This morning I began day 1 of a 2 day restricted calorie fast. Basically water, coffee, tea, and very little food. I get “hangry”, otherwise, I’d go for an all out water only fast. To keep the hangries at bay, I’ll add a little Metamucil fiber mix to my water. I am not some crazy person who believes regular fasting is a requirement or fulfills some weird series of religious check-offs. I do believe fasting will help me gain clarity and focus in on a specific goal. When my stomach growls with yearning for the tasty hamburger provided, for free, at a work luncheon, I will use the grumbling as a tool to remind myself of the task at hand. The goal is this – my husband and I are just over it. I think our kids are over it too, but they don’t really know what “it” is that they’re actually over.
We’re over the rat race.
We’re over working the system to attain the “American Dream”.
We want to change.
We want more life experiences and less exasperation and exhaustion.
We want to contribute our time, treasure, and talents to others.
We no longer want to expend energy on meeting the goals others set for us.
We want to retire…and we want to retire as soon as possible.
Over the next two days, I am going to focus on our expenses and current investment state of affairs. I will gain understanding into where we may be wasting money on frivolous purchases. I will find opportunities to cut expenses and use those funds to further reduce our debt. Thanks to an early encounter with Dave Ramsey, our debt is limited to everything but the house. For us, everything but the house still includes 2 loans; the primary mortgage and a home equity line of credit (HELOC). The HELOC has to go. It’s an annoying little pest that eats $1300 a month away from giving and saving. During this brief physical fast, I will determine how much we need to stash away to live off investment/retirement savings only. Mr. Money Mustache did this successfully by saving 25 times his annual spending per year. Therefore, I will analyze our spending to determine what our current annual spending is, and, what our annual spending should be after culling out wasteful expenses. I will then determine our personal 25 times number and finally, layout a plan to achieve the goal. I will also set a goal date. Then I will commence breaking the physical fast and embark upon a new era. An era where we engage in the benefits received from The Money Fast. We will eliminate the HELOC, roll the newly released monthly expenses into savings, and retire early. I will share the progress via this blog along with the pitfalls, discoveries, tools, pain points, and successes.
We will “fast” our way to earlier retirement.