Hello From Mr. FFP @ The Financial Freedom Project!


#1

Hello Everyone!

Mr. FFP here. I’m a 30-year-old husband, father, and rookie personal finance blogger over at The Financial Freedom Project.

I live in Michigan with my wife and young son (almost one-year-old… where has the time gone??) and enjoy road tripping the U.S., creative writing, nature photography, white-tail bow hunting, beekeeping, and tending to our orchard. I recently took the FI/RE plunge and “retired” from a 10-year career in Production Scheduling and Project Management.

I’ve always been strongly independent, analytical by nature (ISTJ personality), and a natural saver to boot. The concept of FI/RE had therefore always appealed to me. I was reading the original Get Rich Slowly dating back to my high school days, and discovered Early Retirement Extreme and Mr. Money Mustache while in college.

When the work/life balance of my job started getting wayyyy out of whack years ago, I didn’t have a lot of other viable employment options that didn’t involve a long daily commute due to living in a small community. Since staying close to family was important to us, moving wasn’t ideal either.

After reviewing our options, we elected to gut it out while optimizing our already-streamlined finances (we’d paid off our house in a little over three years) even further in the name of achieving FI as fast as possible and reclaiming our lives from the crazy stress and the 90+ hour work-weeks.

Since my wife was/is a full-time stay-at-home wife and mom and I earned only an average household income, my main emphasis was on exploring, developing, and implementing savings strategies in the name of pulling out all the stops.

It was around this time that I discovered the Mad Fientist and Can I Retire Yet? This led me to a detailed study of the U.S. tax code and a means of (legally!) eliminating all of our annual income taxes, speeding up my personal journey to freedom.

For some years now I’ve been kicking around the idea of starting a FI blog to share what I’ve learned regarding the (in some cases) unconventional savings strategies required to enable households with average incomes to obtain aggressive financial goals without undue scrimping and saving.

Finally FI/RE at the end of last year, I started my blog to help chart the path to financial freedom for those who don’t have access to high incomes and who don’t feel called to live an ERE-style level of frugality. There IS a middle road, but it requires a comprehensive overall plan.

Why focus the blog on financial freedom instead of FI/RE? I’ve found that FI/RE isn’t a dream shared by everyone, but financial freedom certainly is. For some people this is simply not living paycheck to paycheck. For others, it’s becoming debt-free. For yet others, it may extend as far as FI/RE. I think the beauty of financial freedom is that it’s defined by the individual. My passion lies in sharing what I’ve learned to help others live the life of their choosing, unconstrained by their finances.

I hope to help make personal finance more accessible for those who find the topic boring or confusing, and try to use approachable and creative themes in my writing for this purpose. At the moment I’m wrapping up a comprehensive, step-by-step series on creating a money management system from scratch, but plan in the near future to segue into expense reduction, tax optimization, DIY savings, early retirement withdrawal strategies, and green living topics.

In the meantime, I’m learning what it means to truly live again now that I’m not in the eat-sleep-spend-all-waking-hours-at-work routine. It’s a slow process, but I’m determined to reverse the bad habits and the lack of self-care from the better part of the last decade while working to become the best husband and father I can be.

Looking forward to getting to know all of you better! Thanks to @J.Money, @ESIMoney, and @Steve for providing this platform for us all to collaborate. I look forward to becoming a regular part of the community! You can find me on twitter @FinFreedomProj. Cheers!


#2

Beekeeper! What a cool hobby!


#3

YES! All of this! :raised_hands:Welcome!


#4

It certainly is! If you ever have a desire to increase your appreciation for nature, beekeeping is a surefire win. The biology of a beehive is truly fascinating.

Did you know that the average honeybee lives only six weeks? Or that during those six weeks a bee is progressively assigned different duties within the hive, spanning from cleaning, nurse duty, guard duty, and (lastly) forage duty? Incredible!

It’s a fascinating and rewarding hobby. I started at the age of 12 as a learning experience and my first true entrepreneurial enterprise and haven’t looked back. Have accrued lots of stories (and stings) in the years since!


#5

Thanks, Melissa! I’m glad to have finally joined the cool kidz club! :slight_smile:


#6

Welcome! I also live in Michigan and my baby boy is now 24…time flies! Congrats on your FI/RE.

If you are near Metro Detroit and interested in meeting up with a few other PF bloggers let me know.


#7

Thanks, Amy! The boy just started galavanting about the house on his own two feet this week. Life will never be the same! :cold_sweat:

A fellow Michigander! While I’m not near Detroit, I’d definitely be interested in keeping tabs on possible meet-ups of the brethren and sistren to see if I could make it. Keep me in the loop!


#8

Welcome to the group! I’ve never been to Michigan. I hear it’s very cold! Nice to hear your story. :grinning:


#9

I did not know that! That is incredible. I’m not sure I’d have the guts to be a beekeeper though. I am kind of scared of the stings. :persevere:


#10

Thanks, mobilehomegurl! In the winter it can get quite cold, but it varies quite a bit based on location. Northern Michigan usually gets 10-20 degrees colder than it does here in the southern third, in part due to what we natives call the “Lake Effect” of living near Lake Michigan.

Cold in the winter, hot and sticky in the summer. At least we have lots of water to enjoy! :smiley:


#11

Woop Woop Michigan in the house, west side!


#12

Sounds like you have a great story! Looking forward to learning more about how you achieved FI at such a young age. Congrats!


#13

Another native of the Mitten State! West side, best side, amirite? (no offense, @AmyB!)


#14

Thank you! It’s been a journey, that much is for certain. I’m not much for story-telling, but once I wrap up the current series on the blog detailing our money management mechanics I’ll be getting into more of what we did and how. :slight_smile:


#15

Welcome to the forums!


#16

Thank you! Glad to finally be a part of the community. An upgrade from lurker status… :slight_smile: