Author Topic: That Snowball Sensation (Or, Fumbling Towards Badassity)  (Read 2280 times)

zephyr911

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That Snowball Sensation (Or, Fumbling Towards Badassity)
« on: June 11, 2015, 10:43:30 AM »
tl;dr: baby Mustachian struggles through critical year, finally hits stride

A little over a year ago, while searching for a larger perspective on life, the universe, FI, and everything else, I found MMM. I was a year into my third marriage, she had just found solid full-time work, and our NW was maybe 140K. I had some good ideas already and had been steadily investing for years, but (despite my more financially conservative wife helping to reduce my moderately bad spending habits) had made nowhere near the progress I'd have liked. MMM set me on fire - a lot of things clicked immediately, and our progress increased. But the challenges increased too. Working harder toward FI strained our marriage. My apparent vacillation on the spending issue confused my wife and made me seem hypocritical at times. The great idea of downsizing our house and renting the old one out was well-received because she loved the new place we chose, but it was still a huge effort, with me juggling full-time work and 2-3 side gigs, and the old place sat for 6 months without a tenant as we tried to self-manage, gave up for lack of time, hired it out, and then watched the company close months later with that house still vacant. Meanwhile, another rental went through a lean quarter as a tenant lost her job and abandoned her part of the house still full of junk, slowing the replacement process. I missed nearly $10K in projected rents through the spring and a chunk of my side work was postponed till summer, forcing me to choose between short-term debt and a slower investment pace - ultimately I did some of each, trying to maintain the right balance. I generally kept savings near $3K/mo but couldn't escape the cash crunch - I actually lost sleep more than once over small misses. I never doubted our progress toward the ultimate goal, but it was incredibly frustrating to have to break stride from a sprint to a limping jog.

Well, we're finally coming out on the far side of those challenges. I more or less simultaneously filled both rentals, refinanced one for a nice APR reduction, and hit my high earning season with my primary side job. The projections are finally turning green again, NW is crossing $250K, and the challenge has shifted from "how will we hit our investment targets" to "how the F do I allocate all this cash?" Five years after my last layoff, it feels like someone just hit the rocket boosters on the sled to FI. I pushed my TSP to $700 biweekly, ran the numbers through 2015, and am still looking at enough leftovers to really make a difference - once I can figure out the sequencing. I guess it's just a matter of time and math, which will help me avoid boredom in meetings.

By spring, we should be well past $300k NW with assets near a million, mortgage-only debt, no utility bills, rental #6 in the bag, and passive income approaching the level of my full-time job, as we watch the Stash begin to sprout into a no-shit Fu Manchu. Feelsgoodman....

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Re: That Snowball Sensation (Or, Fumbling Towards Badassity)
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2015, 10:56:53 AM »
Glad to hear you filled those vacancy spots!  That is a long time to go without a tenant.

Sounds like youre really on that push forward now.  Keep the momentum going!!  Im on a little forward momentum swing right now also.  Im saving hard core right now to purchase another rental. 

Cougar

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Re: That Snowball Sensation (Or, Fumbling Towards Badassity)
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2015, 12:03:32 PM »

 There's always going to be setbacks, but keep on the path and you'll be amazed how fast you recover and take the next step.

 For instance, I will bet everything I own that there will be a market sell off of at least 25% by 1/1/2018 and there's a lot of mmm'ers that are going to have to deal with that setback; but I bet they're on track again within 2 years if they keep plugging along and amassing big savings monthly.

zephyr911

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Re: That Snowball Sensation (Or, Fumbling Towards Badassity)
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2015, 02:59:09 PM »
For real.
I know this isn't about any specific badass action... but this year was such a resounding reminder of the value of persistence and determination that I felt like crowing a bit. Sometimes the most badass thing you can do is just not giving up. And it took me a long time to learn that. I've mucked around and fallen down a whole lot, and I was broke and near-hopeless the day I turned 31 (the clear low point so far) but my upcoming 37th might be the Best Day Ever. And the only difference is that I gradually developed the will to work my ass off for the things I really want. Whether we FIRE in 5 years or dangle around for another 20 trying to get it right, the approach makes all the difference. It makes life better.