In this interview for our Families Who FIRE series we talk to Stacie from Families For Financial Freedom and learn all about their FIRE path.
Each of our interviews have highlighted a family who is on their FIRE journey. Although we all have our own approach to reaching FI and may be in different points of our journey, we all have one thing in common.
We all have a goal of FIRE and are passionate about helping others successfully reach their goal of Financial Freedom.
The same can be said for our most recent interview. Stacie started her blog to help others ditch their debt, increase their income, and manage their money well in order to retire comfortably.
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Meet today’s FIRE family: Stacie from Families For Financial Freedom
Stacie and her husband have 3 children – a 7-year-old daughter and 5-year-old boy and girl twins. In their spare time they love to participate in outdoor activities like camping, hiking, biking, and river rafting.
What are your occupations and income level?
We are a single-income family and have been basically ever since we got married.
First my husband worked while I was in school and then I worked while my husband was in school. That put me further ahead in my career.
So when our first daughter was born, right around the time my husband’s seasonal job ended, we decided to have my husband stay home. He has been our stay at home parent ever since.
Between the blog and my full-time job as an editor, we’ll probably make close to $100,000 this year.
When did you start your FIRE journey? What motivated you to start?
I have wanted to retire early for years, probably ever since I started to learn about personal finance several years ago. But I didn’t learn about the FIRE movement until just a couple of years ago (2018). And when I did, that motivated me to want to retire even earlier.
Athough I won’t be able to retire in my 30s and maybe not even in my 40s, like many of the FIRE folks are able to do, since we only have one income and we started the game a little late.
Learning about the FIRE movement is also what motivated me to start my blog! So YAY!
What do you want your kids to know about finance and how do you teach your kids about finance.
We try to teach them by example but also by just discussing money matters with them, to the extent that they can understand.
For example, when we talk about Christmas or birthdays, we talk about the fact that they can only have a certain number of gifts because we’ve only set aside a certain amount for those times and we’re not going to go over that amount.
And they understand if they want additional toys and things that they will have to earn the money themselves by helping with extra chores around the house.
What strategies do you use to reach your goal of Financial Independence?
We live very intentionally, so we are able to save a decent amount of money every month.
I also have started a blog and have done freelance writing, editing and other work over the years to bring in additional income.
I would love it if my blog is able to replace my full-time income in the next 5 years and grow to the point where it could help us to be able to reach financial independence a little early.
By 50 would be amazing, sooner would be better, but even 55 would be awesome!
What are some examples of how your family lives more intentionally?
For example, we treat eating out like a somewhat rare treat And we go out to eat usually only for special occasions like birthdays or sometimes when we’re traveling. Although we generally pack meals for traveling, too, since we usually road trip.
Keeping our grocery budget down is also something that we work on. We are able to do this by not buying a lot of junk food, very little soda, and mostly chicken or other meat when it is on sale. We buy very few convenience foods like veggie platters, cut-up fruit bowls, already prepared dinners, and so on.
Travel is something that we enjoy so we try to do it on a budget. We participate in free entertainment when possible over paid.
For example, since our kids are still young, we go to a lot of parks and splash pads. We also do a lot of bike riding and hiking. Going to the library to get books and participate in their free activities is also a common pastime.
We bought a modest home and paid it off in less than 6 years. Currently we are saving up to buy a somewhat nicer, newer, larger home with cash in about 5 or 6 years.
We drive a 16-year-old car that we love. It was bought used from a salvage auction and we paid a family member to repair it for us (the back hatch and bumper had to be replaced). We are now saving up to buy a car to replace it with cash.
We also purchased a large used van with cash a couple of years ago from my employer. It had about 35,000 miles on it and we plan to drive it for as long as possible, while saving up to replace it in 10 to 20 years. We really don’t drive it that much, so it should last a long time!
We don’t have any debt at all and we plan to stay that way.
Are there any particular blogs, podcasts, books, etc that you have found helpful and inspirational to reach FIRE?
I have also followed some of the FIRE bloggers like Mr. Money Mustache, Financial Samurai, Our Next Life and Root of Good.
When do you expect to reach FIRE?
I’m not sure since I learned about the FIRE movement just a couple of years ago, so we’re a little late getting started.
But I hope we’ll be there sometime between 45 and 55!
Do you plan on retiring when you reach FI? If so, how do you plan on spending your time?
Retiring from working for someone else, definitely.
I would love to keep working on my blog, maybe start one or two more blogs, as well as work on some other side hustles or businesses.
But if I’m able to work less, I want to spend the extra time with the kids, serving in the community and doing the things that I’m too busy to do much of now, like reading.
What has been the most challenging part of your journey?
Probably just living very intentionally (what others call frugally) when our whole society seems to be built around spending what you want when you want, whether you can really afford to or not.
Goals like financial freedom and retiring early are so far from most people’s radar that it can feel kind of lonesome pursuing this path. But it’s still totally worth it!
What advice would you give to other families who are on this FIRE journey.
Keep your eyes on the prize and don’t worry about what other people think.
Don’t compare yourself to others. Remember how amazing financial freedom will be, and just keep moving forward.
And make sure to have fun along the way!
- Families Who FIRE: The CampFIRE Family
- Families Who FIRE: Nick From FIRE the Family
- What You Can Do In One Month To Save Money and Transform Your Finances
How can you connect with this FIRE family?
I want to thank Stacie for sharing her family’s FIRE journey with us and giving us some great tips on how to live more intentionally.
Check out their blog, “Families For Financial Freedom.”
Stacie is dedicated to helping families save money, earn more money, and manage their finances in order to reach financial freedom.