Courtney’s Story: Pursuing the F.I.R.E. Lifestyle

Meet Courtney, a Membership & Business Development Director for a Chamber of Commerce who lives in Connecticut

What’s your profession?

I’m the Membership & Business Development Director for a local Chamber of Commerce here in Connecticut.

What does your day-to-day look like?

It’s pretty standard these days. I wake up, go to work, then go home. Since the COVID-19 pandemic pretty much shut most things down, there’s not much to do. Whenever I have some time to myself, I like to unwind by watching tv or managing my online side business. And every so often, I’ll take day or weekend trips here and there.

Can you tell me more about your side business?

I’m a reseller. So, I go thrifting or family and friends bring me their clothes to sell for them. Reselling clothing has helped me hit my financial goals over the last two years.

How’d you get into the business of reselling?

My niece was at my house one day and showed me the Poshmark app. I started off selling jewelry and moved onto selling clothing, too. During the pandemic, I’ve actually brought in an extra $2,000 a month through this side hustle.

Do you have any student loans? What does paying them down look like?

I do have student loans left. At the time I got the loans, I was so lucky that the interest rate at the time was 2.5%. Now that I look back on it, I should have paid them off sooner. It’s only been in the last two years that I really focused on taking care of the last of my remaining student loans. The federal moratorium on student loans has been really helpful. I’ve definitely taken advantage of the temporary 0% interest rate. My plan is to keep paying my loans down as much as I can.

What does budgeting look like for you?

About two years ago, a friend introduced me to Dave Ramsey. She gave me a pre-made Excel sheet, so, all I had to do was input my income and expenses, and it took the work out of manually having to budget. Every two weeks, I update the spreadsheet. What was nice was that everything is down to the penny. After my expenses and like groceries and gas, whatever is leftover I put into savings.

Are you saving for anything in particular?

Normally I’d be saving for vacations or concerts, but now I’ve been blessed with being able to put that money into my savings. I don’t know if I would’ve gotten better at saving had it not been for the pandemic.

Have you had to dip into your savings to help weather the pandemic?

Fortunately, I haven’t had to dip into my savings. I’ve just been using my savings buckets to pay for investments like my house. Besides my savings buckets, I don’t touch my emergency fund.

Tell me about your biggest financial achievement.

I moved from a 30-year mortgage to a 15-year mortgage. At 35 years old, I’m very proud of this accomplishment! My ultimate goal is to pay off my house by the time I’m 50 years old. Ultimately, I’d like to retire with a million dollars and retire as early as possible.