On the last day of November in 2020, I slogged through my usual ritual of checking through past transactions and recording our net worth in my spreadsheet. Something jolted me awake and I refreshed the display in disbelief again and again trying to make sense of the number at the top of the page. Slowly I realized there was no mistake and the number was accurate. At age 30, Mr. H and I had just achieved our long coveted status of “millionaire.”
Since we practice stealth wealth, we still have yet to tell anyone in real life about reaching this major milestone. Thanks to market gains and minor holdings in Ethereum that skyrocketed through the roof over the past few months, just two months later we have now surpassed a net worth of over 1.15 million.
So, we immediately quit our jobs, bought a brand new car, ditched our modest 2 bedroom 1 bathroom home and upgraded to the mansion we deserved. Right? Not so much.
We’re Still Working Full-Time At The Same Jobs
Since our current minimum FI number is 1.5 million, we’ll still be at the grindstone for another 2 years or so. Considering market volatility and our current exposure to notoriously volatile crypto currency, our portfolio could drop 10, 20, 30, 40, 50% or more at any time and that reality will certainly affect our FIRE date and number substantially.
Money Can’t Make All Problems Go Away, But It Definitely Helps
No amount of money can bring back the loved ones we lost recently. I’ve learned the hard way that one of the most precious things that money can buy is just a little extra time with those you love. It’s hard to fully express how grateful I am to have this option.
I also started experiencing some health issues within the past month. I noticed that the way I’ve sought medical treatment using my employer subsidized health insurance is still the exact same as if all I had to my name was a 10k emergency fund. However, I will say that my treatment journey right now is dramatically different than a similar time in my early twenties when I was underemployed, under-informed, and very concerned about affording doctor’s bills. Nowadays the cost of care is an inconvenience, not a devastation.
I’ll come clean that we have indulged in a little lifestyle inflation since becoming a “millionaire.”
We’d avoided ordering take out or delivery in our home state since the start of the pandemic. Since my health issues make feeding myself quite difficult, we broke the streak without a second thought and spent an outrageous $40 on pizza delivery this past week. We also ordered outlandishly expensive pre-made frozen meals at nearly $4.00 dollars a meal to tide me over once my no longer infinite stash of frozen lentil soup runs out. Honestly, I have zero regrets.
Mr. H also purchased a new computer for himself and the materials to convert his old machine into a new one for me to upgrade my 10 year old desktop.
We also indulged in generous contributions to our loved ones’ favorite charities as Christmas gifts. Five years ago, I honestly would have balked at donating thousands of dollars. But now, as our net worth continues to rise and I become more and more secure financially, I feel more responsible for sharing my wealth and using it to make the world just a slightly better place. I started my career in the nonprofit world and my eyes are wide open to the impact that money from individual donors can have on struggling organizations. I will continue to not only hold myself accountable for this through the years, but challenge myself to increase my impact.
Most Things Haven’t Changed
Though we’ve upgraded some aspects of our lifestyle, the vast majority of it has stayed the same since we became a joint millionaire. For example, I spent a good deal of time lately working through my mending pile to get more life out of clothes that we’ve already purchased (or acquired 10 years ago from my parents’ neighbors’ daughter who originally purchased it from a thrift store before discarding it). With a careful few exceptions for socks and underwear, we bought or acquired almost all of our clothing used and I can’t see that ever changing.
Hand me downs and my general lentil eating frugal ways helped us get to millionaire status, I won’t abandon them now!