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  • KaiM
  • January 18, 2019 06:01:29 PM

A Little About Us

Want to retire early? Looking to be financial independence? Join us on our journey to F.I.R.E. We post tips and tricks for those we want to attain early retirement.

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For People Who Wants to Make 100K And More – Salary Negotiation

Want to get pay 100K or higher? Learn how to negotiation your salary. Don't be scare of asking for more! You always need to negotiate your salary and benefits New article post For People Who Wants to Make 100K And More – Salary Negotiation appeared first on We on Fire - Our FIRE...

Want to increase your salary? Your salary is set before your first day at work, during your salary negotiation. You have to negotiate your salary and benefits right from the gecko. You can make 100K or more.


I find it fascinating that companies and employees always use Glassdoor to decide a position salary. Since this is the “salary rule book” that people are using, we should always use the higher end of the stick when talking about salary. OR ELSE YOU WILL BE LOW BALLING YOURSELF!

My real life example:

My current job right now is Customer Success Manager in San Jose. As you can see for Glassdoor the average base pay is only $76k (see picture below). On the higher end is 122k. The Indeed estimate breaks it down by year of experience and the highest is 144k. CHOOSE the higher end! I would use Indeed estimate instead of Glassdoor in this case because I would benefit the most from it.

Another thought is don’t lower your years of experience. If you worked before in a similar setting and graduated from a university, then you got 4 years plus experience to use for your salary negotiation.

Glassdoor Salary for Customer Success Manager in San Jose
Indeed Salary for Customer Success Manager in San Jose


Don’t be scare of asking for more! You always need to negotiate your salary and benefits. If the company is willing to give you 50k, ask for 60k. Once you pass the interview process, they won’t turn you down while you are negotiating. The worse thing that might happen is they said no to your negotiation and you need to choose to accept or reject their offer.

Here are 3 commons topics for negotiation:

  1. Base Salary
  2. General bonuses – joining bonus, quarterly goal bonus, and renewal bonus
  3. Stocks

Base salary usually follow Glassdoor or Indeed. See above for suggestion on how to use average salary set by Glassdoor.

When your potential employer won’t budge on the base salary, you can request for joining bonus, profit sharing, or specifically goal met bonus. Keep in mind that this type of bonus is not 100% secure.

For example, I would need to get 90% or more on my accounts renewal rate to get a renewal bonus.

I would recommend negotiating stocks if:

  1. You are going to stay for the company for at least 4 years because it usually takes a company 4 years to fully give you all your vested stocks.
  2. Your company is in public trading. You can easily cash out the stock when the company is listed in the stock exchange.
  3. If your company’s stock is not publicly traded, then you 200% believe that your company will IPO.

Most company stocks are worthless if it doesn’t meet any of the reasons above. Your safest bet is to ask for a higher salary so you can get your money now!


  • Is this your dream job?
  • Do you have bills that need to be paid ASAP and don’t have enough money in your bank account?
  • Do you have dependent and worry about their next meal?

If you answer yes to any of the above questions, you are not a chooser but a beggar right now. You need to take the job and use it as a stepping stone to something better.

If you answer no to all of the above questions, then reject the offer, find a better opportunity, and start the salary negotiation again. There are plenty of fishes in the sea.

If you already got a job and wonder how to get a raise, read How to Get a 45% Raise in One Year.

New article post For People Who Wants to Make 100K And More – Salary Negotiation appeared first on We on Fire - Our FIRE Journey.

Our Financial Reflection – July 2020

Want to read about real people working toward our FI? Here is our July 2020 financial reflection. New article post Our Financial Reflection – July 2020 appeared first on We on Fire - Our FIRE Journey.

The loud police siren that is normally a rare sound in my neighborhood, became a normal thing this past month. I would be sitting in my room and wonder, is there a break-in near me? Many rioters are taking advantage of the Black Life Matter protests to loot stores and businesses indiscriminately. My work clients who live in Canada are worried about my safety. This is a surprise turn of events because I would not imagine people from a different country to worry about my well being living in a first-world country. 

Not only do we have to deal with COVID-19, now we have to deal with rioters as well? Also, we actually skipped last month’s monthly update because Mr.WoF was too busy with work wot update his financials. 

We were late posting the June report so July monthly reflection will include June as well. 

Things That Went Well

I got a job opportunity for remote work! Nothing is 100% sure yet because I’m still in the interview phase. I’m surprised that tech companies are still hiring during COVID-19. If possible I would like to stay at my current job only if they also offer me a 100% remote position even after COVID is over. Since my plan is to move to TX in the future, I thought it would not hurt to sharpen my interview skill again. Plus, I can use this opportunity to request my current workplace to offer me work from home as well. 

WE LAUNCHED OUR BETA APP WEBSITE! Our app is called QuickReward. It’s a loyalty app for restaurants and retail. If you know a friend or family member that needs a loyalty app, please share our website with them Right now, we are looking for shop owners to join our FREE beta program. 

I talked to a restaurant owner and she was interested to sign up. So already, we have our first customer!

I also got a new job! This is perfect for our plan to move to Austin because the job is remote. I thought I was going to be stress out with the move plus looking for a new job but I’m glad that this new opportunity found me instead. I will be starting in mid August. 

Things That Went South

50% of my share in the F-star commercial property (the one refusing to pay rent) has been sold. I got half of my investment back. The other half is still on the property. The next step is up to the majority shareholder of the property on whether we sue them or accept things as is. I’m happy that I was able to get 50% of my investment back but Mr.WoF is still heavily invested in this property. 

Financial Reflection

The stock market is bouncing back like crazy even with record-high COVID reported cases and states holding or reverting opening dates. Should this be a concern? I believe so. It’s worrisome for people who need medical care yet can’t receive it because of overcrowding.

It’s a shame I didn’t buy much stock during the lowest point. I’m not sure what happened or why we didn’t buy more stocks during the 20-30% drop in the market. Thinking back, this was an opportunity to buy stock with a big discount and yet I didn’t take advantage of it :(. 


This month I bought 2 new home improvements. The first one is a bidet. For those of you who like to use less toilet paper and have an extra clean booty, a bidet is a perfect solution. The second purchase was a neck massage that can be used anywhere on our body. Since massage places are still closed, this would be the next best thing to unwind some of the tension of working from home and bad sleeping posture. Surprisingly, you are not supposed to use the massage every day because it can bruise your muscle. Currently, I’m using it every other day. 

BillsTotal% Changed
Credit Cards$1,117.00-2.87%
Total Bill July 2020

Looking Forward

I’m working very hard on launching our loyalty app beta program and Mr.WoF is trying his best to finish developing the mobile app ASAP. I have been talking to people online with other entrepreneur minded people on If you want to network with other people online, I would encourage you to use So Far, I believe it is good to meet tech people. 

Mr.WoF has been really busy at work lately and his projects are finally reaching their ends so he should have some more time to push it over the finishing line! We are looking forward to businesses to join our app beta program as we launch the MVP app for our loyalty program.

Overall of July 2020

Our personal brokerage account is still down overall due to Boeing not recovering as much. Our IRA and 401(k) recovered nicely with the market index. At least we have a few more years before retirement. 

We hope that everyone who is reading this stay health and safe.

Type of InvestmentSavedGoal% Changed% Completed to Goal
Passive Income$474.37$10,000.00-17.36%4.74%
Grand Total$502,232.24$1,810,000.004.01%27.75%

New article post Our Financial Reflection – July 2020 appeared first on We on Fire - Our FIRE Journey.

Our Financial Reflection – May 2020

May 2020 is a turbulent month in the US. COVID-19 is spreading because of state reopening. People are taking advantage of the troubling time to start looting businesses. Even with all these issues, we are still working toward our FI. New article post Our Financial Reflection – May 2020 appeared first on We on Fire - Our FIRE...

Originally we thought that things cannot be worse after COVID-19 hit America. We are proven wrong. At the end of May 2020, George Floyd died during a police arrest which sparked Black Lives Matter protest all around the US and the world. A lot of people took advantage of the uncertainty of this time and started to riot and straight-up looting. Not only are local businesses hurt enough by COVID-19, but now they are caught in the middle of a race war with their shop and business damage. 

Our apologies for the late update of the May financial reflection. Work has been really busy and we haven’t had any time to continue writing much in this turbulence time. Even though we haven’t been posting any articles, we still want to continue posting our monthly updates.

Things That Went Well

We still have a job! As unemployment is at an all-time high. We are counting our blessing that we can work to continue our work from home. 

In our 2 years plan, we will be moving to a cheaper city like Austin, TX. Mr.WoF asked his boss about the relocation and got approved. Of course, we will not be moving during COVID but now we know the possibility is possible. 

Our second avocado plant is growing quite well with the weather heating up for the Summer. Our first avocado plant is now growing again in the pot. We read online that in order to increase the chances of getting fruits then it best to have it growing next to another avocado tree. 

Things That Went South

Our A-star commercial property is getting hit hard by COVID-19 requested to lower the rent. This monthly we are getting 25% less rent than usual. The lease renewal deadline is next year. There are a lot of businesses closing stores or filled chapter 11. We hope that our commercial tenants will survive the COVID-19 and release their lease agreement. 

Financial Reflection

Mr.WoF’s fragile heart cannot deal with the market extreme fluctuation. Therefore, he decided to invest in the total market rather than picking an individual stock. Instead of waiting for the market to go down, he will now become an automatic investor, each week buy a share of the total market. 

The market bounces back a lot since the recent low. Even though the overall market bounces back, Boeing (BA) is still down a lot. This is why Mr.WoF is going to buy total market ETF from now on instead. If he had bought ETF instead of Boeing then he would have gained back almost all of his losses due to COVID-19 already. Sadly, I also own some BA stock as well. 

Expense In May 2020

This summer we have ZERO plan to go anywhere so our expense is minimal. Most of the expenses went to paying rent, food, and occasionally DoorDash. One good thing from COVID-19 is it’s forcing us to save a lot more than usual. 

BillsTotal% Changed
Credit Cards$1,933.00-4.76%
Grand Total$19,344.00-7.49%
Expense May 2020

Looking Foward

Since we are writing this in the middle of June, I know that my company won’t request for us to be back in the office this month. I continue to look forward to not being stuck in traffic. 

Our beta app development is going slowly. I hope we will be able to launch our beta this year. Our friends and family are very interested in using the app when it is out in the market. I hope this inner circle excitement will translate into a viral app. 

Overall of May 2020

The stock market quickly went up in May leaving us with jaw-dropping gain (maybe we should have bought more during April). The market is almost back to the February 2020 high. People are optimistic about reopening. We are cautious about the reopening because there is still no vaccine and cases in California increased by the thousands each day. 

Type of InvestmentSavedGoal% Changed% Completed to Goal
Passive Income$484.60$10,000.00-18.83%4.85%
Grand Total$474,954.25$1,810,000.006.01%26.24%
Overall May 2020

New article post Our Financial Reflection – May 2020 appeared first on We on Fire - Our FIRE Journey.

3 Financial Mistakes Every Employee Need To Avoid After Leaving A Job!

Did you recently leave your job? Here are 3 financial mistakes that common 9-5 employees make with their money after leaving a job. New article post 3 Financial Mistakes Every Employee Need To Avoid After Leaving A Job! appeared first on We on Fire - Our FIRE...

Are you planning to leave your job? Did you switch to a new job? After turning in your work badge, there are financial arrangements you need to review. A lot of people fail to realize they need to take action on retirement accounts after leaving their old job. And failing to do these are lead to devastating results down the road. Here are 3 financial mistakes that you need to avoid after leaving your job.

#1 Didn’t Roll Over Your 401k To IRA

Unless you reached 59 ½, you shouldn’t cash out your 401k after leaving your company. Tax and penalty will eat away a large part of your 401k if you choose the cash option. So there are only three options left: do nothing, transfers into the new 401k account at your new company, or roll over into individual retirement account (IRA). The best option is to rollover your 401k to an IRA account. Doing nothing or transferring it into a new 401k account is not recommended and here is why:

More Investment Options

My 401k options included only 20 different investment options. These options are mutual funds, equity funds, and bonds. In an IRA account, you can choose individual stock, ETF, bonds, and many other types of investments.

Lower Fees

Management fee, administration fee, and expense ratio can eat away your nest egg. Rolling over to an IRA account can help reduce these fees. If you are paying more than a 1% annual fee, you need to look at other investment options for your 401k. According to NerdWallet, a 1% fee can cost millennials more than $590,000 over 40 years of saving. 

Broker Cash Bonus

To sweeten the deal, some brokers offer a cash bonus to open an account with them when you decide to roll over 401k to IRA. For example, eTrade offers a tier-based cash bonus for opening a new account with them.

#2 Didn’t Check/Exercise Your Stock Option

You get 90 days to exercise your stock options or you’ll lose your vested stock. The number of stock you receive will depend on your company. To exercise the stock option outside an open window, call your company brokerage account to help with you the transaction.

There are situations where you don’t want to exercise your stock options. For example, if the stock price granted to you is much higher than the current price then there is no point. You don’t want to exercise your stock option unless you know you will benefit from the transaction.

#3 Didn’t Review Your HSA Account

Depending on your company HSA bank, you might inquire monthly fee after you left the company. There are three choices for your HSA account: transfer the balance to your next company account, transfer to a new HSA account, or cash it out with a penalty. We DO NOT recommend you to cash out your HSA account. If your workplace does not offer an HSA program, you can create an HSA account with Lively It’s free and lets you use your HSA account to invest.

New article post 3 Financial Mistakes Every Employee Need To Avoid After Leaving A Job! appeared first on We on Fire - Our FIRE Journey.

Finance Tools We Recommend

It is difficult to keep track and invest our money when we are busy with work and family. Here are a list of finance tools that we recommend to help automate tracking and investing. New article post Finance Tools We Recommend appeared first on We on Fire - Our FIRE...

In our digital age, there are a lot of tools that can help us track, invest, and improve your finance. Without these tools, I would go crazy keeping track of using paper and pen or even an excel sheet (which I used to do before). Now with these tools widely available for free, everything can be automated to help attain our FIRE and other financial goals much easier.

These finance tools help us have a better picture of our financials including the goods and the bads to assist us in making decisions (some of these tools are part of affiliate program links). Here are the tools we use on a regular basis and we highly recommend you consider having under your tool belt.

HSA Investment


While working toward your FI goals, you can use Livelyme to make the most out of your healthcare saving. See how Health Saving Account is one of the most tax advantage account out there.

What we love about Lively: 

  • 100% free for individuals and families.
  • Easy and secure way to contribute or transfer money from your existing HSA plan.
  • Fast support team to help resolve any questions you might have.
  • Ability to invest your HSA money through TD Ameritrade brokerage.

Wealth Management Tool


Do you have a lot of accounts that need to keep track of? Well, I do! Mint simplified everything into one single page. It also alerts you when there is unusual spending or charge on your account.

What we love about Mint:

  • One place to look at all your financial accounts. 
  • It’s simple to link your bank and investment. 
  • Help you create a budget. 

Personal Capital

If you want a personal financial advisor and an awesome dashboard to keep track of your fiance and retirement plan, Personal Capital is your tool. The 360-degree view financial dashboard is free to use without signing up for their financial advisor service. I use personal capital a lot to monitor my monthly cash flow since I have all my credit cards and checking accounts linked.

What we love about Personal Capital: 

  • In-depth financial tools that include net worth tracking, budgeting, and cash flow. 
  • Free financial retirement planner. 
  • An analyzer for how the fee would impact your retirement plan. 

Stock Brokers


Want to exchange stock for free? Robinhood is one of the forerunner’s commission-free stock brokerage before everyone else. A pioneer of commission-free investing gives you more ways to make your money work harder.

What we love about Robinhood: 

You can buy different stock portfolios without paying any fees.  

Buy and sell Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, and other cryptocurrencies commission-free.

Commission-free options trading. (wow so many free ways to invest!)

Charles Schwab 

Charles Schwab is now also commission-free trading and it comes with all the stock analysis tools that Robinhood doesn’t have. Schwab offers a wide range of investment advice, products & services, including brokerage & retirement accounts, ETFs, online trading & more.

What we love about Charles Schwab: 

  • You can buy different stock portfolios without paying any fee.  
  • Buy and sell Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, and other cryptocurrencies commission-free.
  • Commission-free options trading. (wow so many free ways to invest!)

Credit Score Monitor Tool

Credit Karma

Having a high credit score is important when you want to borrow money. A great credit score will help getting a lower interest on your loan which will help you save money. 

What we love about Credit Karma: 

  • Monitor and check your score anytime for free.
  • File your tax for free!
  • Tips on how to increase your credit score.

Automatic Investing Tool


Do you need help investing automatically? Acorns can round up your morning latte bill and use the spare change to invest. Acorns allow you to invest your spare change automatically.

What we love about Acorns:

  • Start using the service for $1 a month. 
  • No commission fee. You only pay $1 to start using the service.
  • Micro-investing and Robo-investing

What are the finance tools you are using? Leave us a comment below.

New article post Finance Tools We Recommend appeared first on We on Fire - Our FIRE Journey.

How To Use The Velocity Banking Calculator

This article is an instruction on how to use the velocity banking calculator. For the actual calculator go to New article post How To Use The Velocity Banking Calculator appeared first on We on Fire - Our FIRE...

We recently just launched our new Velocity Banking (VB) calculator. It was a long time coming since our first Velocity Banking article on this site more than a year ago. We have the idea for a VB calculator for quite some time now but never got around. We finally published it this week! This article is an instruction on how to use the velocity banking calculator. To go to the calculator click here

#1 Enter Information For The Calculation

Loan Info

  • Loan Amount : what’s the amount of your loan right now. 
  • Annual Interest Rate: Enter a number from 0.01 to 20. This is your annual percentage rate (APR) of your loan.
  • Loan Period: Enter a number from 1 to 360. This is the duration of your loan in terms of the month. 
Loan Information

Extra Payment

  • Extra Payment Amount: Enter a number from 1 to 10,000. 
  • Frequency: The only option is “Monthly”.
Extra Payment Information

Velocity Banking

  • Total Monthly Income After Tax : This is the amount of money that land in your bank account when you get paid.
  • Total Monthly Expense (including mortgage) : Any bill that you have to pay each month. If the money is coming out of your bank account, then it’s an expense and needed to be accounted for.
  • Number of Chunking: how many times do you want to use velocity banking. In simpler terms, how many times are you planning to use a loan to pay for another loan? Enter a number from 1 to 100.
  • HELOC/LOC Interest Rate : Enter a number from 0.01 to 30. This is the APR for the second loan that you are using to pay off the first loan. 
  • Chunk Amount (HELO/LOC Amount): Enter a number from 5000 to 500,000. This is the amount that you will use to pay off the first loan.
Velocity Banking Information

#2 Click “Next” to Complete

#3 The Summary Table

In the summary table, you will see a table showing traditional mortgage vs extra payments vs velocity banking. 

  • The total interest is how much money you will pay toward interest during your loan duration. 
  • Loan duration (months) is the amount of time it takes for you to pay off the loan according to the 3 different scenarios. 
  • Number of Chunking: this only applies to velocity banking. This is the number of times you use velocity banking to pay your loan.
  • Best solution for you indicated with a green checkbox is the lowest interest rate out of the 3 scenarios. 
Summary Table

#4 Click “Click To See Calculation Table”

Scroll down to the bottom of the web page and you will see 4 different tables: amortized mortgage table, an amortized mortgage with extra payment, amortized mortgage with velocity banking, and line of credit table. 

To expand the table, click on the table you want to see the detailed calculations. 

Loan Calculation Details

New article post How To Use The Velocity Banking Calculator appeared first on We on Fire - Our FIRE Journey.

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