My Week Ending April 27, 2018: Pigeon Forge, Sugar, Root Canal

My Early Retirement Journey
So here's what happened this week in My Early Retirement Journey. And in case you missed it, last week was an adventure!

Monday - Had quite the pep in my step today. Don't know if it's from a less congested GI tract; some good sleep; nice overcast weather (I'm not being sarcastic, the NC heat is my nemesis) or blogging! I made it back to Blogger (from Bluehost) officially on Sunday and I IMMEDIATELY REGRETTED IT. The regret lasted until 9p Monday. Then I saw my new site and the good feelings I had about the work product I had created from my Wordpress/Bluehost site were replaced. Note to new bloggers: If you are redirecting your site, remove your Cloudlfare DNS name server! So glad I don't have to know what any of those words mean anymore 😄. Let's not overdo it, but I'm a lot happier than I was yesterday. Ate some delicious frozen African food that I had ordered online from my sick leave. 

I did some timesheet corrections at work and realized we got our bonus paid a month go! Some tweaking still needed on this Journey if automating everything means I miss extra money! It would be nice to see and physically hold your paycheck every two weeks. It would be even better psychologically if they paid us in cash! I know the first time I got my side hustle's check, albeit via direct deposit, it changed my attitude a bit towards going there every week. Maybe I've been minimizing reward in My Journey? 

Tuesday - Went to day job for about 4 hours. Then had endodontic retreatment (i.e. 3rd root canal on same tooth in 6 months). Then tried to get my car inspected but they did nothing for the 45 minutes I waited. Had to get to class. It's the last lecture day. It's been a spendy week. My mind is easing off the tension that was building from starting a blog and the slow pace of investing. I did recently read on Four Pillar Freedom that saving the first 100,000 is the hardest. I have nothing to compare it to, but it is a grain by grain kind of momentum. I think I've realized I've saved as much as I'm going to save for now. I'm right at a 50 to 55% savings rate with my current working budget.  Getting too frugal was making me crazy.

Wednesday - Day job for 9.5 hours. Mouth actually doing ok. On Wednesdays I like to eat meatless. I commune with my BFF and we talk about life. This Wednesday was no different. I got take out from the Middle Eastern restaurant by work - majadara (lentils and rice) with a side of hummus and pita. I like to make little pita sandwiches. I was really hungry so I actually got a pack of pitas. Total cost about $6.  BFF and I talked; reflected on the blog; life in general. I am so excited to be almost done with my class. Now in hindsight it seems quite doable. I'm still pretty sure I wouldn't do it again, but I probably could be convinced in a moment of weakness 😕. Still I am really glad I saw it through...well maybe not really glad. Anyway, I realized the $1600 net I'll receive by the end of it all wasn't quite worth the toll on my health and the interruption to my schedule. I'll do a bigger post on it later. In other news, this hectic schedule has me longing for an escape.

Thursday - Thoughts of an escape are consuming me. I asked a couple people at work about Pigeon Forge TN. People around here like to drive up there and have a weekend away. I just never know what to do in those kinds of environments. I've sort of set a mental budget of about $1500 for some summer adventure. Hmm... I wonder where I got that number. I might do a roadtrip somewhere. Been thinking about visiting some national parks for some time now. I'm no longer as desirous of international travel as I once was even ten years ago. I don't particularly enjoy airline travel.   Ran some errands. I bought a lot of sugary things  - 3 packs of cookie mix, graham crackers and marshmallows, 3 packs of brownie mix, a coke, some Apple Jacks. Some from Walmart, some from Kroger.  If my physical body won't go on an adventure...my brain is sure going to be hopped up on glucose. Sorry, brain.

Friday - Worked 9 hours. Work was busy, didn't have time to do much blogging between calls. Tried to book a trip to Tampa to visit my aunt for Mother's Day. Her health is failing. Between calls and trying to compare prices, it got to be too much. I tried not to compare prices, but that was me pre-FIRE too. I just want to go somewhere! I'm tired of thinking about money; saving money; everything is pretty much set at this point on the FIRE front. There's not much else I can do to accelerate my retirement. This is kind of It, so I'm at a pivotal point to figure how to make the best of It. One thing I'm thinking about is using the work-from-home option to opt out of my current routine. Psychologically, I do better with my current structure, but I keep having musings of an adventure, breaking free from the grind. Shake things up. One benefit of taking my work on the road is capitalizing on the idea of a mini-retirement or mini-sabbatical because when I think about it, my life now wouldn't look that much different in retirement. It's the same me, same budget. What I would hope for this trip is to see some parks; maybe explore some affordable communities along the way; and just get out of the containers that are my studio apartment, my car, and my cubicle at work. I want to be in an environment bigger than me, not just moving from one box to another.  I don't want to get bogged down with the planning. My first stop would be seeing one of my cousins who has two kids that I've only seen a couple times. The idea of reconnecting is also a bit of stumbling block. Am I ready? I'd also have to get a phone and sleep in random places for 6 weeks, the time frame my mind seems to have landed on.  Stay tuned...

Other things.
I ate out almost every day this week so I couldn't keep track. Here's what my prepaid debit card said I spent this week. For new readers in My Journey, instead of tracking every cent, I just give myself a monthly allowance on an Amex prepaid card. I like Bluebird, no affiliate, because there are no fees.

Oh...there you'll see the refund I got from Bluehost
I did end up buying a ticket from Tampa, I have until 9p tonight to cancel it for a full refund.



TV this week (via apps): Alex Inc, Survivor, Mom, Life in Pieces, The Let Down (funny), New Girl

Final Thoughts: I am enjoying blogging thus far. Just this week I was able to reference old posts to remind me of something and I even used one of my posts for a lesson for my class. That was awesome! The choice to stick with Blogger has eliminated just about any technical hassle I was having with Bluehost/Wordpress. I have been less active seeking out other blogs and blogging tips. I'm getting into my groove. It's only about month 2 so I don't know what direction I want to take my blog, but it's actually ok. I'm ok with it. For now, it's me chronicling my journey and by posting it online, I'm sharing it with whomever that cares to listen. That's enough. I decided against a monthly blogging update for this month. Might just do a quarterly update with my financial update. That's all for now. Have a good day!

Comments

  1. You sound in a better place blog wise, glad you feel moving back to Blogger was the right step.

    A 50% savings rate is amazing. Every year you work you are buying 6 months of freedom! You could always divert anything above 50% or 47% into a travel fund. That way you can have your travel whilst still working and saving?

    NB. Can't seem to subscribe? Tells me feed burner not enabled or some such?

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    Replies
    1. That's a great way to look at it. Thanks! Good idea on the travel fund. Oh, the places to go! Through some glitch I was able to read your comment today on my last wordpress post before it was deleted. So yes, I'm back at blogger. My Saturdays are so free from technical headaches. As you said, there are likely limitations with Blogger hence why many people are encouraged to start with Bluehost/Wordpress. I guess we shall see!

      I think I fixed the FeedBurner issue. I've been toying with eliminating subscribing altogether... again...we shall see...

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    2. My maths is wrong! If you are only spending 50% of your salary then you only need 50% so every year you are buying another whole year of freedom! It was late, thats my excuse :-)

      Don't eliminate the subscribing, might be nice to have the odd comment and encouragement as you continue your journey and sometimes comments help you make decisions on what next. Anyhoos, enjoy your tech free Saturdays and make sure you get travelling!

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    3. Haha, thanks for coming back to make the correction, but I knew what you meant! Ok, keeping the subscribing for now. Actually went back and manually added old comments that I still had access to that didn't transfer from Bluehost/Wordpress. Have a good week, Tuppenny!

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  2. Hi - looking forward to following your posts.

    I once went to Pigeon Forge, it was "interesting" is all I will say.

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    Replies
    1. Wow... all the way from the UK...how'd you end up in Pigeon Forge?

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    2. Went for a log cabin break in the Smoky mountains, which were ace!

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