2018 was a year of growth, falling off the wagon, and getting back on. When we wrote our New Years post at this same time last year, we had only been moving towards FI for 5 months. Now we are over a year into it and more excited than ever to live in a non-traditional way.
Highlights of 2018:
- Traveled to Peru and the Amazon
- Welcomed a new baby into the family (by baby I do mean our Bengal- Mae)
- Welcomed a new puppy into the family (Henry the Borzoi)
- Completed 2 Seasons of the His and Her FI Post Podcast
- Traveled to Montana and went to Glacier National Park (HerFI only)
- Traveled to Crater Lake National Park
- We had a regular hiking squad
- HerFI received a raise and opened a 457 to go with the 403b
- HisFI turned 30
- HerFI joined a dance crew and performed on stage twice
- Landscaped our yard DIY style
- Attended FinCon
- Attended Cents Positive
- We went vegan
While these are the major highlights, we are so grateful for it all and thought we would share here what we are taking and trashing for the next year.
Redeeming our Chase Rewards Points for our trips and using all of our cards in a strategic way made travel SO cheap- dare I say free in some cases this year. That was a serious highlight of 2018 and we do not plan to stop traveling. HerFI will be headed to France in June with a group of students and getting her trip for a major discount because of this. (A fun way to travel hack as a teacher)
Feminism and Financial Independence
This year we created a section in the blog to share posts I have written about women and women’s issues. Feminism is linked to Financial Independence and I do not think they can be separated- it only needs to be made more accessible. We as a couple will not be leaving feminism behind in our writing this year.
Self Care and Mindfulness
This past year I have tried to be very transparent about my current mental state and ways in which I need to improve. I am sometimes a high strung free spender and other times a mellow free spirit who scoffs at Juniper Latte’s and both are ok- it is just what I do with my mindset.
Self care also means exercise for both HisFI and I and we have continued this route- HisFI biking to work and myself taking cycling and yoga.
Eat Well to Be Well
One of our highlights was going vegan this year and we do not plan to stop! We feel good and our bodies are thriving. Doing this on a budget was a disaster the first few months as we tried to figure out what the heck to eat and re-teach ourselves how to cook. Thanks to YouTube and my Aunt who is a long time vegan we now do our groceries on about $600 a month. This is more than some people- but we are eating really food and plenty of veggies.
One Bag Travel
Seriously- if you haven’t tried it yet- you should. Your life will forever change!
The Big Conversations – Consistently
Something we do not want to ever shy away from in life or on this blog are having difficult conversations. We want to be “woke” in every way possible and this means looking at everything from our language to our privilege.
We created a His and Her Toolbox this year to share what we find helpful from other blogs to calculators and travel hacking. I plan to update this sometime in the spring and keep it current with what we use for others to find!
Posts about Feminism and Beauty
These two are not tied together and while I attempted to make an approach on these two posts that pointed out the flaws in the beauty industry– I was still giving too much voice to being concerned about appearance. I am thankful for these posts because I was able to have great conversations with friends about why we as women wear makeup or not.
In the future posts about my skin care etc- will just be to share what I use and linked much more closely to sustainability.
Tim Ferris Action Steps
When we first read “4 Hour Work Week” we were pretty excited- we even wrote a post about it. I mean it presents the golden apple and it is fabricated in a “Anyone can do this kind of way”. While some of the tips in this book were helpful, the premise of the entire thing takes advantage of broken systems and paying people as little as possible in order for you to kick back and have a 4 hour work week. While I believe in optimization- there needs to be a limit to this that is bound by morality and the way we treat people.
Telling Myself I Suck
Ok, I am not going to lie, the mental transition for me- as a low earner in the relationship was so challenging. I certainly had many periods of self doubt and general “you suck” attitude. I am leaving this behind because who needs that! While I will not ignore the challenges that face teachers and women with finances- I am not going to be self sabotaging with negative talk.
The Unknown Creative
No longer! I am now a freelance writer and designer. My dream for many years has been to make money from what I create. I went into teaching the arts because I craved stability after an unstable life. I also thought that everyone would want to create and make in the art room. This turned out to be untrue and so blogging was the first step to finding a creative outlet outside of the day job. Now I have regular clients and get to create for money! It is literally the best feeling in the world.
Ok, so I will still write more of these-but eventually this will shift to writing about my work as a freelancer because that is where my career is headed. This will be my last year teaching and then I am moving into remote work. I will have set myself up financially with retirements and be on the path to student loan payoff during this journey. HisFI will be helping me to pay off my student loans, and we should be able to conquer it together. I have written several posts on teaching and the broken system as well as ways to make it work for you!
For me it is not a sustainable career and I am ready for a change. Until then I will be serving my students and giving them my best everyday. (There will be a post later on about all of the big changes for us happening in 2019)
We trashed this awhile ago and we are still in touch with reality. I would like to have less TV time still in 2019 and more reading time. So this will be on our list of changes to make. Eliminating Netflix and cable and hulu does not mean we don’t have access to streaming- plus we have prime because I cannot seem to let go of this. It is all a working progress.
We thought about it, even talked about it on the podcast in a really raw episode for us– but we are not going to be combining finances. While we are always going to be open and honest about about money situations we will not be combining. Like I mentioned earlier we will be working together to pay off my student loans so we can reach some of our future goals. Just like we work together to make sure the house stays running from cooking to animal care- we will do the same with finances. This may change, but I would be totally fine if we never combined finances and kept them separate- as long as our communication stays open and clear.
Those Who Inspired Us This Year
Books (affiliate links):
There are dozens more- but these are what I have been consistently reading the past few months. I tend to blog hop- so this is not my all read list for 2018.
Hungry for Change
What the Health
Thank you all for following us into the New Year! We are excited to see what it brings and have some major life changes coming up that we will be sure to share with you. (You got a few sneak peeks in here)