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A Break-Up Letter to the Joneses, Circa 2012

Amon and I recently did an interview where we were asked about the “sacrifices” we had to make while pursuing FIRE. Immediately, we thought of one thing: the Joneses.

To successfully FIRE, we had to stop trying to keep up with the Joneses - we had to sever all ties!

To demonstrate this, I’ve written a letter to the fictitious (and often elusive) Joneses - severing all ties back in 2012.

Have some fun and draft your own letter to the Joneses. Be brutally honest. And don’t worry about the Joneses, they’re too busy watering their grass to even notice you’re no longer trying to keep up!


January 1, 2012

Dear Joneses,

Please accept this letter as official notice that I am severing all ties with you effective immediately. This letter complies with the minimum notice period per my internalized and self-imposed contract.

To be clear: It’s not you. It’s me. You have, indeed, been incredibly dependable - doing everything that a Joneses should do. In my youngest years, when I thought I was satisfied, you shook me up and demanded, “Why are you still riding that pink Huffy bike when all the other fifth graders are riding ten-speeds?!” Yes - you and I go way back!

It was you that made me buy that shiny brand new BMW SUV with the hubs. It was you that made me want that six-bedroom house in Otay Ranch (you almost convinced me!). It was you that guided so many of my financial decisions.

But, despite our lengthy relationship, it is now time for my family to sever our relationship with you. We’ve grown . . . and it’s time to move on.

I know I said it’s not you. BUT, in the spirit of self-growth, I have a couple of things for you to ponder.

  1. Perhaps you should consider being less elusive. Like, seriously, who the heck are you?! It’s like you’re no one and everyone at the same time. It’s impossible to keep up!

  2. It would be nice for you to talk about your debt more. I know you’re not buying all this stuff cash. It’s impossible. Seriously, what’s your net worth?

  3. I know minimalism isn’t your thing, but you should really consider rethinking this whole consumer culture brand you’ve got going on. I mean, have you seen black Friday?!

  4. Don’t even think about hanging out with Sunoa and Melea - they’re on to you! No offense, but the last thing they want to do is keep up with you.

I apologize if this letter seems abrupt. I say this all to shed some light on how I view our relationship (or lack thereof) moving forward. More importantly, I say all this to explain that the Brownings will no longer be keeping up. We have more important things ahead of us - like financial independence and retiring early.

But, I do have some good news! You can stop spending all your time and money watering your grass (at least for us, the Brownings)! We already know your grass isn’t greener.

Best Wishes,



Want to Retire Early? - The Real Reasons People Are Failing On Their FIRE Journey (Harsh Truth)


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Hello, We’re Amon & Christina

We’re former federal government employees that focused on saving, making, and investing money so that we could grow enough wealth in our investments to never have to work again.

And, guess what? We did it! At the age of 39, we reached financial independence, quit our jobs, and . . . we retired!

So, if you’re interested in learning how to save, make and invest money on the road to financial independence and retiring early (i.e., F.I.R.E.) - this site is for you!

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