The blog turned 1 year this month! If this is not a big enough deal, I’ll also do a financial update on my journey to Financial Independence. How about that? Markets have sucked but the year has been great!
What a journey.
A little over 12 months ago I embarked on this journey to Financial Independence and started to share what steps I’m taking and what I’ve learned in the process. The blog has been an great medium to put my ideas together in a structured way but it’s been an even better tool at sharing knowledge and connecting with you guys!
A New Kid on the Blog
In the last 12 months, 52 posts were almost written. 42 were really published. With no previous experience in writing apart from 3 line-corporate-emails, I’ll consider that an encouraging start (self-pat on the back).
It’s also been a great way to connect with the community.
- I’ve set my Financial Independence Day and did my first interview with EvenSteven.
- I then joined the Million Dollar Club organized by JMoney and pledged to stick to the plan.
- The 1500days team also let me take a shot at their 10 questions, which was so much fun.
Of course, none of this would have happened without the support of the community and your thoughtful comments. Special thanks to Maggie, Steve and Our Next Life for being my top3 commenters. You guys have lots of things to share, I like it!
Also worth noting that being featured on RockstarFinance and Lifehacker actually was mentally important. My opinions suddenly became legit. What a relief.
Interestingly, the most successful posts in terms of page views and comments were also the longest ones, by far. You don’t get what you deserve, You get what you negotiate is almost 1700 words and How I sold my multi-million dollar business, by Steve Miller is almost 1900 words. Spending 2x the normal time on special posts seems to yield around 10x the views of normal posts. A worthy investment of time it seems.
Marriage, Finances and Tacos
In many ways, the last 12 months were some of the busiest of my life. Switching jobs, organizing our own wedding, attending other’s weddings, buying a house and moving in took so much of our time.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned this year, is that when you keep pushing to the edge of your limits, they expand. What looks impossible because of time constraints suddenly becomes a possibility. The more I pushed, the more I was able to do.
when you keep pushing to the edge of your limits, they expand
Finance-wise, it’s been the same. We’ve started to be mindful about our savings rate and as we thought we had reached the limit, we found new ways to further cut on waste. We ended 2015 with surprisingly healthy investment returns (thank you generous 401k, no thank you company stock).
Here are the final numbers for the year:
53% is our 2015 Savings Rate. This could reach 60-70% in 2016 if we remain on this income/spend trajectory.
5.2% is the Return on Our Investments. Not bad for a mostly flat US market. The 401k is once again our best performing account and the international stocks & bonds diversification generated good returns. 2016 has the potential to see a large market correction and it January is any indication, it be a hectic year.
129k$ represents our portfolio increase, mostly from our contributions. We had a lot of one-off expenses this year that aren’t expected to reoccur in 2016 (unless we decide to buy another house) but we still made a huge progress. This could realistically grow to 150k$ in 2016.
2020 is the year I expect to reach the double comma club. It currently looks like it will take about 1600 days to get there, so I won’t have Mr1500 sue me for plagiarism.
2022 is the year we’ll be fully FI. It looked like a stretch goal in 2015 but after a year of blogging about it and tracking our finances closely, there’s a possibility for it to be brought forward a few years. That’d be very good news.
Oh, and if you were wondering what tacos are doing in the headline, I just love them. So much in fact that I have to confess something. We had a tacos stand ‘al pastor‘ at our wedding, outside, by the beach and it was amazing. They were so deliciously cooked, seasoned and unexpected, they made a killing. If you’re thinking of getting married this spring / summer outside, tacos make for a perfect mid-night snack.
This year I’d like to share more stories from the community. I’ll be looking for experiences and stories of milestones being reached, challenges being overcome and what we can learn from them. Hopefully they will resonate with you. There are so many talented people around us that we can learn from! Any story to suggest or topics to propose, let me know.
Again, thank you for reading. I appreciate all your thoughtful / brutal / kind / critical comments and looking forward to many more years of blogging. The adventure is only beginning.
We’re one year closer to Financial Independence!