It’s finally happening…
After more than two years of blogging, I’m finally taking the plunge and revealing our annual spending! That’s right—it’s happening!
If you’re wondering what took me so long and why I changed my mind, I’ll share all in this post. I’ll also reveal how this led to a new, exciting idea for Eat Sleep Breathe FI. (See my announcement later in the post!)
Why I hid our annual spending
Initially, I was very reluctant to reveal our annual spending. That’s because doing so would also reveal our approximate net worth. (Going by the 4% rule, you’d just have to multiply our annual spending by 25 to figure it out.)
Since we’re not comfortable sharing our net worth, revealing our annual spending was also a no-go. (In Why I’ve Never Posted Net Worth Updates, I discuss why we keep our net worth private.)
What changed my mind
I had solid justifications for keeping our annual spending secret. No one was pushing me to do it, and I could’ve safely kept our numbers secret. So why did I change my mind?
It came down to two important factors that gnawed at me until I finally caved:
I try to be transparent about as many things as possible—both here on the blog and in real life. I strongly believe that sharing our experiences and knowledge is a good thing. It’s how we, as humans, grow and break down barriers and taboos.
That’s why it didn’t sit right with me to keep our annual spending private. It’s such a key part of our journey to FIRE, and there’s so much learning to be gained when we share openly.
Some of my favourite FIRE bloggers have very generously shared their spending reports:
- Modern FImily: How A Family Of 3 Happily Lives On $25,000 Per Year
- TicTocLife: FIRE Budget Review Detailed
- Canadian FIRE: My Fixed Expenses
- Tread Lightly, Retire Early: Monthly Financial Updates
- Mr. Money Mustache: Exposed! Annual Spending Posts
I’ve learned so much from these bloggers and wanted to pay my gratitude forward. For me, following their lead and sharing our annual spending was the best way to do that.
I came to see that I had the rationale and desire to reveal our annual spending… all I needed was a way to do it without giving up too much privacy.
After giving it some thought, I realized there was a way to accomplish what I wanted: I could reveal only our essential spending and keep the discretionary spending under wraps.
This would allow me to share the most useful parts of our annual spending without also having to reveal our net worth. It’s the perfect win-win!
I was thrilled to finally share our annual spending, and got to work on the post… and then I had another ‘aha’ moment:
The big announcement!
As I worked on my annual spending post, I realized that I could turn it into something bigger and more useful. I thought: why not create a collection of annual spending reports, but standardize them so they’re easier to compare?
Also, instead of just sharing a bunch of numbers, why not liven it up by turning it into an interview series? (I’d always wanted to start one anyway, and, as far as I could tell, this idea hadn’t been taken yet.)
Out of that came my idea: the How Much Does it Cost to Live the FIRE Life interview series! I’m so excited to create and share this crowd-sourced resource with the FIRE community!
Introducing the series
I ended up writing an entire blog post to explain the what, why and how behind the series. Please check it out and let me know what you think!
Back to our annual spending reveal
Well that was a bit of a detour! Don’t worry, I didn’t forget about our annual spending reveal—that’s coming right up. Essentially, everything in this post was a very roundabout way for me to say:
That’s right—I’ve interviewed myself to kick off the How Much Does it Cost to Live the FIRE Life series. I figured it’d be a good way for me to test out the format before I invite all of you to join in.
If you’re ready, you can jump to my interview here: How Much Does it Cost to Live the FIRE Life in Vancouver? (As a Family of Four). I hope it’ll be the first of many interviews in the series!
If you’d like to participate in the series (I hope you will) fill out this form or read the How Much Does it Cost to Live the FIRE Life series intro to find out more.
Share your thoughts
Phew, that was a lot to reveal in one post! I hope I didn’t lose you there. If you’re still with me, I’d love to hear your thoughts: Are you open with your annual spending? Why or why not? Also, would you be interested in joining my new interview series? (I hope you are!)
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