That’s right! It has already been two years that I write (at an admittedly sporadic rhythm) to document our journey towards financial independence. While I don’t write nearly as much as I would like, I am very happy to maintain this blog and continue to pursue our trajectory towards financial independence.
2018 on the blog:
This past year, my focus on the blog was mostly directed at lowering our grocery spending. The effort was quite beneficial as our current average is $176 per week and I’m hopeful that we are on the right track to reach our goal of spending around $150 per week for our groceries for 2019. Comparatively to the $256 average that we were spending per week before launching our mission to reduce our grocery spending in August 2018, that’s $5200 less in expenses per year!
Another fun blog related thing that happened this year is that I allowed myself to comment from my blogger name on various other blogs and I became active on Twitter where I discovered the great personal finance community. It’s a fun place where both readers and bloggers have interesting conversations on the subject. It’s inspiring and I was able to get to know various people with whom I have common interests and who make me feel a bit less alone on our weird path towards financial independence.
Yes, I know this makes me sound a bit like a grandma social media wise but hey, I thought it was worth mentioning for the other “social media grandmas” out there. I also created an Instagram account where I post more day to day things if you are interested to follow me there :).
Other than the grocery spending posts, I also posted about why I was focusing more on increasing my happiness at work. In large part because of this effort, and also thanks to the inspiration I got from various people in the personal finance community, I negotiated with my employer in order to become a full time remote employee.
Our life has therefore changed for the better thanks to the research and connections that resulted from continuing to write on this blog. I’m hoping to write more articles this year to continue tracking our journey, inspire other people to take control of their finances to make positive changes in their lives and perhaps also pursue their financial independence and finally, to continue to connect and discover inspiring people and communities to further our learning and reflect about the various challenges in the world of personal finances.
2018 a challenging year in our family life:
As a quick update on our family, our kids are now aged 4 and 3 (oh how fast the time goes!) and they are doing very well and are great at making every day special while also using up a lot of our patience at times ;). 2018 was rather challenging in terms of providing help to our extended family as well as in terms of undertaking home renovations.
Indeed, at the end of 2017, one of our parents received a cancer diagnosis which led to a 6 months of chemotherapy which happily ended well around summer time of 2018, with the cancer going into remission for now. Another one of our parents also faced various health issues therefore we tried our best to be as available as possible to offer support and help throughout a big part of the year. At the same time, we started a big renovation project which we worked on nights and weekends from June until December.
In short, we had our hands quite full in 2018, and we often felt overwhelmed. It was a year that made us dream a lot about how useful financial independence would be, allowing us to free ourselves from our jobs when needed, however, 2018 ironically also taught us a lot about the importance of putting a bit more focus on our well-being on the entire journey towards FI. Indeed, life is short and there is no guarantee that the people we love will be with us when we reach this goal in 2025.
Another important area that was highlighted through this challenging life period that used up a lot of our energy and time, is the one of accepting our limitations. We have limited time and energy in this world which means that, financially independent or not, there are things we hope to do that we will not be able to accomplish during our short time here. We’re putting more effort to accept this, find out what our limitations are and learn to balance the things that are most important to us to allocate our time and energy to these priorities.
On a more positive note, 2018 is also the year where our investments have surpassed the $500 000 threshold, before going back below it at the start of 2019 with the unstable markets and crossing over it again these last few months.
Objectives for 2019:
Our priorities for 2019 revolve around simplifying our lives, spending quality time with our family and taking care of our physical and mental health. This year on the blog, I intend to continue exploring various subjects directly or indirectly related to our journey towards financial independence, such as:
- Decluttering our life.
- Establishing simple routines to create space and time for our important values.
- Increasing our happiness at work.
- Pursuing our efforts to maintain low grocery costs to reach our $150 per week objective.
If any other subject interest you, please let me know in the comments here.
How was your 2018 and is your 2019 off to a good start?
Did you hit any big financial accomplishments?