### How Long Does it Take to Reach FI?

To achieve Financial Independence, you will have to spend less than you earn, then save and invest the difference. Eventually, compounding returns will grow your wealth to a point where the continued growth outpaces your life's expenses. At its heart, a simple plan.

However, it's easier said than done. Compounding returns are such a powerful ally that even a little invested savings can eventually get you there, but compounding requires time and often we live in the now. The money you meant to save can all too easily become the money you spent without intention. It helps to have a plan, to know what you are working towards. To be able to see the road ahead so you know where you are going.

I created the FI Calculator for this purpose. The calculator uses a handful of inputs and simplifying assumptions to give you an idea of how long it will take to reach Financial Independence. You can also access the FI Calculator from the navigation bar at the top of the blog. Put your numbers in and see how your road looks. Let me know in the comments what you discover!

### Thrifty Thursday - Save Thousands on Your Phone Plan

Recurring expenses are insidious.  Companies love signing you up for subscription services as it means a consistent revenue stream by default.  The burden is on the consumer to take action, but momentum and inaction usually win out and the payments keep getting made. Taking a hard look at these subscriptions and other recurring payments can be very effective in reducing annual expenses, thereby lowering your Target FI Number and leaving more money for saving and investing .   Some expenses that don’t bring enough value can be eliminated.   Others can be greatly reduced with a little intentionality (just get a month or two of that streaming service to binge your favorite show, no need to leave it renewing for the whole year!)   However, there are some that are necessary but we can work on reducing their impact. One of my favorite hacks is switching to a low-cost cell phone plan offered by a Mobile Virtual Network Operator.    MVNOs lease bandwidth on existing cell towers ins

### Intentional Spending

Your spending is an important factor in your financial independence journey. It effects the rate at which you can save and invest while in the accumulation phase and is also a critical factor in calculating your Target FI Number. When accumulating wealth, the amount you can save and invest is a simple calculation: what you make minus what you spend.  Like many of the levers we talk about, your spending has a non-liner effect on your FI journey.  Spending slightly less also means saving slightly more and both of those quantities are found in the formula for Stash Rate , leading to a multiplied effect. $Stash Rate = {Annual\ Savings \over Annual\ Expenses}$ As we saw in the Stash Rate article, decreasing expenses leads to an exponentially increasing rate of wealth building. On the other side of financial independence, the level of spending in your drawdown phase directly determines your Target FI Number.  Target\ FI\ Numbe

### Thrifty Thursday

Introducing Thrifty Thursday. On Thursdays, I’ll post a quick article with a tip or life hack to help with Intentional Spending . These will fall into three basic categories: Freebies are life hacks to get something for nothing! Maybe there’s no free lunch, but there are plenty of things you have already paid for in one way or another and just need to take advantage of, or that are being offered in hope of future business. Cost Cutters are the things we all need, that you are probably already buying in some form, but cheaper! Worth It are things that might not look like savings up front, but could be worthwhile investments, eventually leading to more savings. They may also be actual splurges, but with a good value and totally worth it! Check out the articles so far: Freebies The Library Cost Cutters Hack your Housing Save Thousands on Your Phone Plan Worth It Upgrade to LE