Author Archive: FIwith2kids

Never Buy a Small Child New Clothes

Buying new clothes is typically one of the worst money decisions a parent with a small child, under 5 or so, can make. There are two main reasons why new clothes have one of the worst Returns on Investments of all purchases a parent will be tempted to make. UTILITY The first reason is that a small child will get very little use out of whatever clothes they wear. When they are very small, under 1, they will seem to stay in any given size for a matter of weeks and this only improves to a season at best by age 5. So there is a very small window when any given outfit will meet the needs of your child. Given this short window I…
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Financial Independence Debate: Save More or Make More

Today I would like to discuss my personal opinion/strategy on whether focusing on saving money and optimizing lifestyle costs or making more money through active and/or passive income is the better route to achieving Financial Independence. To anyone who is active in the FI community the natural answer is that both sides of the ledger are important. It is impossible to achieve a high savings rate which is the nucleus of any early retirement strategy if you only focus on saving or earning with disregard for the other. While I concede that this widely held belief is true, I do believe that from an effort (time, energy, etc.) standpoint there are optimal and sub optimal approaches. The remainder of this post will discuss my tactics…
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Saving on Kid’s College Costs by Retiring Early

As a parent of 2 small children I consider helping to cover their college expenses as one of the largest barriers to being able to retire early and achieve financial independence. I started my career saddled with roughly $70,000 of student loan debt so I fully understand the stress that being in that position creates. I also appreciate that being responsible for your own education and the costs associated with the choices you make on what school to attend, can be a good springboard into being a responsible and accountable adult. Based on both of these points, I’ve decided to strive for a compromise which is to help minimize the college cost liability for my children and then make them accountable for managing these reduced…
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FoodSaver Economics: The Easy Way to Save on Food

For most families food represents a moderate portion of their weekly and monthly budgets.  Today I am going to share what my family has found to be the easiest way to save a significant amount of money on this necessary expense.  The best part about this technique, is that it doesn’t require a change in diet or any other difficult behavior changes.  As most of you have guessed from the title, the simplest way I have found to save money on food is by utilizing a FoodSaver Vacuum Sealer. It may strike some as strange that the easiest way to save money is to buy another kitchen gadget (most of us already have too many of those), but when you look at the return on…
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Save for College: Are 529 Plans the Solution?

One of the biggest hurdles to early retirement for parents is helping cover the cost of their children’s college.  The prevailing wisdom in many circles is to set aside funds in a 529 account.  For those not familiar with 529s, a 529 plan account is a tax-advantaged savings account designed to save money towards future education expenses. Advantages There are two main advantages to 529 savings plans.  The first is that any funds that are used to cover qualified education expenses are exempt from federal income taxes.  This can be a significant reduction in tax liability depending on the amount that has been saved in the account.  The second advantage is that many states provide tax deductions or credits for residents.  This can reduce the…
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Can’t Cut The Cord? Buy A Modem/Router

As most parents know, TV can be a nice assistant when it comes to entertaining little ones.  I especially find it useful during the winter months when getting the kids outside is extraordinarily difficult.  Obviously this goes against the “Cut the Cord” wisdom that most of the Financial Independence community believes in.  One simple way I identified to minimize our costs was to purchase our own Modem/Router combo.  My family was paying $11.00 per month for renting the cable company’s Modem/Router.  We purchased a very nice Netgear Modem/Router for $149 on Amazon and returned the cable company’s.  Our router will be paid off in 1 year and we will save the full amount going forward.  While this doesn’t remove our cable bill entirely, this allows…
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Welcome

Welcome to Financial Independence with 2 Kids.  My goal is to identify and explore unique ways that parents can work towards FI.  I have been working towards Financial Independence for 5 years, and I discovered when I became a parent 3 years ago that many new hurdles appeared on my path.  I explored most of the leading FI blogs and podcasts, but I found that most of the lifestyle optimization side was impractical for a family.  Some examples include: Life in Flip: Who wants a baby who barely sleeps to begin with living in a construction site? Cutting the Cord: Who is going to explain to my toddler that they can’t watch Disney Junior? Tiny House/RV Living: How would school age children get an adequate…
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