Well, another year is over! The Summit of Coin family just enjoyed a wonderful two weeks off together over Christmas and New Years. It was great getting to spend the time with my wife and kids. We got to spend a lot of time with my wife’s family and we took our girls to look at a light show. Our oldest liked the lights, but was probably still a little too young to get anything out of the lights. She actually liked the slide and running better than looking at the lights.
What is FI? This is the term that my wife and I have been pursuing since day one as a married couple. We have been pursuing the point in our life where we have enough saved that our money is making more money than we are making at our jobs. This is the point at which you have enough money. You no longer need to earn anymore money. To some people this may sound like retirement. This is so much more than retirement. The old definition of retirement is the idea that you have to leave your job at a certain time in your life. That’s not FI. FI is not the idea of slaving away at a job for 30 years and then retiring.
Christmas Eve is upon us. We all know the time of year. A time for family gatherings and a time to share gifts with the people that we love and cherish. Every year, I have been a part of gift exchanges and purchased gifts for nieces and nephews, but this is my first year purchasing and feeling the pressure of Christmas morning for our very own daughter.
My how things have gotten crazy around the Summit of Coin household. You can probably tell by my lack of posting, but I have had a hard time finding any time to write articles. I am knee deep into basketball season and it has taken a lot of time from my normal writing time. Besides basketball season, we have been busy traveling and going to Christmas parties or birthday celebrations. My normal two to four hours each weekend to work on the website has been dwindled down to nothing.
We didn’t do any traveling in October and both of us are officially back at work. This means we are back to our long commutes, and our daughters are both at daycare everyday. This means that we cherish every moment we get on the weekends. We have enjoyed a (free) pumpkin patch, purchased some pumpkins for $20, painted some pumpkins, carved a few pumpkins and have gone for multiple walks and bike rides. We love our walk and bike ride time. It allows us to enjoy the outdoors and enjoy the little family time that we have.
I automatically think, “Of course, a cash-out refinance is a bad idea!” And with our aggressive goal to pay off the house as soon as possible, this is something that would never cross my mind. However, I was pushed this idea in recent e-mail from my mortgage lender.
Recently, I stumbled on a new podcast (during my paternity leave). This one podcast gave me so much motivation. The name of the podcast: Choose FI. In this instance FI stands for Financial Independence. There is a whole community out there that has placed their focus on building up their wealth in 10 or 20 years of work and then plan to retire early. The idea with reaching financial independence is to find as many life hacks that can save you money and keep your expenses low. It’s about keeping expenses low and saving boat loads of money for approximately 10 years. Some spend 20 years on this journey, but it is completely attainable in 10 years.
As many of you may know, my wife and I have two children. Our oldest daughter is almost 23 months old and our youngest is 3 months old. It is a lot of fun interacting with our children on a daily basis. I detailed the joys of spending time with my family in my post: We are on a Mini-Retirement Trial. Being a teacher, I get a lot of time off in the summer. It just so happens that the birth of our second child happened while I was already off of work. This allowed me to be home for four weeks, before heading back to work. In August, I dove back into teaching and my wife stayed home with the kids.
September came in with a bang for the Summit of Coin family. We spent the first weekend of September in Nebraska. We celebrated my nieces fourth birthday, attempted to go to a football game and spent the rest of weekend reconnecting with family. It was a really fun weekend, even if the Husker game was cancelled due to a thunderstorm that just stalled over Lincoln.
Later in the month, my wife went back to work. This meant that I was able to come home for a couple weeks. This is the second time I have taken paternity leave. The first time I had a six weeks off with my daughter and this time I have two and a half weeks off. I will detail my thoughts and experiences from staying home with the girls, while my wife was at work.
September was a low income month, due to my wife’s maternity leave. By default, low income equals low expenses. So, let’s take a look at the numbers.