FIRE, EP. 2

It is probably no real surprise that this quarantine has affected my finances. Hasn’t everyone’s world been changed in some way by this? I don’t know if any of us has experienced anything like this before. From friends, family members, and/or loved ones getting sick to our daily routines changed to financial impact (both from loss of hours or of a job entirely to the hit that the market has taken) we have all been hit. It’s been nuts, to put it lightly.

But this too shall pass.

I had a goal when 2020 started to begin to focus on saving. I wanted to get my savings rate up to 45% by the end of the year, and I was honestly proud of my efforts so far. But my full time job is in the hospitality industry, and we are completely closed for the time being, so, like many, my income has been slashed by over 65% – just like that. We’ve had to get creative, and creativity is one of the things that I am the most grateful for and inspired by during this time.

I thought it might be nice to put “pen to paper” and type out what my finances look like. Both to get a more visual grasp on things, and maybe to inspire someone that is on a similar journey to understand that the best thing we can do is plan – even if it is imperfectly.

I’ve already been focusing on cutting out unnecessary expenses before this all took place, so I’ve been continuing that trend. Mostly, I’ve really learned what is “unnecessary.” See below for the major difference in budgeting before and now during this quarantine:

The biggest changes are the complete omission of all misc. spending, significantly reducing the grocery/eating out portion of our “pets and food” line, and cutting the gym membership and training sessions out of the “bills and subscriptions” line. Gas is significantly reduced, for obvious reasons as well.

My retirement has definitely taken a hit, but I am a firm believer that this just means for me that investments are currently “on sale,” and I will not change my plan of dumping my savings into a low-cost total market fund. Even if it hurts now, it will pay off when everything levels back out. Gotta keep the faith 🙂 I wasn’t going to post this part, because it is so meager, but we all have to start somewhere. I started my financial independence journey about six months ago. So, I’m a long way away, but I think this blog serves as a great chance to document the journey. It’s a fun journey, so cheers to the 2%!

As for my savings rate, I have worked hard to continue to to work toward my 2020 goal of 45% and even increase it if possible as the year goes on. I was on a good track to do this before I was furloughed from my full-time job, and I am trying hard to still keep going. It is of course easier to save when you’re unable to spend on the normal things. I’ll take that as the bright spot:

One of the hard things is that we don’t of course know actually how long this will last. What I do know is that it won’t last forever. By cutting down on expenses and not wavering from my goal to save towards retirement, I hope to stay positive and hopeful, even if its wicked hard to do so.

Stay strong. Stay hopeful. Stay the course.

This too shall pass.

Get fired up! Breathe and stay the course. Don’t have a course of action? Maybe this is the perfect time to start creating one. Need some positivity? Check out this post about the best parts of quarantine.

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