LIVING THE FI KINDA LIFE

Meditation, gardening, minimalism, fitness, and everything else that keeps us healthy, happy, and on our road to Financial Independence!  Here you will find stories about our lives. You will also see some of the cool things that you will be able to do if you stick a FI lifestyle!  Lots of people think that they would have to give up so much in their daily lives to achieve financial independence, but that’s not true!  We have loads of fun on the road to freedom!  The trick is balance!  So let go a little, have some fun, and see how you can have both!

The latest Lifestyle tips:

My boyfriend and I have decided to embark upon one of a relationships greatest journeys: moving in together. We had a long weekend apart when I went on my girls’ trip to Vancouver, and to make matters worse we couldn’t see each other for a few days after the trip due to our conflicting work schedules. That sucked!  So, after a whole lot of adult conversations; we decided that it would be best if we moved in together.

Reasons to Move in Together

There are plenty of reasons why couples decide to move in together, ranging from the practical to the hopelessly romantic. Our main reason for moving in together is at the bottom, but I’m not going to lie, the money part is a huge bonus (In case you haven’t noticed; I kinda like saving money).

Money Money Money!

One of the main reasons couples decide to take the plunge and move in together is money. Maintaining two households is expensive!  It’s not just rent either. There are two power bills, two internet bills, two water bills; not to mention the cost of gas to commute to each other’s places!  Consolidating that all into one household saves everyone money!  This savings is a huge bonus, especially in an economy with little job security (or for those perusing financial independence!).

Related: Our Path to Fire

Living conditions

Raise your hand if you moved in with a partner to get out of a shitty situation. I bet a lot of hands are raised!  Whether it be controlling parents, a bad roommate, or an uncomfortable circumstance with an ex; moving in with someone else can be the quickest and easiest way to get out of a bad situation.

Fortunately, we didn’t have to take this into account in our decision to move in together; but I’ve been there before and I totally understand why people do it. If you are considering moving in with someone for this reason, I would caution you to be sure that you aren’t putting yourself in a similar (or worse!) situation.

Getting out of the Parents House

This is similar to moving because of bad living conditions; but sometimes kids want to get away from perfectly reasonable loving parents. I get it, you want your independence!  I moved in with my first boyfriend because I wanted to get out of my dad’s house. He lived in the middle of nowhere and I had no car; so I couldn’t find a job. In hindsight, he probably would have let me use one of his cars if it was job related; but he kind of hated my boyfriend (and by kind of, I mean with a passion), so he wouldn’t let me use a car to go see him.

I really showed him!  My boyfriend and I rented a place in the nearby city and he had a car that I could use to find work. We lasted about a year; and towards the end of that relationship I literally had to sneak out of the house to see my friends. I guess dad was right about that one!

 

Life Happens

Life sure can throw you a lot of curve balls. Maybe you got an amazing job opportunity on the other side of the country!  You don’t want to do the long-distance thing, so you decide to move together. You are starting on a brand-new adventure together!  Or maybe you are having a surprise bundle of joy; a totally different type of adventure!  Consolidating households when a baby is on the might make it easier to transition to parenthood.

 Unfortunately, not all of life’s curveballs are positive. Life can be a jerk sometimes.  You may have lost your job and have no other options but to consolidate households. Or Perhaps you have to start caring for an aging parent. Life can throw us in many different directions; and sometimes moving in with a partner can make those transitions smoother.

Timing

Well, the lease is up. Should I sign a new one or no?  Sometimes couples just fall into living together because a lease is up and seems silly to renew it.  I like to think that when this happens, the couple is truly ready (see below!) and they were just waiting for the right time.

The Best Reason to Move in Together

If you decided to take the plunge and move in together for any of those other reasons, I get it. Life can be hard and it’s a tough economy out there. However, I think the best and most important reason to move in together is that you love each other and you see a future with each other.  My boyfriend and I love each other, and we are both sure that this relationship is moving towards marriage. That’s why we decided to move in together. If we can make living together as easy as the rest of our relationship has been, we will know that getting married is the next step.

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By now, most of you are familiar with the concept of FIRE and the various types: Lean FIRE, Barista FIRE, etc. (if you aren’t, you can read about it here). But I’ve decided that none of those definitions of FIRE really speak to me correctly. Therefore, I’m coining a new FIRE term: Bougie FIRE.

Bougie

Bougie is a term that comes from the French word bourgeois, which means upper middle class. According to Urban Dictionary, it means aspiring to be a higher class than you actually are. It’s also a lot of fun to say.

Bougie is typically used to mean that someone is too good for something, like “she refuses to shop at the thrift store, she’s so bougie”. I’m taking some liberties with that definition, but hey, it’s not like it’s from Webster’s Dictionary. It’s just slang.

Bougie Fire

Bougie Fire is being financially independent while having a nest egg big enough to enjoy bougie adventures. It means that you don’t have to work anymore, but you can live. You can spend that year learning to surf in Costa Rica. You can go on SCUBA adventures to the Red Sea. You can live your life to the fullest! But because you are just bougie and not rich, you have to sacrifice material things to get there.

Bougie Fire vs Fat Fire

I know lot of you financial independence pros are thinking “there’s already a term for this; it’s called Fat Fire”.  However, there are some key differences. First, it’s way more fun to say Bougie Fire than to say Fat Fire. But more importantly, Fat Fire is about being financially independent while living off 100K or more. It’s also about living well while pursuing financial independence. Generally, those who are reaching for Fat Fire have pretty high incomes and plan to maintain their standards of living. Physician on Fire wrote an awesome article on it if you are interested.

Viator 

Bougie Fire, on the other hand, isn’t about the amount of money you plan on spending yearly. Bougie Fire is all about the adventures.  If you spend a lot of time in a low cost of living country (like, Costa Rica for instance) you can do the Bougie Fire thing on the cheap. If your bougie adventures take you to Monaco or Switzerland, it’s going to be a lot more expensive. It’s also about sacrificing some of the finer things so that you can have the fancy adventures.  Some of the Fat Fire folks enjoy their expensive dinners out, nice cars, and large homes. There’s nothing wrong with that!  The Bougie Fire folks give up these things so that we can have adventures. It’s all about what you prioritize, and neither is better than the other.

How I came up with Bougie Fire

I first thought of the term Bougie Fire when writing my post about how crazy expensive it is to have adventures.  It was a tough pill for me to swallow, because I really want to be frugal. But my main reason for pursuing Fire is so that I can live life to its fullest, and part of that for me is to experience all the things. So I said screw it and went for it.

Then I realized how bougie I am when it comes to having adventures. I will eat tuna and ramen for a week so that I can afford my plane tickets to Europe. I haven’t had my hair cut in over a year, I don’t get my nails done, and I rarely buy makeup. But I’ll drop a grand on getting SCUBA certified like it’s nothing! So bougie.

What are your thoughts on my new Fire term? I’d love to hear from you!

 

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My top life goal is to live my life to it’s fullest. I want to have adventures! I want to climb mountains, dive oceans, go parasailing over white sandy beaches, ride dune buggies through rolling deserts, trek through jungles…you get the gist!  The problem is that stuff is expensive. The cost of having adventures is outrageous!

My Latest Adventure

My most recent attempt at having an adventure was learning to SCUBA dive. The world is incredible and vast, but 70% of it is underwater. I want to explore that part too!

I’ve always wanted to SCUBA dive, so when my coworkers asked me to sign up to take classes with them, I eagerly agreed. But SCUBA lessons aren’t cheap! It was $300 to take the first portion of the class; which included the testing and pool training. It’s another $260 to take the final open water certification (which includes 4 dives). But wait, there’s more!  You also need equipment!  The class includes all the hardcore SCUBA stuff, but I needed to come prepared with fins, a mask, a snorkel, and booties. The beginner’s SCUBA package cost me an additional $160. That’s over $700 just to get certified!!!  Insane!!

Are you about to go on an Adventure? Book your flights on Skyscanner! 

SCUBA Adventures

After my initial investment, you know I’m going to want to use this skill!  So now I either have to buy real SCUBA gear (which can cost close two grand for starter stuff) or rent gear every time I want to dive (at about 80 bucks a day). Yeah, this is going to be an expensive hobby! I think I’m just going to rent gear at first, that way I get to see if I like it and determine how much I really will go out there for a smaller investment. Also, I’ll have the opportunity to test out different types of gears before buying, which is always a plus!

The Cost of Having Adventures

This isn’t just about SCUBA though. All the fun adventurous things I want to do cost boat loads of money!  I want to zipline in Costa Rica (starting at $110), ATV in Peru ($45), Trek to the Everest Base Camp ($1150), Deep Sea fish off the coast of California ($150), Paddleboard on Vancouver Island ($25/hr) and so much more! I want to do all the things!! Those prices may seem reasonable, but they don’t include travel or lodging.  My idea of living life to its fullest is expensive!  

Viator

Balancing having adventures with FIRE

Unfortunately, these costly adventures don’t jive well with trying to FIRE.  Sure, I could spend my life living on a small ranch, growing my own food, and getting enjoyment out of simple things like bike riding and reading, but that’s just not what I want for my life. I’m not knocking anyone who does want these things, those are perfectly valid life choices. But that’s not the lifestyle I envision for myself, and I’m not pursuing financial independence so I can have that.

Related: Check out My Path to Fire!

 I want to spend my life having those bougie expensive adventures. I’m working towards financial independence so I can have them. I know it will take me longer to achieve bougie adventure FIRE, but I’m ok with that. I’d rather work a few extra years to ensure that I will be able to build the life of my dreams than call it quits too early and not be able to do all the things I want to do.

So bring on all the bougie expensive adventures!  I want to hear about your adventures and how much they cost in the comments! Let’s find a way to make being adventurous more cost effective!

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Blog Growth Strategies for our Fifth Month

Readership

Wow our readership exploded in month five!  But only for a day really haha. We ended the month with a whopping three thousand users!  It’s a new record!

How did we get so many users?

Partners in in Fire was lucky enough to get featured on Rockstar Finance this month!  Our article The Worst Financial Mistake of My Life was featured in Rockstar Finance’s April 10th Features! I’m not really sure how it was chosen, heck I didn’t even realize it at first!  I thought something strange was going on when I kept getting legitimate comments on the article.  So, I did some online digging, and found my post on the Rock Star Finance main page! Super Exciting Stuff!

After an amazing day of lots of page views, we were also featured in The Financial Diet’s weekly round up!  What an amazing week for Partner’s in Fire!

Posting

I did an excellent job of sticking to my posting schedule this month. Unfortunately, I got sick during the last week and skipped posting on the last Thursday. I even had everything drafted up and ready to go, I just didn’t have the energy to do all the social media posting or to proof read, so I decided to wait and post it next week. Sometimes life happens, and that’s ok.

Social Media

Obviously, the majority of our users this month came from Rockstar Finance and The Financial Diet (Thanks again guys!). But we did pretty well with our social media platforms as well.

Our Pinterest referrals are really picking up steam. We had 174 referrals from Pinterest this month, almost 100 more than last month!  It outpaced Twitter for the first time ever! I think that Tailwindaccount really is starting to pay off. It hasn’t led to monetary conversion yet, but page views need to come first.

With 96 users, Twitter was our second biggest social media referrer this month. We didn’t do as well on Facebook this month as we did last month, but I think that is because I skipped sharing a few of my posts on Facebook. I didn’t want anyone to take offense at things that weren’t meant to be offensive, so I decided not to share.

Monetization

Affiliates

Though being featured on some major Personal Finance sites led to lots of page views, it did not lead to lots of affiliate clicks or sales. We did have a handful more clicks to Amazon than in previous months, but it did not generate any sales.

Our other affiliates, such as Flex Offers and Clicky Homes, still haven’t generated much interest. I think the reason for that is because I refuse to sell products I don’t believe in, so I’ve greatly limited the types of campaigns I will run from Flex Offers. Clicky Homes is a great program, but it is only useful to a small subset of the population (realtors). I’m ok with both of those things though, I know that if people visit my site and actually click through to an affiliate, it will be useful to them. That’s more important to me than making money.

Ads

You’d think that with over 3000 pageviews, my ad revenue via Adsense would have increased. That was not the case. I think I only have Adsense ads on a few of my pages, and those were not the pages that got the views. According to Adsense, I only had about 300 pageviews during the last month. This was not enough to make a dent in our earnings.

I don’t want to destroy any user experience I have, so I’m not going to change the way my ads are laid out. However, if you are interested in monetizing via google ads and notice a discrepancy between your Google Analytics pageviews and your Adsense pageviews, this may be something worth looking into.

What’s Next?

I totally destroyed my goal of getting 500 users for this period!  But I know I got super lucky with that amazing feature, so I don’t think 3000 views every month is sustainable. Partner’s in Fire did get a few extra subscribers from that though, and I’m getting better and better at Pinterest, so I think getting to 500 without any special features is totally doable this next month.

I am keeping my expectations low though, because I have a lot going on in my personal life this month, and I know I won’t be able to stick to my posting schedule. I have SCUBA lessons next week which are going to take a ton of time (but will so be worth it!) and I have a girl’s trip to Vancouver coming up, so I won’t be posting at all that week. Can I get to 500 while skipping three posts?? That’s the goal, so we shall see!

What strategies have you used to help grow your blog?  I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

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