Sunday, July 1, 2007

About Me

I am a single girl, 35 (in 2007) so far, searching for financial freedom. I want to find out what people do when they aren't chained to a desk from 8-5 Monday through Friday. I want to be free to travel, spend time with friends and family, volunteer, take classes, start my own business. Why should I wait until I'm 65? Perhaps I have 'the grass is always greener syndrome'. I'm not ready yet but soon, I hope, I'll be able to make a break for it and live my dreams.

It never occurred to me back in high school that I would possibly be a career woman. Not that there is anything wrong with a career, I just never wanted one. I wanted to be a wife and mother, I thought.

My current job is not fulfilling. I earn an adequate living but that is not enough. I have always struggled with the idea of a 9-5 job. It takes up so much time but without a job I don't have money. So it's either time or money but not both.

Since I want both time and money, it is my desire to retire early. By retire I don't mean quit working. I actually mean to quit working for money. I have always though work should be fun. I can remember asking my parents if their jobs were fun and I was never satisfied with their answers. They would say some parts are enjoyable but jobs are more about responsibility and providing for a family than for fun. That was not the answer that I wanted to hear.

I went to a nice college. I had the opportunity to study abroad in Europe. The school did not have an art major which is what I wanted to major in. I will someday make a living with art. I am too chicken to just jump in and try it but I have a plan.

My plan:

Save enough money with frugal living, selling my home, and my current job to live off of the interest, quit my job, and do whatever I want! I am actually part of the way there already. My house is for sale. Too bad the market is really slow. I own some land with an RV (trailer) on it. And I have been suppressing the urge to quit my job which would really mess up my plan since I can't afford to retire yet.

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Update: Nov. 25, 2007-After trying to sell my house all summer with no success, I am now focusing on renting it. First I will rent it furnished and then, if that doesn't work, I will sell the furniture and rent it unfurnished.

My plan for the next four years is to save up enough money to pay off my mortgage. I don't know if I will actually use the money to pay it off but I will save the equivalent amount and then decide what to do with it. $100,000 is my goal. In 4 years the housing market will probably be in better shape so I can try selling again or just keep it as a rental. Then with the money I have saved I can get a part time job and have more time to pursue my other interests.

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Update: Jan. 2008-I decided that it would be more fun and more motivating to actually pay off my mortgage instead of saving the money separately and worrying about interest rates. Jan. 2008 kicked off my mortgage payment plan. I am renting out my house and paying an additional $1200 a month ($800 from the money I was paying for the mortgage when I was living there and $400 scraped up from my tightened budget). If all goes well, in 4 years it will be paid off.

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Update: Jan. 2009-The plan is going well. I was able to put extra money towards the mortgage and if I use some savings and sell some stocks, I might be able to pay off the mortgage in under 2 years.

Here's an explanation of where I live and what I could do with it.
A Map Of My Property. My rental house is in town 25 miles away, currently rented. I'm not really sure what I will do after the mortgage on the house is paid off (it is my only debt). I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. For now I am content with dreaming of the possibilities.

Here's my post explaining some of the things I might do when the mortgage is gone.
What I Will Do When I'm Semi-Retired

Here is my budget that I live on now:
My $700 per Month Budget

And here is my Early Retirement Budget of $600. The $600 income from my rental house will cover my basic expenses and allow me a lot more freedom while I am looking for a meaningful and fun job.

***Update Jan 1, 2012: I haven't updated this in quite a while. Well, my plans have changed a little because of the rotten economy. I paid off my mortgage on my rental house and was ready to get a construction loan to build a small house on my property but the banks aren't doing construction lending any more and I don't want to buy a manufactured home. I decided to take advantage of the low housing prices right now and I am trying to buy a house in town. Ok, to be honest, having 2 of my dogs bitten by rattlesnakes this Fall also made me want to move in to town. I plan to live in town for the next 2-3 years and save up more money in order to build a house and block wall (to keep the snakes out) on my property in the future. Let's see what happens!

***Update Mar 3, 2013:  I am now the Legal Guardian of my 13 year old nephew and we are living in my house in town (no snakes).  I have a new goal to save up enough money to cover my expenses for the next 4 years so that I am available for my nephew during these crucial years.  It is a 12 month plan and I will try to same $2k a month and then switch to a part time job.  Hopefully my plan will work.

***Update July 28, 2013:  The nephew is going to try out high school out of state with his grandparents so I am back to my own plans of getting rid of stuff and figuring out what the next step is like building a shed-house or paying off my mortgage early.  Decisions, decisions...

***Update Jan. 28, 2016:  The nephew is back.  He is 16 now and we are in the middle of his junior year.  The mobile home has been updated to a livable standard but not finished by any means and very limited water, just what we haul in.  We are splitting our time between the mobile home (to be close to the school bus route) and the house in town on weekends with unlimited water and a 40 gallon water heater (nice long hot showers). Nephew is learning to drive so that next school year we can live at the house.  After nephew graduates, I hope to sell the house, move back to the mobile home, and finish the barn-shed.  We will see if that happens, won't we? 

10 comments:

Kim C. said...

Daizy,
I have added you to the Frugal Blogroll. Thanks for joining!
If you would like to have your blog showcased, email me:
frugal mommy at gmail dot come.

Lisa said...

Daizy

I just found your blog and I find you goal and methods to pay off your mortgage fascinating!!

Dividend Growth Investor said...

That's an interesting plan. It's a good idea to have a diversified stream of income in retirement , thus If i were you I would consider a diversified mix of stocks and bonds funds.
However you could always buy good quality stocks that increase their dividend payments every year.

Amy said...

I am so happy to have found your blog. I also have always wanted to be a wife and mother yet am 31 and working 8 to 5. I am trying to live on half my income and save save save so that I can retire early and work in other enjoyable ways. Of course I still have hope of being a wife and mother. I find so many blogs written by stay at home moms - oh how happy I am to have found someone like me :)

Daizy said...

Hello Amy, Glad you stopped by. I do agree that it is a strange thing to think you will be a wife and mom and then when it doesn't happen on your timeline it makes you re-evaluate things. The people I meet now are often divorced and have grown kids. They aren't interested in starting another family. They are thinking about what to do with their new found freedom and then retirement. I'm not ready to give up on the whole marriage and family thing just yet although I also know many single moms and I'm glad I am not divorced with kids myself. I could ramble on forever...glad to find a kindred spirit.

getting stuff done said...

though i do wish i had been able to start younger and have more children - i became a wife at 38 and a mother at 40.

Financial Independence said...

Just found your blog purely by a chance. It is still puzzles me that with a such good plan it takes considerable amount of time to realize it.

But now adding your blog on my reading list should help me to learn from you.

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Fur Kids On Board said...

Glad I found your blog. In 2009, after about 20yrs in working in the corporate world, I decided to break the shackles of my golden handcuffs so I invested and saved even more aggressively than usual. By 2012, I finally made the break. I've always been frugal so reaching my financial goal was not that hard. I now have the freedom to spend my time in ways I feel fulfilling. I agree with your statement about not wanting to wait until 65 to retire because life is too short. I considered myself "retired" but only from my old corporate identify. You don't have to be stuck in a miserable job to earn a living; it just takes knowing what your priorities are and the will to live within your means. Looking forward to reading your other posts.

Karin Copperwood said...

Hi Daizy, I haven't stopped by in a while (life has been crazy since I moved), but I see you are doing a "Shouse" like me!! Yay! You go girl. Electric isn't hard, neither is plumbing. You got this! Keep up the good work!