Our Story

Melanie is an older Millennial (Xennial?) with FI/RE (Financially Independent/Retired Early) in her eyes. Her current goal is to quit her job in January of 2021 and go back to school to study Anthropology, and to be job-independent in 2023 when she finishes the degree.

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 her then boyfriend, Jonathan, and the two of them 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, sold her house, and moved across the country to Savannah, Ga!


The Early Years

Melanie is originally from Chicago, and studied biology at the University of Illinois. However, she hated the cold weather, and as a young adult her biggest dream was to move to a warmer climate (at least young twenties-something Melanie had her priorities in order!). She found an awesome job in Los Angeles and spent ten years enjoying west coast living.

She started dating Jonathan in 2012, and although their relationship was tumultuous at best due to Jonathan’s alcoholism and bipolar disorder, Melanie tried her best to keep things together. She really cared for him as a person, and wanted the best for him. She allowed him to stay with her and even move across the country with her, in the hopes that he would overcome his addiction and start contributing to the FI/RE plan.

Not the Case

Unfortunately, Jonathan didn’t get better. The first few months in Savannah were filled with alcohol and a refusal to find a job. When he finally realized that Melanie was serious about breaking up and moving on, he improved and actually started trying. He got a job and managed to be sober for decent periods of time. But it never stuck, the call of bottle was just too strong. And sadly, Melanie just stopped caring. They broke up for good in January of 2018.

While both realize that they can never be together in a relationship, they are both still fully engaged in reaching financial independence. Jonathan has offered to  keep helping with Instagram as a way of saying “thank you” to Melanie for all that she did for him over the years. They are still partners in fire, even if they can’t ever be partners in life. After all, Partners in Fire was never actually about Melanie and Jonathan being life partners seeking FIRE (though having a life partner to go after Financial Independence with does sound freaking awesome!). Partners in Fire is about all of us helping each other achieve financial freedom and security. We are all Partners in this.

Why FI/RE?

Melanie is on a quest for FI/RE for freedom. It’s not that she doesn’t want to work, but she doesn’t want to be tied to a job. She wants to travel, write, create art, and gain more knowledge of early cultures. In short, she wants to spend all of her time following her passions, and she wants you to be able to do the same!

How is she going to achieve FI/RE?

Melanie has plans!!  Moving to a lower cost of living area helped. But there are tons of other things that she is working on, including this blog!  She is working on generating multiple income streams, learning how to be more frugal with couponing and making smarter shopping choices, and learning how to be less wasteful with composting and gardening. She is also investing and being smarter about her money. Follow along with her journey by subscribing to Partnersinfire to learn more!

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