I Dream of FIRE

In pursuit of financial independence and personal fulfillment

Dreamcatcher: Posts and podcasts that inspired me this week

There were a bunch of great posts and podcasts that got me thinking this week! Here are some of the best: Continue reading

 The homeless man’s gift

The lanky, semi-disheveled guy sifting through the Dumpster caught my eye. “Hey man, don’t suppose you could help me out?” he said half-heartedly. We talked for maybe 10 seconds while I pulled out my wallet and gave him $2.

What he did next truly surprised me.

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To repair or replace an aging air conditioner

A broken air conditioner is like a medical emergency: unexpected, urgent and costly. If your air conditioner is older, you’ve got a tough decision: to repair or replace. Unfortunately, I just went through this.
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Dreamcatcher: Posts and podcasts that inspired me this week

I read and listen to a lot of personal finance (and not-so-personal-finance) content. I’m always amazed at the great work there! Here are some of the posts and podcasts that caught my attention this week. Continue reading

Budget for future expenses with the digital envelope system

The most powerful budgeting tool I’ve found is really the simplest one: A spreadsheet to not only track my expenses, but to project them into the future. Continue reading

The hidden cost of “free puppies”

The girl screams from the back seat. “Daaaaad, look. Puppies! Can I pet them?” The father pulls into the strip mall parking lot where a large metal cage rests on the lush green parking strip. The car door opens and the girl dashes to the cage.

“May I pet your puppies?” she asks the woman sitting in an old lawn chair next to the six Labrador retriever pups. “Sure sweetie, if it’s OK with your dad,” she responds.

He nods in approval, and the woman unlatches one door, pulls out an adorable puppy and hands in to the girl. For 10 minutes the father watches his daughter roll around as the pup licks her face and dances playfully around her legs.

“Our dog had this litter and we just don’t have the room to take care of them,” the woman confides in the father. “I could take them to the pound, but I’d much rather see them go to a good home.”

She glances at the father watching his little girl, now smitten with the tiny puppy. “She sure does seem to love that one. If she wants to take it home, it’s yours. They’re free.” Continue reading

No one is looking out for your money but you

I had a guy. At least, on paper I had a guy. That’s what you need, right? A financial advisor. Money gets taken out of your account every month, goes into the money-making market machine in the way your guy determined was best for you and BOOM, one day you can retire. Living the new American Dream. I probably should have put some emphasis on “Dream.”

I was living the “dream” back in August 2014 Continue reading

Welcome to I Dream of FIRE

Welcome to I Dream of FIRE! I’m glad you’re here.

As Isaac Newton found, a body at rest stays at rest without the help of an outside force. That is as true in finance as it is physics. We tend to exhibit the same behavior we’ve settled into unless something gives us a reason to change. On the flip side, a body in motion stays in motion. Once that initial nudge gets us moving in the right direction, it becomes easier and easier to keep going.

Isaac Newton was introduced to Abraham Lincoln by Bill S. Preston, Esq., and Ted “Theodore” Logan while Honest Abe was president of the nation. Unfortunately, there wasn’t time for a photo op.

I got my push toward the financial independence/retire early (FIRE) scene about three years ago (more on that later). What I’ve noticed is so many FI bloggers and early retirees were able to get started relatively early in life, often before they had kids or certainly when they had very young kids. Not me. I’m 37 and have been married for nearly 7 years. I have two older stepsons, one soon to be in his final year of college and another who just graduated high school, and a 5-year-old daughter headed to kindergarten next year. When I first learned about FIRE in mid-2014, my wife and I were paying for college for our oldest son, a car for our other son, and diapers and daycare for our daughter. Continue reading

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