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 enjoy 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 more personal than finance updates just like this one. Come along with me, I urge you!
So this week I won’t do my normal structure of separating the days. Why, you ask? Well, frankly all the days were the same. I didn’t have to work this week, so that was a huge win for the single girl! I’m finally on to this holiday thing so I scheduled paid time off every three months this year: March, June, Sep, Dec. You get it.
I haven’t quite mastered the let’s go somewhere part of a holiday, but I’m okay with it. This week was another staycation. Since I started this job in 2015, I haven’t been anywhere on my paid time off. I’m a fan of the staycation mostly because it requires the least amount of planning and money. It just hurts too much to spend money on something that won’t bring me the same amount of joy. For example, the easy-to-plan vacations that are a couple clicks away on Groupon Getaways seem to hover around $2,000 for about a week of excitement. It would take me a month to save that much money. Thus, I would expect the vacation to make me happy for at least a month. Usually after the vacation is over, the happiness is over because I still have to go back to work. As a result, the staycation meets my current needs.
The staycations are not completely free however, I think this one cost me $200 for prepared food I ordered through the mail; $40 for cable; $50 for snacks and luxury grocery items (e.g. cut fruit, fancy chocolates); grand total = $290. At an average of 50% savings rate, that would take me about two days to save. And I’m happy for 7 days, so it’s a win. Outside of that, this is in my budget, so there’s not really any additional savings required. But I was trying to make a point.
So what exactly did I do? Eat my yummy food. Side note, the food I bought actually provides about four to six additional weeks of dinners, but I wanted variety so I got a few different things. Watch TV. I watched: 90 Day Fiancé, 911, The Resident, Younger, Alone Together, copious amounts of House Hunters/ International, Wives with Knives, Who the bleep did I marry?, Disney’s Weddings, Bachelor in Paradise. It was fun to mix the dating shows with the true crime shows to remind myself what happens after the honeymoon. Bahahahahah.
Not so fun
Things I did that weren’t so fun. I spent two hours a day, at least, Facebook stalking old friends and old crushes from my past through my blog’s profile. (I don’t have a personal FB profile specifically for this reason.) Then I would get sad wondering why they weren’t thinking about me. Then I would shut my laptop and swear not to go back on Facebook again only to turn around and do it again the next day. I also tried to stay off blogging activities. That worked, sort of. I didn’t create any posts during the actual work week and Brain only came up with one fluffy post idea from my TV shows, namely 90 Day Fiancé. It’s amazing what some men do for a beautiful woman, and it’s equally amazing how creative some women are when they craft a relationship from nothing! Guilty. I held strong feelings for a boy for ten years because he said hi to me once. But I was in my teens; these women are adults. The best counter for these irrational feelings are true crime stories on Investigation Discovery. That sobers me up quickly.
Well for the rest of you toiling away for the man this week… what did I miss?
TV this week: All the things.
Takeout this week: See above.