The Great War of Debt
It has been decided by the council of our debt free leaders, war is upon us! What kind of war? The great war of debt – we must rid our land of these greedy barbarians taking our gold each month! Since January 1st, 2017 – I’ve been continuously sacrificing to prepare our kingdom’s greenbacks for the battles ahead.
After our FIRE Side Chat with the Green Swan in June, we want to begin sharing more of our stories towards FIRE with our readers to show we are following the road to the kingdom!
Here’s a snippet and my intro from the post:
“I’m the younger of the two authors: a recent college graduate who endured financial hardship during those years. My parents, who provided for me throughout my life, were in trouble. This instability at home meant I had to get a job, change my mindset very quickly, and start adulting! I went from caring about Xbox Live to instead working so I could pay for my college education. I sought to stabilize my financial environment and also to become a steward of my own time. Both of these mindsets have been the driving forces in my life since, and I’m hoping to inspire the younger crowd to hop on the bandwagon early. The sooner you start on your financial journey, the easier it is to take control!”
Now join us at the round-table to discuss our current situation (balances as of July 1) and strategy.
Student Loans of the East
- Army Size: 32K
- Growth Rate: Avg of 5.5%
- Weakness: Although large in numbers, the army lacks trained fighters. Each month they lose 294 men
Auto Loan of the West
- Army Size: 9.2K
- Growth Rate: 5.5%
- Weakness: Sickness infects the army to reduce its size by 117 each month
Loan Pool Savings of the North
- Army Size: 6.8K
- Growth Rate: 1.0%
- Weakness: Early career salary means an average of only 375 greenbacks soldiers graduate to fight each month
I’m currently implementing the student loan pooling strategy mentioned here: Student Loan Payoff. Once I feel it has grown to a sizable nest egg, then I will begin making extra payments like the third alternative solution in that same article. The loan pool gives an extra cushion in case of a real emergency that depletes the emergency fund and then some. I’d prefer to keep that extra cash than make extra payments; because, once that extra payment transaction completes, the money is lost but my cash flow has stayed the same.
The State of Affairs
Why am I making the sacrifice to remove the bad guys from my future kingdom?
- Widen my moat -> I’m a recent college graduate without kids, this means fewer responsibilities aka more money can be dedicated to the cause. Secondly, If I were to lose my job tomorrow, the monthly skirmishes continue and my resources dwindle. I feel that debt correlates to less power over my kingdom, contrasting the philosophy of being the CEO of my life. With an emergency fund leveled up, my current moat is filled with water, but missing the finishing touches like crocodiles guarding the kingdom against the barbarians taking its gold reserves.
- Family -> Being debt free gives my future family as a husband a stable financial environment. We’ve mentioned before the common knowledge that money tension can lead to high divorce probabilities, yet having two parents can truly increase a child’s chance of success as a productive citizen. I hope to reduce divorce probabilities with my future wife, instead of arguing, I hope to be building our family’s wealth together; teaching our children about money in the process!
- Save Money -> The longer it takes to pay off the debt, the more interest I’m paying on it. Down with the debt!
These are the three driving factors, along with a few others, that give me the motivation required to eventually have a “PAID OFF 43K of DEBT in 3 YEARS” post! This is an important requirement for making a dream (or goal) come true in my humble opinion.
Budget + Plan
We’ve written about the process for creating a budget in the past, and as upholders to the path us Duke’s travel, I have refined mine to one that works for me. The budget helps keep me on track to get the debt paid off, with a bit of life enjoyment in the process. Further, I’ve created a 5-year investment plan for myself to help paint vibrant colors of the future. Between maxing my retirement accounts, paying off debt, and traveling, the plan is to pay off all debt by the end of 2019.
I'll be giving a better visualization of my progress in monthly updates - stay tuned! With a budget and plan - it's easy to see how each sacrifice you make leads to earlier completion. Numbers don't lie and that's to why I'm a huge personal finance enthusiast!
After college, I gave myself one year to create my professional wardrobe. Straight from college into the corporate world meant that a professional wardrobe was required. Perception is reality at the work place. Utilizing sales + regularly visiting the clearance racks, I was able to build up a presentable closet to reduce shopping trips required during the war.
“If you don’t sacrifice for what you want, what you want will be the sacrifice!”
I’ve self-imposed a shopping ban from 01-2017 to 12-2019 (or earlier hopefully!).
What’s eating out?
Let me be honest, eating out at a restaurant with unique food can be one of life’s great experiences. Chefs train to demonstrate their ary, letting us enjoy their life’s work; I’d be remiss to never take on that honor. This leads me back to our EXTREME DATING! post, highlighting that even though I won’t be splurging on an extreme date just yet, I will occasionally enjoy some ethic variety. For the most part, brown bag lunches with cooked dinners will be the go to.
Explore the library!
My commitment to acquiring knowledge won’t be stopped. Our city libraries will be explored with many new classics being read. I can’t wait!
Credit card hacking will continue; By credit card hacking, I will still be traveling some during the war. I say this to precursor some of the expenses shown for the monthly updates. People can disagree with me on this one, charging me with cracking down on all spending. Life isn’t just about money and as a young adult, this is my time to live life and explore the world. I will continue to do that as I work to live, not live to work!
In addition to Duke of Dollars, side hustles will become more regular for me. I’ll be working to find other ways to recruit new greenbacks to accelerate the war in my kingdom’s favor.
War Plan + Timeline
Mentioned above, my investment plan and budgets are estimated. My current estimates show that my debt free journey can end by the end of 2019, [potentially earlier depending on my side hustles and sacrificing. I’ll be posting updates with more detailed explanations of the army, how I’m deciding on its battle tactics, and fighting tips to once and for all annihilate the barbarians!!
Join The War!
Are you currently working to become debt free? Let us know by commenting below. Jack and I both would love to support and encourage, and I would enjoy insight to new war strategies. If you’re interested in getting updates via your inbox from our express pigeon service, subscribe today!
To catch up on all posts on the war, we’re using the category: The Great War of Debt.
We look forward to taking down the barbarians once and for all!
Thanks for reading! Chris @ Duke of Dollars