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- Reader Case: Feeling Disheartened about FIRE.Please help! - August 15, 2022
I know we have a lot of fun on this blog, but don’t let the “change the world music” on our video and naïve Millennial “I can do anything” optimism fool you.
The goal of the Millennial Revolution is to talk about money in a fun and accessible way, with a whole lot of swearing and dick jokes thrown in.
If you read through our insane ramblings and have a quick laugh, our job is done. If you actually LEARNED something from us, that would be a bonus.
And if somebody were to actually CHANGE their situation, CHANGE their life from reading this blog? Now THAT would be a dream come true.
Two weeks ago, I posted a reader case called “Starting Over at 35”, in which our intrepid reader StartingOverAt35, who hustled his ass off and managed to grow his salary from $70K to $120K/year without a college degree, asked whether it would be a good idea to by a $225,000 house.
After Mathing that Shit Up, I gave him the Millennial Revolution seal of approval to buy the house, because it’s only two times his new annual salary, it doesn’t blow up his finances, and he isn’t relying on home appreciation to retire.
And to the surprise of NO ONE, the approval to buy a home was immediately attacked by House Horny Idiots (“Home-Boners”), who started fighting with me about how this person should buy a BIGGER house. Wow. I had no idea the Freedom Caucus was reading my blog.
Responsible homeowners (like RootofGood) and experienced real-estate investors (like Paula Pant) will never say “you need to buy a bigger house”. Because they don’t have most of their assets locked in one house. Whether you buy a bigger house or not, it doesn’t affect them. Paula even goes to say “if a property costs $205,000 and rents for $1,400, skip it. You deserve better.”
But idiots with most of their net-worth stuck in one expensive illiquid asset WILL. They will say “buy the biggest house you can afford”. Ignore the 1% rule of real-estate investing. Why? Because they don’t care about you. They want you to buy into the real-estate frenzy, to prop up THEIR house value. Because if people stopped buying houses, their house value would plummet. They want you to be screwed financially so THEY can profit.
If someone were to invest, would I tell them go into margin, borrow as much money as they can and throw it into a SINGLE stock? No.
Because that would be INSANE. Only considering the upside without looking at the risks is idiotic. Not diversifying your assets is stupid. Housing DOESN’T go up forever. Neither does the stock market. Investing always involves risks, so that’s why we always need to mitigate them. Blindly buying into an asset because “it’ll always go up” and borrowing as much as you can to invest into it isn’t investing. It’s gambling.
Luckily, our reader StartingOverat35 isn’t a gambler. Because after the post went live; he sent us this:
“So, thanks to you publishing my “StartingOverAt35” story, my wife got a chance to really read through it from someone’s perspective that wasn’t mine. I’ve been trying to talk her into staying where we are to become FI in 10-15 years. She was very house horny and wanted a big property, basement, etc.
As I told you, we have a very unique living arrangement, but what I didn’t (or at least I don’t think I did) tell you was that our rent is $250/month. The rough $800 I gave you INCLUDES all our NJ property taxes and all utilities. Almost nowhere in the US you can live that cheap and have the space we have. So little by little, your blog (and the books I’ve been reading, thanks to you), my wife is slowly changing her mind.
The other night she agreed that it maybe best we stay until our son graduates high school, and just make small “quality of life” upgrades in our home like re-doing our kitchen, knowing full well that $3-5k we will budget for it we wont get back. Nothing fancy, just ripping out the gross mold infested tile and putting down treated/reclaimed wood, ripping up the floor the assholes that lived there before us slapped together and replacing our 15-year-old fridge that sounds like demons live in it.
So long story short, she wants to up our savings % as much as possible so we can travel the world when my son graduates and introduce him to more culture, thanks for helping me wear her down.
It really came down to starting with YNAB in January and learning how that method worked. Since then she’s shown me every single receipt so I can log it. It was painful at first, but when I showed her personal capital (thanks for that), and how much our spending has gone down, she started to buy in. Then I showed her the blog post you had with my numbers on it, then she really started buying in.”
Sometimes you get messages and e-mails that make all the haters, trolls, late-night blog edits and the ENDLESS work of responding to comments/e-mail completely WORTH it.
This was one of them.
Thank you, StartingOverAt35, for inspiring all of us by proving that when you actually DO the challenging things you need to do to become Financially Independent, you make money your bitch.
This is why we write.
This is why we keep going. And I hope you will keep going too.
To everyone who reads our articles, contributes to our FI community, and takes steps (big or small) towards their dream of Financial Independence:
You are why we write.
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