Reflecting on our FI journey so far

journey

Martin is about to give his notice in 2 days. We’ve been preparing for it and are very excited!!!!

Almost as excited as we were in the above picture, when we were riding the ski lifts in Banff and about to be married in a few days. 🙂

It’s so surreal to be inching so closely towards our long-time goal of slow travelling the world.

We thought we’d take 5-6 more years of saving and investing until we became financially independent at age 40. Then we’d hit the road.

But freelancing has really shifted our mindset of what’s possible.  Combine that with not having to pay taxes, and suddenly leaving is not only in line with our travel goals, but also makes financial sense.

My prediction is that we’ll increase our net worth at a faster rate while being nomads, than if we had stayed planted in Germany.

But that depends on a lot of factors and though we are planning to increase our net worth, it’s not our main motivation. We are seeking the freedom and nomadic lifestyle. At least it’s what I’m seeking. Martin is being a good sport and coming along for the ride. 🙂

We’ve been actively working towards early retirement for 2 years now.

Firstly, we’ve made significant headway in our relationship by getting married!

Getting married made us plan for our future together in concrete ways.

At the beginning of our marriage, we lived 100km apart which meant we had double the expenses (2 flats, 2 internet connections, 2 electricity bills, etc…). 6-months later, I landed a new and better job that wasn’t as far away, and we found a place smack in the middle of our work locations and moved in together.

Our DINK status made it easy to save 65% of our take home pays without having to bootstrap.

We invested 100% of my income and savings into index ETFs, while Martin paid our expenses and kept the rest in a ‘high’ (0.1%) interest savings account. When we both got comfortable with riding the up and downs of the stock market, we started investing his cash savings too.

After a year and a half of commuting, we were stressed out, tired and suffered a bit of a health scare. We decided to simplify our lives by moving closer to Martin’s job while I went freelance!

That’s where we are now.

Luna tiles

I can’t really say our savings rate went up yet, because I spent a few months with no income and am only now just replacing/exceeding my former full-time income with freelancing.

But we also slashed expenses by a lot, and lifestyle improved exponentially. We had time to think and plan.

It’s safe to say that we’ve come a long way in these last 2 years.

I’m so grateful I stumbled upon the early retirement community, with blogs like Mr. Money MustacheJim Collins, and Early Retirement Extreme who teach people how to do it.

Now we’re about to semi-FIRE! And it’s not because we are special or make a lot of money (we aren’t and we don’t), but because we got organized and keep figuring out ways to improve our lives and our health.

Hopefully we’ll find our foster dog Luna her forever home soon. Keep your fingers crossed for her! She is a special girl who deserves a GREAT home, better than what we can offer.

6 Comments


  1. // Reply

    Congratulations on the journey so far. It’s amazing what you can do when you out your mind to it. We also save a huge percentage of our incomes, and I often look at our Quickbooks P&L to see where we cn save even more to speed things along. Goodbye childcare costs ($8,500+ per year) next year when our youngest goes to school.

    While I was always reasonable with money, it’s amazing to see the effect that websites like MMM and ERE can have. I’d say a lot of,people (including me!) Should be very grateful to,those guys!

    I’m glad to hear that freelancing is working so well for you and providing such great lifestyle benefits – I remember reading about you worrying about whether to freelance and it certainly seems like it has worked out well.


    1. // Reply

      Thanks IA! It’s fun to find areas of spending to tweak and improve. Hopefully your wife is more open to it now. It took Martin a while to see/understand/feel the benefits, but now he’s on board. 🙂

      I’m definitely grateful to MMM and ERE. I too was good with saving money, but had no idea ER was even possible. Then I see they’ve done it themselves and had actual formulas for it! It just all made sense. Jim Collins helped me get over my fear of investing too. Incredible resources that have changed our lives SO much.

      Freelancing is working out so well! I know I worried a lot but in retrospect, it was the perfect time for me to go freelance. Super grateful it’s worked out this way.


  2. // Reply

    I’m not jealous – but that’ s only because I actually love my job. Otherwise, I would be. Definitely would be.


    1. // Reply

      No need to be jealous because what we did is entirely replicable and nothing secret!

      We made it our goal, and are still working towards it.

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