Currently kindling… (update)

Hi all! Turns out this title “currently kindling…” will be my standard post title for updating my net worth! For my own records, I update my net worth every week (usually on Saturdays) – which is total overkill but it does motivate me from spending my whole weekends vegging out on the couch and not progressing towards my financial goals. Well, I still do spend quite a bit of time doing nothing in particular, but that’s more of a Sunday activity 🙂

The last time I did a net worth update in December 2019, my net worth was just under $29,000. Now, in August 2020 (during a pandemic and a year that will not quit), just eight months later – my net worth is just under $40,000 ($39,540)!

net worth over the last six months

One of the reasons that I felt compelled to publish this update was primarily that I never really give myself credit for my accomplishments. Among the many fun cognitive dissonances that I am prone to – minimization is a big one. I see my “wins” as not that impressive and I see my failures as reflective of my worth as a human being.

I think another reason that I minimize is because I follow a lot of very successful people on Twitter. And I often feel very behind the 8-ball compared to how much *they* have and how much *they* save. So I want to give myself the grace to acknowledge how far I’ve come at 26 years old. Especially given the fact that in 2017, I had negative net worth because of five figures worth of credit card debt.

(Also I’m only 26 years old and have only been working full-time for 5 years… I don’t acknowledge that enough either!)

So my goals in the short term will remain to save as much money as possible. My long-term goal is still early retirement. Will it happen before 50? I don’t know, but ideally that is what I’m striving for. I have a solid job now and great colleagues, but a standard 8-5 is not an endgame for me.

In the meantime, I’m pursuing more creative ventures like podcasting and digital design – more to come on those.

But as always, thank you so much for reading! I’m always happy to meet more FIRE folks. If you’d like to connect with me, the easiest way is @Janaedoes on Twitter, but you can also email

Stay safe and be well,

— J

Currently kindling…

Hi all! I figured now would be a good time for me to reflect on my financial journey, who I am, and where I want to be in the future. 

The basics… my name is Janae.

it’s me!

I live in Wisconsin, I’ll be 26 in a couple of weeks, I work in financial services compliance, blah blah. When I first created my Twitter back in August – I really didn’t have any desire to create a blog to go with it. But 2019 has been my year to play around with different side hustles/ventures and see what I like the best – I’ve found having a blog/website to be a good place to document my journey (and Twitter has been regulated for memes). 

Onto the main attraction… FIRE. We know it, we love it. If for some reason you’re not yet indoctrinated, FIRE =  financially independent, retiring early. 

What does FIRE and financial independence mean to me?

I had a hard shift in mindset in fall/winter of 2018. In September 2018, I left my first “adult job” for something new in the same field. At my first job, I got to travel all of the time, my coworkers felt like family, and my workload wasn’t too heavy – I didn’t realize how great I had it back then. When I started my second job, I felt the change in culture and atmosphere pretty quickly upon settling in. I was surrounded by a lot of inexperienced, young managers, office morale/outlook was low, and my coworkers were cordial, but not all that nice. It was then that I realized the necessity to secure my financial future and create a life where I didn’t need to work for money.

That’s what FIRE means to me – the security to spend my time how I choose. The freedom to succeed and thrive on my own terms, not when tax laws *allow* me to access my retirement funds. I am no longer comfortable subsidizing my financial freedom with a car payment every month and an apartment full of things. (An aside… that all felt really good and invigorating to write.) ❤

And now… the number$! I have been maintaining a spreadsheet with my net worth since late November 2017 (and thank god because I was probably around -$10k for the majority of 2015 and 2016). A chart of my net worth (NW) since that time is below. 

Key moments:

  • November 2017: Here I had probably 10k in credit card debt and was hardly throwing anything more than the minimum due @ it every month. I took two international trips in 2017, and one in 2016 (each 10 days) – to my bank account’s dismay…
  • Late-fall (?) 2018: The spike in money was relocation incentive and then the subsequent decline was moving expenses for the aforementioned ‘second job’.
  • December 2018: Received a small inheritance from a family member’s passing.
  • June 2019: 10 day trip to Europe and expenses incurred by an out of state move for another new job!
  • September 2019: I finally started to automate my saving. Previously I was just throwing money into my investments whenever I felt like (which wasn’t very often). Now I have an auto transfer from my savings → checking every month. And then from checking → investments. It all happens without any input on my part. 

As it stands now in early December, my net worth is just under $29,000: of which $20k is liquid. My number at which I would FIRE, currently, is $750k ($30k annual spend). So I’m only at 3% FIRE. My beginning goal was to FIRE at 40, but without some major luck & income boosting between now and then, my time frame is likely pushed out to 43-44 – which I’m still very happy with! 

What do your financial goals look like? If you’re after financial independence, do you also want to retire early or no? Looking forward to hearing from you!