Money Mentality

Updates, Epiphanies and Why I’m NOT Working Towards Early Retirement

Nearly two months ago, I set a goal to post on my blog 3 times per week. I stuck to my goal for over a month and it was great. I love writing and it felt so good to sit down and write, even when I didn’t “feel” like it.

But then life happened. I moved in with my better half (yay!), Alex had wisdom teeth removed (boo), I attended FinCon (overwhelming), we packed up two apartments in one day and moved into our new place (ridiculously stressful), we unpacked our new apartment (intense), celebrated our 4-year anniversary (*heart eyes*) and throughout all of that, I worked a full-time job. Life has been in flux and a lot has been changing, but one thing is for sure: I missed blogging and I’m so happy to be back.

It’s been a crazy two weeks and there are a few surprising lessons I’ve learned along the way.

1. I Hate Moving

I know that moving is generally considered an ~unpleasant~ task, but my hatred of moving extends beyond just the actual act. I’ve moved once (or more) every year for the past 6 years and honestly, I’m ready to stop. I LOVE our new apartment and hope to stay here for as long as possible, but I’m really looking forward to one day owning a home that is ours forever. When we eventually decide to purchase a house, I know that I will 100% be an emotional homeowner. I don’t want to lose money on our future house (duh) but I’m also not looking to sell it and make a quick profit. In the same way I plan to “buy and hold” my investments, I’m planning to do the same with our future home.

2. People Matter Most

There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t feel insanely, outrageously blessed to have such an amazing group of people in my life: my family, best friends and amazing partner. Money and work are irrelevant in comparison.

3. Early Retirement Isn’t for Me (Right Now)

I love reading about early retirement and hearing about the inspiring stories, but after FinCon, I realized that early retirement is not something I’m actively working towards. And honestly, it’s not something I want to be actively working towards right now. I’m excited about my career and I’m even more excited about what my career holds in the future.

If I wanted to, I have no doubt that I could be making six figures within the next few years and we could retire between 35 and 40 years old. But at what cost? There are SO many unknowns in my life right now: marriage, kids, pets, moving to London, grad school and extended travel. All of these things will probably happen within the next few years and there’s NO WAY I can plan for all of them at once or even predict how it will all turn out.

Instead of plotting my “freedom date,” I’m going to plot trips with friends, quality time with my family and celebrating life’s simple pleasures with my better half.

I’m still saving aggressively (more than 50% each month) but it’s not going towards early retirement. It’s going towards some of my other goals, and that’s the way I want it. (If this is a topic you’re interested in reading more about, you’re in luck! I have an entire post about this coming in the near future because I have A LOT of thoughts.)

4. This Blog’s Purpose

If you’ve ever started a blog or similar project, then you know that it’s hard to figure out exactly what your “purpose” is. When I began TFFM, it was all about my debt repayment. I was in a dark place with money and honestly, it sucked. But thankfully, things have begun to change. I no longer feel panicked at the check-out line or frantically crunch numbers multiple times a day. Instead, I’ve set my savings goals on autopilot and am enjoying life as my money hums along in the background. I’m not super frugal (I go out to eat and regularly go to Disneyland/the theatre/Halloween haunted houses/movies/other fun stuff that makes my life great). I’m not actively striving for early retirement (see #3). I’m no longer in debt (woohoo!). I’m not a minimalist (This article perfectly explains why.) and I don’t have any desire to blog full-time or blog about blogging.

Instead, I want this blog to be a space that is about REAL LIFE.

I want it to be about money mistakes, money successes, cool financial tech products that might make life better and a place where we can talk honestly about money, what it means and how we’re dealing with it. When I was at FinCon, I was continually asked, “What is your blog about?” and I struggled to answer. I don’t feel like this blog fits into one specific category and as I’ve thought about it for the past week, maybe that’s not such a bad thing. I’m excited to see what this space becomes and I’m excited to continue writing, continue connecting and continue growing.

 

Has anything exciting, fun or shocking been going on in your life? I’d love to hear about it!

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