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Tilting at Windmills

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I guess the start of the new year is as good a time as any to start a Journal. I'll start it with a short recap of last year and my goals for the upcoming year.

2018 Recap:

Income -  $136k
Expenses - $60k
Savings Rate - 56%
Net Worth Start - $405k
Net Worth End - $445k

Not at all happy on this one. 2017 spending was 50k and my goal was actually to get that closer to 40k so this year was a rather large increase when I was hoping to lower spending. Almost all of this 10k increase in spending was done after we decided to get divorced(unfortunate, but not too surprising). This is the downside of being financially tied to someone, if you agree on your goals it can really boost things. If you don't though it is going to be worse than it ever would be when you are in full control of your own finances. The year started strong and ended weak. Both due to deciding on the divorce and this removing any motivation my wife has to appease my spending wishes and the market downturn which took us down from almost 490k net worth to 445k at the end. A shame, but to stay positive it's still up 40k from the start of the year. However with the divorce this will soon be halved so about $222.5k will be mine after the divorce.

Lesson learned, be careful in your chosen partner as they can be a major support or can fight you on your goals. If the goals you don't align on aren't that important to you this might not be a problem, but if they are important to you this can be a major cause for friction.

Start - 230 Lbs
End - 195 Lbs
Loss - 35 Lbs

I hadn't set any health goals last year beyond a general east healthier and work out.. Similarly to the finances started the year great then took a dive near the end, but still ended up ahead of where I started. Got down to about 175 Lbs at the lightest and need to get back to that. Hopefully once the divorce is over and I have 100% control over what food is around me I'll have an easier time making good progress again plus no food based holidays for quite a while again. I thankfully have managed not to lose progress in my weight training in this same time so at least that part has continued to progress slowly.

Lesson learned here is actually quite similar to the Financial one. So the big lesson is get a partner that is supportive of your goals as dealing with a partner that doesn't care about you achieving your goals is going to undermine progress.

Goals 2019

I'm going to actually try setting some more defined goals this year.

Financial Goals:

Currently personal invested net worth is about $225.5k, given that I'm in the middle of a divorce this is only a rough estimation about how much I would have after the divorce is over so it's simply half of our combined net worth. Over 2019 I would like to invest an additional 50k to increase this to at least about 275k(depending on market performance of course) before the end of 2019.

Meanwhile I would like to take the divorce and 2019 to drastically reduce my expenses and use the saved money towards a 20% downpayment for a home closer to work. I would like to save 20k in cash for this purpose.

I'm looking to move closer to work and find a much smaller place to stay. Pretty much as small and cheap as I can get for the first year. This way I can save both on rent and on transit.

I also want to stop owning a car and switch to primarily using a bicycle to get to work and groceries. For longer trips that don't require any hauling I might hold on to my motorcycle and for any hauling(this will probably rarely happen) I'll see if anyone I know can help me out or just rent a truck or van from home depot/uhaul etc.

If I can manage these things I should achieve a savings rate of over 90% and would effectively be FI at that spending rate(though this wouldn't be a sustainable spending long term). Not planning on maintaining this high a savings rate/spending in perpetuity, but at least for the first year to save up some money quickly to solidify my housing situation. I'm not completely sure on what I want the housing situation to be, but I'll have a year to figure it out and having some cash for it will be good regardless on what I end up doing.

Health Goals:

Currently at just under 200 Lbs, I want to set my goal to get to 170 Lbs by the end of the year while still focusing on increasing muscle mass. This should be doable as I actually got quite close to it at my lowest(174 Lbs) this year, just need to make sure I get back on track. This would mean losing about 2-3 Lbs a month on average which is well within reasonable limits. I'm guessing just getting back on track after the holidays I will probably drop at least 5 Lbs including water weight in the first week after which it'll slow down significantly. Once I get to 170 things might get tougher to track as I'll be needing to focus more on composition rather than weight on the scale, so I'll have to figure that out when I get there.

Keep going to the gym 5 times a week at least.

Make sure to get at least 3 sessions in the sauna per week.

Other Goals:

Complete at least 1 video game per month.

Complete 1 Fiction book per month.

Complete 1 Non-Fiction book per month.

I'll also try to keep up monthly reports of progress towards these goals.

Sorry to hear about your divorce, but I understand the key importance of having a spouse/partner on the same page with goals (not just financial either).  Looks like you have a decent financial starting place with a good income and a solid plan for the first year after the divorce to re-solidify your FI plans.

I've never been good with health goals myself since my metabolism makes me look like I'm healthy, but as I quickly approach my 30s I'm starting to see my metabolism slow down.  I'll need to keep focused on my health in the near future.

I'll be following along on your journal and am excited to see your progress.

Thanks, yeah finances and health are just one of many things we aren't on the same page with and not that you have to be on the same page for everything. However the more major life decisions you differ on the worse it'll be for the chances of success in your marriage. I'm hoping by starting fresh with minimal expenses and taking some time to save and then build from there will allow me to get through this without too much risk.

As for the health aspect, I wasn't really focused on my health until my late twenties and would definitely recommend keeping up with it, even if you happen to be skinny eating healthy food and working out is going to make you feel better/more energetic and in the long run those benefits increase as you age.

Good points on the health.  I really need to look at it as an investment.  The good news I recently moved and thus I'm cycling to work everyday (even in 0 degree days) which should only help my health.  Like you said though, I already have seen an improvement in my energy levels and I think a big part of it is due to cycling into work each day.  Thanks for the encouragement.  I'm getting the kettle bells out tonight and will start using them more consistently as well.

Yeah, I noticed it a lot myself. When I was 230 Lbs, hadn't worked out in years and was eating like crap on evenings and the weekend all I had the energy to do was sit in front of the TV/play video games etc. Things that didn't require me moving much. Once I started working out 5 times a week I found that despite expending so much energy working out so much I had far more energy in the evenings and weekends. It's almost as if my body is asking to be used to do things. Plus as I get older I've been more attentive of older people and how they have aged with their lifestyles and it's noticeable between people who have taken care of their health and those who haven't. Moving closer to work and cycling to work should help me both financially and health wise.

Finally it can also be seen as a financial investment as being healthy and active reduces your odds of disease a lot. So I feel it's also an important part of FIRE.


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