Since creating this site to track our FI journey, I always wanted to share our progress towards our goal to be financially independent. I keep having this internal debate on how to present the data, should I put report our actual net worth? Screenshot personal capital? Include our home equity in the numbers? This leads to procrastination and I am now doing this three months later than I originally intended.
At some point I have to make a decision and put down something/anything! I track my net worth a couple of different ways, the easiest and most automatic way is to use personal capital. You can login to your PC account as often as you want and watch your progress. I also have net worth spreadsheet from the madfientist on which you basically transcribe your account values from PC to come up with the same number. I did that for the first 6 months of the year and then stopped. I think I got a little bit lazy but I do think there is value into typing the numbers in a spreadsheet so that you can really think about it and compare the fluctuations to what is going on in your financial life. There is definitely power in that and I might start doing it again in 2018.
For a few years now, I also track our FI date progress through the laboratory on the madfientist website. It is a wonderful and simple web app in which you enter three simple pieces of information, your spending, savings and net worth each month. My favorite feature is that it gives you an FI countdown. You can in turn compare that date to what you are expecting.
The goal that we have had in mind for the last two years is that we would be able to be financially independent sometimes during the year 2030. I know 2030, a full twelve years away! I am not sure there are many FI bloggers out there with an FI data as far out as us. A lot of the big guys I follow were either already retired or were able to do it in under 5 years from the time they decided to do so. But I do believe in the power of writing down your goals and tracking them. I am sure there is a scientific term for it but something magical happens when you write down your goals. You tend to reach them first of all and in many cases, surpass them. I imagine it is due to the fact that we are typically conservative in nature.
I am still trying to figure out on how to report our spending, budget or net worth each month but for now I am going to settle with a simple screenshot straight out of the laboratory. This will be my starting point and I can improve as we go along.
As mentioned above our goal is to be financially independent by 2030 but as you can see above, the math says that it will be more towards the end of 2031. Oh no! Time to start freaking out! As you can see we still have plenty of time to rectify the path as we go. Real life isn’t a spreadsheet either, my better half may stop working when we have more children for example but that also decreases expenses as we would be able to pull our daughter from daycare. For now I try to forecast one year at a time. We are also getting ready to rent our first duplex and I have not yet figured out how to include that revenue in the laboratory and it may not be possible.
In conclusion, I strongly encourage you to sign up for the laboratory and find out your own FI Countdown!