Moving Home #2
It's been a solid two months since I first moved home. Its always interesting to reflect back on how your life has change and how it is and will continue to change. Some things you miss, some things you regret, some things are exciting and some other things are purely terrifying. I have to say so far I am pretty ecstatic over how the last two months have gone and as usual, here are the things I noticed:
I have a heightened sense of what I am spending.
Since I am now putting most of my income away in retirement accounts (401K and HSA) I am now acutely aware that I have less money to frivolously spend as I please. I am tracking all my expenses through Mint.com and monitoring exactly what my trends are looking like. My most heavy hitting bill is my car which I am trying to pay down as quickly as possible, followed by shopping (whoops), food and then "other". I then go into these categories and think of what could I possibly do next month to see what I can eliminate or cut back on. I will provide an update when I get to looking at my expenses.
I'm switching up my investments and trying to educate myself on FI more actively.
I have been listening to many different sources about how to invest, what to invest in and how to handle money in general. It's been eye opening, confusing and enlightening all at the same time to hear how many different people are handling their finances in many different situations. Here's what I have recently acted on:
I started investing in a HSA (known as a super IRA) and plan to max it out for the remainder of the year. Once I have money transfered into my account I will be investing it in Index funds.
I switched my Roth 401K to a traditional 401K to lower my taxes now since I want some money to remain in my hands for the short term. The reasoning behind this is that I'm heavily investing in my HSA (more money tied up in investments) and that I want to pay off my car as fast (and reasonably) as possible. Having more cash on hand will help me to accomplish these goals a little more easily.
I rolled over my 401K from my previous employer to a traditional and Roth IRA. That way I would be able to access that money within a shorter time frame and get it into investments that suit my goals better than what I used to have it in (which was a Target Date Fund). I'm thinking of investing it in an alternate Index Fund that will diversify my assets.
I realized how hard it is to nail down what you truly want.
When you're planning for the future, you kind of need to know what that future might look like. And that's pretty hard to nail down at any age.
There's so many unknowns for me even though I tend to plan out heavily for my future.
I don't know if I want kids.
I don't know if I want to start a side business.
I don't know if I want a house or a condo.
I honestly don't know when I'll be married or where we'll live.
Those are just some of the many I don't know questions that come to mind.
But I also figured out that I don't want to slave over a job I don't love for the next 40+ years.
During my commute, I have been using that “free” time to try to learn as much as I can about the FI community without having to sit down and study a book or be glued to my laptop pouring over the fine details of a blog post. What I noticed about a lot the guests who are are close to FI or at FI mention how much they value their time and consider time a limited resource. Sure I know what limited resources are based on my business background but I always considered things limited resources and not a concept like time. The more and more I sit with that thought, the more I realize that they are right and I am noticing how much time I waste or is wasted around me. I would love to use that time to not be so anxious, to not be so full of negativity and to be used productively and for what makes me truly happy. I want to leave this world a creator and not a buyer just tied to a paycheck hoping one day I’ll be able to enjoy life.
Speaking of buying…
And that you cannot buy happiness, no matter how shiny something is.
I have always appreciate what money can do.
It gives you confidence.
It gives you power.
It gives you strength.
It gives you options.
I used to think spending that money would give me all those warm and fuzzy feelings. I would buy trendy outfits, I would buy expensive meals and drinks, I would buy nice jewelry. Now I think seeing a growing net worth is more valuable than having a wardrobe of trendy and shiny outfits.