1. I’m realizing more all the time just how financially free I am. It doesn’t take a cool million in the bank to have breathing room, to stop berating yourself for impulse purchases, and/or to loosen up the purse strings for causes that are speak to you. Heck, I’m staring down a bathroom remodel next month that could be anywhere from ~$1k if we do the work ourselves to more than $5k if we hire everything out, and I’m not flinching because I can now swing that, either way. It wasn’t very long ago that this big unknown cost would freak me the eff out!
    Enjoy that dark sea salted caramel chocolate, friend!

  2. Oh heck yeah. That expensive Aldi chocolate is MAGIC. Can I also just take (another) moment to say that I straight up bow down to you on that $200 a month grocery budget?! I mean, I can barely stay inside $800 most of the time.

    Since we’ve moved to NC, we feel financially independent a lot. For example, I seriously thought about if a $75-hour tutoring gig was going to be too much of a disruption to our afternoons (before I took it. I mean, it’s $75-freakin’ dollars an hour!! Only one hour a week but still). Anyway, I know exactly how you feel. Having a big emergency fund may not make the most sense interest-wise, but mentally, knowing that we have a cash cushion if something goes belly-up means we have a lot more relaxed approach to all our decisions. It’s also kinda bad in a sense because we’re more relaxed about our FI date (I say “fie” in my head but who knows?) but then, if the next ten years are filled with squares of dark chocolate deliciousness and very little worry about financial stuff, I think I’m very ok with that. And isn’t it cool that we all get to make our own choices that way? 🙂

  3. Soooo glad you write so positively about your job as welll. I agree that it’s sometimes hard in the virtual world where everyone seems to be counting down to doing away with W-2 employment. Not my goal, but I sure get those niggling second guessing thoughts because EVERYONE seems to think that’s a bad deal. The upsides of the community outweigh it, but that’s the #1 bad part of it for me.

  4. I’m a big fan of red wine and since you found a way to integrate chocolate in a serious way, I guess I’ll take the challenge and get a post up about red wine. 😉 Also, I think it’s great that you have a buffer to your budget. I see too many people try to micromanage their monthly budget down to the last penny. Talk about setting yourself up for failure! There will always be unexpected expenses or unplanned opportunities, so it’s important to leave a little fluff in there.

  5. Oh man, you’re reminding me of getting chocolate now at the grocery store…lol!! Luxe Strategist had a post a few weeks back where she mentioned Kit-Kats and I headed to store to buy some…hahaha!! I am so vulnerable when it comes to chocolate.
    All kidding aside, I’m on the same boat that if I want to buy a chocolate bar then I will do it without feeling guilty. I’m not pursuing FI yet but maybe down the line I will. For now, i have that financial freedom where all of my accounts will not be in the red anytime soon and plan not to be. I can practically go and buy a nice car fully paid if we want but we have higher priorities in mind like buying a home.

  6. “Having the freedom to do what I love is financial freedom”. You nailed it right there Penny. You are fortunate to do a job you love, and that will always be in demand, everywhere. No one can be more financially free than that. Totally independent of market forces or withdrawal rates, or tax hacks. If you get up every day and and are lucky enough to do what you would volunteer to do after winning Powerball, then you have won the game, set and match. I wish more people were dedicated to finding work they love instead of sticking to work they hate to try to get to FI faster. I think they are missing out on some of life’s greatest joy.

    • I do think that I am so lucky. And I try to remind myself of that all the time. Not everyone gets to love what they do every day, and I can honestly say that for 11 years, I really have. Of course…there are some mornings I’d rather sleep in a bit longer or a few meetings that I’d like to skip. But I virtually always smile huge at the end of the day! It is a joy.

  7. People always ask me about FI, and I’m like, I never talk about it on the blog–is there no other reason to save money? I do find it kind of depressing when money is always thought of as a means to an end, and everything, even major life decisions, are quantified and assessed based on how it impacts FI. Like, I can’t buy this chocolate because it pushes my FI date back by a day.

    I hope to one day to become Accidental FI, but I don’t crunch numbers or have goalposts or anything. So, like you, I kind of already feel financially independent where we can do things without thinking much about them, and it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world if our jobs suddenly ended.

    • I think it would just make me too anxious. And as a person who is naturally anxious, I can tell you that I don’t need more of that in my life! I like my slow path to FI. 😀

  8. Nice blog! I started a blog 6 months ago at 67 and am looking for blogs that I can learn from. I know it is hard work and often frustrating. I will give a good try even though I know I don’t have as much ‘time’.

    • Yes! That is definitely one way that we started to realize we were getting things right with money…when you’re not constantly looking for more of it!

  9. I briefly had a taste of financial freedom – but more so in terms of that “buffer” you’re talking about. I was single, working 2 jobs, devouring PF blogs like crazy, paying down debt but also building up my savings. That buffer allowed me to take a stress leave from a toxic job. That buffer allowed me to spend a week in NYC with my sister. That buffer meant I could handle emergencies. Even though it was “small”, it was enough for me. I miss it.

    • Here’s to rebuilding that buffer, Amanda! It’s so hard when you get these tastes, isn’t it? It’s something to work for, I know.

      We have no concrete plans about our family, but I think about just how quickly all of my freedom evaporated when I took my maternity leave. It makes it really complicated when people ask if we plan to have more kids.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.