Author Topic: Why will it take so long?  (Read 7101 times)

Laserjet3051

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Re: Why will it take so long?
« Reply #50 on: July 27, 2018, 10:51:59 AM »
Patience young Jedi. Focus on the moment in front of you.

Mgmny

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Re: Why will it take so long?
« Reply #51 on: July 27, 2018, 01:40:05 PM »
Can you drop Spotify and listen to music via Amazon Prime?

Is your grocery & restaurant spending based on both you and your wife working full time or what you project it will be once she's home? $850 per month is a huge amount to spend on food for just 2 people. I have one of the more ridiculous food budgets on MMM, and for my family of 2 adults, 1 17 year old male athlete (eats more than the 2 adults combined), 2 elementary kids, and however many teenagers happen to be in my house for lunch and/or dinner on a given day, we are around $1200/mo average. And, we could probably cut $400 of that easily if I would just reduce the eating out...it's a weakness for us with two full time jobs and running around to kid activities; it's my single biggest MMM failure, but we're re-prioritizing it, again. I know it's common to go out to eat when both people work, but if she's home with kids then she should be able to get your total food spending closer to $500/mo without a lot of effort. I recommend the @APowers sub $200/mo food budget for some ideas; it's really impressive.

I think building up your EF to have 6 months of expenses is reasonable if you're on one income. Once you hit that, just keep saving that same money into your stash. Every time you get a raise, put it to your stash. You won't miss it because you're already used to not spending it.

Spotify: Maybe! Never tried Amazon music - does it have all the same music podcasts, etc? I can definitely google this for myself. I could probably also charge my sister and mother in law for using 1/2 of our family account haha.  I could definitely give Amazon music a trial period considering I'm already paying for it...

grocery and restaurant spending is what we spend now, and i guess that includes our "entertainment" expenses too, like the theater, alcohol purchases (me, not her!!).

I'll check out the $200 grocery budget thread! thanks!

Mgmny

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Re: Why will it take so long?
« Reply #52 on: July 27, 2018, 01:44:25 PM »
Try to livo on your income only until the baby arrives snd see how it feels. What can you cut from your budget comfortably without feeling you are making a sacrifice?

 You definitely need to adjust your spending on food. Try to get into the habit of skipping restaurants and cooking at home. It takes s while until this new cooking at home/packing lunches habit establishes. And don't assume restaurant spending will go away after the bub arrives. If your default reaction to hunger is to eat out,  it will be hard to get cooking with a baby around.

The clothes spending will not get better, I am afraid. Pregnancy does weird things to the body, it is possible that your wife will be able to wear the same size as before baby but nothing will look the same, and she will need a different wardrobe. IT is not unusual for women to go through different sizes in the 2 years following childbirth, so prepare for the wardrobe expenses. Plus if she has a shopping habit, those tiny adorable baby clothes will cost a fortune. Not that you need all that stuff, but it will not be easy to refrain from buying it. Be prepared for it. I suggest she gets a minimalist capsule wardrobe for herself and the child, but obviously, this is the best case scenario. It is worth having a conversation about wardrobe planning and the budget.

We will work on cooking more!

and we have all the baby clothes already, but i think we probably still need to budget as some of the cute clothes might be "too irresistible"

Dicey

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Re: Why will it take so long?
« Reply #53 on: July 28, 2018, 11:00:27 AM »
How old is your mortgage?
What are the mortgage terms?

I see more options to increase your savings, but I didn't see these numbers.

SavinMaven

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Re: Why will it take so long?
« Reply #54 on: July 28, 2018, 02:11:21 PM »
Are your original calculations assuming that your wife will stop working when baby #1 is born, and then be a SAHP from then on? If so, in my opinion, this is a significant area where you can make changes without too much sacrifice... your mileage may vary, but once your youngest child is in school full-time, continuing to have a SAHP is a true luxury indeed! Granted it is not always easy to return to the workforce after 5-10 years away, but many women do it, and that could get you to FIRE more quickly, if time if the priority.

Anniemaygo

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Re: Why will it take so long?
« Reply #55 on: July 29, 2018, 07:34:54 AM »
Did you not have a 401k in your prior job?  What is the reason the full 18500 is going in starting in July

PizzaSteve

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Re: Why will it take so long?
« Reply #56 on: July 29, 2018, 08:49:32 AM »
I would say we need to flip this around and rather than being disappointed you cant stop working at 30 be amazed that we live during a time when we are so wealthy as a society that it is even possible to stop working in ones 30s and live off a passive income from efficient investments.

In many eras for political, safety, and food efficiency reasons, it was practically impossible to even imagine a life with the kind of luxuries we all enjoy for very little effort.  Technology and food growing efficiencies have indeed made our lives blessed.  I am glad your wife will be able to raise your new child while you provide and prepare for a fine future.

Agree that thinking of your team as 66% FIRED (spouse and child able to be mindfully experience life), while you proudly provide and invest wisely is the right perspective to have.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2018, 08:52:11 AM by PizzaSteve »

abhe8

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Re: Why will it take so long?
« Reply #57 on: July 29, 2018, 01:06:33 PM »
There are all sorts of less conventional ways to divide up the child care and income pieces. I (dw) work full time while my dh is home full time, homeschooling our children. We banked almost all of his income his last few years of work (and lived off it the first years while I was still in school), to boost our retirement savings. I paid for school in loans, but now have loan repayment as a huge perk of my very flexible full time job. As soon as the loans are gone in two years, I'll drop to part-time. For our family, that is the dream. We have five children and our spend is higher than most on here, but we consider it a joy and certainly a privilege to be above to give to charity and save for kids college and live on land deep in the woods. And with a sweet job i love with federal benefits, is not hard to imagine staying put part time for the long haul.

I know my situation is different than yours, but I share to say set your own goals and then find a way to realize them. The MMM stories are so encouraging to me because they constantly remind me we have real agency and can choose a path less taken.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Why will it take so long?
« Reply #58 on: July 29, 2018, 02:39:40 PM »
Try to livo on your income only until the baby arrives snd see how it feels. What can you cut from your budget comfortably without feeling you are making a sacrifice?

 You definitely need to adjust your spending on food. Try to get into the habit of skipping restaurants and cooking at home. It takes s while until this new cooking at home/packing lunches habit establishes. And don't assume restaurant spending will go away after the bub arrives. If your default reaction to hunger is to eat out,  it will be hard to get cooking with a baby around.

The clothes spending will not get better, I am afraid. Pregnancy does weird things to the body, it is possible that your wife will be able to wear the same size as before baby but nothing will look the same, and she will need a different wardrobe. IT is not unusual for women to go through different sizes in the 2 years following childbirth, so prepare for the wardrobe expenses. Plus if she has a shopping habit, those tiny adorable baby clothes will cost a fortune. Not that you need all that stuff, but it will not be easy to refrain from buying it. Be prepared for it. I suggest she gets a minimalist capsule wardrobe for herself and the child, but obviously, this is the best case scenario. It is worth having a conversation about wardrobe planning and the budget.

We will work on cooking more!

and we have all the baby clothes already, but i think we probably still need to budget as some of the cute clothes might be "too irresistible"

A good solution is not to look.
Baby clothes are adorable. I'm sometimes sad I never got to buy any. But why buy new when I had so many hand me downs that until 9 months she rarely even rewore things.

Dee18

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Re: Why will it take so long?
« Reply #59 on: July 29, 2018, 03:16:26 PM »
Check out the Frugalwoods blog for saving money on pregnancy and babies.

$350/month on Target and Amazon?  My friend calls Target "The Hundred Dollar Store."  Avoid it.

Mgmny

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Re: Why will it take so long?
« Reply #60 on: July 30, 2018, 08:13:52 AM »
How old is your mortgage?
What are the mortgage terms?

I see more options to increase your savings, but I didn't see these numbers.

Originated 11/2015.
Rate: 4.125%
Length: 30 Years
Original Loan: $209,237
Current: $167,000
PMI: $0

Mgmny

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Re: Why will it take so long?
« Reply #61 on: July 30, 2018, 08:14:46 AM »
Patience young Jedi. Focus on the moment in front of you.

Ehhhhhhhhh you're probably right, but I am a planner, and want everything to work out perfectly! But... build the life you want now, and enjoy it. I know, I know.

Mgmny

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Re: Why will it take so long?
« Reply #62 on: July 30, 2018, 08:16:46 AM »
Are your original calculations assuming that your wife will stop working when baby #1 is born, and then be a SAHP from then on? If so, in my opinion, this is a significant area where you can make changes without too much sacrifice... your mileage may vary, but once your youngest child is in school full-time, continuing to have a SAHP is a true luxury indeed! Granted it is not always easy to return to the workforce after 5-10 years away, but many women do it, and that could get you to FIRE more quickly, if time if the priority.

Yes, they are assuming that she quits working and our savings rate is ~$3000 monthly. She could go back to work after our first child is in school, except by then we will likely have at least 1 more child who WOULDN'T be in school, so this probably won't work out...haha.

Mgmny

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Re: Why will it take so long?
« Reply #63 on: July 30, 2018, 08:19:26 AM »
Did you not have a 401k in your prior job?  What is the reason the full 18500 is going in starting in July

So, I did, but they matched $0 (I was an hourly contractor). I frontloaded it with $14,500 by mid-May, but now my new job matches on CONTRIBUTIONS, so I get the most match if I hit $18,500 here. So, I will end up contributing $33k this year in 401k, then I am going to file for an "excess contribution" with my previous employer at year end, take the $14,500 back (and I will likely use it to superfund a 529 once my baby is born at the end of the year, but I don't need to necessarily do that).

Mgmny

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Re: Why will it take so long?
« Reply #64 on: July 30, 2018, 08:21:30 AM »
I would say we need to flip this around and rather than being disappointed you cant stop working at 30 be amazed that we live during a time when we are so wealthy as a society that it is even possible to stop working in ones 30s and live off a passive income from efficient investments.

In many eras for political, safety, and food efficiency reasons, it was practically impossible to even imagine a life with the kind of luxuries we all enjoy for very little effort.  Technology and food growing efficiencies have indeed made our lives blessed.  I am glad your wife will be able to raise your new child while you provide and prepare for a fine future.

Agree that thinking of your team as 66% FIRED (spouse and child able to be mindfully experience life), while you proudly provide and invest wisely is the right perspective to have.

GREAT mindset. I will absolutely approach it more like this! When my wife and I talked about it over the weekend, and I told her I was disappointed I couldn't retire until our child was ~13 years old, she had the same response you did: "WOW! That is amazing! Who get's to retire in their 40s let alone before their kids are even in high school!" So, I should just adjust my thinking on this more!

Mgmny

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Re: Why will it take so long?
« Reply #65 on: July 30, 2018, 08:22:46 AM »
There are all sorts of less conventional ways to divide up the child care and income pieces. I (dw) work full time while my dh is home full time, homeschooling our children. We banked almost all of his income his last few years of work (and lived off it the first years while I was still in school), to boost our retirement savings. I paid for school in loans, but now have loan repayment as a huge perk of my very flexible full time job. As soon as the loans are gone in two years, I'll drop to part-time. For our family, that is the dream. We have five children and our spend is higher than most on here, but we consider it a joy and certainly a privilege to be above to give to charity and save for kids college and live on land deep in the woods. And with a sweet job i love with federal benefits, is not hard to imagine staying put part time for the long haul.

I know my situation is different than yours, but I share to say set your own goals and then find a way to realize them. The MMM stories are so encouraging to me because they constantly remind me we have real agency and can choose a path less taken.

That's awesome! Thank you!

Mgmny

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Re: Why will it take so long?
« Reply #66 on: July 30, 2018, 08:24:24 AM »
Try to livo on your income only until the baby arrives snd see how it feels. What can you cut from your budget comfortably without feeling you are making a sacrifice?

 You definitely need to adjust your spending on food. Try to get into the habit of skipping restaurants and cooking at home. It takes s while until this new cooking at home/packing lunches habit establishes. And don't assume restaurant spending will go away after the bub arrives. If your default reaction to hunger is to eat out,  it will be hard to get cooking with a baby around.

The clothes spending will not get better, I am afraid. Pregnancy does weird things to the body, it is possible that your wife will be able to wear the same size as before baby but nothing will look the same, and she will need a different wardrobe. IT is not unusual for women to go through different sizes in the 2 years following childbirth, so prepare for the wardrobe expenses. Plus if she has a shopping habit, those tiny adorable baby clothes will cost a fortune. Not that you need all that stuff, but it will not be easy to refrain from buying it. Be prepared for it. I suggest she gets a minimalist capsule wardrobe for herself and the child, but obviously, this is the best case scenario. It is worth having a conversation about wardrobe planning and the budget.

We will work on cooking more!

and we have all the baby clothes already, but i think we probably still need to budget as some of the cute clothes might be "too irresistible"

A good solution is not to look.
Baby clothes are adorable. I'm sometimes sad I never got to buy any. But why buy new when I had so many hand me downs that until 9 months she rarely even rewore things.

Yeah, I'm thinking with all the clothes we got already, our baby will have a new outfit every single day. And for what?! He's not going on dates or work or probably even leaving the house that frequently!!! Just swaddle him up, and go!

Mgmny

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Re: Why will it take so long?
« Reply #67 on: July 30, 2018, 08:25:31 AM »
Can you drop Spotify and listen to music via Amazon Prime?

Spotify: Maybe! Never tried Amazon music - does it have all the same music podcasts, etc? I can definitely google this for myself. I could probably also charge my sister and mother in law for using 1/2 of our family account haha.  I could definitely give Amazon music a trial period considering I'm already paying for it...

So, I did look into this over the weekend, and I see that Amazon prime music isn't free - it still costs money? Am I missing something?

Mgmny

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Re: Why will it take so long?
« Reply #68 on: July 30, 2018, 08:27:21 AM »
Check out the Frugalwoods blog for saving money on pregnancy and babies.

$350/month on Target and Amazon?  My friend calls Target "The Hundred Dollar Store."  Avoid it.

I will check out that post on their blog, thanks!

Yeah, you are probably correct, but we still need things like laundry detergent, soap, cleaning supplies, hygiene products, OTC medicine, etc. def not $350 a month, but we still need to go SOMEWHERE for these things.

rockstache

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Re: Why will it take so long?
« Reply #69 on: July 30, 2018, 08:29:25 AM »
So, I'm older than you, but am also having my first child soon, and have decided to do things a little opposite.

I am planning to take my mat leave and then go back to work with the intention of leaving work when the kid gets to school age, rather than the other way around. I feel like school age is so much more hectic, and has weird hours, and kids need more help with their homework and navigating friend issues etc. I would prefer to be more involved with the day to day at the older ages, than when they are little and the needs are so basic.

This plan has the side bonus of my salary continuing to contribute to investments in the earlier years, so it can grow through the later years. This doesn't work as well if your wife's salary only just covers daycare, but that depends on the other benefits she receives too. Anyway YMMV and your wife may really want to be home with her tiny baby, I just wanted to throw out a different perspective.   

Mgmny

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Re: Why will it take so long?
« Reply #70 on: July 30, 2018, 08:34:51 AM »
So, I'm older than you, but am also having my first child soon, and have decided to do things a little opposite.

I am planning to take my mat leave and then go back to work with the intention of leaving work when the kid gets to school age, rather than the other way around. I feel like school age is so much more hectic, and has weird hours, and kids need more help with their homework and navigating friend issues etc. I would prefer to be more involved with the day to day at the older ages, than when they are little and the needs are so basic.

This plan has the side bonus of my salary continuing to contribute to investments in the earlier years, so it can grow through the later years. This doesn't work as well if your wife's salary only just covers daycare, but that depends on the other benefits she receives too. Anyway YMMV and your wife may really want to be home with her tiny baby, I just wanted to throw out a different perspective.   

That's a great thought - I will share it with my wife. As of now, we won't be paying for daycare during her "6-month trial period" as we have both of our moms able to help out for 3 days a week, and then she will "work" from home and not travel during the other 2 days a week, so it's a huge win-win from the $ department.

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Re: Why will it take so long?
« Reply #71 on: July 30, 2018, 09:34:38 AM »
Check out the Frugalwoods blog for saving money on pregnancy and babies.

$350/month on Target and Amazon?  My friend calls Target "The Hundred Dollar Store."  Avoid it.

I will check out that post on their blog, thanks!

Yeah, you are probably correct, but we still need things like laundry detergent, soap, cleaning supplies, hygiene products, OTC medicine, etc. def not $350 a month, but we still need to go SOMEWHERE for these things.

You might choose to go somewhere OTHER than Target or Amazon, if you can't resist other things from there.  We like Walmart for our "necessities" because I am rarely tempted to buy "stuff".

I'm a red panda

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Re: Why will it take so long?
« Reply #72 on: July 30, 2018, 09:35:50 AM »
So, I'm older than you, but am also having my first child soon, and have decided to do things a little opposite.

I am planning to take my mat leave and then go back to work with the intention of leaving work when the kid gets to school age, rather than the other way around. I feel like school age is so much more hectic, and has weird hours, and kids need more help with their homework and navigating friend issues etc. I would prefer to be more involved with the day to day at the older ages, than when they are little and the needs are so basic.

This plan has the side bonus of my salary continuing to contribute to investments in the earlier years, so it can grow through the later years. This doesn't work as well if your wife's salary only just covers daycare, but that depends on the other benefits she receives too. Anyway YMMV and your wife may really want to be home with her tiny baby, I just wanted to throw out a different perspective.   

I agree with you. My baby/toddler is currently thriving in daycare. In elementary school- she's going to notice a lot more how involved I am, and her life will be more hectic.  Right now I can't imagine finding time for homework, for instance. And I want to be able to help her with that, all the scheduling and activities,etc.

Mgmny

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Re: Why will it take so long?
« Reply #73 on: July 30, 2018, 09:37:50 AM »
Check out the Frugalwoods blog for saving money on pregnancy and babies.

$350/month on Target and Amazon?  My friend calls Target "The Hundred Dollar Store."  Avoid it.

I will check out that post on their blog, thanks!

Yeah, you are probably correct, but we still need things like laundry detergent, soap, cleaning supplies, hygiene products, OTC medicine, etc. def not $350 a month, but we still need to go SOMEWHERE for these things.

You might choose to go somewhere OTHER than Target or Amazon, if you can't resist other things from there.  We like Walmart for our "necessities" because I am rarely tempted to buy "stuff".

Ha! If I force my wife to go to the closest Walmart to our house for these necessities there is a 0% chance she will buy extra things. There is probably a higher chance that she will "forget" things just to get out of there. I think half of those "people of Walmart" photos were taken at this location.

Mgmny

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Re: Why will it take so long?
« Reply #74 on: July 30, 2018, 09:40:27 AM »
So, I'm older than you, but am also having my first child soon, and have decided to do things a little opposite.

I am planning to take my mat leave and then go back to work with the intention of leaving work when the kid gets to school age, rather than the other way around. I feel like school age is so much more hectic, and has weird hours, and kids need more help with their homework and navigating friend issues etc. I would prefer to be more involved with the day to day at the older ages, than when they are little and the needs are so basic.

This plan has the side bonus of my salary continuing to contribute to investments in the earlier years, so it can grow through the later years. This doesn't work as well if your wife's salary only just covers daycare, but that depends on the other benefits she receives too. Anyway YMMV and your wife may really want to be home with her tiny baby, I just wanted to throw out a different perspective.   

I agree with you. My baby/toddler is currently thriving in daycare. In elementary school- she's going to notice a lot more how involved I am, and her life will be more hectic.  Right now I can't imagine finding time for homework, for instance. And I want to be able to help her with that, all the scheduling and activities,etc.

So, this is probably all true from a rational/practical standpoint. But... (and i'm not a father yet, so i guess I don't really know) I feel like it would be MUCH easier to leave my 7 year old at a daycare than it would be to leave my 7 month old at a daycare. They are so fragile and tiny (not to mention cute) and helpless. I feel bad about leaving a baby at a daycare... How did you cope with that?

I'm a red panda

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Re: Why will it take so long?
« Reply #75 on: July 30, 2018, 10:11:13 AM »
So, I'm older than you, but am also having my first child soon, and have decided to do things a little opposite.

I am planning to take my mat leave and then go back to work with the intention of leaving work when the kid gets to school age, rather than the other way around. I feel like school age is so much more hectic, and has weird hours, and kids need more help with their homework and navigating friend issues etc. I would prefer to be more involved with the day to day at the older ages, than when they are little and the needs are so basic.

This plan has the side bonus of my salary continuing to contribute to investments in the earlier years, so it can grow through the later years. This doesn't work as well if your wife's salary only just covers daycare, but that depends on the other benefits she receives too. Anyway YMMV and your wife may really want to be home with her tiny baby, I just wanted to throw out a different perspective.   

I agree with you. My baby/toddler is currently thriving in daycare. In elementary school- she's going to notice a lot more how involved I am, and her life will be more hectic.  Right now I can't imagine finding time for homework, for instance. And I want to be able to help her with that, all the scheduling and activities,etc.

So, this is probably all true from a rational/practical standpoint. But... (and i'm not a father yet, so i guess I don't really know) I feel like it would be MUCH easier to leave my 7 year old at a daycare than it would be to leave my 7 month old at a daycare. They are so fragile and tiny (not to mention cute) and helpless. I feel bad about leaving a baby at a daycare... How did you cope with that?

I worked hard to find a daycare I was comfortable with. My 4-month baby (I went back to work after 16 weeks) was doted over. As she got older it was clear to me she loved her teachers. Now at 16 months she runs arms wide to hug her teacher each morning. (I get the same hug when I come pick her up...then she pushes me away and goes back to playing and screams when I try to make her leave the room.) She is thriving in daycare.  I know not every child does great with daycare; but I've had almost no concern with leaving her. She's doing great there.

My work offers 4 weeks of paid parental leave within the first year. I think next baby I will take the 6-8 weeks short term disability, return to work, then take the 4 weeks when she is a bit older. Babies are pretty boring, and super exhausting, when they are young. Maternity leave was HARD.   
« Last Edit: July 30, 2018, 10:40:40 AM by I'm a red panda »

rockstache

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Re: Why will it take so long?
« Reply #76 on: July 30, 2018, 10:35:25 AM »
So, I'm older than you, but am also having my first child soon, and have decided to do things a little opposite.

I am planning to take my mat leave and then go back to work with the intention of leaving work when the kid gets to school age, rather than the other way around. I feel like school age is so much more hectic, and has weird hours, and kids need more help with their homework and navigating friend issues etc. I would prefer to be more involved with the day to day at the older ages, than when they are little and the needs are so basic.

This plan has the side bonus of my salary continuing to contribute to investments in the earlier years, so it can grow through the later years. This doesn't work as well if your wife's salary only just covers daycare, but that depends on the other benefits she receives too. Anyway YMMV and your wife may really want to be home with her tiny baby, I just wanted to throw out a different perspective.   

I agree with you. My baby/toddler is currently thriving in daycare. In elementary school- she's going to notice a lot more how involved I am, and her life will be more hectic.  Right now I can't imagine finding time for homework, for instance. And I want to be able to help her with that, all the scheduling and activities,etc.

So, this is probably all true from a rational/practical standpoint. But... (and i'm not a father yet, so i guess I don't really know) I feel like it would be MUCH easier to leave my 7 year old at a daycare than it would be to leave my 7 month old at a daycare. They are so fragile and tiny (not to mention cute) and helpless. I feel bad about leaving a baby at a daycare... How did you cope with that?

Babies are exhausting. Like deep in the bones, never let up exhausting. If I was taking care of my baby 24/7, I really do feel like I would not be the best parent I could be otherwise. If I thought that I would be in top form all the time, then that would be one thing. Knowing that I won't be at my best for my baby if I am doing all the care, makes it a much easier choice for me. My kid will actually be better off with a team of people looking after their daytime needs, giving them stimulation and helping them learn.   

ysette9

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Re: Why will it take so long?
« Reply #77 on: July 30, 2018, 10:45:51 AM »
Hell yeah. Another vote from me on the teaming arrangement to care for littles. Babies are indescribably exhausting. Being on duty all day and all night with no break is a recipe for frazzled nerves and mental break downs. The time I have with my kiddos is much higher quality when I have breaks for me/adult time for my own recharging. I suspect childcare workers are better at caring for kids during the day because they know they can leave them all at the end of the day and go home to a quiet house.

Again, some people are naturally gifted with littles; my daycare provider is one of those people. You or your wife may turn out to be one of those people as well. Time will tell.
It sounds like you have a good plan overall. I wish you the best.

mtnman125

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Re: Why will it take so long?
« Reply #78 on: July 30, 2018, 04:26:33 PM »


then she will "work" from home and not travel during the other 2 days a week, so it's a huge win-win from the $ department.

I'm not sure what your wife does for a living, but I'm not sure this is as easy as you write it.  I think I have a really flexible job (sales) for paperwork, phone calls, etc- but feel like I get NOTHING done on days I'm home with a sick kiddo "working from home".  Definitely something I, or my bosses could not tolerate on a weekly basis

FireHiker

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Re: Why will it take so long?
« Reply #79 on: July 30, 2018, 04:33:11 PM »
Spotify: Maybe! Never tried Amazon music - does it have all the same music podcasts, etc? I can definitely google this for myself. I could probably also charge my sister and mother in law for using 1/2 of our family account haha.  I could definitely give Amazon music a trial period considering I'm already paying for it...

So, I did look into this over the weekend, and I see that Amazon prime music isn't free - it still costs money? Am I missing something?

Just seeing this again. I have no idea about music podcasts. Amazon prime music has a couple different levels. There is a free level which only one person can use at a time; it doesn't have as big of a library as the pay option, but it had plenty for me. Right now we're doing the prime music family 30 day free trial which is good for up to 6 people using it at the same time. I don't know how it compares in price to whatever Spotify has for multiple listeners per account, but if only one person is using it at a time, the free level of prime music may be sufficient for your needs. I used it for ages, then my husband decided he wanted to be able to listen to music all day at work too, and my teenager had a Spotify account, so we're trying the family prime right now. It may not work for your specific wishes, but it's worth checking anyway!

cats

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Re: Why will it take so long?
« Reply #80 on: July 30, 2018, 05:01:03 PM »
So, I'm older than you, but am also having my first child soon, and have decided to do things a little opposite.

I am planning to take my mat leave and then go back to work with the intention of leaving work when the kid gets to school age, rather than the other way around. I feel like school age is so much more hectic, and has weird hours, and kids need more help with their homework and navigating friend issues etc. I would prefer to be more involved with the day to day at the older ages, than when they are little and the needs are so basic.

This plan has the side bonus of my salary continuing to contribute to investments in the earlier years, so it can grow through the later years. This doesn't work as well if your wife's salary only just covers daycare, but that depends on the other benefits she receives too. Anyway YMMV and your wife may really want to be home with her tiny baby, I just wanted to throw out a different perspective.   

I agree with you. My baby/toddler is currently thriving in daycare. In elementary school- she's going to notice a lot more how involved I am, and her life will be more hectic.  Right now I can't imagine finding time for homework, for instance. And I want to be able to help her with that, all the scheduling and activities,etc.

So, this is probably all true from a rational/practical standpoint. But... (and i'm not a father yet, so i guess I don't really know) I feel like it would be MUCH easier to leave my 7 year old at a daycare than it would be to leave my 7 month old at a daycare. They are so fragile and tiny (not to mention cute) and helpless. I feel bad about leaving a baby at a daycare... How did you cope with that?

Our plan is similar to rockstache's, continue working through the early years and then FIRE later when they need us specifically to be more involved.

I worried a lot about leaving my son in daycare but when it came down to it, it was really easy and I think has had no negative (maybe even some positive) impact on him.  We found a great place with a low adult:child ratio and well educated staff.  In his first year especially, they were actually a great resource for picking up ideas about activities, feeding, etc. and for helping to get him on a regular nap schedule (total godsend for us on the weekends!).  It's convenient to my office so I can drop in to visit with him at lunchtime. 

As to your original question, how long have you been aiming at FIRE?  Sounds like you are ~27, so perhaps 5 years? and now you may have as many as 13 years more work if it is just you?  That's still less than 20 years of FT work, which is what...half the average career length?  I do think your spending could be trimmed a bit--if you cut out mortgage principle and roth ira contributions, your monthly expenses are still higher than what my husband and I pay for everything except daycare, and we live in one of the most expensive parts of the US.  I suspect if you look closer at the folks retiring in their early 30s you will see much lower spending levels than what you report and probably similar (or higher) levels of income.  FI at a very young age *does* require either very high levels of frugality or a much higher than average income....while $90k is a much higher than average income compared to the general US population, I am guessing if you look at the case studies on this board from people who have a serious shot at FIREing before age 35, you'll find many of them make that much or more.

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: Why will it take so long?
« Reply #81 on: July 30, 2018, 08:54:33 PM »
So, I'm older than you, but am also having my first child soon, and have decided to do things a little opposite.

I am planning to take my mat leave and then go back to work with the intention of leaving work when the kid gets to school age, rather than the other way around. I feel like school age is so much more hectic, and has weird hours, and kids need more help with their homework and navigating friend issues etc. I would prefer to be more involved with the day to day at the older ages, than when they are little and the needs are so basic.

This plan has the side bonus of my salary continuing to contribute to investments in the earlier years, so it can grow through the later years. This doesn't work as well if your wife's salary only just covers daycare, but that depends on the other benefits she receives too. Anyway YMMV and your wife may really want to be home with her tiny baby, I just wanted to throw out a different perspective.   

Pretty much this. Our kids are 11 & 12, and I've worked full time. Now that they are both starting middle school, I'm more tempted than ever to have a flexible schedule. As rockstache points out, I think our kids need our guidance & input now more than ever. I'm planning to go part time in the next few months.

Mgmny

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Re: Why will it take so long?
« Reply #82 on: July 31, 2018, 07:13:11 AM »
So, I'm older than you, but am also having my first child soon, and have decided to do things a little opposite.

I am planning to take my mat leave and then go back to work with the intention of leaving work when the kid gets to school age, rather than the other way around. I feel like school age is so much more hectic, and has weird hours, and kids need more help with their homework and navigating friend issues etc. I would prefer to be more involved with the day to day at the older ages, than when they are little and the needs are so basic.

This plan has the side bonus of my salary continuing to contribute to investments in the earlier years, so it can grow through the later years. This doesn't work as well if your wife's salary only just covers daycare, but that depends on the other benefits she receives too. Anyway YMMV and your wife may really want to be home with her tiny baby, I just wanted to throw out a different perspective.   

I agree with you. My baby/toddler is currently thriving in daycare. In elementary school- she's going to notice a lot more how involved I am, and her life will be more hectic.  Right now I can't imagine finding time for homework, for instance. And I want to be able to help her with that, all the scheduling and activities,etc.

So, this is probably all true from a rational/practical standpoint. But... (and i'm not a father yet, so i guess I don't really know) I feel like it would be MUCH easier to leave my 7 year old at a daycare than it would be to leave my 7 month old at a daycare. They are so fragile and tiny (not to mention cute) and helpless. I feel bad about leaving a baby at a daycare... How did you cope with that?

I worked hard to find a daycare I was comfortable with. My 4-month baby (I went back to work after 16 weeks) was doted over. As she got older it was clear to me she loved her teachers. Now at 16 months she runs arms wide to hug her teacher each morning. (I get the same hug when I come pick her up...then she pushes me away and goes back to playing and screams when I try to make her leave the room.) She is thriving in daycare.  I know not every child does great with daycare; but I've had almost no concern with leaving her. She's doing great there.

My work offers 4 weeks of paid parental leave within the first year. I think next baby I will take the 6-8 weeks short term disability, return to work, then take the 4 weeks when she is a bit older. Babies are pretty boring, and super exhausting, when they are young. Maternity leave was HARD.

This is great! I'm so happy this is working out!! I'm sure it all depends who you have providing care.

Dicey

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Re: Why will it take so long?
« Reply #83 on: July 31, 2018, 07:15:06 AM »
How old is your mortgage?
What are the mortgage terms?

I see more options to increase your savings, but I didn't see these numbers.

Originated 11/2015.
Rate: 4.125%
Length: 30 Years
Original Loan: $209,237
Current: $167,000
PMI: $0
This is counter intuitive, but I'd advise NOT to prepay your mortgage. Take any prepayment $$$ and add it to your investment accounts instead. You will be amazed at how much faster it grows that way. And believe me, the bigger your 'stache gets, the better you'll sleep. Meanwhile, inflation will be whittling away the true cost of your mortgage and it will be comparatively cheaper and cheaper while your money grows and stays in your control.

Feel free to hang out over here, where all questions are helpfully answered:

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/throw-down-the-gauntlet/dont-payoff-your-mortgage-club/

Mgmny

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Re: Why will it take so long?
« Reply #84 on: July 31, 2018, 07:18:11 AM »


then she will "work" from home and not travel during the other 2 days a week, so it's a huge win-win from the $ department.

I'm not sure what your wife does for a living, but I'm not sure this is as easy as you write it.  I think I have a really flexible job (sales) for paperwork, phone calls, etc- but feel like I get NOTHING done on days I'm home with a sick kiddo "working from home".  Definitely something I, or my bosses could not tolerate on a weekly basis

Yeah, that's why i put work in quotes. I'm not convinced it going to be as easy as she think it will be. She is also in sales, and she has the added benefit that her father is her boss's boss (he's director level, she is territory). I think that is probably the only way she will get away with this. If it becomes an issue, she will either need to quit or try to work out a "part time" type of situation. Basically though, she can handle all of her travel and in person visits during the first 3 days of the week, and just respond to emails and answer phones the last two days of the week. Her job right now is super flexible. There are days where she "works from home" which really means sitting on the couch watching netflix while answering emails and pausing the show whenever a customer calls her.

I understand the desire to be a SAHM, but she has a SUPER sweet gig, and she (read: we) get a brand new SUV every 3 years that is totally paid for, including gas. I think if we can make this work, it would be super helpful.

Cranky

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Re: Why will it take so long?
« Reply #85 on: July 31, 2018, 07:31:35 AM »
Check out the Frugalwoods blog for saving money on pregnancy and babies.

$350/month on Target and Amazon?  My friend calls Target "The Hundred Dollar Store."  Avoid it.

I will check out that post on their blog, thanks!

Yeah, you are probably correct, but we still need things like laundry detergent, soap, cleaning supplies, hygiene products, OTC medicine, etc. def not $350 a month, but we still need to go SOMEWHERE for these things.

They sell all those things at the grocery store - add another $35/month to the grocery budget and you're set.

Mgmny

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Re: Why will it take so long?
« Reply #86 on: July 31, 2018, 07:32:33 AM »
How old is your mortgage?
What are the mortgage terms?

I see more options to increase your savings, but I didn't see these numbers.

Originated 11/2015.
Rate: 4.125%
Length: 30 Years
Original Loan: $209,237
Current: $167,000
PMI: $0
This is counter intuitive, but I'd advise NOT to prepay your mortgage. Take any prepayment $$$ and add it to your investment accounts instead. You will be amazed at how much faster it grows that way. And believe me, the bigger your 'stache gets, the better you'll sleep. Meanwhile, inflation will be whittling away the true cost of your mortgage and it will be comparatively cheaper and cheaper while your money grows and stays in your control.

Feel free to hang out over here, where all questions are helpfully answered:

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/throw-down-the-gauntlet/dont-payoff-your-mortgage-club/

Yeah, that makes sense, and I know it's the "anti-Dave Ramsey" approach. You get to itemize your interest plus I will presumably make more in a taxable account than the 4.125% i'm losing on my mortgage.

Two thoughts:

1. I wanted to get below the 80% LTV ratio so that I didn't throw away $77 per month on PMI (huge shoutout to getting mortgage through credit union instead of bank for lower PMI costs! Friends with similar loans are paying over $100 a month!)

2. This is more psychological than anything: We are likely moving to a larger, more expensive house in 2021ish (as our family grows), and I have a weird psychological barrier taking money from taxable accounts to use towards a down payment. At this point, we have about $100k equity in our home so it probably doesn't matter AS MUCH, but if we buy a house for $400k, we want to have at least $100k down to avoid PMI and better rates, etc. It's easy in my mind to just use the existing equity in my home as the down payment, and less easy to take money out of the market to pay for a down payment. I think of my home equity as my "future house fund" and anything in the market as a "FIRE" fund. Totally mental, I know.

Mgmny

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Re: Why will it take so long?
« Reply #87 on: July 31, 2018, 07:33:35 AM »
Spotify: Maybe! Never tried Amazon music - does it have all the same music podcasts, etc? I can definitely google this for myself. I could probably also charge my sister and mother in law for using 1/2 of our family account haha.  I could definitely give Amazon music a trial period considering I'm already paying for it...

So, I did look into this over the weekend, and I see that Amazon prime music isn't free - it still costs money? Am I missing something?

Just seeing this again. I have no idea about music podcasts. Amazon prime music has a couple different levels. There is a free level which only one person can use at a time; it doesn't have as big of a library as the pay option, but it had plenty for me. Right now we're doing the prime music family 30 day free trial which is good for up to 6 people using it at the same time. I don't know how it compares in price to whatever Spotify has for multiple listeners per account, but if only one person is using it at a time, the free level of prime music may be sufficient for your needs. I used it for ages, then my husband decided he wanted to be able to listen to music all day at work too, and my teenager had a Spotify account, so we're trying the family prime right now. It may not work for your specific wishes, but it's worth checking anyway!

I will do a bit more digging, thanks!

Mgmny

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Re: Why will it take so long?
« Reply #88 on: July 31, 2018, 07:42:40 AM »
So, I'm older than you, but am also having my first child soon, and have decided to do things a little opposite.

I am planning to take my mat leave and then go back to work with the intention of leaving work when the kid gets to school age, rather than the other way around. I feel like school age is so much more hectic, and has weird hours, and kids need more help with their homework and navigating friend issues etc. I would prefer to be more involved with the day to day at the older ages, than when they are little and the needs are so basic.

This plan has the side bonus of my salary continuing to contribute to investments in the earlier years, so it can grow through the later years. This doesn't work as well if your wife's salary only just covers daycare, but that depends on the other benefits she receives too. Anyway YMMV and your wife may really want to be home with her tiny baby, I just wanted to throw out a different perspective.   

I agree with you. My baby/toddler is currently thriving in daycare. In elementary school- she's going to notice a lot more how involved I am, and her life will be more hectic.  Right now I can't imagine finding time for homework, for instance. And I want to be able to help her with that, all the scheduling and activities,etc.

So, this is probably all true from a rational/practical standpoint. But... (and i'm not a father yet, so i guess I don't really know) I feel like it would be MUCH easier to leave my 7 year old at a daycare than it would be to leave my 7 month old at a daycare. They are so fragile and tiny (not to mention cute) and helpless. I feel bad about leaving a baby at a daycare... How did you cope with that?

Our plan is similar to rockstache's, continue working through the early years and then FIRE later when they need us specifically to be more involved.

I worried a lot about leaving my son in daycare but when it came down to it, it was really easy and I think has had no negative (maybe even some positive) impact on him.  We found a great place with a low adult:child ratio and well educated staff.  In his first year especially, they were actually a great resource for picking up ideas about activities, feeding, etc. and for helping to get him on a regular nap schedule (total godsend for us on the weekends!).  It's convenient to my office so I can drop in to visit with him at lunchtime. 

Interesting! We'll probably need to find a good care provider if she decides that SAHM-ing isn't for her. Is yours in-home, at a center, or something else?

As to your original question, how long have you been aiming at FIRE?  Sounds like you are ~27, so perhaps 5 years? and now you may have as many as 13 years more work if it is just you?  That's still less than 20 years of FT work, which is what...half the average career length?  I do think your spending could be trimmed a bit--if you cut out mortgage principle and roth ira contributions, your monthly expenses are still higher than what my husband and I pay for everything except daycare, and we live in one of the most expensive parts of the US.  I suspect if you look closer at the folks retiring in their early 30s you will see much lower spending levels than what you report and probably similar (or higher) levels of income.  FI at a very young age *does* require either very high levels of frugality or a much higher than average income....while $90k is a much higher than average income compared to the general US population, I am guessing if you look at the case studies on this board from people who have a serious shot at FIREing before age 35, you'll find many of them make that much or more.

Aiming at FIRE seriously probably since late 2015, so I haven't even been at this for 3 years yet. I got my first full-time job in 2013. So yeah, it if is 13 years from now, it would be a total working life of 18 years, which you are correct, is less than half of normal people. Based on this thread, i definitely have some work to do to trim the fat from my budget. If I do everything correctly, it looks like I may be able to shave off ~3 years.

Mgmny

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Re: Why will it take so long?
« Reply #89 on: July 31, 2018, 07:45:45 AM »
So, I'm older than you, but am also having my first child soon, and have decided to do things a little opposite.

I am planning to take my mat leave and then go back to work with the intention of leaving work when the kid gets to school age, rather than the other way around. I feel like school age is so much more hectic, and has weird hours, and kids need more help with their homework and navigating friend issues etc. I would prefer to be more involved with the day to day at the older ages, than when they are little and the needs are so basic.

This plan has the side bonus of my salary continuing to contribute to investments in the earlier years, so it can grow through the later years. This doesn't work as well if your wife's salary only just covers daycare, but that depends on the other benefits she receives too. Anyway YMMV and your wife may really want to be home with her tiny baby, I just wanted to throw out a different perspective.   

Pretty much this. Our kids are 11 & 12, and I've worked full time. Now that they are both starting middle school, I'm more tempted than ever to have a flexible schedule. As rockstache points out, I think our kids need our guidance & input now more than ever. I'm planning to go part time in the next few months.

This is good input, thank you!

I ran the numbers yesterday, and it looks like if my wife and I trim the fat from our budget and we both work, we can both retire in 8-9 years WHICH IS AWESOME! But, I don't know if my wife will go for that. Due to the power of compound interest, even if she can work for another 2-3 years it would really spring us forward.

Mgmny

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Re: Why will it take so long?
« Reply #90 on: July 31, 2018, 07:48:50 AM »
Check out the Frugalwoods blog for saving money on pregnancy and babies.

$350/month on Target and Amazon?  My friend calls Target "The Hundred Dollar Store."  Avoid it.

I will check out that post on their blog, thanks!

Yeah, you are probably correct, but we still need things like laundry detergent, soap, cleaning supplies, hygiene products, OTC medicine, etc. def not $350 a month, but we still need to go SOMEWHERE for these things.

They sell all those things at the grocery store - add another $35/month to the grocery budget and you're set.

I mean... you're right. But we shop at Aldi for 99.9% of our groceries, and (I'm going to sound persnickety) their soaps and body products and medicines maybe aren't rated super well - or they seem overpriced?

If Tide is on sale at Target, you can usually get it for a lower price than when Aldi carries Tide. However, that means you have to set foot in Target.

I suppose the best answer to this is: If I refuse to buy these products at Aldi, then instead of going to Target, I ought to go to a supermarket instead for these items.

SimpleCycle

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Re: Why will it take so long?
« Reply #91 on: July 31, 2018, 09:34:18 AM »
Target lets you do a "subscribe and save" for a lot of those types of products.  We use it for our kitty litter, cat food, soap, deodorant, etc.

Mgmny

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Re: Why will it take so long?
« Reply #92 on: July 31, 2018, 09:54:36 AM »
Target lets you do a "subscribe and save" for a lot of those types of products.  We use it for our kitty litter, cat food, soap, deodorant, etc.

Then it gets shipped to you akin to amazon?

SimpleCycle

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Re: Why will it take so long?
« Reply #93 on: July 31, 2018, 10:01:27 AM »
Target lets you do a "subscribe and save" for a lot of those types of products.  We use it for our kitty litter, cat food, soap, deodorant, etc.

Then it gets shipped to you akin to amazon?

Yep!  The total has to be at least $25 for some of the items to ship, but we manage that with the cat stuff.

cats

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Re: Why will it take so long?
« Reply #94 on: July 31, 2018, 10:28:32 AM »

Our plan is similar to rockstache's, continue working through the early years and then FIRE later when they need us specifically to be more involved.

I worried a lot about leaving my son in daycare but when it came down to it, it was really easy and I think has had no negative (maybe even some positive) impact on him.  We found a great place with a low adult:child ratio and well educated staff.  In his first year especially, they were actually a great resource for picking up ideas about activities, feeding, etc. and for helping to get him on a regular nap schedule (total godsend for us on the weekends!).  It's convenient to my office so I can drop in to visit with him at lunchtime. 

Interesting! We'll probably need to find a good care provider if she decides that SAHM-ing isn't for her. Is yours in-home, at a center, or something else?
 

We're at a large center (about 75 kids total, but divided up by age, kind of like a little "school").  I have other friends who have been really happy with in-home care also.  I would say they both have pros and cons.  An in-home place is going to have zero turnover and your kid will likely be with the same 1-2 people the entire time they are there, whereas with a center they'll likely be moving into a new room each year and there will also be some staff turnover.  But a center will also likely have fewer closures, better hours, and also guarantee the staff get regular breaks from the kids, which I think is SUPER important now that I have a kid myself.  Our center also has more space than would likely be at an in-home option but this could vary a lot with location.


Aiming at FIRE seriously probably since late 2015, so I haven't even been at this for 3 years yet. I got my first full-time job in 2013. So yeah, it if is 13 years from now, it would be a total working life of 18 years, which you are correct, is less than half of normal people. Based on this thread, i definitely have some work to do to trim the fat from my budget. If I do everything correctly, it looks like I may be able to shave off ~3 years.

Definitely chip away at your budget, you might be surprised at what you can cut without even noticing it.  I know when we first started talking about FIRE I was thinking it would be ambitious for us to both be able to quit by age 40, now we're looking at being able to do it by age 37 if we want, with quite a bit of safety factor built in.

Mgmny

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Re: Why will it take so long?
« Reply #95 on: August 01, 2018, 09:25:42 AM »
Target lets you do a "subscribe and save" for a lot of those types of products.  We use it for our kitty litter, cat food, soap, deodorant, etc.

Then it gets shipped to you akin to amazon?

Yep!  The total has to be at least $25 for some of the items to ship, but we manage that with the cat stuff.

Cool, thanks I'll look into this!

Mgmny

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Re: Why will it take so long?
« Reply #96 on: August 01, 2018, 09:26:31 AM »

Our plan is similar to rockstache's, continue working through the early years and then FIRE later when they need us specifically to be more involved.

I worried a lot about leaving my son in daycare but when it came down to it, it was really easy and I think has had no negative (maybe even some positive) impact on him.  We found a great place with a low adult:child ratio and well educated staff.  In his first year especially, they were actually a great resource for picking up ideas about activities, feeding, etc. and for helping to get him on a regular nap schedule (total godsend for us on the weekends!).  It's convenient to my office so I can drop in to visit with him at lunchtime. 

Interesting! We'll probably need to find a good care provider if she decides that SAHM-ing isn't for her. Is yours in-home, at a center, or something else?
 

We're at a large center (about 75 kids total, but divided up by age, kind of like a little "school").  I have other friends who have been really happy with in-home care also.  I would say they both have pros and cons.  An in-home place is going to have zero turnover and your kid will likely be with the same 1-2 people the entire time they are there, whereas with a center they'll likely be moving into a new room each year and there will also be some staff turnover.  But a center will also likely have fewer closures, better hours, and also guarantee the staff get regular breaks from the kids, which I think is SUPER important now that I have a kid myself.  Our center also has more space than would likely be at an in-home option but this could vary a lot with location.


Aiming at FIRE seriously probably since late 2015, so I haven't even been at this for 3 years yet. I got my first full-time job in 2013. So yeah, it if is 13 years from now, it would be a total working life of 18 years, which you are correct, is less than half of normal people. Based on this thread, i definitely have some work to do to trim the fat from my budget. If I do everything correctly, it looks like I may be able to shave off ~3 years.

Definitely chip away at your budget, you might be surprised at what you can cut without even noticing it.  I know when we first started talking about FIRE I was thinking it would be ambitious for us to both be able to quit by age 40, now we're looking at being able to do it by age 37 if we want, with quite a bit of safety factor built in.

That's awesome that you chipped away 3 years! Hopefully I can say a similar thing in 10 years!!

megge6537

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Re: Why will it take so long?
« Reply #97 on: August 02, 2018, 10:51:08 AM »
Target lets you do a "subscribe and save" for a lot of those types of products.  We use it for our kitty litter, cat food, soap, deodorant, etc.

Then it gets shipped to you akin to amazon?

Yep!  The total has to be at least $25 for some of the items to ship, but we manage that with the cat stuff.

Cool, thanks I'll look into this!

In addition to Target, Walmart also has a similar offering.
Most items are 2 day free shipping with a $35 purchase, no membership required.

I cut off the Amazon prime membership and have been doing Walmart instead. Walmart's prices are usually better than the other stores we frequent, but I dislike going to the store.
Buy making the purchases through the app, it removes the temptation of random unplanned purchases being added to the cart (and takes away the hassle of spending time running errands).

There is probably also a subscription option, but I prefer to just buy when needed vs having items on auto-ship whether I need or not.
Its not hard to hit the $35 by keeping a list of items that will be needed in the future, and add just enough of them to cross the threshhold (ie another pack of TP or cat litter)

kpd905

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Re: Why will it take so long?
« Reply #98 on: August 02, 2018, 08:30:49 PM »
OP, you could look into bank bonuses as a side hustle.  In two player mode you could make $4-5,000 a year.  As long as you stay organized, it pays $100+ an hour.

Doctorofcredit.com is probably the best resource out there for finding the bonuses in your state.

Cranky

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Re: Why will it take so long?
« Reply #99 on: August 05, 2018, 05:03:11 AM »
Check out the Frugalwoods blog for saving money on pregnancy and babies.

$350/month on Target and Amazon?  My friend calls Target "The Hundred Dollar Store."  Avoid it.

I will check out that post on their blog, thanks!

Yeah, you are probably correct, but we still need things like laundry detergent, soap, cleaning supplies, hygiene products, OTC medicine, etc. def not $350 a month, but we still need to go SOMEWHERE for these things.

They sell all those things at the grocery store - add another $35/month to the grocery budget and you're set.

I mean... you're right. But we shop at Aldi for 99.9% of our groceries, and (I'm going to sound persnickety) their soaps and body products and medicines maybe aren't rated super well - or they seem overpriced?

If Tide is on sale at Target, you can usually get it for a lower price than when Aldi carries Tide. However, that means you have to set foot in Target.

I suppose the best answer to this is: If I refuse to buy these products at Aldi, then instead of going to Target, I ought to go to a supermarket instead for these items.

Aldi's soaps and body products are fine! I actually buy shampoo at CVS where they are on special pretty much every week in some kind of a deal, but I buy hand soap and face cream and anything else at Aldi. I don't often use Tide, as it's a very expensive though excellent detergent, but the Aldi brand detergent is fine.

I buy a few things like dishwasher detergent from Amazon.

I don't think Target's prices on that stuff is terrible, but it's not worth a special trip since so much other stuff jumps into your cart.