The Journey to FIRE: Our First Year

2016 was an exciting year. It marked my first full year out of college, Mrs. VOF’s graduation from nursing school, and was the first year that we actually buckled down and got serious about budgeting and saving money.

We didn’t exactly have any actual financial goals for this year; it was mainly a year to get started with our journey towards FI. Mrs. VOF and I ended up both opening up and maxing out Traditional IRAs, as well as rolling over our IRAs from our previous employments. I also ended up contributing over $12,000 to my employee sponsored retirement account, and I just received an email from work yesterday saying they will be contributing an extra 5% to it! Hooray for free money!!

We started 2016 off with about $20k in assets (a majority of which was cash in our checking/savings accounts) and $7k in debts for my student loans putting us at a net worth of $13k. At the end of the year, we ended up with a net worth of over $30k, $43k in assets and $13k of debts (Thanks to my new car I “had” to buy in October. More on that in a future post.)


Taken from YNAB reports



Our spending was definitely way higher than it could have been, though about $12k of it was for Mrs. VOF and I’s schooling. $7k in March to completely pay off my student loans and $5k (~$2k spread out between January to March and ~$3k in July) to completely pay Mrs. VOF’s tuition for the Spring and Fall semesters. We were smart enough to open up a new credit card to pay her tuition then pay the card off immediately. Doing this we were able to earn a bunch of bonus reward miles as we are planning on taking a trip to Europe this Summer.

In October, we also had made the decision to buy a 2016 Hyundai Accent since my old car started having issues. In the end, it would have cost us double what the car was worth to get it fixed. We ended up putting about $4k down on the car which got us a 1.9% interest rate on the loan. (Yeah, I’m not to stoked about the loan either.)

Without counting what we spent for our schooling or the down payment for my car, we ended up only spending a little over $26k for the year.

Taken from YNAB reports


All-in-all, this year wasn’t too bad, but we definitely could have spent way less. Even though we didn’t have much of a choice with student loans and tuition (technically we did, but…), we definitely could have made a less expensive decision on my car. The only thing we can do now is to buckle down and make the best financial decisions moving forward and save as much money as possible. Here’s to a successful 2017!

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