Today we’d like to introduce you to Megan Fugate.
Hi Megan, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
It really all started when my husband, Lyle, and I bought our first house in 2019. We were renting for a bit and realized we were essentially throwing away our money. We wanted to put that money into our own home, our own investment. We knew we couldn’t afford a home with our combined income.
We didn’t even have enough to put 20% down. He was a teacher and I was a graphic designer not making as much as a lot of our peers. So, we lined up a roommate to help pay the mortgage and lower our living expenses (house-hacking). This allowed us to build back an emergency fund, pay off our consumer debt, and renovate our home to increase its value.
I started my blog and Instagram account (@fortheloveoffi) just after I was laid off during COVID. After the pure panic of instability wore off, I realized how grateful I felt knowing that despite the loss, we would be okay. We had educated ourselves on finances and money management and had no debt other than the mortgage, and multiple streams of income. I knew that many people laid off weren’t as prepared as we were.
My thought process behind @fortheloveoffi was to show others you can educate yourself about financial freedom and open so many doors for yourself no matter what position you’re in. It doesn’t happen overnight but the goal is to make your situation better than it was yesterday.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
We’ve had some ups and downs. COVID was hard on us financially and personally at times just like most people. We were in the middle of a complete bathroom renovation when I lost my job.
When we got quotes from contractors, they were giving us numbers over $20k. Being the frugal couple we were, we decided to just do it ourselves. How hard could it be? Hard–it was probably the most difficult process we faced.
Being jobless for a time was difficult despite the rental money coming in. We really had to sit down and write out what we needed to cut back on. Teaching during the pandemic became hard on Lyle and he decided it was best for him to resign and take a step back from the education system in 2021.
I was still out of work at the time. As we were figuring out the next steps, we both got a PT job serving at a restaurant in Fells during the summer. It more than paid for our renovations. It also gave us more time to rebuild ourselves and reassess our goals for the future.
I think the hardest part of our story has been keeping consistent during adversity. Not letting bumps deter us from working towards our goals.
Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
Lyle and I are the faces behind @fortheloveoffi.
We share our personal journey and insight on finances, real estate, home renovations, and so on. We like connecting with others in the FIRE (financial independence retire early) community Individually, I am currently a remote Sr Graphic Designer for a hospitality management company and Lyle is a Maryland real estate agent (@lylefugate)
We really advocate for financial literacy. Educating ourselves through books and podcasts has drastically changed our outlook on money, personal growth, and happiness and has positively impacted our quality of living.
We are so proud of where we started, how hard we worked, and where that lead us, and want others to see how possible it is for them too.
Networking and finding a mentor can have such a positive impact on one’s life and career. Any advice?
Our networking has really just been through Instagram.
As far as a mentor, we don’t have one personally but we strongly suggest taking time to read finance books and listen to podcasts like ChooseFi and BiggerPockets.
Leigh Ann Brader Photography