After a three year break, I’m back! We didn’t stop saving for FIRE, but we did stop paying much attention while we were making some life changes.
Mr. ETT and I now live in the stunning regional city of Orange, NSW. I have a new job that I’m still happy in after three years. Mr. ETT has tried a few jobs since we got here, and it seems like the latest will be a good fit for him.
I earn the full-time equivalent of $100,000, and Mr. ETT earns $88,000. I was able to drop to part-time work of four days a week this year, so we each bring home slightly less than the average weekly earnings in Australia.
I’m a natural saver, Mr. ETT is a natural spender. Since discovering FIRE we’ve had a lot of conversations (and we’ve both been frustrated with each other). I was all for living like a hermit on bread and water. Mr. ETT was all for YOLO and spend it now. We’ve reached a middle ground, but there will always be tugs towards one side or another as circumstances change.
I like to think of our approach as SlowFIRE. You won’t see much reduced spending or insane savings rates here, but we know we want to retire early and we are doing something to get there. I’m now 48, which means the retirement horizon suddenly feels much closer.
By automating our investments, we’ve continued to save for FIRE, but our goals have gone missing. This year and next, as life opens up again post-COVID, we need to sit down and revisit them. What is it we want, and by when do we want it? The activities I was excited to have started in 2017-2018 below have dropped right off. We also need to begin visualising what we would like to do in retirement.
This blog isn’t about offering advice. It’s mainly a way to keep me on track. But I find it inspirational to read about other’s lives as they reach for a similar goal. I hope you can get something out of our journey, and remember, it’s never too late to start.
Read on for more about us.
2017 – 2018
Hi! I’m Mrs. ETT. In August 2016, I began this blog because I had a vague feeling that I could be doing more with my time (and our money). Well, in just 12 months I certainly proved myself right!
I have started:
- Performing DIY home repairs
- Setting goals
- Decluttering (hmmm, this is so minor I probably shouldn’t include it yet. The will is there! The action… not so much.)
I have also increased the amount I read and cook at home, as well as continuing to self-study and travel occasionally.
I’ve really accomplished a lot in just 12 months, but I still have more I want to achieve, so this blog will continue to help me figure out our lives. I hope that you can benefit from some of the research that I’m doing to save you time in your own life.
Mr. ETT and I live in Western Sydney, NSW, Australia. I am 44, he is 42. We have no children and two cats. Frank can often be found spying on us from the top of the kitchen cupboards, or slow-blinking Mr. ETT into treat-giving submission. Jelly is content to show love in her own reserved way (she’s working on a scarcity mindset that makes her rare affection so much more valuable).
I earn the average Australian wage of $79,000 working full-time. I have a commute of about 1 hour door-to-door. Mr. ETT works 4 days a week and earns $72,000. He works 10 minutes from home.
We are starting the journey to financial freedom relatively late.
The best time to start was 25 years ago, the second best time to start is now!
Our goal is to retire early, but we have no desire to turn into full-on frugalistas. Our bodies are starting to slow down, so we still want to be able to do things and enjoy the level of health we are lucky enough to have. Unlike others in this space, we haven’t set a solid date for retirement. Instead, I look at how much we spend each year, then divide that into how much we’ve saved. This gives me the number of years & months we can retire early. As of August 2017, we have saved $150,000 towards retirement. Based on our last measured spending of $80,000 in 2016 (still shocking every time I think of it), we can retire 1 year and 11 months early. We are trying to reduce our spending by 10% which will bring our retirement slightly closer.
Australians can access the aged pension at 67 (at the moment, this will change). I am using this as a conservative retirement age, then working backwards. We contribute extra to our Superannuation, so we may gain a couple of years here. However, being in the hands of Governmental legislation, I don’t want to plan around it yet. You can see the most up-to-date number of years/months we can retire early in the sidebar.
We hope you enjoy your journey with us on the Enough Time Machine. We’ve still got plenty of ports to visit while we try to figure out exactly where we’re heading to. A close call with a superconducting quantum interference device (you can call them SQUID) has fried our navigation systems, but it’s not like we have anywhere else to go…
Before disembarking, consider whether you might like to take the Enough Time Machine for a whirl. We’re now welcoming guests to the bridge!
2016 – 2017
Hello Fellow Human Beings!
Recently I’ve started to feel a little blurgh about where my time is going. I look around and a week has flown by and I can’t tell you what it is I’ve done, other than blobbing on the lounge, consuming copious amounts of TV and takeaway food. I don’t feel like I have achieved anything. Don’t get me wrong, I am not aiming to become Prime Minister of Australia, climb Mount Kosciusko, or take on Elise Perry for her title(s). However, I would like to be able to say I achieved (insert ANY achievement) today.
So, this blog will be a way to explore how I spend my time, an investigation into how I want to spend my time, and will also probably touch upon personal finance topics, because, let’s say it all together now, *time is money* (or at least until we reach the Star Trek utopia where our “species decided to abandon currency-based economics in favour of some philosophy of self-enhancement”)!
Hop into the “Enough Time” Machine and we’ll take it for a whirl. The engine’s a little flaky, and the raise shields mechanism is stuck at “lowered”, but if we potter around in near space for a while as we get to know each other and the rest of our crew, we’ll be safe enough.
So who’s on this ship? I’m Mrs. ETT – captain of the vessel, still learning what all of these rings and dings and pulls do. Mr. ETT – he only has one foot through the door at the moment, and we all know how dangerous that is in space! Also along for the ride are 2 inter-dimensional beings from the enoughtimeto satellite planet of Laze. These Canis Minor are named Frank and Jelly. Both have purrfected (I’m sorry, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity) the art of doing absolutely nothing they don’t want to do, at times they want to do it. I suspect they are along for a laugh.
Mr. ETT and I are in our mid-forties, and balance each other out to each bring home roughly the average Australian wage. We have no progeny – the only other living things on our journey are Frank and Jelly. Having already achieved the RE lifestyle (can you Retire Early if you’ve never worked a day in your life?), I can’t speak for why they are here. Perhaps they’ll deign to explain themselves one day.