We often see people in the financial independence community complain that this entire movement is a sham or fraud because some people just cannot make adequate progress with their life circumstances. We understand this point of view, but want to challenge it and will always challenge it.
I am not interested in misrepresenting the situation that got Misses Cat and I to where we are today. We have been extremely lucky and fortunate several times throughout our lives together and before we met. We both had to work much harder than what would be considered average to get to where we are as well. The rest between then and now are just details, but I figure the more we share, the more likely it is that someone else who might be in a tough situation could find inspiration or guidance in their own life from what we went through.
A quick highlight real that we’ll likely expand on later in individual blog posts:
- Made a fortunate investment in cryptocurrency in 2014 that paid off big
- Paid off a big student loan with money from that cryptocurrency investment
- Managed to have an even bigger student loan disappear
- Paid off all credit cards and car loans and kept them paid off to date
- Almost declared bankruptcy
- Impulse bought not one, but two new vehicles at full price
- Let credit card debt get up to $10,000
- Put just 3.5% down payment on our house even though we could have put down more
This post is to set a baseline expectation of what context you can expect from us as a family from our past and what we are working towards in the future.
The Term "Dumb Luck" Exists For A Reason
If you find yourself on the business end of a financial windfall, be sure to make the best of it. The high times never last, but the good times can continue if your play your cards right. Here’s my story about how I fell into wealth and out of debt with some luck and good timing and how you could too.
Financial independence can be a double edged sword - you try to save more money and earn extra income and invest the proceeds wisely. If you do this with enough intensity and consistency over time, you might be able to retire early. The other side and benefit of working towards financial independence is actually something that I am reminded of today as my (Mr. Bear’s) company went through another round of layoffs. Creating resilience around your source of income and savings habits is as good of a reason as early retirement to practice the ideals of financial independence.
Learn From The Past But Don't Dwell - Start Improving Now
I’ve had a lot of ups and downs throughout my career and have prided myself on making forward progress regardless of what I faced. But more than once I wound up on my ass in a real and managed to create a career path for myself doing something I love. As far as income, I have increased mine steadily throughout the years, doing my best to up-skill and keep my reputation in a good place. But let’s be perfectly clear - I’ve job hopped way more that I should and despite normalizing this behavior, I realize that it has created an atmosphere of instability in my personal and financial life.
Misses Cat’s career is much more steady as is her personality and I am grateful for that. I tend to make money in fits and starts and while my earning potential is high, the fear of going through dry spells with a family has forced me to change some of my impulsive behavior with the help and encouragement of Misses Cat while she works on her own path towards being bolder with her actions towards work/life.
Not To Be A Tease...
But I'm not entirely sure I can cover all these topics (and more) in a single post, so suffice to say Misses Cat and I will need to figure out how much we want to share and when and then start to role out content. Ideally, this content will be prioritized by interest from people signaling what they identify with or would find useful. Hopefully this illustrates that idea that while our path might be unique, our financial challenges we've faced are not so much and that we're writing as much to serve others as we are are to express ourselves.