And so it begins
As a programmer – I am morally obligated to start this way. For you non-nerds, “Hello World” is usually the first program you write when you learn to code – and since this is my first blog post – it seemed fitting. I am Mike (Mr. TBT) and my wife Roxy (Mrs. TBT) – and we are both engineers (think slide rule – not locomotive). Our jobs have provided for us for many years – but it has come at a high cost. So we are committed to defining our vision of what a “better” life together looks like. We want a life that gives us more freedom of time to live on our terms. The only “daily grind” we want to hear about is the one that keeps our cup filled with delicious coffee! If that sounds good to you – then you are in the right place! (much more about coffee later too!)
From the Beginning
All good stories start with some adversity – and ours is no different. Our journey started seven years ago, when we returned from our beautiful honeymoon in Europe to a pile of bills perched precariously on our wedding debt. For dramatic effect, Mrs. TBT’s car passed on to that “Great Junkyard in the sky” – so we added a new (used) car purchase to the list. A debt tsunami only was headed straight for us – only 5 weeks into our married life! Mrs. TBT and I agreed that we had to simplify our life and focus on slaying this debt Dragon – and within 2 years – we had paid off almost $140000 in debt! It was an amazing feeling to have that big rock lifted off our back. We continued on and paid off our home about 18 months later using the momentum we had gathered!
The Greater Goal
While paying off our debt was a big accomplishment, it was really just the first step. We worked hard at our jobs to clear the debt we had – but we wanted more that just freedom from debt. I had followed Financial independence blogs – like Early Retirement Extreme and Mr. Money Mustache, and I was truly intrigued with the idea of the freedom that Financial Independence / Retiring Early (FIRE) could bring. Mrs. TBT had good saving and investing skills – and she was immediately on board with the plan (I knew she was a keeper!) So we decided to start our “quest for FIRE” (80’s movie reference) to redefine our lives. We would elevate our new normal by maximizing each of these aspects of our lives:
Save: Live simply – reduce debt and increase savings as much as possible
Purpose: Define the “work” we will do to benefit ourselves and our communities when we retire from the rat race
Income: Build income through side hustles to replace our J.O.B earnings
Learn: Continue to learn about how best to achieve Financial Independence and freedom
Thrive: Focus on our health and fitness – personal growth and happiness
Whats in it for you
In coming posts, we will talk more about each of these areas in greater detail. We will describe how we are working to achieve our goals and offer tips and resources that may be useful. We have had successes and failures and we will share them all with you as we go along. Hopefully, by joining us in this adventure, you can find something to help you on your path to a “better” way. Feel free to share your experiences – both good and bad – that you have learned along the way. Life is a journey and we all have a vision of what a perfect life looks like to us. But getting to “perfect” from where we are is a daunting task. So lets just try to make parts of our life a little better each day – and eventually – we will arrive at our destination together!
Thanks – Mike