Alex’s early, early retirement plans — meeting Ellie

Alex Ellie
6 min readSep 8, 2019

This week we’re looking back at my initial early retirement plans, and if you haven’t seen the previous post on what my plans were before meeting my wife, I highly recommend you start there first.

Essentially, last time we covered my early work experience — starting with highs, and quickly descending into lows.

I quickly realised that I wanted to retire early, and I set about beginning to work towards an early retirement that would be most akin to a BaristaFIRE retirement mixed with LeanFIRE. I’d own my own home (so I’d have low housing costs), have a small investment base with an investment property, and then work on a casual basis to get a little bit of extra money to make up the shortfall.

Today I’m talking about what changed — what made me go from a $25,000 per annum budget to a $150,000 budget.

The biggest change came about from meeting Ellie.

Well, this was unexpected.

Life turned upside down

Ellie and I met in 2012, and needless to say my life has been permanently changed ever since. We’re entering personal territory here for a minute, but I never expected any of this — the changes to financial goals or blissful married life.

I had two reasons for aiming for a minimalist BaristaFIRE existence.

Firstly, it was the quickest way to get out of full time work. My goal was to retire by 35 (I’m now 34…).

Secondly, I was quite convinced that I’d be single forever, and I never thought I’d have someone in my life. As a result, I worked out my finances to be what I need to have a life I thought would be better than the one I had at the time.

While I wanted to travel, and I did a small amount by myself, doing it alone left the experience lacking. The other times I’d been with family made the experience so much more enjoyable. So I was willing to forgo it. It might sound pitiful, but it was sadly true. And if those are your goals, you can live life on the cheap — especially if you haven’t got expensive tastes to begin with.

Instead my life would be a somewhat solitary one. I’d move to a regional area and be on my own. I’d hopefully make friends…



Alex Ellie

We’re Alex & Ellie, a 30-something married couple who started HisHerMoneyGuide to highlight how you can join us and reach financial independence sooner.