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Get your partner on board with FIRE with mental time-travel, chunking, and social proof

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Peter Thornhill, Australian finance guru has regularly said "if you have two savers in a relationship it is Nirvana, if you have two spenders it's survivable, but if you have one saver and one spender you're in trouble, because one will simply spend their time undoing all the efforts of the other" (see an interview transcript with Peter here).

This topic has come up a few times in forums, blogs, and podcasts, but I don't recall seeing anyone tackle it head-on.

Unlike many people in the FIRE community, I'm not an engineer or in IT. A lot of my work focuses on influencing people to act in what are often in their and the collective best interests. Even if they don't quite recognise what those best interests are yet.

I think some of the strategies I've picked up along the way might apply here.

How do I get my partner on board with FIRE?

Before I get into it, I want to share a word of warning: The line between benevolent influence and  manipulation…

FIRE milestone calculator

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A few days ago I posted a link to my FIRE calculator on Reddit. I had posted it a few months before, but didn't get much interest. Most of the traffic to the calculator came from posting about it in the comments section of Strong Money Australia's post about where you should put your money. Over the nearly 6 months since I first posted the calculator, I had 822 visitors to the page. I was really happy with how many people had seen it, and had received a lot of really thankful and encouraging emails. Nevertheless, visits had dropped off.

Enter me, posting about the calculator on Reddit again. In a couple of days, the 822 visits exploded to 3,110! OK, so it might not have gone 'viral', but for someone who is just doing this for fun, I was really blown away by the interest it generated.

Along with some really awesome feedback, I got a lot of suggestions of features to add to the calculator. For the most part, these were awesome suggestions. Lots I had already considered,…

About Ughhrrumph

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Ughhrrumph is an onomatopoeia for the frustration I felt working in the job that I hated, with a boss that didn't understand my job, yet liked to micromanage (I was a low-level data analyst at the time). It was the exact feeling that got me dreaming about escaping the rat-race, and the feeling that helped me realise the importance of reaching financial independence, and retiring early (FIRE).

I left that job years ago, but I haven't forgotten how it felt.

I owe a lot to that feeling of frustration, and I don't want to forget it.

Frustration isn't usually looked upon with fondness, but if I'm honest, I do a lot of my best work when I'm frustrated. For example, I made my own FIRE calculator because I was frustrated with the complexity of picking the best strategy to reach FIRE. It helped me so much to come to peace with my plan, I started this blog as a vehicle for sharing the calculator hoping it might also help others.

It's early days, so I don't k…

Franking credit refund calculator

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All this talk of Labor and franking credit refunds got me wondering about what exactly these changes would mean financially. Though I've been lurking for a few years, I'm relatively new to the FI community, and am not 100% sure I have the maths correct, so please let me know if I have misunderstood the implications of Labor's proposed changes.

Obviously, everyone's situation will be different, and I doubt many people are aiming for a retirement income based on 100% fully franked dividends only. But to keep things simple, the below calculator assumes a single income earner wants to know their net income with and without franking credit refunds - assuming no other income. The calculator also assumes all dividends represent 4% of the portfolio size.

Perhaps most importantly, the below refers to individuals who are pre-retirement age. As I understand it, most of the perception of 'unfairness' around the use of franking credits as a mechanism to avoid double taxati…

Ughhrrumh FIRE calculator

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NOTE: This page is best viewed on a large screen (e.g., laptop/desktop/tablet zoomed out)

Welcome to my first post!

I've been lurking around the FIRE community for a while now, not earning enough to make any meaningful progress towards FIRE (I went back to school). After a few years of just enough income to not go backwards, I started thinking about how I would use the income I hoped to make with my higher qualifications.

Should I pay down the PPOR to reduce expenses? Pay off my investment property? Buy LICs and/or ETFs? Sell the investment property and buy shares? There are so many variables, I was really struggling to think through a clear plan.

There are a stack of FIRE calculators out there, but none seemed to take into consideration all the variables I was trying to plan for. So, I built my own:
Ughhrrumph FIRE Calculator

In short, for my circumstances, I found if I focused on funneling as much savings as I can afford into LICs/ETFs for the next 3 years, then focusing on pa…