Loosening the Purse Strings

Since starting our journey to financial independence I have really tried to buckle down on non essential expenses.  I may have gone a little too extreme in some respects as I do of course still need to enjoy life.  A few weeks ago I posted on the Financial Independence boards of Reddit posing the question of what are others planning on retiring to.  I have this slight fear that I will be bored once I no longer have a full time job.  Some people found this question strange but being that I have a Type A personality who likes to have things neatly planned, this was an important question to me.

One of the things that I realized after reading all of the posts was that I had actually cut out some hobbies because they cost money.  One in particular is sewing.  I love being able to create things and sewing is one great outlet for this.  So this past month I decided I would loosen the purse strings a little and delve into some sewing projects.  I found a few free skirt patterns online that I liked as well as wanting to reuse a pattern for a dress I made 7 years ago.  With coupons in hand I headed over to Joann Fabrics to find some fabrics.  They had a few bins with fabrics up to 70% off so that is where I started.  I found two fabrics that would work well for two of the skirt patterns and on another sale rack I found two stretchy knit fabrics which were also on sale.    One I planned to make a colorful mini skirt and the other I planned for the dress pattern I have used before.

With a pile of fabric in hand I got to work.   Continue reading “Loosening the Purse Strings”

Fearing Older Car Repair Bills

I recently had a bit of a scare with my beloved 2007 Honda Fit.  First let me start off by saying I love my car.  I bought it when it was only a year old and never regretted it.  It has been so trustworthy and even though it has 128,000 miles on it I have had very few problems.  That was until we started to notice water INSIDE the car.  Yup, that is not supposed to happen.  And it has been a rainy spring.  So when we kept noticing water collecting in the rear passenger foot wells I called to make an appointment.

When it comes to water related issues, whether it is with a car or even a house, it can sometime be hard to diagnose.  This is due to the fact that water runs.  So you could have a problem in one spot but the water runs to a different place making it hard to find the actual culprit.

Initially we thought the water issue was due to the after market roof rack we had purchased which had damaged the seal at the top of the doors.  It turned out to be a good thing that I had to wait over a week for my appointment as one day when driving around Mr. SFF noticed a sloshing sound.  Low and behold after a little searching, he realized there was water the in rear, hiding in the compartment with the spare tire.  We then deduced that it was more likely a leak in the rear hatch and that water had sloshed into the rear passenger foot wells when going down a hill.  We removed the spare tire, tire iron and jack and pumped out this water and then had another week to evaluate.  I guess it was a good thing that it was rainy all week as we we able to note which side the water was at least running from.  We didn’t know exactly where it originated but we had at the very least narrowed things down a little.

A small puddle formed in the spare tire compartment after rain overnight.

Continue reading “Fearing Older Car Repair Bills”

Would a Shorter Work Week Do The Trick?

This whole journey towards FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) really has to do with changing our lifestyle and giving just just a little more time to play or do what we want instead of being stuck in the office.  Heading to the office five days a week, spending the whole time looking forward to those two days that make up the weekend, is just not a great fit for me.  Even though I get out at 4:30 every day I feel that most of the day is gone and between eating dinner and winding down for the day I don’t have enough time to do fun things.  My job is fine but I don’t love it.  And sometimes I end up mentally take the job home with me, making the day seem worse. Continue reading “Would a Shorter Work Week Do The Trick?”

Vitality – An Amazing Program!

For the past few years my employer has offered an amazing wellness program through Vitality.  Unfortunately in February my employer announced that they will no longer be offering this program after 3/31/17 because participation has been too low.  First of all, I am incredibly bummed that they are no longer going to be offering this benefit, and secondly, why were people not enrolled?!  This program was AMAZING! Continue reading “Vitality – An Amazing Program!”

Vacation Turned Delay-cation Turned Stay-cation

Last Tuesday we were supposed to fly out to the Denver area for a combined ski trip and also to visit my sister in law, her husband and my nephews.  Even three days out from our departure date we knew that this trip wouldn’t go quite as planned.  There was a blizzard on the horizon set to arrive on Tuesday, the day of our departure.  We got a notification on Saturday that one of our flights might be a problem as we were scheduled to go through New York right in the heart of the storm.  With this advance notice we were given the option of changing our flight without incurring any change fees.  We changed our first flight to go through Detroit instead of NY and as we were set to leave at 5:45 am we figured we would be able to fly out before the storm hit.

Sleeping the night before an early morning flight never goes well but even after tossing and turning for well over an hour, we got a notification that our flight was cancelled around 11 pm.  Bummer…but at least we knew the night before so we didn’t have to make it all the way to the airport in the wee hours of the morning before finding out.  We slept in a little bit (does 7:15 count?), had breakfast, and then decided it would actually be easier to drive over to the airport and figure out our options instead of waiting on hold for hours with the airline (the hold time on Saturday was 2 hours).  This turned out to be a great decision as the airport was a ghost town.  We didn’t see a single passenger, despite there not be a flake of snow in the sky, and only a few airport employees around.  Even all the shops were closed.  Apparently only 2 flights made it out that morning before things closed down which meant we had the full attention of the counter agent.  We decided since the forecast was estimating a couple of feet of snow it would be silly to head out west to ski/ride on Wednesday, plus the likelihood of actually getting out on a flight Wednesday was not likely as the storm was set to continue well into the day.  So with our flight rescheduled to Thursday we headed home to rest after a horrible night of sleep. Continue reading “Vacation Turned Delay-cation Turned Stay-cation”

The Power of the “F-U Fund”

Mr. SFF calls it the “Go To Hell Fund” but I call it the “F-U Fund”.  But whatever name you use, it is basically the sum of money you have saved that gives you the power to just quit your job at any point, usually when you get fed up with one thing or another, without having to stress about buying groceries or paying your mortgage.  FI is pretty much a giant F-U fund as it means you don’t ever have to find another job but the F-U Fund often starts with having just enough money to give you the power to quit your job at any moment and survive without rushing into another horrible or unsatisfying job.   Continue reading “The Power of the “F-U Fund””

The Wonders of Gardening

Although winter is already in full force here, I figured I would do a little summary of our gardens this year and how we did.  We have a pretty small yard and only two raised beds measuring 2×6 and 2×8 so we are pretty limited on the garden real estate but we do try to make the most of it.  Over the past 5 years we have narrowed down our the vegetables that we grow to one that we have had success with and of course, ones that we enjoy.  This past summer we planted 3 varieties of kale, rainbow chard, carrots, green beans, and unsuccessful cauliflower and cucumbers. Continue reading “The Wonders of Gardening”

Climbing the Corporate Ladder

For almost two years now my husband and I have been on this journey towards financial independence/retire early (FIRE) so the thought of climbing the corporate ladder was not on the forefront of my mind.  After all, I am trying to leave the corporate world.  But last fall I was faced with a big decision, should I climb?

The company I work for is a two-person operation for day to day management even though we are under a larger company.  So when my boss, representing 50% of the workforce, pulled me aside last fall and told me he would be retiring in Nov of 2016 I had a huge decision ahead of me.  Should I take over? Continue reading “Climbing the Corporate Ladder”

A Free Weekend Getaway!

After very busy summer and even busier fall, last weekend Mr. SFF and I finally had an entire weekend to ourselves!  And what did we decided to do?  Get away from it all, disconnected out in the woods and it was wonderful!!

Mr. SFF’s extended family (his mother’s cousin) own a small little camp out in the woods.  He encourages family members to come out and use it as he lives out of state and can’t come up all that often but it often sits empty.  Apparently no one has used the camp for the past two years.  The camp itself is nothing special, just a small main room with double bunk beds, a small kitchen and small bath with another set of bunk beds but it has everything you might need for a relaxing weekend.  The thing that does make the camp special is the fact the Mr. SFF’s great-grandmother was actually born on the property (the original cabin burned years ago).  So there is history and the property is beautiful. Continue reading “A Free Weekend Getaway!”