Engineering Your Early Retirement | Kim from The Frugal Engineers

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By Cody of Fly to FI and Justin aka Saving Sherpa, Cody of Fly to FI, and Justin aka Saving Sherpa. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.
In today's episode, Cody and Justin are joined by Kim from The Frugal Engineers. Kim started nowhere near engineering and with no financial goals. A math professor and an intro to Dave Ramsey would turn her life and career choice completely around. Kim would eventually build a side hustle that would become her full-time job. That side hustle brought in more money than she ever made in traditional employment, allowed her to stay at home with her child, and even let her husband reduce to part-time work. Now both Kim and her husband are self-employed and working for joy instead of stressing about finances. Listen and follow along with the summary below and make sure to check out the links at the bottom of the page. Episode Summary Kim took a gap year after her junior year of college to work at Disney world She had been living off scholarships and didn’t really have to worry about income During that gap year, the scholarships ended She bought a car and racked up $10k in credit card debt The main culprit was a guy she was dating who was already in a corporate job She kept trying to keep up with his spending along with the travel and eating out Kim ended up graduating with an engineering degree Engineering wasn’t on her radar until a math professor pushed her that way Her financial turnaround came after a friend introduced her to Dave Ramsey While she always understood the math she didn’t have a grasp on the psychological side From there she made a plan that included never taking on debt again In grad school, she’d meet her future husband who took her on a date to dollar tree Kim made a vow to pay off all her debt before they would get married It was on their debt payoff celebration that he proposed Then we dig into how she graduated from just Dave Ramsey teachings Now that she’s comfortable with credit cards, she fully embraces travel rewards Fast forward and they have a child and are just discovering the FIRE community After some quick math, they realized at age 29 they were only 6 years from retirement That plan was if nothing changed but Kim wanted to work from home Kim dual-hatted a side hustle with her job She built that up so much that she now works from home and reduce childcare costs After just two years she was making much more than her traditional work Inspired by Kim’s transition her husband started working for himself as a consultant Kim’s side job was hard to juggle with being a new mom at first After calculating things, they realized it was more profitable for her husband to go part-time and free up time for her and greatly increased their work-life balance Once they were completely location-agnostic they decided to leave Florida They tried Oregon for a while but it was too expensive Starting this year they started the journey of finding a place to put down roots They tried Tennessee, Alaska, Nevada but ultimately settled on Wyoming Wyoming has great tax benefits and access to skiing for their daughter Now the next thing they needed to tackle health insurance They tried standard heathlcare.gov plan with a high deductible Then they tried a health share program through Liberty These plans are interesting because they can be more selective of who they cover It was $450 per month for a family of three Kim would have to pay upfront for the bills and then file for reimbursement They struggled with timelines on reimbursement and lack of understanding from doctors After 6 months they went back to a standard plan that was over $900 per month Currently, they’re on a “short-term” health insurance plan It’s only $230 per month but comes with a high deductible and no HSA Then we shift to discussing the detailed steps of finding your FIRE home They made spreadsheets that would mimic their spending in a specific city They visited playgrounds, realtors, and the Wal-Mart Test

71 episodes