Demosthenes Journal Take 2

Where are you and where are you going?
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Demosthenes
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Demosthenes Journal Take 2

Post by Demosthenes » Wed Dec 13, 2017 3:26 pm

Original journal here
viewtopic.php?f=9&t=7759

I'm looking to reinvent this journal a bit since my life is about to take a pretty big turn. I like Brute's strategy of keeping the financials succinct and brief since it doesn't matter too much until you get close to your FI date. I have no problem not spending money so I don't need the journal to keep me honest. I like journaling to connect with the community a bit and hopefully get a bit of inspiration and motivation to keep going.

The little one is due to come in January, and I'm going to take a month off of work. It will be the first time off of work in a couple years so I'm really looking forward to it. I started listening to the Radical Personal Finance podcast at work, and the idea of working while also learning really latched on. I have since finished every episode, and have moved on to learning about birthing and taking care of newborns. I finished the fourth trimester podcast, baby birth life podcast, and am now into the birth hour podcast. You would think that I would know everything there is to know at this point, but I'm still learning something new nearly every episode.

DW and I have paid off the mortgage as of this month, so I think it makes sense to remove it from our net worth statements as of now. I'm toying with the idea of including DW's defined benefit pension paper value, but once again that really shouldn't matter until retirement.

If you're just looking at our investable assets in retirement accounts, we are sitting at 4.6 years of expenses saved.

We have a long way to go before FI, but that's not going to stop me from quitting. Once DW finishes up her mat leave, I'm going to take over and be a stay at home parent. I think this is going to be good for the kid since I had a great time with my stay at home parent, and it will be a good thing for me because I hate working at my software job. This puts us in a financially vulnerable position as we only have one income stream, but having a paid off house should mitigate some of that risk.

I'm really interested in hearing from the community what everyone's trials and tribulations are when doing ERE with children. I have no intention to stop working once the kids are in school, but I would like to do some riskier and less financially viable work. I want to fuel that by cutting my expenses as much as possible. How will this be possible with kids?

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Demosthenes
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Re: Demosthenes Journal Take 2

Post by Demosthenes » Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:32 pm

5 years of expenses saved.

Kid #1's due date is this month! Here's to hoping that it will go well.

suomalainen
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Re: Demosthenes Journal Take 2

Post by suomalainen » Tue Jan 02, 2018 12:13 am

Demosthenes wrote:
Wed Dec 13, 2017 3:26 pm
I'm really interested in hearing from the community what everyone's trials and tribulations are when doing ERE with children. I have no intention to stop working once the kids are in school, but I would like to do some riskier and less financially viable work. I want to fuel that by cutting my expenses as much as possible. How will this be possible with kids?
First off, congrats on the baby. But maybe some one else should take your question. My take is that ERE with kids is basically impossible. Among other things, ERE is your dream, not theirs. My advice is to do what you can on the ERE front...but don’t let it consume you. Enjoy the kids and the big fucking mess of stupid yet delightful shit you are about to step into.

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Family father
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Re: Demosthenes Journal Take 2

Post by Family father » Tue Jan 02, 2018 7:55 am

suomalainen wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 12:13 am
Enjoy the kids and the big fucking mess of stupid yet delightful shit you are about to step into.
I can't give you a better advice!!!

Congrats!!

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Re: Demosthenes Journal Take 2

Post by Family father » Tue Jan 02, 2018 10:46 am

I forgot to ask!!

Your nick reminds me of an amazing book I read many years ago: Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card.

Did you choose it thinking of the greek original, or the fiction character in the Ender's Game saga? Could you share why in any case?

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Demosthenes
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Re: Demosthenes Journal Take 2

Post by Demosthenes » Tue Jan 02, 2018 6:25 pm

@suo
That's not very good news, and also confirms my FIRE date estimations. In my best case scenarios, it looks like I'll be FI at 41 years old. It's amazing that other families with a single income earner can retire at all.

@Family Father
Yep it came from Ender's Game. I needed a gamer tag when I was a teenager and I had recently read the book. It has stuck with me ever since. I did some recent reading up on him in Plutarch's Lives. I'm not sure how his life fits the depiction of the personalities played out by Valentine and Peter, but I haven't read up on Locke yet.

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Fish
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Re: Demosthenes Journal Take 2

Post by Fish » Wed Jan 03, 2018 4:06 am

Demosthenes wrote:
Wed Dec 13, 2017 3:26 pm
Once DW finishes up her mat leave, I'm going to take over and be a stay at home parent. [...] it will be a good thing for me because I hate working at my software job.
Good luck with that. The SAHP thing is not for everyone but you seem to know yourself well in this regard. I'll be following your journal with interest.
Demosthenes wrote:
Wed Dec 13, 2017 3:26 pm
I'm really interested in hearing from the community what everyone's trials and tribulations are when doing ERE with children.
Aside from the cost of daycare (which you won't have as a SAHP), the challenges aren't financial. However, children divert your time and energy away from productive activities so maintaining your ERE lifestyle gets more difficult. Not impossible. You just have to try harder and use better strategy.

My unsolicited advice to you: before baby is born, sleep in at least once. You won't have that luxury again for a while. Being a parent of 2 children has helped me develop an appreciation for some very simple pleasures in life. A good night's sleep. Taking a walk outside. A quiet meal with my wife. Time alone to think clearly without distractions. A great deal of life satisfaction can be found in appreciating what you already have.

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Family father
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Re: Demosthenes Journal Take 2

Post by Family father » Wed Jan 03, 2018 3:24 pm

Demosthenes wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 6:25 pm
Yep it came from Ender's Game. I needed a gamer tag when I was a teenager and I had recently read the book. It has stuck with me ever since. I did some recent reading up on him in Plutarch's Lives. I'm not sure how his life fits the depiction of the personalities played out by Valentine and Peter, but I haven't read up on Locke yet.
Ooooohhhh :)

I read it so many years ago and enjoyed it so much.. at the time, it was one of the books you read in the blink of an eye and at the same time you feel the rush and extreme joy of reading an extraordinary story, but also a bite of sadness knowing you'll never read it for the first time again..

Well.. at least it was like that for me.. :oops:

I never re-read it because when I have done so with a great novel it has used to attenuate the brightness of my memories.. :roll:

Anyway, I also used Demosthenes and Locke as occasional nicks/tags depending on the context ;)

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Demosthenes
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Re: Demosthenes Journal Take 2

Post by Demosthenes » Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:53 pm

Update: We have a healthy kid!

The baby has definitely turned my life on its head. I relapsed on my youtube addiction, stopped working on bikes, stopped my exercise routine, but at least the baby and mom are happy :). I can see how people say babies cost money. There's a lot of added strife and difficulty to your life and it happens so suddenly. There's no adjustment period, so people just throw their money that their problems in hopes of making things easier.

So far however, we have spent net ~ $200 on baby related things. This number will surely grow, but it's far from the thousands upon thousands that I was expecting. I guess most parents are broke, so producers have to price accordingly? It's the opposite of the wedding effect maybe. It helps that the used market is full of cheap stuff.

I have another week off from work. Going back is going to be tough. The plan is for me to work until we have ~$50,000 surplus in cash, which shouldn't take too long. But it does mean going back to work for 4-5 months.

Current ERE status:
5.3 years of expenses saved in retirement accounts (not including wife's pension).

wolf
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Re: Demosthenes Journal Take 2

Post by wolf » Tue Feb 20, 2018 11:41 pm

Congratulations to your healthy baby! Take care of you all.

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Family father
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Re: Demosthenes Journal Take 2

Post by Family father » Wed Feb 21, 2018 10:05 am

Congratulations!!

Just don't think too much on the changes the baby will do to your life: you cannot grasp their enormity yet!

;)

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Demosthenes
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Re: Demosthenes Journal Take 2

Post by Demosthenes » Wed Mar 14, 2018 7:23 pm

I'm back at work now and wow what an adjustment. As I sit at my comfortable desk lazily typing in code I constantly think about how DW must be frantically running around the house doing chores with a screaming baby. I do my part when I get home but it feels quite imbalanced.

I shyly brought it up to her that I wanted to quit earlier than discussed (end of may instead of end of august), and I was surprised to hear how eager she was. Interesting how the importance of making money falls by the wayside when your stressed.

I'm slowly getting accustomed to doing things with one hand (such as write this post), but it's still pretty difficult to get anything done after work.

Any encouragement is welcome to help get through the tough times :)

light_bulb_moment
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Re: Demosthenes Journal Take 2

Post by light_bulb_moment » Thu Mar 15, 2018 4:52 am

From my experience (four daughters), enjoy it in all its ways, it'll be a memory before you realise it's over.

Best wishes and good luck!

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Demosthenes
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Re: Demosthenes Journal Take 2

Post by Demosthenes » Tue Apr 03, 2018 4:00 pm

So I handed in my two months notice to my supervisor at work. He took it pretty well. I spoke about some of my life values and how working here doesn't really fit most of them. He tried to convince me that my job does "get involved with the community" and "reduce waste". Even if my company was actively looking to pursue these initiatives, I don't really participate as I sit in a dark corner and type code all day.

I feel much freer now knowing that there is an end date. Having a job where you are expected to work there until you retire is suffocating. I feel like I can finally breathe now that the secret is out that I've been wanting to quit for years.

Net worth is 6.1 years of expenses now.

Augustus
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Re: Demosthenes Journal Take 2

Post by Augustus » Tue Apr 10, 2018 9:19 am

Congrats on baby! If I could do it again I'd take time off also, it nearly wrecked my marriage because my wife was too stressed with baby at home. We got lucky because my MIL agreed to help for a while. We also tried live in nannies but they're expensive and have other issues.

My advice is to realize this is going to be a very stressful couple of years. You're both going to be cranky. So try not take too seriously any fights, there will probably be some, it's the stress talking.

I'd also consider some part time work for the both of you, it gives you some time to be an adult again. My relationship with my wife became much better after she started working again, she was just going crazy being at home all day.

There's also nothing wrong with getting some hired or family help, do what it takes to make sure you guys keep your balance :)

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Demosthenes
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Re: Demosthenes Journal Take 2

Post by Demosthenes » Thu May 10, 2018 12:57 pm

T-21 days until my work leave begins! It has been a pretty transformative feeling knowing that my life is going to change drastically soon. It seems crazy to me that having a kid feels like a smaller life change than taking 7 years off of work. Perhaps children change your life more over time, whereas quitting your work is a direct and immediate change.

I have some work on the side lined up to make sure I keep busy while DW is still home on maternity leave. We more or less have reached our financial goals with my last paycheck. So every dollar I make from my side work is just gravy money.

On a more personal note, after brewing and consuming my own beer daily for 4 years I have decided to quit (brewing + drinking altogether).
* It costs money to brew (propane, ingredients), and I have a decent amount of capital tied up in brewing. Going down to only one reliable income means I should start being more conscious of my hobby budget
* It's bad for your health to drink.
* I've got a couple annoying pounds that I've been trying to get rid of forever

It has been 2 weeks since I've had a single sip of beer, and I don't even think I miss it.

From a web of goals standpoint, brewing did tie into my "connect with the community" goal due to interacting with a massive home brewing community in my city. Although there are lots of ex-brewers on the list who still contribute daily and come out to the annual event. I will probably cease my prohibition for this annual event, and participate in the off topic discussions on this forum from now on.
On the other hand for web of goals, "lead a healthy active lifestyle" is now enhanced due to quitting drinking! Also, drinking is an inherently consumerist activity. Sure you are producing a good, but the good is a luxury poison beverage which I consider consuming to be wasteful. My other "reduce waste" goal I think has gotten a buff due to quitting as well.

Net worth is 6.7

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Demosthenes
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Re: Demosthenes Journal Take 2

Post by Demosthenes » Sat Jun 02, 2018 2:42 pm

Freedom! My last day was Thursday. The Stockholm syndrome was nearly kicking in. Some of my co-workers didn't agree/understand that I was staying home with the kid. Others were just smiling and nodding. Some part of me during the last week was thinking "wow they are right, what am I giving up here". I'm hoping a couple weeks off will turn that sentiment around like it always does. Right now it just feels like a regular weekend. I think I'm not going to fully settle into a routine for a couple months.

7 years of expenses saved.

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Demosthenes
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Re: Demosthenes Journal Take 2

Post by Demosthenes » Fri Jul 06, 2018 8:43 pm

Phew, that first month off sure went fast. It's amazing how fast time goes by when you aren't looking at the clock every 10 seconds at your boring office job. I didn't get much done at home up until the last week or so when I decided to get my ass in gear. I quit my youtube habit (for the 3rd time) and got all the renos done that I had been putting off.

This next month I'm going to enjoy some time away from the house. Take some extended time off from the bike side work and see the folks and go up to their cottage. It's really cool to think that we could just stay up at the cottage. There's nothing to come back to. The worst part about a vacation is always the ride back to your house where you know there's the drudgery of mundane life waiting to greet you at the door. This will still be true, but at least I won't have to work the next day. Hopefully that will take the edge off.

Things I'm doing instead of drinking and youtube:
* Running though some Duolingo French practice
* Renos
* Reading lots of MMM and ERE forums
* Reading lots of books (Thoreau is a piece of work! So self entitled)
* Helping the kiddo work the crawling muscles
* Rock climbing
* Biking and taking some pictures with the family

If anyone has some book suggestions in around the realm of Walden's Pond I'm all ears.

Net worth 7.4 years of expenses

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