Sometimes, life just gets in the way of living

It’s true. You can plan and plan to your heart’s content, but when life gives you apples instead of lemons, don’t keep trying to make lemonade. 😂 It’s been a quiet week on Cash Fasting because the real world came and demanded my attention. Despite the frustration of not being able to write and share more content with you all, this has been a reminder that I need to be more flexible with my plans and goals.

What happened?

Work has been incredibly demanding and stressful lately. Almost every day for the past four weeks, I’ve stayed late, even working half of a Sunday one weekend. It’s been rough. I enjoy my job, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t been difficult. Not having as much time to write, being drained when I do get home—this is a constant reminder of why I’m pursuing FIRE.

Ian has also gone off on a three-week trip to hike the PCT. I’ve never actually lived by myself in an apartment before, so it’s been quite an adjustment. Not that it takes me away from writing; it’s just that a lot of things that I took for granted no longer are there, like having breakfast made for me in the mornings.

What else has taken my attention?

I started an Instagram account for the blog! Come and join me over there if that’s your kind of thing.

I’ve also been putting a lot of time into my ballroom dance hobby, as I have a showcase coming up! Although I love it, it’s getting continually more expensive to do. In the past, I made the decision to continue because I can afford it, but I’m not getting as much out of it as I used to.

My 10K is coming up, and getting ready for it has been a huge struggle. Somehow, most of my mornings have successfully resulted in running a mile, but that used to be prime writing time for me. I’m working on some lifestyle changes here, and being healthy is high up on my priority list.

Okay, okay, how does this relate to personal finance?

Well, I’m working through some big decisions that will have a direct impact on my budget. If I continue dancing, that’s $700 out of my pocket every month. (I’m paying roughly $8K a year!) The kicker? That only covers about 50 hours of dancing… (see why I’m struggling to justify it?!?). To replace the level of exercise, I can pay ~$100 a month (probably much less) for unlimited yoga classes. That would give me back $600 that I could put straight towards my FIRE fund. It’s such an easy/obvious financial decision to make, but I’ve been pushing it back all year.

With work taking up so much of my time, I’ve also been thinking about my work-life balance. I care a lot about career growth and empowerment in the workforce. I’ve written about negotiating salary, my own offer experiences, and resume fails. One thing that I’ve been more aware of lately is how long it will take me to save up $700K through investments alone. I live in a high cost of living area, so real estate investing is off the table (for now). I do want to create some sort of side hustle and alternate income stream, though. Any little bit would significantly decrease the amount I need to reach FIRE. Blogging is something that I do for fun, but it doesn’t generate an income.

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My takeaway on this post is to be flexible. If you’re reading this, you’ve probably set some very aggressive goals for yourself, whether it’s related to fitness, blogging, or saving money. Long-term goals, by nature, have multiple paths to success. So, if you’ve been struggling lately, know that it won’t always be the case (or pay attention to the signs around you and change something). I need to keep telling myself that.

I’m taking side hustle suggestions if you have any! 😁

 

Comments

  1. Truck along and all things will even out! I had a bunch of aggressive goals for my blog but now I’m just cruising and enjoying the ride. The pressure of monies definitely doesn’t help things. I am on Rover for dog sitting and I’m clearing my belongings on Ebay for extra money and to declutter.

    1. Author

      Thanks, Lily! It’s good that you’re enjoying the ride.
      I’ve heard of Rover, it sounds fun! I’ve never been around pets so I’m not comfortable with the idea of dog sitting, although I’ve definitely considered it. eBay is definitely going to be my source of extra cash in the meantime, but more for de-cluttering purposes, same as you.

    1. Author

      It’s generally a pretty expensive hobby. Back in DC I was paying $400 a month but dancing more frequently; when I first started here I was paying $500 a month but it’s since climbed up to $700, with less dancing than I was doing in DC. A big part of it is that my work schedule doesn’t give me time to attend group classes, which are much cheaper than private lessons.

  2. I’m thinking of dog sitting on Rover myself, but I have no experience with dogs so I’m sort of at a loss! Also, while talking to my lyft driver one night, I realized that both Lyft and Uber have programs that allow you to rent a car at a discount and drive it for Uber (they even waive the rental if you hit the min number of hours, which is also a great way to get a “free” weekend rental!)…I have no idea how many hours you need to drive in order to make it worth it, but I’ve often considered testing the waters.

    I’m testing out monetization on my blog…I have no idea where it’ll lead and I’m wary of “selling out”. I haven’t earned any real money with it, it’s more of a passion hobby that I enjoy!

    1. Author

      There are definitely so many side hustle options out there… it’s just a matter of what works best for you!
      You’re not the only blogger trying to figure out the monetization balance between ‘not enough’ and ‘selling out’. I’m with you on the passion hobby; that’s what’s most important. Thanks for stopping by!

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