We are Stuart and Grace. We’ve been working towards a sustainable lifestyle and financial independence for 3+ years now and don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.
Climbing the corporate ladder never appealed to us. We wanted to leave the rat race and pursue meaningful contributions to society.
We dug through the bowels of the internet and found the financially independent, retire early (FIRE) movement in 2016. Since then, we started making changes in our lives to prioritize our financial independence goals.
Money can be a trap if you don’t know how to manage it. So we took a serious look at our budget and scrutinized strategies to increase our income while reducing our expenses. We researched cities with higher-paying jobs, decent public transportation options, and reasonable rent. We landed in Seattle.
Isn't Seattle incredibly expensive?
Yes, it is! But we are firm believers that with the right strategies in place, anyone can pursue financial independence regardless of where they live. Seattle provided a great balance between affordability and opportunity. We moved across the country from Northern Virginia, and our savings rate jumped from 10% to 55%.
We both found good-paying jobs along decent bus routes and found an affordable mother-in-law unit in a great neighborhood. We did a major purge of our belongings, packed the essentials into the back of our Ford Escape, and headed across the United States. We donated or sold everything else that couldn’t fit.
Moving to Seattle has been, to this day, the biggest catapult towards our financial independence goals. We’ve lived in Seattle for a little over two years now and crossed some significant milestones. Here are a few highlights (more of these later):
- Grace paid off the remaining $70,000 of her student loans a year and two months after moving to Seattle
- To date, our net worth increased from 50k to 300k
- To date, our savings rate increased from 10% to 54%
- At our current rate, we are projected to be able to “retire” by 2028
It has been great to see our lifestyle changes paying off, literally!
Early in 2019, we became a lot more aware and concerned with the state of our environment and the impact of climate change. Our consumption habits started to become more apparent after living in our 600 square foot house for a few years.
All that stuff that we got rid of before we moved to Seattle suddenly started collecting dust again. But this time, the lack of space really exacerbated how much we actually owned.
We finally zoomed out from our financial independence mindset and decided that we needed to make a change. Our eyes were opened to the consumption habits of not just us, but everyone around us.
We started looking at financial independence through a lens of sustainability.
It could be “easy” for us to take action, but we were hesitant. We always perceived that “going green” was more expensive and required sacrifices we were not willing to make. We thought it would conflict with our ambitious financial independence goals.
But we knew we had to take action however we could. To our delight, the more we started digging into the changes we could make, the more reassured we felt about being able to achieve our goals. It’s entirely possible to live a sustainable lifestyle while pursuing financial independence.
Why Start A Blog?
Over time, we developed strategies to pursue financial independence while living sustainably. We wanted to share how we are doing it as well as hold ourselves accountable to continually improve.
One of our goals with this blog is to make sustainable financial and lifestyle strategies accessible to as many people as possible. We are well aware that other approaches will go much farther than ours. We also know that not everyone may be positioned financially or locationally to adopt some of these approaches.
But wherever and however you are, we hope this blog is, first and foremost, insightful and inspires you to seek change however you can.
Where to Begin
If you know nothing about financial independence or sustainable living, an excellent place to start is by reading the introduction to those concepts.
If you’re feeling bold and just want to dive right into it, check out the Pillars of Financial Independence and Sustainable Living.
We do our best to provide data-driven solutions here. Most of the strategies we’ll provide will be based on research from publically available information.
We also want this to be a place where anyone can share their tips and tricks for living a sustainable lifestyle while pursuing financial independence. So please, let us know if you have some impactful ideas!
Don’t be shy, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to get in touch!