Bucket List Item Complete: Retire Early!

By | September 13, 2015

I realized recently that I hate this blog. I see “Write a blog post” on my to-do list and I just feel annoyed. Part of the annoyance stems from my hypocrisy. The last few months I have certainly not been practicing what I am preaching. I started a project I call “Operation Enjoy the Crap Out of Sydney While I Still Can” which entails me making plans to do something every. single. day. I channeled my thrifty powers, of course, using a Groupon for museums, long walks admiring the gorgeous coast, cooking dinner for friends, book clubs – but Operation Enjoy has included just as many expensive outings, tickets to an Australian Rules Football game, many dinners out, many many drinks with friends. I traveled to Los Angeles for a family wedding in June for a week. I just returned to Sydney from a month in Asia. In the last two months alone, I have spent hundreds of dollars on depreciating assets like clothes and makeup.

So let me show you my charts. Yikes, the last time I updated this thing was March 2015. As a reminder, the green line is my net worth. The red line is my expenses each month. The purple line is what I believe I will earn, on average, from my investments each month. Read my assumptions on how I get this number here.

Expenses, PPI March 2015And here I am at the end of August 2015.

August 2015

My security deposit for my apartment explains both February 2014’s massive spike and August 2015’s massive drop for my expenses line.

My net worth increased by about $16k since March 2015. The market experienced a correction in mid August 2015, which saw me lose about $40k from July 2015.


When I started working in corporate law, I imagined only lasting until I slayed my student loans. And then I stumbled on early retirement blogs and decided to stay for financial independence. Even with the market correction, I have still blown past the numbers I initially envisioned myself needing. There is a part of me that considered working a little longer to take advantage of the massive stock sale, but…

I can’t time the market. The price of VTSAX could potentially be back at its peak by December. It could also coast in this range for two years. I have no idea what it’s going to do. You have no idea what it’s going to do. And it’s a fool’s errand to try.  I have enough where I could comfortably live in Chicago without having to work.

HCR Chart August 2015

I have enough where I would only need to earn about $10,000 USD net a year to maintain my net worth and my lifestyle in Sydney.

So, I’m not going to continue working a job only because of the paycheck. I’m 32 and restless. I am positive I will earn more money at some point in the future. The countdown clock I posted for reaching financial independence coincided with when my lease here in Sydney ended. As you can see, the clock is now at zero.

I am now going to concentrate on other items on my life’s bucket list.  I’m going to read books. I’m going to sleep in. I’m going to travel. Take a gander at my visited countries map.

visited 44 states (19.5%)
Create your own visited map of The World

I’m off to make it prettier! Good luck on your financial journey.

6 thoughts on “Bucket List Item Complete: Retire Early!

  1. Carol

    I love your blog! The first time I heard of early retirement was when I accidentally stumbled upon Mr. Moneymustache’s blog. The idea appealed to me and I have been working closer to that goal. I paid off my undergraduate loans three years ago; for my masters, I worked full-time and went to school part-time so I could avoid taking out loans. Sometimes, I’m skeptical if I’ll ever be done by 45 (I don’t have a high earning job, but I’m sure that’ll change in the coming years!) but I like the idea of being frugal and living a simple life. Currently, I have about 120K (combination of both taxable and non-taxable accounts) saved in Betterment and Vanguard, with the majority in Vanguard. I’m also slowly converting other index funds to focus primarily on VTSAX and investing 1/2 of my monthly after-tax pay into VTSAX.

    How did you set up your charts to track your progress? Is there a website that could do that or did you set it up in a spreadsheet?

    1. Thriftygal Post author

      Hi Carol! Thanks for the comment and kind words. For my charts, I just use Google Drive spreadsheets. I promised to put up a template ages ago and hope to do that soon now that I have more free time.

      Update: You can find the post with the template spreadsheet here.

  2. JourneyToLaunch

    Hey there! Just found your blog through MMM and love it! I may have to steal your life’s bucket list idea for my blog. Congrats on accomplishing your early retirement goal!

  3. LD

    What are your thoughts on quitting, but not on good terms? My boss decided that 4 days off a “busy” period is not a good time to vacation. I plan to leave because this vacation is once in a lifetime, courtesy of a generous friend. My job is just data entry, a very low level position. Financially, I’m solid for 3 years. Perhaps this mini retirement can be an opportunity to level up and gain hard skills!

    1. Thriftygal Post author

      @LD – That’s the point of having f-you money! That money lets you dictate what you will and won’t put up with. Do you think you can find a job within three years? I’m guessing the answer is “of course”!


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