FI Data Viz #2

Today I thought I’d build a new viz tracking my FI as a function of which of my expenses* my investments can cover over time (as per the 4% rule).

*Since this is a work-in-progress towards FI and, eventually RE, I did not include in the expenses budget lines I cannot easily estimate the costs of when retired (i.e. taxes and health insurance) or budget lines that I would most likely not be making when retired (i.e. contributions to retirement and investment account).  Realistically, all of my expenses will be different in the future so this is really just an exercise to give me short term goals on the way to full retirement.

For starter’s, here is a list of my monthly expenses

Line Item Cost Running Sum
Laundry $10 $10
Tech (gdrive, netflix) $20 $30
Cell phone bill $35 $65
Internet bill $45 $110
Misc spending $85 $195
Transportation $170 $360
Food $200 $560
Rent $1,200 $1,760

/sigh … That rent line bums me out every time I see it :/.

Moving on, here is a running tally of my investments over the last few years.

1

On the opposite axis, I added the running 4% tally and exaggerated the axes a little bit to make it easier to see the line.

2

Right off the bat, I see a visual problem with this chart.  The axes are not showing the relationship between the two datasets appropriately.  Which is to say that while the red line appears to show ~13% of the “goal” of $1760, the blue line is not showing the same.  Scaling the axes up or down to the full goal of FI also wouldn’t work because then you wouldn’t be able to see the nuances (see chart below).  I could change the type of chart for one of the lines, but I’m lazy :).

3

Soooo I’ll just move forward with the lopsided chart for now and add in my expenses.

4

Visible in teeny tiny font is where along the way I’ve been able to meet my running expenses.  I can now say that my investments can sustainably cover my laundry, tech, cell phone, internet, and miscellaneous expenses.  Now if only I can give up shelter, food, and transportation, I’d be free!

Line Item Cost Running Sum
Laundry $10 $10
Tech (gdrive, netflix) $20 $30
Cell phone bill $35 $65
Internet bill $45 $110
Misc spending $85 $195
Transportation $170 $360
Food $200 $560
Rent $1,200 $1,760

On this planet, I’m projecting I’ll be able to meet my basic expenses by 2024 assuming no drastic changes from status quo.

Viz Verdict

I really like this visual.  It suffers from a few technical problems around scalability and visual innumeracy, but I like the impact of being able to quickly see where I’m able to knock out each additional expense, and how much further I have to go.

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2 thoughts on “FI Data Viz #2

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