About Us

My Story

Hi, My Name Is Crystal

If you told me in 2012 that I’d be where I am today, I would have laughed. Going from broke and homeless to graduated investor in under a decade was a LEAP. Add in being a Midwest transplant living on the East coast, three cats, a husband, and multiple country residencies along the way and things get a little complicated.

The last decade was brutal in a lot of ways but brought its own share of life lessons. My goal for this blog is to provide proof that things get better when we take action and educate ourselves. Financial literacy is a skill that our system takes no responsibility in providing so it’s up to us to teach ourselves. That said, nothing on this blog is meant to be taken as financial, legal, investing, or tax advice, it is simply to document my personal financial journey. All of your decisions are your own.

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➤ Our Why

We’re on the path to FIRE because we’re sick of the rat race that is American culture. In 2012, I was promptly kicked out of my parent’s home for being engaged to a foreigner…the whole event triggered over a misplaced chocolate bar. This instigated a cycle of poor college grades as I struggled to keep a roof over my head, pay expenses/tuition, and take exams. We suffered extreme food insecurity in attempt to pay rent and I lost 30+lbs in 2-3 month span. I lost my beater car because I couldn’t afford to renew registration or repair it. Literally had to open the door with a crowd bar, the passenger’s side door was locked shut, and none of the windows worked. During this time our bank account was constantly negative with insufficient fund fees compounding it. Worse of all was how unstable employment was, every second was spent worrying if we were fired yet. We never want to be in that position again, so we are doing what it takes to reach financial independence as fast as possible.

➤ Our Strategy

We’ve managed to refine our investment strategy into a multi-income stream portfolio, primarily focused on the accumulation stage of REIT dividend stuffing. We bring in income to invest from W2’s, 1099’s, small business streams, and dividends. Currently, if we left our accounts untouched and set dividends to be reinvested, we would be set for retirement in 2048 (55-ish). That’s not good enough. We have worked to increase our income and cut expenses to save 60% of our net earnings. This allows us to potential hit mini-FIRE by the end of 2025. Mini-FIRE to us means income from non-W2 sources eclipse our expenses and replaces our income.