Our Story

Jonathan and Melanie are an older Millennial (Xillenial?) couple with FI/RE (Financially Independent/Retired Early) in their eyes. The current goal is for Melanie to quit her job in January of 2021 and go back to school to study Anthropology, and for both of them to be job-independent in 2023 when she finishes.

Melanie has dreamed of quitting her job and traveling the world for many years. It was only in 2015, when she came across the Financial Independence forum on Reddit, that she realized it was a possibility. She shared this new-found wisdom with Jonathan, and they took some time to figure out how to make financial independence a priority in their lives. In 2016 they decided to move away from the crazy expensive metropolis of Los Angeles and truly begin their quest for FI/RE.

No change is immediate. It took a bit of time to find a job transfer to a lower cost area, and took some more time to move. But finally, in the summer of 2017, Melanie found a job transfer, they sold the house, and they moved across the country to Savannah, Ga!

The Early Years

Jonathan and Melanie met in the summer of 2002 at the ripe young age of 18, on the University of Illinois’ central Quad. They were both outgoing, spontaneous, and adventurous with a lust for life. Even their meeting was an epic spontaneous adventure!  Melanie and her best friend at the time decided to go out to the Quad to throw the Frisbee around, but playing Frisbee with only two people is super boring. So, the girls decided to recruit random people for a fun game. As fate would have it, Jonathan and his brother were out walking the quad on that summer night, and Jonathan, Frisbee lover that he is, couldn’t resist an offer to play. He got really into the idea of recruiting random people too, so with his and Melanie’s joint efforts, they quickly got enough people to join to play a full game of Ultimate Frisbee!

Melanie and Jonathan had an instant connection, but when they met their lives were heading in different directions. Melanie stayed at the university to finish her degree, while Jonathan moved to California to try his luck in the Bay area. Jonathan moved back to Illinois just as Melanie was moving to Los Angeles. It seemed like fate wanted to keep them apart. But regardless of the distance that was constantly between them, they managed to remain close friends, and in the fall of 2012, Jonathan decided to throw caution to the wind and move in with Melanie in Los Angeles. They have been together ever since.


"Lifestyle blog for financial freedom and financial independence"

Rainbows and Butterflies

Unfortunately, Jonathan and Melanie’s relationship hasn’t always been rainbows and butterflies. Jonathan had some struggles during the ten years that they were apart, and as a result suffered from a serious case of alcoholism. The first five years of the relationship were a struggle, with Jonathan fighting this deadly addiction and Melanie trying her best to keep their lives together. When he is ready, Jonathan will share his addiction and recovery story on this blog, but it is a very personal struggle so please be patient. He is currently well on the road to recovery, so he and Melanie are working together towards their FI/RE goals. Their relationship has never been better!

Why FI/RE?

Jonathan and Melanie are on a quest for FI/RE for freedom. It’s not that they don’t want to work, but they don’t want to be tied to a job. Melanie wants to travel, write, create art, and gain more knowledge of early cultures. Jonathan wants to travel, play frisbee, help others who struggle with addiction, and get back into computers. In short, they want to spend all of their time following their passions, and they want to be location independent as they do so.

How are they going to achieve FI/RE?

How are Jonathan and Melanie going to achieve these goals?  They have plans!!  Moving to a lower cost of living area helped. But there are tons of other things that they are working on, including this blog!  They are working on generating multiple income streams. They are learning how to be more frugal with couponing and making smarter shopping choices. They are learning how to be less wasteful with composting and gardening. They are learning how to invest and be debt free. Follow along with our journey by subscribing to Partnersinfire to learn more!

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