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Old 09-28-2010, 06:18 PM   #21
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I never think of it as saving. All along we were investing in ourselvesfor now and the future. I can't think of anything I'd rather invest in. And the nest egg grows exponentially if you give it some time, even though it seems slow at first.

No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 45% equity funds / 30% bond funds / 25% cash
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
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Old 09-28-2010, 09:34 PM   #22
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We raised a kid on these concepts:
- Great ideas, now make yourself a plan.
- 20 minutes a day.
- Eat the elephant one bite at a time.

Personally, when I'd get discouraged by my financial situation (or whatever I thought it should be), then I'd sit down with a spreadsheet and FIRECalc or I'd tweak various parameters and see if I could come up with ways to make things happen faster. Within the aforementioned 20 minutes I'd conclude that things could be worse, or perhaps I'd discover a previously-overlooked detail. Either way I'd feel better.

As for the emergency fund, consider that you might not need much of one as long as you're getting a military paycheck. (Compare that to Suze Orman, who guesstimates eight months of unemployment for her followers' emergency funds.) It might be easier for you to just set aside $500-$1000 for an emergency vehicle or plumbing repair and count on advance pay for the rest.

Finally, if you're getting discouraged then you might be crossing the fine line between frugality and deprivation. If nothing else above seems to work then take another look at your budget and consider whether you can loosen the purse strings a bit on entertainment. Or read the Dollar Stretcher's weekly e-mail newsletter ( for cheap/free sources of entertainment.


Spring 2020: my daughter and I wrote “Raising Your Money-Savvy Family For Next-Generation Financial Independence.”
Author of the book written on "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement."

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Old 09-28-2010, 10:28 PM   #23
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"The journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step" - Lao Tzu
"Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement." - Anonymous (not Will Rogers or Sam Clemens)
DW and I - FIREd at 50 (7/06), living off assets
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Old 09-28-2010, 10:28 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Joshua View Post
How do you folks keep it all in perspective and avoid getting bogged down by the relative immensity of the task before you?
Maybe you need some visual encouragement to FIRE?

And if I claim to be a wise man, it surely means that I don't know.
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Old 09-28-2010, 11:04 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by harley View Post
"The journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step" - Lao Tzu
In addition, i would add that the nice thing about saving is that you alway know exactly where you stand, how far you need to go, and how much progress you've made. This is like having a GPS on your journey.
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Old 09-29-2010, 02:48 AM   #26
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Just remind yourself that it is less stressful in the long term to live below your means, have an emergency fund, limited debt, etc.

To add another quote -

Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.
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Old 09-29-2010, 02:56 AM   #27
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Here is what works for me:
Move step by step.
Even the biggest goal is just achieved by keeping direction one day after the other.
And when you get off track (and we all do), make corrections to get you back.
Automate as much as possible.
Track expenses daily and in writing.
Make it easy for yourself to stay on track: leave your credit card at home on most days, if there is the impulse for a purchase put the item on a list for 30 days and explore ways how to get it cheaper or for free or just forget about it.
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Old 09-29-2010, 03:28 AM   #28
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FD - you said it better than I could.

Originally Posted by FD View Post
We are all different. I am a goal-oriented person and, during my journey to FIRE, tracking the evolution of my net worth helped me remain on track. When you pay off debt, your net worth increases. When you build your emergency fund, your net worth increases. When you contribute to your retirement accounts, your net worth increases. Every time your net worth increases, it takes you that much closer to your goal.

Very conservative with investments. Not ER'd yet, 48 years old. Please do not take anything I write or imply as legal, financial or medical advice directed to you. Contact your own financial advisor, healthcare provider, or attorney for financial, medical and legal advice.
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