Is it cliche to say I can’t believe the year is over? 2019 has been a year of major change. We are grateful for all of it. I am especially grateful for the many FI friends we have made that support us with all of the changes.
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Highlights of 2019:
- HerFI Traveled to France and Spain
- HisFI mountain biked the 25 mile Mckenzie river trail
- Our dog Twila passed away (not a highlight, but she was an angel worth recognizing)
- HerFI became an Aunt
- We got engaged!
- HisFI’s sister got married and he officiated the ceremony
- HerFI’s brother completed his PhD and is now a professor
- We bought a new car and sold an old one
- We were nominated for two Plutus Awards
- HisFI received a major promotion and doubled his income
- HerFI quit teaching to freelance full-time
- We combined finances
- We completed retirement rollovers after changing jobs
- HerFI attended FinCon
- HerFI had media coverage by Business Insider, Forbes, and CNBC
- HisFI’s company shut its doors
- HisFI found a new job in Arizona
- We sold our home and made money
- We moved to AZ (and are now looking to buy a home)
Wild year! Especially driving a dog and two angry cats for three days to Arizona. Below is what we are taking and trashing in 2020.
These are all of the things we are taking into 2020. Smart choices, projects, and ideas that we want to continue to foster in 2020.
This always makes it on our list for “taking it”. In fact, this is how we bought our tickets to Hawaii for our wedding. Totally free with points is always a win.
It was especially helpful that I opened my own business and could get the Chase Ink Preferred and the Southwest Rapid Rewards Business credit cards. Now that we have moved away from our home base (we were both born and raised around Portland) we will need to continue travel hacking so we can fly back home.
We finally did it. We combined our finances. My job shift, planning for a wedding, and then moving- it was actually a really good thing that we changed how we managed our money as a couple. As you all know, it has been a long road to getting on the same page with money for us. We talk openly about the many different budgets and money management systems we have tried.
We have a new budgeting spreadsheet that we work on together and we use Mint to manage our purchases. We talk more about money now than we ever did before since we combined finances. I have to say, I don’t think it would have worked out so well if we didn’t have a few years of practice managing our money “together but separate” first.
HerFI running the blog
In case you didn’t know, I run the blog and all social media now. If you make a comment or ask a question you’ll be talking to me. HisFI doesn’t want to write and frankly doesn’t enjoy it anymore. His and Her FI Post is still going to carry the same content- Travel, Lifestyle, and Money. It’s still about couple money – but I am the one telling our stories. I think it’s important to have couple money blogs told from a female perspective instead of just a male one.
I run through all the details on our blog including how we make money on our Transparency page. I plan to update this page once a year when things shift.
Spending report group challenge
In November of 2019 I did a collaboration with Amanda from Dumpster Dog Blog. Amanda had seen my weekly spending reports on Instagram and asked if we could put a group together for tracking our spending. The group turned into seven groups and around 210 participants. It was a huge success and we plan to do this again, maybe in the spring. Sign up for my newsletter and I will send out a separate e-mail when we launch this again in 2020.
Freelance writing, design and web design
As you know I left teaching to freelance full-time. In 2020 I have no plans to stop freelancing. I do want to shift my work to take on more graphic design and web design. I don’t think I will ever stop writing, as this fuels a different part of myself, but I hope to find more of a balance between design work and writing in my business.
This year I started accepting some guest posts for His and Her FI Post. I had two reasons for this:
- I wanted to give back to new writers. People took a chance on me when I was first starting out and needed a place to publish more work. I want to offer that to a new writer.
- Telling people’s stories has always been something I want to incorporate into His and Her FI Post. The podcast really helped to do this, but I also want to tell those stories in blog posts.
If you have a compelling story about minimalism, couple money, budgeting, or your journey to FI please send me a pitch. I would love to consider it.
Is it strange that this section is so small? We really aren’t trashing too much this year and I think that is a good thing. It makes me feel like we really focused on changes that mattered in 2019.
If you didn’t hear, we aren’t continuing the podcast at this time. It’s too much with HisFI’s work schedule. You can read all about the decision here.
I would like to start a new podcast, but I also need a new co-host. This is one of my many ideas for 2020, but I am not going to force anything yet. Just letting it brew for a bit.
Yup! I am trashing my student loans in 2020. We have already been working to pay them off this year. We thought it would take about 5 more years to get them all paid off. But, between selling a home and HisFI’s hefty work severance we should be able to knock out almost all of my student loans in 2020.
So far it is looking like we will pay off $53,000 in the first few months of 2020. Then we will have a little less than $20,000 of low-interest rate student loans to pay off after that. Those we will take more time with, and prioritize retirement funding since they are all 3.5% or less.
Those Who Inspired Us This Year
Thank you all for following us into the new year! I am really excited to see what it brings and share those adventures with you.