the process

Our Next Life By the Numbers // Our 100th Post!

wow, you guys. though time doesn’t fly when you’re trying hard to retire already, it feels like just yesterday that we started this little blog to chronicle our journey to early retirement (actually it was about 10 months ago), and here we are, 100 posts later! today we’re we’re so grateful to all of you for reading, and for chiming in with your thoughts — you help us think differently, and try harder, and get more and more motivated and inspired every day. here’s a big virtual hug from us! (we’re total huggers.)

since we suspect that plenty of you guys are numbers nerds like us, we thought we’d celebrate the day with a rundown on some of the other numbers we’ve racked up while writing these 100 posts. here goes…

// blog stats //

2 — number of logos we’ve had


10 — average number of posts per month

36 — number of comments by our top commenter, maggie @ northern expenditure (steve @ think save retire is not far behind!)

~1200 — average word count of posts

2 — number of mondays we’ve missed since we got into a regular posting schedule (one was memorial day, the other was because we accidentally hit “publish” on sunday night)

wp days

0 — number of saturday posts

2274 — total comments on the blog, including our responses, as of 11/17 (about half of those are us — if you’re a blogger and you don’t respond to every comment, we maintain you’re missing out on the best part of blogging)

2 — comments on our first post

73 — comments on our most commented post so far (the anti-greed manifesto)

5 — number of posts featured to date on rockstar finance


the very first rockstar feature

400 — percent increase in blog traffic between may and june, the month of our first rockstar feature and our first big tweet mention


705 — number of twitter followers as of 11/17

1 — number of big award nominations (the plutus awards, you guys! that made our year)


2.5 — months into blogging that we got our first blogger recognition, the liebster award from fervent finance

// the work grind //

107 — number of work flights ms. onl has taken since launching the blog, as of the two this morning (will be 125+ by the end of the year)


744K — current number of hoarded miles on united that will fund post-fire travel

47 — number of marriott hotel nights for ms. onl since launching the blog, plus about a dozen at other chains (15 nights are the bonus for having the marriott chase credit card)


219K — number of marriott rewards points earned since launching the blog

800 — approximate number of hours spent on conference calls, combined, since launch

<100 — number of mondays until we pull the ripcord

// the state of our finances //

38,000 — our max student and consumer debt, in dollars, before we got our finances on track

27 — number of months it took us to pay off that debt

0 — number of big purchases in 2015! (wohoo!)

1 — number of big net worth milestones we hit this year

5 and counting — number of contingency plans we have in place for our early retirement

25 — months until we wave goodbye to our careers (we’re on track!)

79 — percent of our target net worth we’ve achieved so far

Net Worth Oct 2015

// random fun stats //

1 — number of monthly championships our trivia team won this year at the local pub quiz

51 — combined number of days we skied winter 2015

1 — number of days we’ve skied so far this season

CTztyF0UsAAk9gJ.jpg large

58 — degrees fahrenheit we keep our thermostat at during the winter (that’s 14 degrees centigrade for your more civilized folk)

4 — number of articles of fleece clothing i wear most days when working from home in the winter (2 fleece socks, fleece pants, fleece hooded robe)

36 — number of tabs i have open in firefox right now (i know! most of them are blogs i’m behind on!)

110 — percent excited we are to attend #fincon16!


there you have it! a full statistical rundown on our first 100 posts, and the life that has happened in the meantime.

have you hit any fun milestones lately? please share!

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75 replies »

  1. Nice! I was tempted to post my comment one word at a time and in different comments, just so I can pass Maggie as your top commenter…but, I also figured that you probably wouldn’t associate with me after that, so I thought better of it. :)

    Awesome post, I like the direction that you went with it. What a difference it makes to truly get involved in the personal finance and early retirement community. And blogging about it just makes it that much better. The interactions you get. The friends you meet. I know it’s not quite your anniversary yet, but 100 blog posts is as good of a milestone as any to celebrate (for some reason I didn’t).

    Oh, and that’s a whole crap ton of miles and hotel points! I’m sure it will come in real handy after retirement. :)

    • Haha — You know I’d love the comment count, but that would make it tough to respond to each one, which is my rule! :-D

      SO TRUE about getting involved in this amazing community. With some folks — like you! — we’re starting to feel like we “go way back.” “Ah, we remember back when Steve was aiming for retirement by 40. And then by 36. And now next year… good times…” ;-) So although we haven’t been at this blog for that long in the scheme of things, we feel like this is an actual life milestone, not just a blog milestone, given how much it has impacted us. And the thought that we can pay that forward to help inspire others is pretty much the best thing ever.

      And, yeah, so many miles. People who fly internationally can earn their fancy pants status with just a few flights, but I grind it out the hard way with multiple flights every single week. Can’t wait to leave that behind!

  2. I so much love seeing all these lovely lists of numbers!! I think my favorite number is the browser tabs. :) On a related note, you guys are such thoughtful and generous commenters on other blogs (as well as on your own blog of course) — your comments are like mini-posts sometimes. I’m thinking in particular of your Hogwarts house series suggestion from yesterday. :)

    Important question (to me, at least): I understand why you left the y-axis off the net worth graph, but can you just give me a sense of how zoomed in it is? Does the y-axis start at zero? (meaning that your net worth has increased sixfold since 2008???)

    Either way, super fun fantastic post!

    • Thanks for that! We for sure *aspire* to be better commenters, since we learn so much from the community every day. After we quit, we will be champions for a lot more bloggers than we can be now! But glad you liked the Hogwarts comment. :-) I seriously think we should do that.

      On the net worth, the y axis is almost 100%, so yes, it’s climbed really fast. If we call 2008 “x” then 2011 is 2.5x, 2013 is 4x and we crossed 6x earlier this year. We would never represent things and act like we did this on minimum wage salaries, and our salaries have climbed appreciably over the years, but we also know we’re not outliers salary-wise among college grads in professional career tracks, and with our level of experience (13 and 16 years). That’s a long way of saying: what we’ve achieved so far is completely doable with some goal-setting and focusing, and we’ve truly never felt like we were scrimping and sacrificing, except back in 2005-07 when I was paying off debt.

  3. Congrats and great job. I just recently found yalls blog but I’ll definitely be coming back by. Looking forward to the next 100!

  4. That’s awesome and I love the stats! I’m also impressed with the 36 tabs open right now… Whoa! Like you guys, I also like responding to the comments on our posts because it’s fun and just continues the conversation.
    Our fun milestone is we just got our 101st Twitter follower, woohoo!

    • Thanks, Des! Oh the momentum is real. We could have blogged about a thousand things, of course, like most of us, but we are thankful every day we decided to blog about THIS. The PF blog community is just the most amazing, supportive place, and we credit 90% of the momentum to that — which includes lovely people like you! And yeah — the travel struggle is real. :-)

  5. In my defense, my comment number is low because you make me think in the morning. Morning thinking is hard. Also, Holy crap cans! That’s a lot of flying. I can see why you are sick of it.

    Congrats on 100 posts! It’s been fun to follow your journey :)

    • Haha — I know what you mean about the morning thinking. It should not be encouraged. You could always read at night… ;-)

      Thanks for following along with the journey, including my endless travel complaints. The truth is I love flying! I just don’t love getting up at 4 AM at least once a week, and no one needs to have as much interaction with the TSA as I do. That I will not miss!

  6. Congrats, guys! I’ve been blogging for about 4.5 years now and it’s been great :) I can’t believe how many miles you have! Or that your net worth has increased 6x since 2008. Granted, mine is up about 25x since 2008, but I was still in college then! And yes, I agree with responding to comments! I’ve stopped commenting on blogs of people who don’t respond to comments.

    • Thanks, Leigh! Yeah, that mileage bonus is bigger than our cash savings in terms of number (not what it represents, of course), so I’m proud of that. :-) But that doesn’t mean I’ll hesitate to spend it! The net worth climb is pretty fun to look at, especially if we have one of those months when the numbers move backwards (because of the markets, not spending) — it’s a good reminder, big picture, of how fast of progress we’re making. Re: comments, I’m totally with you. I love interacting with people, but if they don’t respond back — on their own blogs! — it’s just not satisfying.

  7. That’s keeping the house cool at 58 degrees in the winter. Have you always lived in houses with the thermostat set low during the winter? What do you find makes it easier to adjust to the changing temps?

    I have my thermostat set to 66 with it being slightly warmer in the morning for waking up and showering and colder at night while sleeping with a programmable thermostat.

    • It IS cold! And no, we moved here from a warmer place, and never embraced the cold before. But in rural areas, the utilities are super pricey, and when we got our first gas bill, we nearly lost our minds. So we started experimenting with how low we could go and still stand it. For others who want to save $ or natural resources, I’d recommend adjusting slowly, like two weeks at each degree decrease. Our bodies are pretty great at adapting, so it doesn’t feel THAT cold anymore. :-)

    • Thanks! We have blogged before, so it’s not the total beginning of our blogging lives, but this incredible community has definitely inspired us to be a lot more prolific than we’d otherwise be!

  8. I love reading other people’s stats, but I have a guilty confession (only guilty because I’m a quantitative professional), I have no stats collected on my blog, other than top hits of all time.

    • Thanks! Does your blog platform not collect them for you? If not, it’s super easy to plug Google Analytics into your site code — highly recommend doing it!

  9. Congratulations, ONL!!! I’ve been awaiting this post – and what fun facts, stats & figures you have to share! I’ve been absolutely thrilled to follow your journey. :) Sooo you guys decided to go to FinCon ’16…I can’t wait to see if any pictures surface on the internet just like what happened this year! I was hoping to get there since it’ll be on the West Coast, but unfortunately my vacation schedule will not allow for it with everything else going on in 2016 (wedding! honeymoon!). I think one of my favorite stats is the one trivia pub quiz challenge your team won – that’s AWESOME, I’ve always wanted to accomplish something like that lol!

    • Thanks so much, Alyssa! Haha — going to do my best to dodge the cameras next year at FinCon. I might even bring a little mask. :-) Too bad you can’t come, but maybe the year after. And you have so much excitement coming up — your wedding and honeymoon will be so awesome!

  10. Congrats on the 100th post! What an awesome story you have about the successes of this blog over the last few months. I can only hope to do the same over at

    Let me know if you have any tips or tricks up your sleeves that you can share!

    • Thanks! Best tip we can share is to get really involved in the blog community. Read and thoughtfully comment on lots of blogs, find your blog friends, respond to all comments on your own blog, and engage on Twitter if you have time. Oh, and write good, personal content! Good luck!

  11. Wow! Congratulations! We’re aiming for such great numbers over here at Mad Money Monster, as well! We love your blog and have featured it on our Other Awesome Blogs tab. Keep up the great work :)

    • Haha — I love that! And fair enough. :-) But I also think we as humans are pretty darn adaptable, and it’s just a matter of adjusting. When the cool fall weather hits, we spend a few weeks not wearing jackets when we go out, and we adapt to the cool air in no time. :-)

  12. I’m impressed by your numbers, particularly your consistency (especially with quality), but jealous of only two.

    51 ski days last year, we were in the 20’s
    1 ski day already this year. Temps here in the mid-50’s with rain. No chance for Turkey day weekend ski in the east.

    Damn El Nino!

    Keep it up, you guys are awesome!

  13. Wow 47 nights in Marriott so far this year? I’ve done about 30 so far this year so I don’t envy you at all. That’s a lot of Marriott points you’ve earned. I just redeemed about 160k this year for vacation. The Marriott credit card allows earning points quicker than usual.

    Lots of good numbers. Congrats!

    • Thanks! I’m about to make it 49 nights! Expect to hit 60 by year’s end, which combined with the “elite nights” for having the credit card, should put me in the platinum camp. Which is just good for piling up points faster, and once in a while getting a late checkout. And yes, a lot of those points are from a combo of the card and signing up for every seasonal “megabonus.” Those points add up!

  14. Woohoo! Congratulations on your 100th post. I seriously can’t imagine the PF blogging community without you two and I’m glad I never had to blog in such a world ;) haha. You bring so much wisdom and kindness to the community. It wouldn’t be the same without ya!

    Love the number of browsers open, haha. You must have a turbo computer cause I think mine would hate me and shut down.

    The number I’m currently clinging in my own life is 6 months until no more student loans! It feels so close and yet so far……haha.

    • Thanks, Taylor! Nicest comment ever. :-) And pretty sure that browser tab number is higher now… I’m doing my weekly blog catch-up while flying! And yes, my computer definitely hates me, and my browser crashes frequently! :-) Six months is an awesome number — it will be here in no time, and then you’ll be freeeeeeeeeeeee!!

  15. Congratz on post #100!

    impressive stats that you have in 100 blog posts. Especially the travel and hotel night stats are hard to deny. I now understand very well your plan to retire early…

    The ski stats are pretty sweet as well… I guess you ski as much in a year as I do in 10 years… :-) Enjoy it. It is a great sport.

    Keep on blogging

  16. We’re back from our brief hiatus from the digital world and this was the first blog I visited this morning! Very cool post. Your travel schedule is insane and yet you’re able to crank out insightful posts again and again. That being said, every time I find a new blog and scroll down to the comments, I see you’re already an active commenter on that blog, too. I don’t know how you guys do it. Very impressive!

    I’m really hoping to make it out to FinCon16. Never been to San Diego. Would be great to meet you guys and others we’re following.

    • Aw, thanks, DTG! Made our Sunday. :-) Travel sometimes makes it easier to keep up on blogs, since I have time to kill at airports when I can’t easily do conference calls, but other times (like the last few weeks!), travel makes me get behind on people’s blogs. It would be awesome if you’d make it to FinCon! San Diego is a fun spot.

  17. Congrats guys, this is amazing that you’ve already written 100 posts and at such a regular pace!
    This is a ton of traveling, I can understand that you’re looking forward to slow down a little, at least with all those points you should be covered for a little while during FIRE.
    I have been quite busy too so I have many many tabs open for readings that I need to catch up with. But I’m only down to 48…
    How do you find all the time to write all these posts and travel so much? Do you write these posts in-flight maybe ;)

    • Thanks! I think my tabs might currently be up to more like 50… I can’t bear to count them. ;-) As for balancing writing and traveling, I do actually think the travel helps. As you can see in a lot of our posts, things that I see while traveling inspire a lot of them, and I can write fast when I’m feeling inspired. And I fly a lot at 5 AM, before I start getting flooded with emails for the day, and so that’s great time to get a lot of writing done! :-)

  18. Congratulations on 100 posts… I am nearing 100 posts myself… I don’t have nearly the awesome stats that you have, but I hope you don’t mind if I borrow some of your ideas for my 100th post. :)