Welcome back to My Early Retirement Journey. In case you’re just joining us, here’s a little bit about me. I am a single 30-something, openly Christian, hesitantly immigrant-y, human woman. I love watching TV while eating takeout, and I want to retire early. I currently work as a consultant in a tele-health call center making around $40/hr. I started my professional life in 2015 at the ripe ole age of 31 after a few false starts. I spent 2016 paying off about $10,000 worth of credit card debt. I spent 2017 paying off about $20,000 in private student loans; I still have about $300,000 in federal student loans for which I am currently on an income-based repayment plan for the next 25 years, give or take. I started really getting into savings and investing late 2017 when I stumbled upon the FIRE (financial independence, retire early) community. In 2018, I made the decision to try to save for a sabbatical and maybe if all goes well continue the journey to early retirement. Along this journey, I give weekly updates just like this one. Come along with me, I urge you!
Monday – Working early shift this week. Yay. Except even with the sun out, it’s still hard to be fully functional at 8a. Had to hit snooze a couple times. Maybe because I went to bed late. Still trying to set limits on blogging time but it’s a bit difficult to implement since I really have nothing else to do. Right now I’m hoping to at least get it to two days a week, and then maybe 8 hours a week, then maybe 4 hours a week. Oh, like the 4 hour work week! That would be nice. I also see that for my future life as a FIREee. Had a very single girl dinner of popcorn and dry cereal with water. Yes, I ate the cereal with cold water poured on it. Hashtag unintentional frugalife.
Tuesday – Yay, I went to work today. While the night time coughing has subsided over the last week or so, I’ve just been staying up for no good reason. Given my recurring ailments and the state of Aunty MERJ just 5 years after she retired at age 62, I’ve been giving more thought to this FIRE thing. I’ve tried different scenarios to try to break free earlier than 20 years. Doable. Earlier than 10 years? Less so. From my ruminations this past weekend, I’ve got the seedling of a New Deal (thanks FDR!). I wouldn’t really have to change too much of my current spending and expenses budget, but I might just end up working for 5 years total, and then taking a break for 5 years. No delayed gratification for this single 30-something!
Wednesday – Worked early again. Was sleepy for most of day. Didn’t get to sleep early enough, I suppose. Got DirecTV NOW on a free trial because Netflix was not cutting it. I haven’t found a way to scroll by pages yet, so have to click through every channel. Then I remembered why I tend to put a seasonal hold on cable during the summer. Still couldn’t find anything to watch. Let Below Deck Mediterranean play in the background.
Thursday – People at work talk so much. All day. Some women really need a lot of emotional support and conversation. Have I lost my ability to relate to others? Do I care? Talked to my cousin last night using Google Voice app since still on and off with my phone. Talked for almost 3 hours (hypocrite much?). She has some very interesting visions of family to which I can’t relate. She’s married with 2 kids and from what I gathered a bit disappointed that her extended family is not a part of her (and her kids’) lives. I have heard this before on the reality shows I watch. But my question to mothers, in particular since it’s ultimately their body, their choice, is do you discuss having children with these members of your family and subsequently come up with a plan on how involved everyone is going to be. Where do these expectations come from? I used to have a deeper well of compassion for my cousin. It’s fading. Introspectively, she’s not whinging about things I haven’t whinged about, so I don’t know what my problem is.
Also tried to talk FIRE to her and her husband. It did not go well. Didn’t I tell myself I would stop doing this? Also tried it with a couple co-workers. Honestly no one’s trying to hear it. As soon as I say anything, people love to say things like oh, Dave Ramsey… yeah I did his thing. As Mindy Project says, who Dave Ramsey? 😁 Anyway, I have no one to blame but myself. MERJ, no one cares about your FIRE lean. No. One. As per usual, ran errands. So cereal’ed out! Ugh. Didn’t play lotto this week (saved: $2).
Friday – No work till Tuesday. Hashtag staycation. On tap: turkey tacos + tv. Don’t know what I’m going to watch yet. I hope something deliciously scary is on Investigation Discovery (ID). On the blogging front, Google searched blog hop last weekend. Added blog to a couple. Enlightening to see all the now defunct blogs. I wonder how long I will last. Also, finally scheduling some down time with this blogging thing. Also, ordered a girdle. I don’t think my guts are right after my surgery. Everything just feels loose. Tried to tell my doctor at my last visit. Deaf ears. For those of you new to blogging, I’m now on the following directories: CampFIRE, Rockstar, Women Who Money, Blog-Lovin, Tread Lightly, Retire Early. Haven’t seen much traffic from any of those directories, so if you haven’t done it, you’re not missing much. And I posted to a few blog-hops last weekend as well. Don’t know how exactly those work, but somehow my spreadsheet post seems to be getting a lot of hits. Hmm.
The following paragraph is rated: PG-27 (hot gossip)
Oh in gossip news, in Spanish they call it chisme, my entire life changed, she said hyperbolically. My name is MERJ and I am a recovering Facebook stalker. (Hi, MERJ!) When I was 27, I tried dating. Went on 2 dates with this boy I liked. We held hands. My life was a rom-com for 2 hours. A year later he ended up marrying a girl who used to be his friends with benefits, a self proclaimed exhibitionist and rimmer. According to Facebook and all the skills I learned from watching ID, it appears they’re no longer together. The clues: they live in separate cities; they both had a hair change (hair changes seem to symbolize a lot of break ups or pivot points in life); their last names changed. Break-up right?! The marriage was such an inflection point in what I thought I knew about relationships I had to include it in the chronicles of my journey. I feel like a wrong has been righted. The world is good again. On to the weekend!
What was your week like? Ever had that blurry point that became clear so many years later? What about family…any expectations now or in the future?
TV this week: Below Deck Mediterranean, New Girl reruns
Takeout this week: zilch
BlueBird (no affiliate) balance: $232.80
Note: I use the Amex BlueBird prepaid card in my current Working Budget for regular monthly expenses (groceries, eating out, phone, gas, etc..). My last budget update 03Mar2018 showed this line item as $540/mon (down from $600/mon), but in April 2018 I decided to challenge myself to $430/mon based on my idea that my bare bones budget, if needed and possibly in early retirement, is 500/500/500 housing/student loan/expenses. Since my loans are currently $566/mon I subtracted that $66 from the $500 for expenses and rounded down.
Next pay date: $215 is auto-deposited the 8th and 23rd of every month.