On February 12, 2018, I escaped the cubicle life, and I’ve zero regrets for doing so. I miss the paycheck though – it’s much harder than you might think to stop seeing large chunks of money enter your bank account. No matter how much you already have in there. More on that later.
Life Since Leaving the Cube
I mentioned in my escape announcement that my focus would be on business, blogs, and baby, and it is indeed where I’ve spent my time. What I underestimated though was the amount of time each would take. Call me crazy, but sometimes I still think I should and can do it all. Even if it’s my own damn thing. Maybe especially then.
Anyway…I’ve filled the majority of my time with watching my granddaughter and getting two new websites up and running.
Blogs and Business
Vicki and I, along with a great team of writers and guest contributors are pumping out researched content 5, and sometimes 6, days per week on WomenWhoMoney. Our goal is to – Empower women with the knowledge, skills, and resources necessary to improve their financial health and ultimately build financially secure and independent lives.
On Women’sMoneyTalk, we publish some original content, but mostly we are sharing personal finance articles written by other female bloggers and podcasters through daily features, Monday thru Friday. Our goal here is to help create money conversations. We’ve got some other plans for the site, but we are also open to suggestions from what you might like to see there.
I’m continuing to do some freelance writing and got my first few – let’s call them not so positive comments – on my article, Why $1M Might Not Be Enough for My Retirement Dreams (or Yours) when it was picked up by Yahoo Finance. Clearly, people don’t read, and just get kicks from being negative.
Unfortunately, LifeZemplified took a backseat, but it won’t stay there. I’m passionate about financial independence and wellness. As is Vicki, so we’ve got plans for here too. I’d love to hear what you’d like to see more of and if you’ve got any specific questions on fitness or nutrition you’d want me to dive into.
My husband John and I did not get far with the other business idea this summer as I had no time and he got distracted by another idea. But that’s okay; we are both happy with where our focuses are right now.
While I receive a little bit of money from freelancing, and together Vicki and I are bringing in a small amount of revenue on our sites – mostly via sponsorship and content creation – it’s all going to expenses for running our websites and business.
I watched my granddaughter Monday through Friday, from late February until mid-June. Tomorrow it will start up again. My son-in-law was in an assistant teaching position, so he had the summer off, although I did watch her a day or two here and there. He’s starting a new job now, however, and will be working year-round now.
She’ll be nine months old in a few days, and the fun is just beginning! I’m getting tired just writing about it. 🙂 While it doesn’t earn me a paycheck it sure as hell beats the cubicle life.
Speaking of paychecks…
When I walked away from the burgundy fabric walls of my last job, I walked away from a nice salary (not six figures but relatively close) and benefits package. That part still stings sometimes.
I don’t miss the male egos, parking lot nazi’s (I still owe you that story), or mundane work, but I miss the big fat paycheck. Not because we need it (Thank You, Lord!). But because it would help us pull the trigger on John’s retirement sooner.
Seeing our bank accounts grow was addicting. And the withdrawal from that was hard, really hard. Night sweats and all. Oh, wait maybe that’s something else…ah midlife.
It’s not like I haven’t been without a paycheck before. But then I didn’t earn as much, and I wasn’t in hot pursuit of financial independence. Fortunately, we’ve reached the double-comma club, and the market is still being kind. Unless the next downturn is extremely cruel, we should remain there.
I’ve seen others mention how it’s hard to go from accumulating your nest egg to spending it. But we aren’t to the spending point yet. John is still earning, and we are still accumulating, just not as quickly. Now though, I understand a little bit more about what it might be like when no paychecks are coming in.
If you’ll be leaving a paycheck behind any time soon be ready for this. Like anything, you can research and read about other’s experiences, and think you’re prepared. Then reality hits, and it’s usually different from what you expected.
Good Just Not Quite Zemplified
As touched on above, our finances are continuing to do well, but the accumulation has slowed without my paycheck. We’ve nearly tripled our net worth from the end of 2012 though, and our hopes for retirement are still on track for 2020, although we may need one more year.
We’ve still been very mindful of spending with no significant changes to report.
I’ve been slacking on fitness a bit. I’m still getting in some walking and strength training but not as much as I should be to get Younger Next Year.
When working, I would get a few walks in each day around the office park and then again later in the day at our local state park or on our treadmill in the basement. Once I started watching my granddaughter things changed, and I’ve not quite got into a consistent routine.
With all that being said, I’ll rate myself as fair on fitness. Because I am active, but not anywhere close to meeting the requirements for MySonsFather’s 5 million step challenge I’d hope to complete.
Food & Nutrition
I keep my eating pretty clean for the most part; otherwise, I suffer from migraine symptoms. But I’ve not tried out or created any new recipes lately. And we’ve eaten out more than usual these past three months due to vacations, celebrations, and other family get-togethers. Time to dial all this in.
For me blogging is fun. Most of it anyway. So I’m doing something I enjoy every day. But I need to break away from the computer more. Or at least that’s what my mom tells me, and even at 50 I still sometimes listen to my mom.
In June, John and I drove in the Hot Rod PowerTour – seven days in seven different cities, over 2600 miles for us in total. We saw some cool things, meet some great people – including Mr. & Mrs. Groovy – and had a lot of fun. We’ve attended a few other car shows this summer, including the big Woodward Dream Cruise.
We’ve also gotten out to our cottage quite a few times this summer and kayaked on the lake. And we tried to spend as much time as possible with my son and his girlfriend before they moved to California. He’s been gone two weeks, and I miss him a ton but am excited for him and her as they embark on this next phase of their lives. Hoping to visit them soon!
So Life is Good! I’m incredibly fortunate and very grateful for it all. I just need to do a better job at taking care of myself, so I can enjoy life for many years to come. And that means simplifying some things and finding more Zen.
More of the same, with tweaks to get better. More on that soon.
I genuinely enjoy what I am doing. I’ve found a great partner in Vicki, and we balance each other out well. I can’t thank enough the people who have helped us – our team of writers, contributors, sponsors, readers, spouses, family, and you too – but I’ll try. So, Thank You!
If you’ll be at FinCon 2018, please say hello!