Reaching Financial independence one day at a time


Welcome to our personal finance and lifestyle blog! We are both 25 year old teachers, with the goal to reach Financial Independence and Retire Early (FIRE) by age 35. We created and co-author this blog in order to document our 10 year journey to FIRE, keep track of our progress, share our MaiFI days with our readers, and help our readers improve their own finances one MaiFI day at a time!

Our names are Joji (Mr. MaiFI) and Mai (Ms. MaiFI), and we are living an abundant life on a frugal budget here in *sunny* southern California. Currently in our second year of teaching, Mr. MaiFI teaches high school chemistry at a charter school, and Ms. MaiFI teaches 3rd grade at a public elementary school.

Our education: We both graduated debt free with Bachelor and Master degrees using scholarships, financial aid, side hustles, family support, and by paying zero dollars for textbooks. Mr. MaiFI received his Bachelor degree in Environmental Sciences at UC Riverside, and Ms. MaiFI earned her BA in Psychology at Scripps College. In order to maximize our teacher salary, we both attended UC San Diego to get our Masters of Education  before becoming teachers. 

August 2019, we found out about the FIRE movement, and after intense *modern-day* research (i.e. podcast listening and blog reading)  plus some *old-fashioned* book reading, we decided to take the leap and join the bandwagon. Our decision to work towards FIRE wasn’t made lightly (Ms. MaiFi had some doubts and concerns…!) but now we are both invested in striving to create a life we love, where money isn’t a concern, time is the most valued commodity, quality time with loved ones is a daily routine, and pursuing our passions and dreams is our full time “career.”

This is our baseline net worth- our numbers at the very beginning of this FI/RE journey. Each month we’ll be sharing MaiFI Monthlies: Our up-to-date monthly net worth breakdown: where our money is allocated and invested + where we are on our way to our FIRE number ~  and our Monthly budget: how much we saved, and how much we spent that month. It’s our way of keeping us on track and accountable to our goal~ plus, you can get a behind-the-scenes sneak peek into first-hand FIRE financing!

While some may say even just getting by on a teacher’s salary is hard * we certainly agree that teachers are grossly underpaid~ and dare we say….undervalued~ * and that early retirement on a teacher’s salary is impossible, we are here to share how we maximize our teacher salary,  make the teaching lifestyle/salary work for us and benefit our FIRE plan, how we live our best lives with a frugal/zero-waste-ish lifestyle, and how anyone can reach their FIRE goals with some smart investments, mindful budgeting, and a fun side hustle or two. 

Join us as we live one MaiFI day at a time!

*Both Mr.MaiFI and Ms.MaiFI co-author and co-edit all posts on this blog. Each post will show as published by the lead-author on that post, but all opinions, statements, and stories are shared by both authors.