Getting FIREd Up

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This is an out-of-control flaming emergency, according to Mr. Money Mustache

I have an out-of-control flaming emergency, according to Mr. Money Mustache

I recently wrote about life changes that I thought might happen… soon.

Well, even though Mercury was retrograde, nothing stopped chugging along. In fact, everything got a swift kick in the butt. And now life is different.

I’ve been getting used to the new rhythm. It feels so different. And it’s given me a chance to review where I’m at and how I want to move forward.

What is FIRE?

FIRE stands for “Financial Independence, Retire Early.”

It’s a long-term goal with actionable short-term steps. Right now, I’m focusing on those short-term steps.

Moving forward

I started Out and Out in March 2013 to chronicle getting out of debt slash things about finances, collect positive thoughts… and write about points and miles.

It’s mostly been a nice mix of all those things but with a slant toward points and miles.

Now the other stuff is coming back into play in a bigger way.

I have debt

Time to get the machine up and running

Time to get the machine up and running

In the beginning, I felt more comfortable writing about points and miles because it’s what I knew the most about.

I’ve been reading a few personal finance blogs and reviewing where I was this time last year. And the year before that.  And I’ve already started to take action.

In The Climb to Pay Off Debt and Be Financially Independent, I wrote about how I wanted to eliminate all of my debt and save up money. That was dated August 13, 2013. Since then, I haven’t made any headway.

The desire was there but the mindset was not. 

Now I’m still in the same position I was in, but now it’s time. It’s really time.

My debt is an out-of-control flaming emergency.

What happened?

AKA “make excuses?”  I really don’t want to. So I won’t.

  • I got lazy
  • I didn’t prioritize a payoff plan like I should’ve
  • I didn’t have the right mindset about a payoff plan… or about money

But I did start reading (a lot of personal finance blogs).

I think I’m somewhere between:

But not as extreme as Jacob from Early Retirement Extreme.

These are the blogs that have spurred me into action.

Next steps

I plan on updating my progress from time to time.

To keep myself accountable. To keep on track. And to simply share my progress.

I also want to become more comfortable talking about money.

I was raised thinking about asking someone about money was taboo. But I’ve been sharing my FIRE plan with my friends and have gotten such good feedback about savings accounts, where to invest, interest rates, and the little actionable steps along the way.

So I want to keep talking about it. And learning more.

The site’s tagline has always been:

Investing. Positivity. Oh, and travel.

Time to get back to it!

Bottom line

All good stuff here. June’s been a rollercoaster so far and it’s only the halfway mark.

I’m curious to hear how others meld the points and miles hobby with their financial goals. How are they related? 

Looking forward to sharing more details about FIRE, staying positive throughout, and traveling as always.

Stay scrappy out there!

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About Harlan

Just a dude living in Memphis, traveling, and working toward financial independence.

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  1. I’m absolutely eager to start on my FIRE journey without going through the extreme route that some people seem to be doing (no cellphone plans?? I can’t do that, or so I tell myself). But the miles and points hobby has certainly all to do with financial independence—you get to save thousands of dollars when you do what you love (traveling). So long as the costs of this hobby (annual fees, MS costs) don’t eat too much into the savings that you’ll get from partaking in this hobby.

    • I agree. I’ve decided to choose 2 things and spend on them RELENTLESSLY and without guilt: eating out and travel. Because life is still for living. I’ll find other ways to cut down. Like buying in bulk, cooking at home when possible, and canceling subscriptions and memberships that I rarely use – to start.

      But I feel you about the cell phone thing. Some people have even gotten rid of their refrigerators. Not knocking it, but I’m not quite at that stage.

      Looking forward to more travel and more FIRE.

      Thank you for reading!

      • I agree, life is still for living. I haven’t been eating out a lot as much, but like you, I’ve found ways to cut down. My cellphone plan for instance is T-Mobile’s $30/month prepaid plan that comes with a generous 5GB of data (though only 90 minutes of talk time; I’ve found a workaround by using Google Voice/Hangouts).

        We also unsubscribed from cable last year. Netflix, HBO Go, and the like have been more than enough for us. Getting rid of refrigerators is something I won’t be able to do, but more power to those who can.

        Looking forward to your posts!

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