My 2021 Plan to Accelerate FIRE


With the start of a new year and a new presidency, I feel now is a good time to see if I can accelerate my FIRE plan and maybe complete my goal of financial freedom by the end of Biden's first term.

I know that if I continue to live the way I do now I'll be able to reach my FIRE number of $500,000 sometime in 2027 or 2028. That's six to seven years in the future. However, I think I can do better. I think I can always do better. So here's my 2021 four-step plan to increase my earnings, increase my savings, decrease my spending, and increase my investing.

  1. Earn more - There were some side gigs I completed last year and prior, but I didn't continue with any of them because they either didn't pay high enough or they bored me. For example, I was a delivery driver for Doordash a couple afternoons a week for about three months. I stopped because their Peak Pay Promotions were not high enough for me to earn a decent return. I only do deliveries when the Peak Pay is $5 or more and Doordash decreased it for some reason. I tried Task Rabbit for a little while, mainly as a delivery driver and a computer technician. The starting rates were low and I didn't feel like updating my availability every week. I also tried Upwork where I took a gig as a web developer. The person never paid me for the work I did. I had to file a claim with Upwork only to get a $15 credit, which I never used. It was a waste of my time. Lastly in 2019, I put an ad on Nextdoor about doing freelance web development work. I was able to help someone updating a little league baseball website. Overall, I didn't find the work to be meaningful, especially as a delivery driver. This year, I need to figure out what other side gigs I can do that are more fitting to my skills and liking.
  2. Save more - This year, I might purchase a condo or a townhouse depending if Congress pass the $15,000 down payment assistance for first time home buyers. I plan on renting out the spare bedroom(s) to help me pay the mortgage, interest, etc. I think this will save me a lot of money compared with renting my own apartment. But it's a sellers' market right now. I need to be patient and not get emotional when I look for a property.
  3. Spend less - Last year, I spent about $22,000. I feel like I can spend less if I tried harder. So I'm capping my yearly budget at $20,000. That's $1,666 per month. I hope with the purchase of a property and the bedroom rentals I will spend even less than that.
  4. Invest more - I want to invest more into the stock market on a monthly basis. I've scheduled an automatic transfer of $1,500 per month to my investment account so I have money whenever I need to execute a buy. I won't be surprised if the stock market dips sometime this year. When that happens, it's wise to have some money in the brokerage account to buy when most people is selling.

One point to note is that I won't be considering the property value into my FIRE number because a property is an illiquid asset and it will be funded by debt. I want to have $500,000 all in liquid assets when I reach FIRE.

These are the steps I will take to decrease the time I need to reach financial freedom. I'm curious to see what my financial situation will be like by the end of the year.