We have had some expensive months in 2019. Our trip to Japan of course cost us quite a lot of money but we had saved for the trip it didn’t affect our monthly spending and since we see it as delayed consumption and not saving or our savings aren’t affected. It is instead noticed as a drop in our net worth. We also had to take the LIL wolf to the vet because she has been drinking and peeing a lot more than ususal but they didn’t find anything in the tests they did so we’re just keeping an extra eye on her. It might be something hormonal going on. This of course set us back and we had to dip into our emergency fund. I have also spend a lot of money on my health since I’ve seen a functional medicine practitioner and taken som test privately so I have had to pay for them (otherwise health care in Sweden is pretty much free, you pay a 1000kr and then everything over that is free) and also bought supplements.
Our money making machine has been chugging along though. We transfer the same amount of money each month and despite the markets going up and down the balance has been growing each month. Since our money making machine is for our long term financial independence and we will only be withdrawing the interest and not the principal short term fluctuations in the market don’t bother us. We usually only look at the account to check the balance evey month when we do our monthly financial summary.
This is our progress towards our goal of financial independence before 45 and closet milestone of F-You Money (10% of our goal) at 30. I decided to set our goal number a bit higher than I had it on previously to be a bit more conservative so this graph has lower percentages than the ones I have shown before. So now we are at 5,55% of the way there.
We will keep working towards our goal but since we don’t really know what direction our lives will take us in our path towards financial independence will probably not be the straight forward race that some people in the FI community do. They put their heads down and work like crazy, have a huge savings rate and reach financial independence in 5-10 years.
For us the journey will be slower because it is very important to enjoy our lives during the journey too not just race through these years and then start living “later”. Our savings rate hovers around 30% at the moment and though we are going to try to raise it. There are different variables that we don’t know how they will affect our journey like:
- what our housing situation will be
- how much Mr LIL will earn (my income will probably stay pretty much at the same level since I work for a municipality although I have a really good salary so I’m not complaining)
- we want to have a child and it is very important to me to be able to be at home/work part time to be present in our childs life (we have the great benefit of parental leave and money from the government so we have the opportunity to very flexible in our approach)
These factors depending on how they play out will have an impact on how long it will take to get to financial independence. Although I think it is very possible for us to be able to achieve our goal to be financially independent at 45 (10 years before the official earliest retirement age in Sweden) since it is 17 years away but there might be a lot of bends in the road that affect our ability to save more or less.
We are also working for FIOR (financial independence optional retirement) and not FIRE (financial independence retire early). Since I work within the environmental sector and it is a hugely important area for me I can definitely see myself working with environmental questions but in a much more flexible way since I wouldn’t need the money. I could work in part time positions/ shorter projects/ subsitute positions or volunteer within the environmental field more freely if I didn’t feel insecure about paying the bills. Mr LIL enjoys working and his job and I think for him it’s more about the freedom to choose if he wants to work and how much and not be tied to jobs for money. And who knows, he might want to start his own business at some point which is also so much easier when it doesn’t have to bring money in! So I don’t see us never earning money again after we reach financial independence just that we will be to choose exactly what we want to do. And even at lean FI or flexible FI (which means we could withdraw less money and live in less than we have projected) opens up opportunities to embark on projects or things we want to do even before we reach FI. It is all about being able to choose for us!