This blog was not intended in the beginning to be a personal finance blog in any way, however I am finding myself eager to work less, travel more, and develop passion projects while paying for the hobbies I enjoy. It seems like financial independence is really the key to reaching my goals and living a secure and interesting life. My definition of financial independence and early retirement is being my own boss, working as much or as little as I want with enough income to grow my investments and maintain a reasonable standard of living until age 69.5. After that I can withdraw from my IRAs (Roth and Traditional) and Roth 401k for the remainder of my life. My upcoming financial goals include:
1)Become Debt Free, 2) fully fund my IRAs and 401k 3)Put an additional 70-80% of salary into savings and investments 3) Buy a house and pay it off as quickly as possible, and 4) During the previous 3 steps, work on developing $30,000 annual residual income from personal business ventures and rental income. 4) quit my speech therapy job, but maintain national licensure as a financial back up in case I need some emergency cash. By my estimates, I should be approaching "retirement" in about 8-10 years.
The previous blog entry discussed debt and how I was working to get myself out of the red by paying it off and saving and investing as much as possible. So naturally I took 4 weeks off from work to go on an RV trip around the gulf coast of AL and FL. I had a fabulous time but I will admit it was a stupid choice in terms of building wealth, and I wanted to break down the cost here. My costs for the month of travel are as follows:
Gas: $260, Food: $210, Lodging: $50, Clothing: $88, Other (parking, souvenirs, etc) : $20
Note: The lodging was so cheap because I received a free year of Thousand Trails camping from my dealership when I bought my RV, which I supplemented along with a few nights of camping using a Passport America discount.
I was working for the first 2 weeks of May and will be working again for the last 3 weeks of June. During these 2 months I was still able to pay all bills and budget $2336 toward debt repayment, and increase my IRA investment principal by $1000 due to my expenses being so low this month (if I could live on $628 a month for the rest of my life I could retire tomorrow haha). However, if I had chosen to work the entire months of May and June with no vacation my net worth would have increased by approximately $4000 above that, with all of it being socked away towards debt repayment. Therefore the total cost of this month long vacation including opportunity cost is $4628. Turned out to be quite an expensive vacation after all. Was it worth it to me? Yes, I had a lot of fun and am very tan. Am I going to do it again? Not planning on it until I reach financial independence.
As of next monday I am rejoining the work force and I'm actually pretty excited to get back to it! I'm heading to a Home Health 13 week assignment back in the familiar state of North Carolina.