys are important too. We ask you to remember that we only have so many days on this planet; it is common knowledge these days that money isn’t everything as even the rich in this world suffer from depression. We must always remember: money is only a tool.
Family and time are huge reasons for many of us aspiring for financial independence, so why in the world would we forget them during that journey? Our advice to you – don’t :).
Thanks for reading!! Please let us know if you have any tips or thoughts on your own Great War on Debt. We’d love to hear from you!