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Actually, I've been a wannabee for some time. Through a series of poor decisions, bad luck and poor health, I had little "free" cash for investing.

Well, now let the FIRE begin. I've opened up an Index Fund and have $500 a month going to it.

Background for those who may want it. I conquered my cc debt in 2001. The following year, I spent saving for an efund and planned to start investing in 2002. Instead, I moved and bought a house. This was the first poor decision, I think, I paid off the house in three years. So, I wiped out my savings and put 83% of my income towards my house. I was lucky in that I had no major problems during that time, still, we had to borrow from my MIL once or twice. (I feel it was a bad decision because if I'd chosen a more traditional mortgage, I could have been investing for the last three years.)

Three years later, I just paid off the house and I was hospitalized with a serious blood clot condition. It was over $14,000 for the hospital bill. I have insurance, but had to pay then file. This wiped out what was left of my cash. I spent the whole year of 2006 saving for various things, including geting my efund up to snuff.

The efund is now 3 months of income, which isn't enough in my case, I live overseas. A true emergency involves moving to the states and being out of work. I still contribute a good amount of money to the efund each payday. So, I hope to have it up to a sizable amount in about 11 months.

Then I bought a new car. (Another poor decision) I should have fought it harder, but the truth was I wanted a new car. My DW and I put down about 1/2 and now I have a car note. This is my only debt, so I felt comfortable enough. I've prepaid it so much that I don't have to pay until September, but I should have it paid off completely within 18 months.

I have my budget set up to accomodate my car, the index fund and most expected expenses (insurance, maintenance, gifts and such) and the efund. Even before I started the index fund, I'd had a line for retirement in my budget. So, instead of saving the money each month, now I will be investing the money each month.

I've also been doing my 401K. I started the 401K in 1993 and have 10% going there. I did do 6% for a couple of years on when I paid for the house, but am back to 10%. The company matches 3%.

So, I have no house payment, one car note, no debts and a good, working budget. With some luck I should make 50 as my early retire date. I have to squeeze a bit more out of my income to make that happen but I think it is possilbe.

Thanks for reading, if you've made it this far. Keep the faith.

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