Thursday, January 14, 2021

Should I put money into my Roth IRA or begin a Traditional IRA?

 Good evening Dear Reader (or morning as the case may be where you are!),

The Mad FIentist (whom I greatly admire) does an excellent write-up in this post ( ) detailed exactly why you should invest in a Traditional IRA rather than a Roth IRA.

Alas, this post was not written back when I opened my Roth IRA (I would hazard a guess that was in 2005 or 2006), nor was I aware of FIRE back then.

As such, I have constantly been asking myself. Do I continue investing in my Roth IRA or should I begin a Traditional IRA (better late than never, am I right)?

After considering this for about a year, and (finally!) this year I think I am eligible for a Traditional IRA, I sat down and did some simple math using this online calculator: .

And, here is a table with the results:

VehicleCurrent InvestmentAdditional InvestmentGrowth after 8 yearsGrowth after 20 years
Roth IRA (TD)50548.05069611112492
Trad IRA (Schwab)06000826313353

I note the different brokerages because were I to open a Traditional IRA, I would open it with Schwab as I primarily invest in SWPPX currently. Therefore, the amount in the Roth has $16.95x4 subtracted from the maximum I can contribute in 2021 ($6000). This is assuming I would split the $6000 up into 4 equal payments to invest in the stock market at intervals as regular as I can make them to take advantage of dollar cost averaging. Of course, I might just dump the whole amount in at one time depending on how the stock market is doing at that time.

Well, my inkling that adding $5932.2 to my existing amount in SWPPX would compound in interest resulting in much larger gains than starting from scratch this year proved correct. I would have a whopping $19,000+ increase than if I opened a traditional IRA.

I checked growth after 8 years and after 20 years since it isn't clear yet if we'll retire in 8 or 20 years. As I've mentioned previously, if I retire in 20 years, I'll be able to take advantage of special gap medical insurance for my husband and myself.

These numbers don't include any additional investments past this year (2021) since I wasn't sure how many more years I'd qualify to deposit in the Traditional IRA (another reason why putting the money in the Roth might make more sense).

So as another pair of bloggers I admire say, math'ing shit up works every time (Millennial Revolution! You should check out their blog too, you may enjoy it - if you don't subscribe to them already :) ).

I wish you a very pleasant evening,

Into the FIRE 

Friday, January 8, 2021

Into the FIRE's Millionaire Pledge

Dear, dear Reader,

I'm back! I am taking J$'s Millionaire Pledge.

In order for me, Into the FIRE, to become a millionaire, I pledge to do the following (each year):

Max out my 403(b) - $19,500/year

Max out my Roth (or traditional) IRA - $6,000/year

Using CNN Money's Millionaire Calculator (which can be found here: ), they calculated it would take me 8 years and 3 months until I attain millionaire status.

I also used a conservative estimate of 4% interest per year.

This means I'll be a millionaire when I'm 43. That's exciting, but it would be even more exciting if I was able to reach this before age 40.

Note the calculator also adjusts for inflation, and they said if I include inflation, it will take 14 years and 7 months. Whew! That means I wouldn't be a millionaire until age 49... That just seems like eternity right now!

Once I get accepted with this pledge, and once I reach a millionaire dollars, I'm really looking forward to posting that badge (code)! :)

Ever yours,

Into the FIRE

Compilation of FI and FIRE Bloggers Net Worths’


The Net Worths of Personal Finance Bloggers

In order of highest to lowest (foreign currencies converted to U.S. dollars):

  1. The Money Commando @ $7,276,688.52 (As of Dec 2020)
  2. Financially Alert @ $2,414,176 (As of Dec 31, 2020)
  3. Root of Good @ $2,405,000 (As of Nov 2020)
  4. Millionaire Before 50 @ $2,205,887 (As of Dec 2020)
  5. The FI Explorer @ $1,767,503 ($AUD 2,266,030, As of Dec 31, 2020)
  6. Personal Finance News @ $1,196,172 (As of Feb 2018)
  7. Few and FIRE Between @ $555,730 (As of Dec 2020 - this is yours truly!)
  8. Freedom 35 @ $503,880 ($CDN 646,000, rounded to nearest $1k, As of Dec 31, 2020)
  9. DINKS Finance @ $354,177 (As of Jan 1, 2021)

This list will continue to be updated as time goes on, and as more people confirm they want to be added. The last time this post was edited is in the time stamp of the post's publication.

Please note different blogs have different ways of calculating their respective net worths! We have done our best to be respectful of everyone's wishes. If you have a complaint, please leave a comment below.

Also, if you would like to be included on this list, please leave a comment below with your information and a link to your blog!

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Hungryroot Promo Code!!

 Hello Dear Reader,

Happy New Year to you! I hope you all are well. :) Ha ha, look at me, assuming I have one or more readers (lol).

Well, in any case, I have an affiliate code to share with you! I just signed up for a weekly order of Hungryroot. I'm very excited that these will be delicious, healthy, easy to cook meals and fast. 

If you use this link, you'll get $40 off (and I'll get $40 to spend on groceries (through Hungryroot)!).

I'll post a review after the first week of using, but you can pause weeks or cancel at any time :).

Here is the link:

(all capital letters for the referral code)

When you sign up, you go through a quiz of what allergies/diet restrictions you are observing, how much you eat, how many meals you want (all, some, or none). Then it will lead you through what kind of meals you want to eat.

I've heard very good things about this on the internet and I'm very excited! Stay tuned for our review.

Ever yours,

Into the FIRE

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Book List :)

 Hello Dear Reader,

I've been working on a post for a long time but haven't been able to post it yet.

In the meantime, I thought I'd post a book list!

Here are books I've read or plan to read:

Plan to Read books (sorted into various categories):

Women Focused Finance:

Rich Bitch by Nicole Lapin

Financially Fearless by Alexa Von Tobel

Shoo, Jimmy Choo by Catey Hill

Women & Money: Owning The Power to Control Your Destiny by Suze Orman

Live It, Love It, Earn It: A Women's Guide to Financial Freedom by Marianna Olszewski

Nice Girls Don't Get Rich: 75 Avoidable Mistakes Women Make with Money by Dr. Lois P. Frankel

Millionaire Women Next Door: The Many Journeys of Successful American Businesswomen by Thomas J. Stanley

Clever Girl Finance: Learn How Investing Works, Grow Your Money by Bola Sokunbi

Warren Buffet Invests Like A Girl by The Motley Fool and LouAnn Lofton

Smart Women Finish Rich by David Bach

Real Money Answers for Every Women: How to Win the Money Game With or Without a Man by Patrice Washington

5 Lessons A Millionaire Taught Me For Women by Richard Paul Evans

The Women's Guide to Successful Investing: Achieving Financial Security and Realizing Your Goals by Nancy Tengler

Smart Mom, Rich Mom: How to Build Wealth While Raising a Family by Kimberly Palmer

Women Focused Career:

Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office: Unconscious Mistakes Women Make That Sabotage Their Careers by Lois P. Frankel

Mistakes I Made at Work: 25 Influential Women Reflect on What They Got Out of Getting It Wrong by Jessica Bacal

Own It: The Power of Women at Work by Sallie Krawcheck

Women Don't Ask: The High Cost of Avoiding Negotiation- -and Positive Strategies for Change by Linda Babcock

Fearless and Free: How Smart Women Pivot and Relaunch Their Careers by Wendy Sachs

Boss Bitch: A Simple 12-Step Plan to Take Charge of Your Career by Nicole Lapin

The Myth of the Nice Girl: Achieving a Career You Love Without Becoming a Person You Hate b Ran Hauser

She Means Business: Turn Your Ideas into Reality and Become a Wildly Successful Entrepreneur by Carrie Green

Business Boutique: A Woman's Guide for Making Money Doing What She Loves by Christy Wright

#GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso

Girl Code: Unlocking the Secrets to Success, Sanity, and Happiness for the Female Entrepreneur by Cara Awill Leyba

Million Dollar Women: The Essential Guide for Female Entrepreneurs Who Want to Go Big by Julia Pimsleur

Dear Female Founder: 66 Letters of Advice from Women Entrepreneurs Who Want to Go Big by Lu Li

Secrets of Six-Figure Women: Surprising Strategies to Up Your Earnings and Change Your Life by Barbra Stanny

Women Focused Self-Help/Inspirational:

Successful Women Think Differently: 9 Habits to Make You Happier, Healthier, and More Resilient by Valorie Burton

Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are so You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be by Rachel Hollis

Non-gender-specific Finance:

Get a Financial Life: Personal Finance in Your Twenties and Thirties by Beth Kobliner (by the time I read this I'll probably be in my 40s, ha ha ha ha).

Get Money by Kristin Wong

Smart Money, Smart Kids by Dave Ramsey

Peace and Plenty: Finding Your Path to Financial Serenity by Sarah Ban Breathnach

Frugal Isn't Cheap: Spend Less, Save More, and Live Better by Clare Levison

The Intelligent Investor: The Definitive Book on Value Investing by Benjamin Graham

Smart Investors Keep It Simple: Investing In Dividend Stocks For Passive Income by Giovanni Rigters

Rich Dad's Guide to Investing: What the Rich Invest in, That the Poor and the Middle Class Do Not! by Robert Kiyosaki

Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money - That the Poor and the Middle Class Do Not! - by Robert Kiyosaki

The Complete TurtleTrader: How 23 Novice Investors Became Overnight Millionairs by Michael W. Covel

The Book on Rental Property Investing: How to Create Wealth and Passive Income Through Smart Buy & Hold Real Estate Investing by Brandon Turner

Spend Well, Live Rich: How to Get What You Want With The Money You Have by Michelle Singletary

Money, A Love Story: Untangle Your Financial Woes and Create the Life You Really Want by Kate Northrup

Broke Millennial: Stop Scraping By and Get Your Financial Life Together by Erin Lowry

You Are a Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth by Jen Sincero

The $1000 Project: An Easy Guide to Mindful Saving and Financial Well Being by Canna Campbell

The Automatic Millionaire, A Powerful One-Step Plan to Live and Finish Rich by David Bach

The Financial Diet: A Total Beginner's Buide to Getting Good with Money by Chelsea Fagan

The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason

The Little Book of Common Sense Investing: The Only Way to Guarantee Your Fair Share of Stock Market Returns by John C. Bogel

Everyday Millionaires: How Ordinary People Built Extraordinary Wealth - - and How You Can Too by Chris Hogan

The Dumb Things Smart People Do with Their Money: Thirteen Ways to Right Your Financial Wrongs by Jill Schlesinger

Pensionless: the 10-step Solution for a Stress-Free Retirement by Emily Branson

Smart Couples Finish Rich: 9 Steps to Creating a Rich Future for You and Your Partner by David Bach

Non-gender-specific Career/Entrepreneur:

Leave Your Mark: Land Your Dream Job. Kill It in Your Career. Rock Social Media by Aliza Licht

Profit First: Transform Your Business from a Cash-Eating Monster to a Money-Making Machine by Mike Michalowicz

The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It by Michael E. Gerber

Blue Ocean Strategy, Expanded Edition: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne

Blue Ocean Shift: Beyond Competing - Proven Steps to Inspire Confidence and Seize New Growth by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne

Daring & Disruptive: Unleashing the Entrepreneur by Lisa Messenger

Non-gender-specific Self-Help/Inspirational:

Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rimes

No Excuses!: The Power of Self-Discipline by Brian Tracy

Believe Bigger: Discover the Path to Your Life Purpose by Marshawn Evan Daniels

You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero

Cultivate: A Grace-Filled Guile to Growing an Intentional Life by Lara Casey

Jump: Take the Leap of Faith to Achieve Your Life of Abundance by Steve Harvey

Abundance Now: Amplify Your Life & Achieve Prosperity Today by Lisa Nicols

Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy

Non-gender-specific Health:

Fat Chance by Dr. Robert Lustig (not finance-related, but still a book I plan to read)

Books I have read:

The Spender's Guide to Debt-Free Living by Anna Newell Jones - I read this and I enjoyed it. After I read this book, I realized it's okay for me to try and return anything. That's money that will go back into my pocket (and maybe money I can't afford to spend).

Quit Like a Millionaire: No Gimmicks, Luck, or Trust Fund Required by Kristy Shen and Bryce Leung - I read this and enjoyed it immensely. I thought this was such an interesting story. It was also very memorable. I wouldn't mind re-reading it but I don't have to re-read it because I didn't forget it yet. :) Read this around late October 2019.

The Mastery of Love: A Practical Guide to the Art of Relationship: A Toltec Wisdom Book by Don Miguel Ruiz - I vaguely remember this but I don't feel the need to re-read it. It was okay.

The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz - This book was okay. I don't really feel the need to re-read it. Read this in early November 2019.

Financial Freedom: A Proven Path to All the Money You Will Ever Need by Grant Sabatier - I enjoyed reading this book a lot. Actually, this book was the basis on which I started my blog. Read this around late October 2019.

ChooseFI: Your Blueprint to Financial Independence by Chris Mamula and Brad Barrett - I enjoyed reading this book as well. I had planned on doing a series on this book as well. Read this around early November 2019.

You Need a Budget: The Proven System for Breaking the Paycheck-to-Paycheck Cycle, Getting Out of Debt... by Jesse Mecham - I sped-read this one. I think it was okay, but I don't feel the need to re-read it. 

Books I have read that I plan to re-read:

Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It by Chris Voss and Tahl Raz. This was a great book I sped-read and I would like to re-read it. I don't remember it very well. Also, I'm not sure I can apply it effectively since I'm not a white man, but I suppose I can do my best! Read this in late November 2019.

Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear - This book was amazing. I'd love to re-read it and try and apply it to my life this time. He has a free weekly newletter I recommend you sign up for too. Read this around late October 2019.

The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Tim Ferris - I read this but it was a very long time ago. I'd like to re-read it to give it another chance.

Dollars and Sense: How we Misthink Money and How to Spend Smarter by Dan Ariely and Jeff Kreisler - I think I read this in early November 2019. It was good but I'd like to re-read it.

Happy Money: The Science of Smarter Spending by Elizabeth Dunn & Michael Norton - same as Dollars and Sense. I think I read this, I think it was good, I'd like to re-read it. Read in early November 2019.

Can I Retire Yet: How to Make the Biggest Financial Decision of the Rest of Your Life by Darrow Kirkpatrick - I read this. It was a bit hard to digest. I'd like to read it again. Read in mid/late October 2019.

Bonus: a quote from Into the FIRE's father: "My experience is that people love learning, but they resent being taught."

Phew! This was a lot of typing. How was your 2020? I hope it wasn't too bad. Wishing you and your loved ones a very happy 2021.


Into the FIRE

Friday, August 14, 2020

Financial Freedom Blog Post #12

 Dear Reader, how do you feel?

Well, it has been a minute and a half over here!

Today's posting will be an update of our assets and liabilities.

Please note that again this doesn't Mr. ItF's assets, except for the co-op which we jointly own.

Without further ado, our/my assets:

Bank AccountsInvestmentsReal EstateValuables
DescriptionValueDescriptionValueDescriptionRough ValueDescriptionRough Value
Credit Union 1$1,040.05Roth IRA$75,747.18Co-op$595,000.00Jewelry$4,359.00
Credit Union 2$52.03403(b)$116,431.84
Checking 1$4,832.93
Checking 2$1,789.56
Checking 3$4,408.41
Checking 4$135.00
Business Checking 1$1,013.52
Online Payment System (Business)$20.00
Savings 1$811.44
Total Assets$805,640.96

And our/my liabilities:

DescriptionAmount OwedInterest Rate
Credit Card 1$1,846.59N/A

Again, Mr. ItF's liabilities are not included, except for the co-op which we jointly own.

Let's figure out our savings rate!

Total Saved Per Year$31,985.88
Savings Rate86.21%

Now I know you are asking, how is it possible for your savings rate to be so high?

Dear reader, please let me explain.

I place my income directly from my W-2. Although my SS wages are higher, the actual wages as reported on my W-2 are $37,102.68. This is due to the large increase in my pre-tax contributions to my 403(b), which results in a lower income (but simultaneously higher savings rate).

Furthermore - I am counting the amount I save per year in my aforementioned pre-tax contributions, but also the 5% matching and 5% bonus contributions to my 403(b) from the non-profit I work for. Therefore, even though the savings rate says 86.21%, 10% of that (well, more than 10% of that post-tax income - in fact if I were rounding up it'd be closer to 20%, it's actually roughly 17.48%) doesn't actually come from money I am saving (but from the non-profit).

Furthermore, that income I am taking from my full-time job. I do have bits and drabs of income coming in (nothing substantial) from other income sources, such as taking surveys, opening bank accounts, gambling, etc. that I haven't counted in this income. So were I to hazard a guess at my actual savings rate, I would say it's probably somewhere between 50-60%.

Hope that makes sense.

Well, it has been quite a day so this is,

Signing off,

Yours truly,

Into the FIRE

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Financial Freedom Blog Post #11

 Dear Reader!

I know, I know. Back so soon?

I just couldn't stay away.

So, let's revisit our dear friends Millennial Revolution. Remember to buy Kristy's new book, which is amazing!

So, again, we calculated how long it would take to reach our number ( $1,004,955.00 ).

(Note: I realized I calculated this wrong and I'm actually saving even more than this, so please see the updated chart below):


And you can see we are now between 12 and 13 years (not too shabby if I do say so myself!). Of course, if we have children, this number will only go up. 

To update on Mr. ItF, he has perhaps $1,035,000 now (I suppose he has done much better than I have. While I have increased about $50k, he's over doubled his money. How does he do it? I don't know. S&P 500 I guess).

So even with children I think we could still reach FI within 8 to 9 years. Though once we have children, we will have to decide if I should keep working until 55 or not (a whole 21 more years! The suspense!!).

So let's go back to #4: 

4) What is your annual, monthly, weekly and daily savings goal?

Again, using Grant's calculator, we can see here:


(Note: I updated it so the correct year is highlighted - Year #12).

Interestingly enough, if we compare these two charts, they match up. If I save $31,985.88 (and invest it) every year, then I can retire in 12 years, which matches Grant's chart exactly.It is still pretty astonishing to see that if I save just $5 every day I can retire one year earlier.

However, there are other considerations at play which means it may very well be 21 years.

The good news is that if we have a child and I need to contribute less to my 403(b), that I only have to save and invest $3,362 a year to be on track for 21 years. Of course, it may be much nicer to retire early. 

There are actually quite a lot of items you can get for your child free (with swap meets, parents' Facebook groups, etc), so the main cost is really childcare at this point. We actually typed out a budget estimating how much a child would cost, and it comes out to about $3,118.75 a month on top of our existing expenses.

The most costly of these was childcare: roughly $1683 a month. However, if you think about it, quitting your job to raise a child (which somehow just feels different from retiring early to raise a child, though really, it's sort of the same thing), will lead you to lose out on prime years when you could be contributing to your 403(b) or 401(k) as your case may be.

Here is a great article on the topic:

One example, taken directly from the article, explains a woman becoming a stay at home mom for five years would lose a whopping $665,445 - this isn't even taking into account how hard it is for women to return to the workforce after they have children! So, if we take that into account, it could be much more than $665,445 - since we should keep in mind that is only for five years.

However, on the flip side, most FIRE'rs usually say that they don't want to miss out on the prime years of raising their children - it's true you will never get those years back, while money is just money, right? And you can always get SOME kind of job, right? Even if that means working at Starbucks or being a Wal-Mart greeter (just some of the jobs I hear getting thrown around for Barista-FI'ers).

Personally, I have a pretty good job right now. It has its ups and downs but I feel quite lucky to have a white-collar job. Once I get older, the chances of me getting this same white-collar job may not materialize.

Thanks for listening to my rambling.

I remain, your,

Into the FIRE