[Many people reach financial independence, quit their job, and then wake up the next morning and think, “Well, now WTF should I do with the rest of my life!?!?”… This is the position my friend Jen recently found herself in, and today she’s sharing all about her journey in this guest post.
Fair warning: It’s a lengthy read! But well worth it if you’re about to hit FI and make a transition in your life. My fav part is the “42 changes we made once discovering FIRE”!! Check it out 👇👇👇]
No Earnings For The Yr
What would you do if you weren’t allowed to make any cash over the following yr?
This was the query that was posed to me on my flight to a 3-week journey in Oaxaca, Mexico, and it was a query that has modified the course of my post-FI life.
Our pals, Alan and Katie Donegan (of the famed Insurgent Enterprise Faculty and Insurgent Entrepreneur Podcast) have been going to spend a month within the colonial metropolis of Oaxaca, Mexico – residence of the scrumptious chocolate flavored Mole and Mezcal (so clean that you just hardly keep in mind ingesting it!).
The Donegans have been inviting the group to go to them throughout their nomadic travels. My husband, Scott, and I have been prepared for an journey! We wished to spend time with fellow FI pals, eat some wonderful meals (I imply actually loopy good meals), and have conversations that crammed our souls.
I used to be 6 weeks into having stop my company job once we set out on this journey with the prospect of assembly a tremendous group of entrepreneurs within the picturesque valley of Oaxaca. I’d spent the final 29 years in Company America working lengthy hours and placing in my time. That is what I used to be educated to do and by no means actually questioned it. All of us need to do one thing to generate income, proper?!?
I had unquestionably signed up for that life of labor that by no means actually fulfilled me. I used to be considerably occupied with what I had been doing, however I by no means linked my job with a function or the values of the companies that I used to be employed at. I’m tremendous conscientious, so I’d at all times do a wonderful job, my employers beloved me, and the years rolled on.
I see the sunshine!
When my husband and I discovered the FIRE group in 2018, it was as if a fog had lifted and we have been seeing clearly for the primary time. At this level we have been in our late 40’s and the precise hope of retirement, or at the very least strolling away from jobs that have been not offering pleasure in our lives, appeared like a chance.
I went fairly onerous core and checked out every thing that we have been spending, saving, doing and never doing and determined to make little modifications to numerous issues in our life. I got here up with an inventory of 42 issues that we modified in 2019 and was amazed on the impression that small, incremental, compounding modifications may make in our monetary and private life. (I attempted for 50 issues, however underachieved on that, sorry!)
42 modifications we made after we found FIRE
- Modified mobile phone plans – saved 75%. Modified from AT&T to Mint Cellular.
- Lower grocery invoice by 32% from prior yr, which was down 56% from 2016
- Decreased automobile fuel prices
- Maxed out each of our job 401K plans
- Our aspect hustles coated our bills
- Canceled cable – 100% financial savings
- Removed our land phone line – 100% financial savings
- Didn’t get a brand new cellphone after I cracked my display screen & had it changed as an alternative – 91% financial savings
- Canceled my mounted annuity and transferred the cash to Vanguard – priceless!
- Opened Vanguard retirement accounts and moved all different brokerage accounts to VTSAX
- Began journey rewards with the Chase Gauntlet
- Signed up for Couchsurfing. We hosted & did our first Couchsurf
- Pet sitting on the Trusted Housesitters platform. We did 7 sits in 2019
- Began an Etsy retailer as a mini-experiment to check if I may promote one thing on-line.
- Began a weblog Meet Up Group in Los Angeles
- Signed up for time period life insurance coverage for me and my husband
- Paid off my automobile mortgage = 100% financial savings
- Modified web suppliers and obtained 2X the pace for a similar worth. Went from AT&T to Spectrum.
- Canceled my third social gathering incapacity coverage
- Canceled Netflix
- Paid off all our bank cards
- Changed greeting playing cards & birthday playing cards with a free various
- Decreased my present spending by making do-it-yourself items vs shopping for items
- City foraging in our neighborhooda. Picked & cured olives
a. Picked & cured olives
b. Picked tons of fruit and made do-it-yourself jam that we used for items
- Decreased our automobile insurance coverage by 22%. Went from Allstate to Mercury Insurance coverage. Used Coverage Genius
- Shopped owners insurance coverage and lowered it by 29%. Went from Allstate to Mercury Insurance coverage. Used Coverage Genius right here as effectively.
- Shopped a brand new umbrella coverage
- Modified how we hosted events and went to potluck fashion gatherings
- Labored on getting our meals prices all the way down to $2 per particular person per meal
- Began decluttering our home
- Date night time at Whole Wine & Extra the place they’ve wine & beer tastings for $0.05!
- As an alternative of going out to eat at a restaurant, we’d do a picnic in a park as an alternative
- We like rice & beans!
- We did a Hyatt Place factors redemption at New Yr’s for some pals that was 12,000 factors for a $650/night time lodge room!
- Used journey factors for our Christmas journey
- Hit $1M in web price, together with our aspect hustle
- Decreased our electrical invoice by cling drying our garments, hand washing dishes, and pet sitting (so we weren’t round as a lot)
- Made our personal heirloom grass-fed yogurt. Manner cheaper than retailer purchased. I like this model, it’s tremendous straightforward and no heating up of the milk, countertop methodology.
- Continued to make our personal bread and granola.
a. Bread: I like the no-knead bread recipes on the market. Really easy & good!
b. Granola: I simply combine oats, honey, peanut butter, and salt for my granola.
- Achieved a 50%+ financial savings charge
- Signed up on Private Capital & Mint to trace our web price
- 1 Bucket Budgeting. We pay ourselves $4,000 per thirty days and reside off of that. We now have a cushion in that account for uncommon bills or 1x per yr bills that may hit in a month, but it surely all shakes out by the tip of the yr.
Freedom is close to
I felt empowered for the primary time in my life and had a reasonably clear path for when my husband and I may step away from our company jobs. We had learn weblog posts and spoken with folks within the FIRE group in regards to the false impression that it was going to be all unicorns & rainbows as soon as we reached FI. We heard that it was higher to be transferring towards one thing, not away from work that you just don’t like.
Listed below are some influential posts/podcasts that actually helped us with post-FI expectations:
Properly, 2020 hit and everyone knows about that. I used to be “lucky” to have work that saved me busier than ever throughout the pandemic and the busier I turned, the an increasing number of depressing I used to be. I’d simply burst out crying in the midst of the day for no obvious cause. Okay, hormones is perhaps a part of it too, however I used to be executed, spent, bored with doing the identical issues day out and in.
I’m a quitter
I’d be a lunatic to stop my job now with a lot uncertainty on this planet, proper? Firstly of 2020 we had determined to check dwelling off the earnings from our aspect hustle and we have been doing that efficiently. We had sufficient earnings from our enterprise to switch our present dwelling bills. We have been FI proper? Properly, it didn’t really feel that means, so I saved working and dealing.
In some unspecified time in the future in late 2020, I assume I simply hit a wall. I’m not actually certain what modified or how I modified or why I modified and it didn’t matter.
I used to be executed with doing work that not fulfilled me.
I used to be executed with simply working to earn a dwelling.
I used to be executed with spending my treasured time on this planet doing issues that not had that means or function in my life.
I used to be executed, that was it.
It was easy as soon as I internally got here to that call and the trail turned clear. Simply stop!
So I did.
I gave discover the primary week of January 2021. Being the tremendous conscientious person who I’m, I even gave 2 months discover! I had considered giving 3 months discover, however that appeared extreme. Unicorns & Rainbows, right here I come!
Facet Be aware: 10 days after my final day of labor, I obtained a name from my former employer asking me if I’d take a lately opened place (which I’d have NEVER been supplied if I hadn’t stop) for 50% extra pay and as much as 100% extra pay with bonuses!
Really! REally! REAlly! REALly! REALLy! REALLY!
You’ve got obtained to be kidding me! A yr earlier than, I most likely would have taken it. However it was not in regards to the cash. My husband and I made a decision we have been going to prioritize happiness and high quality of life, and any such work not match into both of these classes. So, the reply was really straightforward, it was NO! (I can’t lie, did have a pang in my abdomen although and a fast flash of all of the $$ did cross my thoughts. It was fast, but it surely was nonetheless there).
Put up-FI = Sitting round consuming Bon Bons
I feel I felt like we have been considerably ready for a post-FI life and that each one of our unhappiness of doing work that was not fulfilling wouldn’t be solved in a single day. I used to be constructing some house and freedom to discover new issues that might gentle me up. Actually, I simply wished to take a seat round and eat Bon Bons all day! That appeared like a scrumptious plan!
Oh, by the best way, that was my first venture as soon as I stop my job. Since I’m a “doer” and wish to get issues executed and examine stuff off a To Do Listing, I made a decision that my first week of retirement was to learn to make Bon Bons. I examine how one can mood chocolate, I borrowed some molds, purchased all of the components and set out on turning into the following chocolatier! Properly… to make an extended and messy story brief, I had chocolate all around the kitchen, in my hair, on the sunshine change, and many others. Let’s simply say that my new life as a grasp chocolatier resulted in one brief week. The results of this little mini-experiment was some good treats and I had enjoyable within the course of, however I used to be not going to construct an empire making or promoting chocolate. I would go away that to the professionals! I found that I actually identical to consuming chocolate, not making chocolate!
The chocolate theme continues…
So, our Oaxaca journey was deliberate for six weeks after I used to be executed working. I did the chocolate factor, frolicked and relaxed, practiced some yoga, slept in, visited some family and friends, did a pet sit in Portland, Oregon, and was having fun with my post-FI life. I used to be prepared for my subsequent “factor”! Yep, I had rested and was prepared to start to make some cash, as a result of that’s what I’ve been educated to do for virtually the final three a long time.
Oaxaca would have all of the solutions – the fitting group of individuals to assist craft and mould the following three a long time of my life.
NIFTY (No Earnings For The Yr)
Have you ever ever been posed a query that leaves you speechless? You may’t make up a solution on the fly and you discover out that you’ve got by no means even provided that query any thought?
Simply days after my 51st Birthday, that is what occurred to me on my flight all the way down to Mexico. As destiny would have it, I sat subsequent to a fellow participant of the group of entrepreneurs and other people from the FIRE group that have been gathering to spend time collectively, deepen our friendships, and proceed to construct a group of like-minded folks. The query that stumped me (after I had expressed how I had just about reached monetary independence, had retired from my W-2 earnings and was prepared to begin one thing new after 6 weeks of relaxation from 3 a long time of labor was):
What would you do if you weren’t allowed to make any cash over the following yr?
This straightforward however deep query was what set the tone for the remainder of my journey.
I didn’t have a solution.
I spotted deep down this was a greater query to be asking myself slightly than simply leaping into the following factor that caught my fancy. In some unspecified time in the future within the journey, whereas I used to be engaged on this query, I spotted that if I had simply jumped into no matter gave the impression to be a superb enterprise concept that in 3 years or possibly 5 years (if I used to be fortunate) that I’d find yourself in the identical spot as I used to be proper now. I’d be burnt out, working to work, and simply checking issues off my To Do record since that’s what I knew how one can do. I had not given myself the time and house to determine what I wished my subsequent 3 a long time to appear like.
Stress valve launched
By permitting myself to take a break, I imply an actual break, like don’t pursue something for the following yr form of break, it really took the stress off. Throughout this journey, I didn’t have to fret about pursuing a enterprise enterprise and I may simply loosen up, have some enjoyable, and luxuriate in life. What!?! Actually, I used to be allowed to do that?
Now the onerous work was to start!
WTF do I do with the remainder of my life?
Now that I had a brand new query to reply, I had created the time and house for myself to work on this – in between consuming tacos, mole and sipping some mezcal – I used to be stumped AGAIN! How on earth do I work out what I ought to do over the following yr that doesn’t contain attempting to begin a enterprise and never attempting to generate income…once more?
I don’t declare to have all of the solutions, however that is what I got here up with based mostly on conversations with Scott, listening to podcasts, studying and talks with the wonderful group of people in Oaxaca that each one helped information and present me a path.
I began by itemizing out all of the questions that I had give you and sorta prioritized them so I may give attention to only a few to begin with. Listed below are the High 3 Questions that I labored on to start with:
- If I’m NOT allowed to earn cash for the following yr, what is going to I do?
- What’s my function in a single phrase? How can I reside my function 24/7?
- Write my eulogy. Okay, this isn’t a query, however you get the place I used to be going.
I’m simply going to sort out #1 on this put up, however I discovered that engaged on #2 & #3 actually helped throughout this course of and located the next podcasts actually useful in engaged on my function and eulogy:
Values / Precedence
I began with an inventory of my values: Well being, Serving to others, Observe of Gratitude, Time for myself, Journey, and Issues that gentle me up.
I feel I made some loopy phrase affiliation charts and tried to attach them, obtained myself all confused and was much more clueless on what to do with all that data! I feel, I used to be attempting to suppose it an excessive amount of and didn’t actually let it stream.
So then, my pal had me select of my loopy stream chart my high 5-6 values and record them in two columns:
- Values for myself
- Values for others
Then, I needed to decide 1 worth for myself … simply 1. This train went from “priorities” to “precedence.”
My precedence was now my well being and time for myself (see how I snuck 1 additional in there, they’re linked, proper? ;))
Now, what would that appear like? It took me slightly bit to work this out, however this precedence assertion is what I ended up with:
Prioritize time for my entire well being: bodily, psychological & emotional
That is now my precedence for the following yr whereas I’m not “allowed” to generate income. This has really confirmed to be more durable than I assumed, however that may be a weblog put up for one more day.
Driving within the gradual lane
So, that is the place I’m at present. I’m not precisely certain the place I’m headed with my new precedence assertion or how this can all shake out, however this offers me some areas to focus on whereas I proceed to decompress and take time for myself. What’s the push? I’ve discovered it onerous to decelerate and it’s been onerous attempting to not “fill my day” with issues in order that the day feels full, like in my working life. I’ve determined that it’s okay to have an empty calendar in order that I can create house and time for my Entire Well being. I’m attempting to solely have a most of two scheduled actions per day and the remainder of the day is open and fluid. This has confirmed to be onerous, however I’m slowly engaged on this and attempting to not overbook myself.
I’ve realized that I do effectively when I’ve accountability to others, so that is what I’m planning on doing as my subsequent steps on this strategy of my #1 Precedence: Me.
- Bodily Well being:
a. Pilates: I joined a yoga studio and have scheduled a killer Pilates class 3 days every week to work on my core.
b. 1 Pull Up Problem: My purpose is to have the ability to do 1 Pull Up this yr. I discovered this weblog that has a superb development plan for a pull up since I’m weak like a kitten…effectively shut sufficient.
- Psychological Well being:
a. Mastermind Teams: I’m taking part in two Mastermind teams. I began one with the ladies from our Oaxaca journey and have arrange calls to help one another as we’re every going by numerous phases in our lives. By participating with those who need to assist and help one another, we will all be taught and develop.
b. Worth Assertion: I’m attempting to determine what’s necessary to me. I’ve not spent any time actually digging into what I worth and the way I need to prioritize my time and vitality. Any assets you recognize of to assist with this? Hey, you probably have learn this far on this long-ass weblog put up, possibly you could have some options?
- Emotional Well being:
a. Construct Group: Put up COVID, and after a yr of partial isolation, it has turn into clear to me that reaching out to pals and spending time with household is a option to fill my emotional bucket. I’ve made 9 journeys within the seven months since I stop my job! Yep, Loopy! It was a mixture of visiting household for a number of weeks at a time and visiting pals I hadn’t seen in a very long time.
We had a few pet sits as effectively, which have been an effective way to reconnect with pet vitality and a chance to remain at some wonderful properties on the identical time. Humorous factor is, each our pet sits this yr have been for Mexican avenue canine…the Mexico theme continues! If you wish to help an important trigger take a look at the Alamos Canine Basis, they rescue canine off the streets in Alamos, Mexico.
We plan on persevering with to pick pet sits throughout the US over the following yr as we journey to go to family and friends. We’re exploring driving Previous Route 66 in Spring 2022. Who is aware of, my father has a 1955 Pontiac and possibly we are going to drive that beast throughout America?!?! May be extra of an journey than we’re prepared for! I simply need to discover one of the best apple pie on Route 66! May not be good for my waistline, however it will be a scrumptious option to expertise the open highway! Any options?
A protracted winded wrap up
Now that cash is not the driving power in my post-FI life, I hope that by the tip of 2022 my NIFTY Undertaking may have supplied me another path. I need my subsequent 3 a long time to be a life full of intention, that means and pleasure. Making small intentional and incremental modifications actually does transfer the needle.
So…what would you do if you weren’t allowed to make any cash over the following yr? How would you spend your time and who would you spend it with?
Be effectively & Cheers!
Joel is a 35 y/o Aussie dwelling in Los Angeles and the man behind 5amjoel.com. He loves waking up early, discovering methods to be extra environment friendly with time and cash, and sharing what he learns with others. Rise Early | Retire Early!