Financial Independence Journey- 2019 down

Our household has been going though a lot of changes in last few months and honestly it feels like walls are closing in all the time and nothing is going the way we want it to. However, a lot of our problems are not major considering the issues faced by millions of households but for us they have been relentless and upsetting. With that said let me run you through a list just to unload some of my own worries and as a salve to my tired body and mind.

Last year was more of a wobbly rock in for the FI tower
  1. Parent’s health has been a concern as it is usually for anyone with parents over the age of 60. We saw one parent go through a critical surgery back in July from which they are still recovering. Other three are going through aches and worries that old age brings. Latter is a waxing and waning process which we go through round the year.
  2. Work stress and poor mental health. We have both been under a lot of work stress and have been largely neglecting self-care. Any attention paid to our personal life has been solely directed towards the toddler. She is the light of our lives and brings us so much joy but we have not been in a happy and well rested mental place for the entire year. So much so that we have both considered therapy/counselling before the situation devolves.
  3. Shitty physical health- we are growing old but honestly the ripe old age of 34 has crept up on both of us not in the numbers but in the reduced physical capacity it brings with us. We were but 31 when I got pregnant and could walk around for hours and go through days without a full night’s sleep. Now not so much, and pregnancy has brought new pains in my life which have decided to stay back even as the Toddler turned 1.5 years last month. It got worse enough that I have been on leave for past 2 weeks and am not able to stay standing for more than couple of hours at a time.
  4. Work is not satisfactory anymore; for both of us. For some reason this has happened at the same time and we strongly believe it is a direct result of overworked and under rested (new?) parents navigating the rigors of work life while climbing the ladder and being handed responsibilities which would have been no brainer a few years ago.
  5. Our toddler is going to start day care soon, and I am typing this while sitting outside her day care for the first day settling in. She is both excited to play with kids but unhappy to not see her mom for more than a few minutes. Which means along with being a physical and mental mess we are both emotionally in a turmoil. Work has been gracious allowing us to work from home for a year now and my manager is concerned for us and has suggested my continuation of work from home while hiring a nanny for childcare at home.
  6. Work form home sucks- I have spent almost all of the last year working from the moment I get up to when I sleep. In hopes of getting uninterrupted work stretches I have been up working at 4 am and sleeping around 2(thankfully not on the same nights mostly). This has left me tired and exhausted all the while feeling like a horrible mother since I can’t give undivided attention to my child while I field calls and mails during the day when my team works.

So where does this come into play financially and deserves to be written in on the blog. Well, firstly this is our blog, a journal of sorts for our financial journey to FI; not a site for random financial information. Secondly, we have been spending like crazy last few months with a lot of work travel in the mix and the general exhausted feeling in both the adults in our house. Thirdly and most importantly, I’m thinking of quitting the job and taking a cool off period.

We have been debating the last point for quite sometime now and in our current financial state we can afford for one of us to be unemployed (by choice or otherwise). The way our physical and mental health had deteriorated of the last few months we are both quite worried and want to find some balance that allows us to live a happy life. I must be well enough soon to be able to play with my toddler and pick her up when she wants instead of handing her over to her dad.

We are also hopeful that once we do that, we would be able to reduce our monthly expenses back to the previous numbers and hopefully save another 5K per month. Another expense that will go away is the day care expense that we are looking at.

A move is on the cards in next few months to a far LCOL city (most cities are LCOL compared to where we live) and we hope for a 2-bed apartment for less cost compared to 1BHK we have currently. As the baby grows up, we need the space and separate sleeping areas but the 2BHKs can run high where we are. I am hoping to make it till the end of April. That would allow me to earn the final settlement with a lot of leaves in new FY thus reducing my tax liability. That should add another month’s expenses in taxes alone.

The simple reason we are even ambivalent towards quitting is because that means losing a lot of money and postponing the time to retirement. While we are still not sure if we will retire once we are FI but the desire to quite work altogether is strong. A lot of that is simply because we want to spend as much time as we can with our child and thankfully, we have been able to do that for last year and a half. I am sad at loosing the playtime we had during the day and could have had for next year or so but her desire to play with kids and meet more people makes me justify it to myself as not just choosing money over my child. If I had not been working, she would have invariably started school next year but for such young kids a year is too long, and we are both quite saddened by loss of such amazing time with her.

However, if I had to be truthful juggling both work and childcare throughout the day has brought us both very close to complete burnout. Multiple times I have felt as if I am a few minutes away from a panic attack and I doesn’t make you parent of the year if you are constantly irritated by the fact that your child wants to play with you while someone at work needs you at that very moment. I know I don’t have to justify myself to internet strangers but as I read trough multiple journals, I find hope and consolation in the fact that a lot of parents go through the same thought process and this does not mean that I value my child, parenthood or my commitment to my work less.

Now for the TLDR; version of the entire saga

  1. We have been facing multiple problems on personal and work fronts and are looking to resolve these at the earliest.
  2. We are both quite torn but recognize that our daughter will be attending school and day care in near future and are starting her in Day care as I go back to full time office work.
  3. I am toying with the idea of leaving my job for unknown length of time due the above two which will have significant effect on our FI plans.

As of January 2nd 2020 we have reached 30% of our FI number and every year we should be adding a tidy sum to it granted I stay working and we keep our expenses down. We also paid off our First home loan thus reducing our total out of pocket. I know it doesn’t always make sense but for us this payoff has come with a lot of mental peace. It also allows us to live on less money out of pocket each month and in the even of a job loss we can far easily manage our expenses. It also gives us the confidence that in just a few years we will be able to say goodbye to our jobs and own atleast one property completely and hopefully will be able to close the other one as well. Not owing money to the bank when our formal income is zero is quite reassuring.

All that being said, how has the year started for you.?

2 thoughts on “Financial Independence Journey- 2019 down

  1. This is probably the most stressful period in the life of a young couple. My wife and I had to go through this period while being thousands of miles away from our parents (in London while they lived in India) and I had a 0530 to 2000 hours day far from London as a trainee accountant so my wife had the entire burden on her. That was for a year and a half till I moved to a London firm. Take heart! You are doing the best you can under very trying circumstances. But if I could put in my suggestions: do NOT give up your job and do NOT feel guilty about neglecting your child – she will learn to socialise and will thrive.

    1. Thanks, I never eally knew how much a positive statement helps till we had a child. A lot has changed in last few weeks, thankfully for the better.

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