How to not bring work home

We work in a job that can get stressful and irritating not because of what is in your job description but due to the people we work with. There is indecision from higher ups, inexperience and incompetence at all levels and then there are people who expect you to hold their hands as they do their jobs. Before we go ahead let me say this, neither one of us is a saint and we are incompetent to take up quite a few tasks which are thrust upon us.

In past 6 months we have barely managed to trickle out a post a month and the reason is sheer exhaustion after work. We work 5.5 days a week and around 9 hours make it a full working day. Do we enjoy what we do? Yes quite a few parts of it are really enjoyable and rewarding as you can measure personal and professional growth clearly and it is in a public realm. There are quite a few parts of it which are simply disturbing in all senses.

Past few months we have been managing a team while it was not our place to do so and in our field being young is seldom an advantage. With huge egos and general belief that young ones don’t have any experience it becomes a task to handle ‘big people’ and meet timelines.

This is more our fault than others around us. There is a reason job description and titles are created in a workplace. The reason is so that people don’t interfere in other’s work and that they are not bogged down by unreasonable requests. Fields which require immense collaboration result in overlapping roles and expectations of you filling in for others or guiding them how to do their jobs. That however is the role of their manager and not yours, unless you are their manager. We have often times failed to understand and limit ourselves to our role and we have seen both benefits and drawbacks of doing this.

We have been appreciated multiple times but there have been many who have taken offence at someone exposing where they lack. Have you seen that Hidden figures scene where Katherine answers in a meeting what her boss is fumbling papers for. That is never fun for the boss unless she takes pride in being supported by good people.

Educating each other is a part of any job and allows any organisation to run seamlessly and for employees to actually take time off. However when your colleagues start relying on you for every single task you have managed to put yourself in a corner. Each one of us has struggled with getting work done especially if it involves working with another team.


What we learnt

Last few weeks have however taught us multiple lessons which have not just helped us increase our productivity but also reduce our stress and workload.

  1. It is just work. Before you started working similar work was being done however inefficiently it might have been. As long as you are not the cog blocking the machine you should not be worried about job not being done. Do your part and let others catch up. Even if they don’t improve you can be assured that the end result will be achieved. It might not look exactly like what you wanted but there will something at the end.
  2. Personal responsibility is better than collective responsibility. Do your job first before you start helping people with their. If you job is to manage others do that before you tell a junior how to insert that image in the presentation. Focusing on your own work and actually finishing it will allow you to accomplish more in the same amount of time and go back home a bit lighter.
  3. It is not always good to help people. Let it be clear if you don’t help people around you at all you are a bad person. But if you help them so much that they can’t do anything without your help you have created a monster for yourself.
  4. You have to learn to turn off your job mind. There are people who rely on their jobs to define them. Let’s be fair most of them don’t really worry about early retirement. It is not the worst quality but seriously a job is one of the most likely things to go away without any notice. It is therefore stupid to carry stress from a fleeting thing into your private life. That being said we have been some of the top notch stupid people in that regard and we accept it. Does it require a kid at home to force you to think about more than your job or is a hobby enough or should you start a blog? Who knows, as long as you get out of your job both physically and mentally.

We have been working on ourselves and learning how to distance ourselves from our work and actually enjoy the time we have on our hands. LivingaFi’s blog is probably one of the best boosts you will need to realize you are not alone and there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Is there any work related story that you would like to share? Or maybe what drives you to FIRE?

Financial Independence India : Update 2017

First salary of FY 2017-18 is in and invested. It sure isn’t very interesting when you do one transaction and all of your investments are done for the month. There is no real thrill of researching and reinventing as you go along once you narrow down on a strategy to Financial Independence.
We started last year on shaky legs still learning to walk the financial planning bit of our lives. We were clueless about direct investing in mutual funds, zero brokerage trading (affiliate link) and more importantly the real long term game.
As we put first of our saved money, into various mutual funds we learnt we might want to change our approach to what we thought would suit us better. As the year went on we realized these early years are the best time for us to experiment with the investment strategy.

Financial Independence
Asset Breakup

Below is an account of how we decided to save our money and how it went for us.

Index funds

Most investors in Indian markets would advise to put your money in something which has high growth potential and it is still possible to beat the market. Why? Because we are still growing as an economy and a lot of measures are being taken to take us from a developing to developed nation.
With the urge to beat the market there is the need to know what will let you achieve the beating. We have no clue (like most around us) and we know we are in it for the long term. We know that the market will go up in the long run however the share or sector we bet upon may completely vanish the other day. You can easily ask those who lost money of kingfisher airlines or on businesses which are redundant today.
It was surprising for me to know that SENSEX and NIFTY change every day in how they weigh the stocks in the index and which company should be a part of the index.
With the uncertainty which accompanies making specific choice and our need to keep the money alive for as long as we can, index funds become the best choice.
Lower expense ratios are just added bonus and with the (late) discovery of direct funds we are paying as less as 0.3% for majority of our funds in expenses. This might not be a valid point for many but we don’t believe in sharing the returns of our money unless we have to.
We have thought of adding a few sector specific funds to the portfolio going forward but have not been able to justify the purchase. We own a few other funds some from before we decided to take charge of our finances and others as an experiment.
I am sure you can see where we believe our money is best invested.

Financial Independence
Fund Type Breakup

 

 

The Dividend Gamble

In last November we started another experiment to see how dividend stocks would work for us. We started small and we have been keeping our holdings within 10% of our net worth. The reason for this is twofold one it keeps more of our money in other long term safer holdings and secondly we accept we are no stock picking experts.
We are still at the experiment and did pump a decent sum around March. However we are probably not buying a lot more individual stocks in near future and definitely not making individual stocks a majority sector in the portfolio. Since we bought the stocks in last few months on the FY it is not fair to judge how much dividend we got out of them. That analysis I would hold back for the next FY.

The Real Estate Factor

It would be stupid to not talk about real estate as a major contributor to our net worth. We do get a monthly rent but we do not include value of the house when we talk about our net worth because we don’t own it outright and because that value is never absolute.
Currently we are landlords for the only flat we own and additional money sure doesn’t hurt. We have gone back and forth about whether we want to add more properties to our portfolio. Over multiple discussions we have gone back and forth about our decisions to buy but the answer for now is – no. This stems not just from our desire to keep our lives simpler but also because we don’t really have spare money to put into a non liquid asset.

The Home loan

As said above and in multiple posts here and here we own a flat. We also own a home loan to go along with it and it is more than what the rent covers. Last year in April we equated our home loan, using the overdraft facility offered by our loan provider. That meant we would not be paying any interest at all and our loan would eventually end earlier. At that time it felt like the best use of our money and a guaranteed way of ensuring we do not default on our loan.
Around June we had started challenging our financial beliefs with something known as maths, which told us this was not the best approach. We ran multiple scenarios which helped us determine the best ratio between offsetting the loan and investing in other heads. We have since reduced the amount we maintain in the OD account and have invested remaining.
The OD account is our emergency fund account which allows us to travel (replenished by us) dole out money when needed for family emergencies or invest in bulk. Currently we divert rent collected to this account which allows us to take money out without making a huge permanent dent in the account.

NPS

We had been following NPS for sometime but it wasn’t till late February that we seriously looked into what this instrument can do for us. We found that it is a good way to both save today as well as let our money grow without any interference from us for a good time. We have opted into the aggressive plan which invests 75% of our money into stock market using funds and remainingn is split in debt instruments. This is in line with what we intend to do with our money anyways.

Before we invested in NPS we were aiming to max our contribution for PPF. PPF in its own right is a great instrument to let your money grow but being an interest based option it does not provide the benefits that NPS does. We are currently aiming to put 50K each in NPS to get the extra tax saving we can and keep on contributing 1Lac to our PPF.

In our tax bracket we are able to reduce our tax liability 20K while investing which makes it a double benefit deal.

Side gigs

We are blessed with a profession which allows us to earn some on the side without flouting company policies. Even though with increased workload we have not been able to grow the revenues we have however been able to support a big chunk of our travels through it. That has allowed us to build our stash and not feel trapped into the grind completely.
As we work towards re-balancing our lives and learning how to say no to unfair requests at work we both hope to achieve better quality of life and time to increase our side gig earnings.

 

The Life Changes

Apart from what financial changes we made including reining in our expenses last year led us to multiple personal changes as well. We are now much more conscious of both spending and consumption. We have always known how much we spent past month but how that relates to our overall goals was never clear. This was perhaps because we had no goals we were aiming for except for finishing our mortgage.
Our life has much more clarity now and we have far more discussion about where we plan on being in next decade and decades after that. There is a certain amount of satisfaction in inching our way to the goal.
Before this we were usually looking at our expenses and the amount left from income as potential expenses. Now every penny we make is a way for us to get out of mandated working and allows us freedom to choose how we wish to spend our lives. I feel much more at rest mentally about our way forward and running multiple scenarios has led us to for the first time settle into our current job. As we said here we firmly believe saving is more of a mind game than a money game.
We are always open to better opportunities but knowing even in current job with its job security we are on our way to ensuring a far better and relaxed life than many around us. We get frustrated every now and then but know we are not in deep trouble with where we stand today.
The desire to be able to work on our own terms has reduced our desire to own more stuff. We have been actively purging our belongings and have reduced a lot of clothes, plastic ware and small knickknacks which have been gathering dust in various storage locations.
This is also the first time in years that we have a household which we run completely and it has taken us over a year to realize we can finally grow some roots. We can choose to retire from this city if we want or swap to another once we have the chance. Like I said above we know even while living in this expensive city we can get our numbers to work.
Even if you are not looking to actively save or retire and would rather spend every last penny you earn, take the time to think and decide where you want to be in five or ten years from now. If you are worried about what you can afford or how much you can save in your current situation running a few numbers can help you reach answers quicker.


How do your investment breakups look? What category of investments do you believe are best for you?

Reality Check- We bought a lot of stuff

This was perhaps the best thing that could have happened to us- a reality check. This post had started completely different. We felt that we did really good last year especially with our clothing and heeling purchases. Guess what that didn’t happen.

The Past

When we started working I was very much interested in getting myself a shoe collection to rival Carrie and a decent set of clothes to go along with my clothes. I did manage to deck out way better than I do today. Washing clothes was a big chore without a washing machine so before I outsourced the chore I would rather buy a few pairs than wash stuff. I had left home with a suitcase and the day and the day I shifted to our first married homes I had a huge taxi full of stuff. This was after I had thrown away quite a bit of stuff.

Once we moved to Hyderabad being married caught up to us and as we started to travel more buying clothes seemed like less of a priority. This does not mean we never bought clothes, far from it. This was around the time when online market places has risen their cheap heads and we enjoyed shopping form our bed quite a bit.

Past year

However both of us were under the impression that last year we had been good kids who did not waste a lot of cash on clothing various parts of our body. Oh how wrong we were. Once we sat down to count clothes and shoes bought we came to following total

Mr. S

2 Tshirts

1 Trouser

1 pair of shoes

1 piece of ethnic wear

Total- 4 items

Mrs S

3 Tops

2 Jeans

2 pieces of ethnic wear

1 pair of shoes

Total – 8 items

It might not sound that bad with just 12 items bought under various heads, but it is way more than I was under the impression we bought last year.

The Bottoms Problem

The worst part is both the jeans I bought just didn’t work and gave up due to my perfect (absent) thigh gap and I am in the market form some new ones. The pairs of shoes we bought are working great for both of us especially in rains. The pouring ruined my comfy leather shoes before we invested in crocs. The ethnic wear was for a close friend’s wedding and since we don’t wear or use them often older ones didn’t fit or were missing a component or two.

You know what I did above? This is something we have both been doing a lot lately and most of us can easily be accused of. I am making excuses. A lot of above are real facts and situation which needed some expense at that time but not all of them.

Fighting my own excuses

When the jeans gave away around December I was left in a lurch with just one pair of trousers to go with everything I wear to office. Around this time we were on a drive to save maximum amount we could and we were both feeling we can do better. I did not run out to buy another pair right away. Instead thanks to some health related changes and some weird coincidence I has lost a good amount of weight which meant a few older clothes started fitting again. As I write this I am wearing a top I bought way back in 2012 and hadn’t worn in last at least 2 years.

I also started to wear whatever kurta pajama fit me, to office. These usually require ironing two things instead of one in the morning and there are no pockets,so I hardly wear these.

But this time I was not making excuses and had decided to postpone any purchases off to next FY (our office subsidizes office wear for a certain amount each FY).

Future Plans

I now plan to go through my closet once more, purge things which have un-mendable holes or stains and things which I can’t fit into. Next step is to mend things which can be mended and then decide if I am really running low on clothes.

In last few weeks I was gifted a considerable sum as gift cards for a big chain. I can use it to buy clothes for free or I can buy stuff I think I need for my house (which is probably just want) or I can give it to someone as a gift or exchange it for cash with someone who is going to shop there anyway. To be true I was not considering any of these options a week back. Till then we were martyrs who hadn’t bought anything in one full year.

This does not mean that there are no clothing purchases in near future especially if I keep on losing the huge amount of excess weight I have on me right now.

This is not just about our clothes. This feeling of martyrdom and complacency extend to more areas of our life like eating out and cooking. I have been feeling like shit and the job has suddenly become quite tiring of late. We work half days on Saturdays which means only one day to sleep in. this means none of us is really in the cooking mood especially for something to carry to lunch. We have spent a small fortune on eating out in past few months.

I am someone who strongly believes in not killing oneself for every tiny penny and some days did drain us so much that we could barely eat takeout before we crashed. This is not true for a lot of days though, days when we have been busy watching something online or playing one game or another.

It extends beyond clothes

Eating out is one of the biggest drains on our income and has definitely affected our savings rate. We both love food and it is really difficult to not feel like you deserve a relaxed evening when you have been working your ass off for over 10 hours. It is also equally stupid to define every indulgence as I deserve it because I did that.

If we look deeper I am sure we can find other things where excuses have crept up on us. Thankfully we are not making excuses like ‘… it is expected of us to do …’. To be fair we have succumbed to multiple such lines from our parents which drive us nuts. Thankfully we are not making these excuses to ourselves.

It is such a weird thing, life catches up to you and you miss a step without realizing what has happened. Last night was another such realization. I haven’t been at the top of my health lately and it has become a constant source of stress for me. Last night however I had to cook and finish off the perishable food we have in the fridge before we leave for a vacation. Suddenly it did not feel as difficult as it had been previous weeks, once I started.

Have you ever been under a strong belief about yourself or your belongings and have been proven wrong?

Royally Frugal Life: What it means for us?

What exactly is a royally frugal life? If you have ever had this question, prepare to be answered today.

When we were wondering what to call the blog this name stood out and called to us because it is exactly the kind of life we have and want. We are not Royals. Yes a lot of people in our country can actually boast of royal blood we are not one of them. We are not rich either, when both of us started working we were provided with one month’s of assistance from our parents and then were supposed to feed ourselves.

I have talked extensively about how we started off and how our spending mentality gave way to saving mentality. Not only was this a big change in how we view money but also our life.

Royally Frugal Life: What we want and love

We love food and our travels around have made us not only aware of various cuisines but have also led us to crave them. A big part of our spending was devoted to eating out. This definitely did not result in empty pantry at home. No sir, we were still buying ingredients and also cooking though far less than we should have. All we have to show for these food indulgences is bigger waistline (for me at least) and a smaller bank balance. Before we moved to the expensive city our food indulgences were both satisfying as well as not as heavy on the pocket. With expensive city the taste has gone down while price tag has gone up. Thankfully we learned how to eat organic food at a much smaller cost to our pockets.

Another one of our major expense is travel and it would not be wrong to say we are addicted to it. A long spell without travel (visiting family doesn’t count) leaves us suffering from various withdrawal symptoms like yearning, lack of focus and hating our job and finances. Thankfully very early in our travel escapades we discovered that luxury travel is simply not for us, our pocket or our taste buds. Don’t get me wrong we love a five star stay any day of the year but there is definitely something to be said about roaming the streets, eating street food and socializing in a nice hostel.

Like majority of people we love to live in a clean, dry and nice house with enough space for us to walk around without bumping into things and small enough to clean by ourselves. Being comfortable with a comfy couch and a good mattress with little maintenance is far more important than the latest style of furniture. We love to live with our things for as long as possible, changing furnishings every three years is definitely not for us. That being said we love new things as much as any other thing, the element of surprise and a new feel is awesome. But I also love owning and using dependable things or repairing my appliances so that they last me a long time.

That is it for us as long as we have a nice clean place to live in eat the kind of food that we like and get to travel the world we would be happy.

Royally Frugal Life: What we don’t care about

We do not dream of owning an expensive car and burn fuel as we speed along on the highway.  No good sir, we are far happier being the lazy people we are and let someone drive us to the destination in public transport. We save fuel, environment and our energy required for driving and navigating. Does that mean road trips are not our style? Nope. We love them but we equally love sleeping the night away in one of the sleeper trains of India as they take us hundreds of miles away. Maybe when we have the luxury of time to slowly travel we would love to ride or drive our way around the vast expanse of our beautiful country. Guess what we need for that to be a reality- yup, financial independence and retirement so that we have time we need to bring our dreams to fruition.

A lot of people would see us with relatively sparse household (I am trying to get rid of few more things) riding around on a 5 year old motorbike and taking non ac sleeper trains around and assume we don’t know how to live our life. Then these people would wonder how we take so many trips and if we earn that much where is our big car. Sometimes the lack of correlation is simply mind boggling.

This is what our royally frugal rich life looks like to us- simple yet fulfilling and with less things in our life to worry about.

I have written extensively about how not owning a lot has helped us claim back both space as well as peace of mind. Remember stuff is not always physical a lot of us carry around excessive mental baggage as well. Maybe unloading the overload will help us all.

In past three months that we have outlined what we want to achieve as well as what our future goals are we have started working our way to living our version of a royally frugal lifestyle. It may not be a cheap thing to start with especially if like us you believe in bulk buying or if your appliances decide to give up on you together.

What I can say with experience is it will get better. Once you get the hang of cooking for yourself instead of spending money eating out you will actually grow to love the taste of your food better. Once you get the knack of finding deals and looking for the cheapest and effective way to meet your requirements you will never want to spend unnecessary money.

We value efficiency and not owning a lot of things as well as devising our own procedures for tasks have helped us achieve a better work life balance not just with our jobs but also with our chores. I hope to have the same lifestyle we have now with limited work and all the time in the world to travel and pursue all of our other desires and hobbies.

Royally Frugal Life: What kind of future we want?

Does our future royally frugal life include full time travel? Maybe. But there is an equally big chance that we do nothing else except sit on our ass and go through life in peace.  For us the freedom to choose what we want to do every day is what a life like royalty means. We have the additional benefit of not having to keep up any appearances which most royalties suffer from. We have thought about this in detail and have not been able to find a way to achieve the luxury of time apart from following frugal ways.

What is your definition of Rich life? Does it include expensive cars or the freedom of travelling the world or maybe the freedom of seeing your child grow up? There is no right answer and we would love to hear from you.

Saving Mentality is More Important Than How Much You Earn

If there is anything I have learnt about saving money then it is one thing- it is more about your brain than your pocket. What I mean is, if you have a saving mentality, chances are you will save more than someone with double the income and lack of saving mentality.

Spendypants Mrs. S

Over past decade we have seen our friends amass a lot of stuff. We have collected an impressive amount of things considering we started with a few bags of clothes when we got married. The only difference is we stopped when we had all that was required for our comfort and daily functioning. We haven’t replaced any appliance or furniture in past 5+ years. As people go out and buy new this and that or exchange a perfectly working fridge for the latest model we prefer saving.

Lest you think we have always been so you would be half right. Mr.S has always been the saver of the family. I on the other hand did not fare as well especially with my attachment to footwear. When I joined my first job over 7 years ago saving was definitely not one of my goals. It was luxurious life, good food, clothes and shoes. Sure it seemed cool to have 1 lac in my bank but that was almost 6 month’s pay and then me, could definitely not save that much on my meager salary. When we got married he had 1 lac saved up and thankfully I had also started saving a small sum each month.

At that time we believed saving 10% of your income is good, after all we don’t really make much right. Wrong. I can now see where we wasted money and how we could have been in much better situation than we were. I have talked about our wasteful habits before and a lot of those were a result of consumer mentality. Fully stocked fridge and pantry was in my mind a given even though we were eating out most of the nights. A lot of food was wasted and 5 years ago we were spending at least 1.5 times of our current expenses every month even though the city we lived in was far cheaper than where we are today.

What we assumed was a result of our low incomes was actually a result of our wasteful consumer mentality. When I look back now I could have easily saved over 10K more every month and even if invested poorly they would have made us far richer than we currently are. We might not have been earning a huge sum (which we aren’t earning today as well) but a few lacs saved over the years would have helped us to reduce the amount of home loan or even to build a corpus which allows us to retire and live the life we want.

Shift to Saving Mentality

When you shift your wealth building focus from earning to saving you get triple bonus. Your expenses come down which means you need less money to survive. This also means your savings will stretch farther. As your income increases over the years the saving mentality will allow you to save even more while you maintain low expenses. If you save 10% it will take you 9 years to be able to take 1 year off; but if you save 30% you get a year off every 2-2.5 years.

When we shifted to the expensive city we were told that it will be next to impossible for us to save any amount. The people who told us this were right and we would have suffered if we had not chosen the right home close to office, monitored and reduced our expenses. We did negotiate a raise in months following the move, but we are currently spending far less than we were barely 1 year ago. Our spending in expensive town is almost half of our previous budget. This is when we pay higher utility charges and almost everything is costs more.

Now we concentrate on maintaining and increasing our savings while living our royally frugal lifestyle. Having a saving mentality does not mean starving or depriving yourself. If that was the case we would not have been switching to organic food as we try to save more. Our lifestyle is very important for us and to be true not much has changed except we go out eating less often. Apart from resulting in a healthy amount of savings it is definitely making us healthy as well.

The Results

Would we have been able to even think about retiring at 40 without previous spend as you go mentality? Nope.

Would we have survived the move to expensive city without dipping into our existing savings? Nope.

We would probably not even have been able to equate our home loan. Even though our calculations taught us that keeping money in our investments was better than locking it to equate the loan we can finish off the debt if we want to. This is a very strong psychological motivator and depending on how you think can result in more spending or more savings.

It would be easy for one of us to say ’let’s not save anything this month and go out and buy this thing or that’. There is nothing really we need to save for anymore if financial independence was not on our radar. There are times when I think back and am thankful that I don’t feel the same way about money. I now see money as a means to my independence rather than a tool to increase dependence on more things.

Want to shift your focus?

If you are in the same boat where we were five years ago I know it feels like nothing is working for you and whatever you earn goes somewhere which is not your bank. I also have a two steps for you to start with.

  1. Take a reality check and Know exactly down to the last digit how much you owe in debt and how much you have in assets. Subtract the debt from assets and that is your real net worth.
  2. Write down your expenses –every single one (including those cigarettes) counts. (Drop the habit it will be life changing!)

These two might not be the last steps in actually increasing your savings but they are for sure the biggest steeps you will take. A lot of us don’t realize how much we spend on frivolous things like TV, expensive clothes and accessories and most importantly eating out. A few thousands every month will make a huge difference in how your net worth sits not just a few months from now but also when you call it quits.

Changing your mentality can take time or in some cases like ours it just becomes a necessity. Once you start looking at the expenses through savings tinted glass you will find a lot of ways to cut your losses.

Frugal Mindset: Taking off the overload

I have always regarded peace of mind as a given in your life. I also take a few measures to ensure that my mind has time and spare energy to relax as well as devote itself to various pursuits of its own. This has allowed us to run a few blogs, freelance along with a full time job, actually unplug from work time to time and generally live a life we enjoy.

Not owning a television is another one of my ways to avoid and information overload and also to ensure that I get filtered and essential happenings only from around the world. I prefer to read multiple articles and books on any issue, interesting topic and then make up my mind instead of hearing a few ‘panelists’ shouting at each other. Feel free to call me ignorant or plain stupid but it has helped me create a better life for myself. I strongly believe that most average people (like us) will rarely achieve anything beyond anger, distrust and general dissatisfaction.

Low information diet

Low information diet has been around for quite some time; from Tim Ferris to MMM it has been talked about a lot. I came across it a few years ago when I had taken on far too many things on than I could have ever managed. It was affecting both my mental calm and the calm in my day to day activities. I was easily irritable, especially if someone failed at drawing a straight line being an architect. It affected how we engaged as a couple. We were both stressed by one issue or the other and the to-do list was longer than the grocery list of spendypants. There was a constant nagging feeling of not doing what I was supposed to do. I was hell bent on creating a successful blog which could fund our travels, but one blog was never enough. I started a few blogs, worked freelancing jobs and overall was time strapped. The only time I could disconnect was when we were travelling, but the thought process of travel blogger crept in and I now had to take a lot of pics to justify the tag. I have thousands of people clicking in to the site, how I could disappoint them with no pic of the tasty stuff we ate. Here’s something you might not know- I hate taking pics (especially if they stall me from enjoying any experience).

Let it Go

Shove came to push and I was dearly missing my own free time. I decided to stop every single thing and then decided to regroup and rethink my priorities. Even though I love writing, travelling and sharing it with numerous people and then interacting with them; it came surprisingly far lower in my priorities and responsibilities. Yes, you are my reader but for me to feel obliged to produce content is simply stupid. It just took a very long time for me to realize that. I was running after my dream of quitting my job and travelling while running an online empire. Guess what? The struggle is real and unless you can really commit all your energy it is a difficult one at best.

It is difficult to accept that you can’t do as much as the other person with a seemingly perfect life, it was difficult to accept I can’t.

Once I gave in to what I really wanted, which turned out to be a free, slow lazy life I was feeling far-far better. I miss writing sometimes because I have a lot of stories to tell and because I miss the thrill of pushing publish and waiting for reaction. When we started this blog my only intention was to get some feedback here or in the forums we frequent. Would I love to have a blog with million visits a day? Why yes as long as it does not require me to put every single free minute of my life in it.

Right now and in the foreseeable future I will have a job which will meet my daily expenses and allow me to retire early. With a job which pays above average mean I commit over 44 hours a week. That leaves very few hours to myself, my family and my house. With the frugal drive and lifestyle change we are on we are adjusting every day. There are days when we are freer than before simply because we are not out buying stuff. Others we are far busier because we are cooking or prepping food. It has become far easier every single week and a huge change in our spending patterns is visible from February to July.

Pursuit of happiness is real.

I am happier though a bit stressed and dissatisfied with the job for reasons unknown to me. Maybe one day I will get meditation mindfulness down pat and realize my reasons for not enjoying a job which not only provides for me but also challenges me mentally. I am now, back to picking up things I gave up along the route and deciding if I want them in my life at all. A lot of them are now useless like the amount of shoes I had before I decided I like to travel more. Don’t get me wrong I love shoes and would love to own a lot more but the reality is I don’t need to. It did not take me much time to realize they are not a need an definitely not the only interest I have. The fact is that walking in heels is a big pain and when you travel on cheap you definitely walk- a lot.

I am still learning and growing in my endeavor to be more mindful of what I consume both mentally and in material terms. Yes the money will grow as we cut back on our expenses. Yes we will face road blocks and we might not retire before 60. The best part is our worst case scenario is other’s default and best case scenario.