Our Story: The Hammockers
We are the "Hammockers", aka Mr. and Mrs. H (pseudo name to protect our identity). As you can guess, one of our favorite hobbies is staring at the heavenly stars in our hammocks... slowly falling asleep knowing that we are financially free.
This website is meant to provide inspiration to those seeking financial freedom. There are a few websites that offer good advise, but many that offer terrible advise. There are no catches -- free and specific strategies and examples to help you become financially free. I strongly believe that good comes to those who do good to others. My goal is not to talk beliefs, but I am convinced in whatever you want to call it: Good Karma, Good Luck, Divine Blessings, or Heavenly Help. Not that I need any more good fortune, my entire intent is to help you become financially free. Financial freedom changes lives. It has changed mine. It will change yours. I promise.
It all began in 2010. Married super young while starting college (age 22 and 19). Yikes! We were lucky enough to have mostly full-ride academic scholarships which allowed us to graduate debt-free. Living on $0.25 boxes of macaroni also helped the cause. Our $10/hr jobs working part time call center and gas station jobs allowed us to pay the bills, and put 20% down towards our first condo. In fact, by the time we graduated college, we were debt free and had completely paid off our very modest condo. Life was looking very bright until we entered the rat race.
For Mr. H, the thought of working 40 years in Corporate America was exhausting. Mrs. H loves her job as a school teacher but wants to be financially free. We started asking some soul searching questions: Can we gain financial freedom sooner? Are we required to work till we drop? Is there a better way? Over the last 5 years we have come to the conclusion that there is a better way. The way is becoming financially literate and sticking to a consistent plan.
Since graduating in 2012 (Finance/Accounting for Mr. H and Elementary Education for Mrs. H), we have been investing over 75% of our gross income! Mr. H had a starting salary as a staff accountant at $42k and Mrs. H had a meager $32k salary as a school teacher. Not a lot for two college degrees. We had already paid off the condo we were living in and had no other debt (student loans, credit card, car, etc.). Being debt free and having virtually no monthly obligations allowed us save insane amounts of money. Pretty good for two newly grads. In fact, I have never heard of a similar story.
After a year out of school, we realized we needed to invest our hard earned cash into cash flow producing investments. We took the leap and became landlords and purchased a second condo with cash. A year later, we purchased a town-home with 50% down. Within 2 years of being out of school, we owned 2.5 properties, and growing retirement accounts. With cash flow coming in and expenses staying flat, we knew we were on a good trajectory.
We are not geniuses, but we are smart. It is embarrassing to say, but we both scored less than 20 on our first attempts on the ACT. But two people working together as a team towards the same goals will be successful.
We have been very fortunate to annually max out two 401ks at $36k, one 457 plan at $18k, two Roth IRAs at $11k, one ESPP at $10k, one HSA at $6k. This does not include any employer 401k matches or income from our 3 paid off rental properties. In addition, our home is owned, free and clear. No credit card debt or student loan debt even though we both have Master's Degrees. Doesn't make sense for a couple born around 1990. This is the point: two ordinary people with ordinary jobs can do extraordinary things.
We have nothing to gain and you have nothing to lose. Our content is meant to be honest and helpful, as if we were writing words of wisdom to our future children. If you want to retire early from the rat race, this is for you. If you love your job, but desperately seek financial freedom, this is for you. Keep reading. Keep sharing. Keep learning. Keep motivated.
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T H E T E A M
Mr. and Mrs. H
Bucket list item!
Prague, Czech Republic
Bucket list item!