SustainableHappiness Journal

Where are you and where are you going?
CS
Posts: 241
Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2012 10:24 pm

Re: SustainableHappiness Journal

Post by CS » Fri Dec 08, 2017 9:09 pm

Congrats on your investment paying off. Now what to do... snowbird, or work?

classical_Liberal
Posts: 377
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:05 am

Re: SustainableHappiness Journal

Post by classical_Liberal » Sun Dec 10, 2017 9:03 pm

Congrats on the real estate!!

Back in the day, I worked in montages and fancied myself a bit of a local real estate expert (Minneapolis, MN market). I'm no longer in the area, but have family & friends there. Hence, I still get an earful regarding everyone and their brothers real estate deals; which then forces me to look at listings to get an idea of whats going on. It's a totally new market in that area, certain properties (condo's/townhouses/multi-units), in specific areas ("good" urban neighborhoods and third tier suburbs) are well above the 2007 peak! Whereas single family houses from the 50's-80's in 1st and some second tier suburbs seem to be pretty flat, maybe 10-20% below 2007 peak. There are, of course, outliers, but its interesting where the demand currently sits.

Re the teaching... Congrats again, but this doesn't surprise me at all. Competent, educated, and relatively social individuals (yes, its a compliment!) will see this type of serendipity in early retirement if they stay attuned to their interests. A 4% unemployment rate and a shift towards "gig" jobs simply multiplies the frequency of such opportunities. At least this is my theory, one you are anecdotally proving for me :D ... Thanks!

SustainableHappiness
Posts: 184
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2016 6:39 pm

Re: SustainableHappiness Journal

Post by SustainableHappiness » Sat Dec 16, 2017 10:39 am

11th Week Off

@CS, Hmm… if the decision was just snowbirding or work it’d be easy. Snowbirding. However with the new option of permanent semi-retirement in a part-time job I currently enjoy, it makes the decision a lot tougher…Actually it wasn’t that tough, DW and I have talked about it over the past week and a half and it’s clear that the part-time work is a simpler path from a day to day basis. We’ve had success in the past via simplifying our lives so we are going to go with the simpler option for the time being. The downer of this decision is that upon hitting school age, our children will become a bigger anchor to a single location unless we decide to try home schooling.

@C_L, funny in this forum “gig” jobs are valued, in conversations with relatives “gig” employment is frowned up. I guess it depends on who’s expecting loyalty from who.

- Purchased 2 25lb weights of kijiji, I was doing more and more work-outs at home as the weather has grown more and more snowy, I’ve become more skilled at workout methods and the baby has become more useful at acting as a work-out partner…i.e. he is less fragile and more giggly. If the next month goes well, I am going to kill our gym membership ($20 a month for DW and I)

- Deal firmed up for the house, $10K taken off price due to galvanized plumbing, knob and tube electrical and a few other maintenance issues…no big deal, this work would have cost us more than $10K and we still laugh when considering the purchase price

- Christmas parties and gatherings begin this week! Went to a going away party of old colleagues for a friend who is moving out West. Great time seeing everyone although I only stayed for a few hours till about 10:30 as I have begun to value sleep over many other experiences since the baby came and it was a long drive home

- DWs employment questions may solve themselves via networking. She reached out to the school I work at asking about nursing program practicum aides/teachers almost a year ago and they finally reached out to her about opps that may be becoming available, would be a great and flexible very part-time job

- Had to return Plato to the library after renewing twice, about half-done Parminedes, but decided I wanted a break so left it at the library and got out some kick ass time travel fiction. It had been so long since I read fun fiction that I read the first book “All Our Wrong Todays” in 3 days…worth it, will get Plato back out in the New Year

Solid week.

SustainableHappiness
Posts: 184
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2016 6:39 pm

Re: SustainableHappiness Journal

Post by SustainableHappiness » Sat Dec 16, 2017 10:41 am

Oh and learned something new about real estate. If you attempt to give the other party cash via cheque as a method of reducing the purchase price while unlocking some cash at the get go, the lawyer is legally obligated to tell the bank this and they will reduce your mtg amount by the corresponding amount...I know this because we (and the buyer) almost tried to do something illegal until we were told, no no no no.

SustainableHappiness
Posts: 184
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2016 6:39 pm

Re: SustainableHappiness Journal

Post by SustainableHappiness » Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:03 am

Week 16 of the Semi-FIRE Experiment

Net Worth Numbers Update:
I won’t be updating this again until the second house sells. 2nd house just got listed this week and we’re going to Florida for a sunny trip away from -20 degree weather for a couple weeks. This also gives us a bargaining position where we won’t accept offers until after 2 week’s worth of showings, theoretically generating multiple competing offers upon our return. Returns are looking even higher than expectations from my last post, as we have listed the second house for once again higher than my conservative estimate. We will probably land between a 5-6% withdrawal rate.

We are semi-FIREd! With the same amount of work we did in the past 4 months we can cover our expenses and our money will just continue growing = retirement inevitability. Covering our expenses also means we won’t be invoking the 4% or 3% rule anyways, since we won’t be touching our pile of money at all or very little (hopefully). We are both content with leading a productive life (i.e. continuing to work a bit) as long as we enjoy what we are doing with our time and so far 10-15 hours of work a week is my sweet spot, so that’s what I’ll aim for. DW will start up her business and run with it. More resilience is built in by the fact we are willing to go back to work in a more full time role if needed once all kids are school age and since we’ll be keeping skills relevant with a side hustle or two, the job market isn’t scary.

Baby Stuff
Holy crap, our baby is 5 months old! This means:
- 2 swim lessons (kinda interesting being the only dad in the pool)
- 6 teeth (wtf???)
- Rolls both sides back to front, front to back, trying desperately to crawl, wants to move so bad
- Laughs and chuckles sooooo good and gets more and more fun to play with
- We are talking about another baby sometime in the near future

Work
- Not working at all yet this semester, took teaching off to go to Florida for a couple weeks and to participate in a 10 day vipassana retreat
- Not working at all is as big of an adjustment as moving from 40 hrs to 10 hrs per week was, I’ve felt the urge to go to an office for the first time since being off (this idea was quickly squashed by going for a 1 hour walk at 10 am)
- Potentially going to sign on as a digital marketing contractor for 10 hours a week in the next month or two, give that a go as long as they’ll have me and see if I can learn some more location independent skills

Fitness
- Crash and burn
- After 2 weeks one 3 different beds with less activity then normal (more sitting) and a couple bursts of activity with my nieces and nephew I threw out my back for the second time in my life over the Christmas holidays…soooo brutal
- Learned that my SI Joint (connects back to hip) on my one side is basically frozen and that why I’ve had a bulge in my back on the one side for a few years now (never caused much pain so I didn’t care) and why getting my back and core stronger may be counter intuitively making the problem worse
- Going to physio twice a week and doing the prescribed exercises has helped a lot, my mobility is back and I don’t hobble, however I know the underlying problem will take a while to fix (will miss work benefits when my parental leave ends!)
- Being broken sucks, especially when our lives revolve around activity
- Did my first work out in a month a couple days ago and its always amazing (depressing) to me how fast muscle is lost and strength drops…

Misc.
- Being broken has made me read a lot, Immortal Architects (cool), John Dies at the End (f-ing hilarious), This Book has Spiders in it (f-ing hilarious), The Interminables (cool), The first 11 Lives of Henry August (really interesting and cool)…All this fiction has been really great
- We are moving towards the idea of changing apartments (currently in a basement apt with no yard) to a townhouse with a yard (no other tenants). This is both a kids based and personal happiness based decision (DW is really pushing for it). It’ll likely raise our rent a couple thousand $ a year, which I am not excited about, but it seems like a good life decision until something proves us wrong

This Month’s Big Idea
Although I knew this intuitively, this month really threw the fact that financial independence only solves a set of life issues into my face. Health is not guaranteed with FI, relationships are not grown through FI, the question of where to spend your time is not solved through FI. I am also confident in saying DW and I have moved into a stage of personal finances where the number is background to the lifestyle we desire. FI is now so much a habit (plus we are good at making money) the next question is, ok, now how about the rest of life?!

suomalainen
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Re: SustainableHappiness Journal

Post by suomalainen » Tue Jan 23, 2018 8:55 am

SustainableHappiness wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:03 am
This Month’s Big Idea
Although I knew this intuitively, this month really threw the fact that financial independence only solves a set of life issues into my face. Health is not guaranteed with FI, relationships are not grown through FI, the question of where to spend your time is not solved through FI. I am also confident in saying DW and I have moved into a stage of personal finances where the number is background to the lifestyle we desire. FI is now so much a habit (plus we are good at making money) the next question is, ok, now how about the rest of life?!
Amen to this. Personally, I have found that once you get to three kids (mmmmmmaybe two), “the rest of life” gets swallowed by the kids. They just chew up time, money and energy. Some days it’s wonderful and some days it sucks ass. I was reminded of this yesterday at a town-hall style meeting at work where one of the business leads said he was a recent empty-nester (in August) and he and his wife really enjoyed the time to “reconnect and rekindle” and “to learn a few things about myself”. He then said that the kids were back home for the holidays and when they left, he was way more exhausted than at any prior holiday season! When you’re in the thick of it, you sometimes don’t notice the energy requirement because you habituate and it becomes “what’s normal”.

Anyway, best of luck in filling out your cornucopia of life! You seem to have a great start with a lot of options ahead of you!

SustainableHappiness
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Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2016 6:39 pm

Re: SustainableHappiness Journal

Post by SustainableHappiness » Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:33 am

Thanks suomalainen! We're are still planning on having 2+ children, and hoping that our existing positive financial situation will help with the child-related sucky moments (i.e. we hopefully will only have a few mental burdens at a time to worry about).

Already with only 1 baby, I already understand how much time becoming an empty-nester would free up. For some people I could see it truly f-ing up their mental health if approached pessimistically (or unproductively? I don't know the right word).

SustainableHappiness
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Re: SustainableHappiness Journal

Post by SustainableHappiness » Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:34 am

Week 19 of The Millenial Downshift

I have decided if I begin a real life blog someday for shits and giggles because I enjoy writing it’ll be called, “The Millenial Downshift”.

5.9% SWR
16.86 Numbers of Years in Hopper
25 Ultimate FI Goal
0.56 Years accumulated per month on average
4.85 Years accumulated this month

As the numbers show, finally completing the severance and selling off one of the houses confirming it’s book value has dramatically increased our savings. This is also taking into account a conservative estimate on the value of the second house which is up for sale now as well. My hope/guess is we can squeeze another year or two of savings out of the sale, although the tax man will be taking a year or two back come 2019 (damn!).

Since we are and will be sitting on loads of cash from these sales, I put 90% of the proceeds from the first house into our respective tax sheltered accounts after the recent 10% correction, felt like a good time to buy in for the long haul and almost maxed out our account limits for the year. Hopefully this was not a mistake, but since they are locked in, I will not worry about it now that the action is done. This also means we will get a large income tax break this year as our final year with lots of income…However next years capital gains as mentioned above are going to be brutal, but luckily they are only taxed at half the rate and we will be making significantly less income than this year anyways.

Other financial
- Potential small private lending agreement came up, however loans are taxed at a full income rate which sucks…will see what happens and what rate we’ll set if this does come up

Sunny Vacation
- Went to Florida for 2 weeks to visit some of my wife`s family. So kick ass, it confirms that we want to go to hot places during the winter months next year as well…plans are forming to have a longer stay next year already
- Warmth and sun made it amazingly easy to go outside with our baby, right now in -20 Celsius it requires about 20 minutes of prep to get him and us bundled up enough to go for a walk and another 10-15 to unprep…not very fun
- Saw a crap load of alligators, so cool
- Hung out with all retirees and it was fun to see how busy people could be without jobs, gardening, pickle ball, tennis, shuffle board, bingo (which I hated), ice cream socials, etc. etc.

Future Semi-ERE
- Taking on a contract for 10 hours a week in digital marketing, fully remote, pay-cut, but not a big deal…excited to see how this opportunity works out, 10 hours a week would be perfect!
- Continuing to network to secure more teaching gigs, discovered the college I work for may be running a new Sales program, would be cool to get on the ground floor of the project
- DW has begun her training for her new business. She is very excited and consequently anxious about the opportunity, but she is going to be great!

The Big Idea
We are doing well. That is this month’s big idea. We are moving towards things we enjoy and freeing up a lot of time to spend with our current and future children. Since our son’s been born and we’ve moved into the Semi-ERE mindset our lives have changed very radically and we are still sitting in comfortable territory financially with a lot of wiggle room to F up before our income level is any concern.

Keep on rockin’.

SustainableHappiness
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Re: SustainableHappiness Journal

Post by SustainableHappiness » Sat Feb 24, 2018 10:00 am

Week 21 of the Downshift

Real Estate
2nd property still up for sale, not moving like the first one as the Canadian RE market has slowed down overall with interest rate shifts and new downpayment laws. Can you believe the gov't actually wants people to SAVE some money before buying a house now??

Not stressed, but I would like that whack of cash in my bank account instead of in a 70 year old house.

Hustlin'
10 hours per week digital marketing confirmed.

More hours of teaching have also opened up, however I am not moving into a situation where I'll be around a 35 work week which seems kinda dumb, however of that 35 hours, only ~15 will require me to be physically located somewhere and at a certain time, the rest I can do whenever, wherever. I think this Summer will be a good test of whether or not this is enjoyable and conducive to low-stress and family time.

Both jobs are a high level of independence and feed into each other where when I get experience and knowledge from one it'll help me be better at the other. I will also be making significantly more money than anticipated and be growing savings substantially, especially since the teaching gig is public sector and therefore has a ridiculous dollar for dollar matching defined benefit pension.

The Big Idea
Looks like this Semi-ER/Downshift experiment might just turn into a Try a New Career experiment. Oddly even though my hours of work is inching back up towards 40 hours, neither my wife or I are sad about it right now since there is so much flexibility built in and I actually enjoy teaching (TBD on the marketing). Will need to re-evaluate if this Summer is too much work and pull back on hours if it is. It's only 4 month contracts so can always change it up in September.

classical_Liberal
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Re: SustainableHappiness Journal

Post by classical_Liberal » Sat Feb 24, 2018 11:13 am

It's awesome to see another anecdote of the semi-RE working so well. After getting relaxed, scratching their itches, people seem to find good flow with more enjoyable work. You seem to have found it very quickly! Very happy for you and the family.

I'm just finishing up from a month on the road from south (Gulfport/Biloxi) all the way to southwest (Tucson). Having the better weather is a huge bonus after being stuck in horrible Midwestern winter. I can see why people snow bird, my mood is significantly brightened. A month or so in Florida every year sounds like a great plan!

SustainableHappiness
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Re: SustainableHappiness Journal

Post by SustainableHappiness » Sun Mar 25, 2018 11:15 am

Thank you C_L.

Vipassana

One of my goals during this parental leave was to do a 10 day Vipassana meditation course. I recently had the opportunity to fulfill that urge at the beginning of March and WOW what a ride! It was the best worst experience ever. Best in the sense that it was extremely insightful into how my mind and body are connected as well as how capable my mind is of concentrating/focusing and worst in that I wanted to leave every single day due to physical and emotional pain and actually ended up leaving on the 8th day due to severe neck/back pain (I’ve had issues with my back for a while) that was making me feel like I was sick to my stomach! No regrets or malice though, I left with a smile on my face, learned the technique and would like to go back sometime in the future (who knows when) to complete a full 10 day course. My body (or mind?) simply wasn’t ready to complete the full 10 days.

It was really interesting to be able to have full trains of thought uninterrupted and fully aware that lasted 5, 10, 20 minutes long. This seems like no big deal, but it was trains of thought without the constant background chatter that goes on in my mind throughout daily life. I’ve been practicing meditation off and on for about 6 years now (first learned about it in college), but only for max 30 minutes at a time and I’d go a couple months of every day practice then fall off due to some life event taking precedent (for e.g. I didn’t practice for at least 4 months after having a baby!). However, this experience has reprioritized the importance of daily practice and also getting in 1 hour sessions where possible.
It was also really cool as mentioned above to get in touch with the connection between my body and mind and develop the ability to focus and broaden my awareness at will. For example feeling the sensations of a 1 by 1 inch portion of my body and then letting my awareness expand to feel all of the sensations in that body part and eventually feeling all sensations in my body at once (this was like 6 or 7th day) sometimes like waves of sensation moving through my body. It was really weird, but also very insightful to connect bodily sensations with the various thoughts floating through my mind and coming to terms with both.

I’d highly recommend giving it a try to someone who is on the fence about it. However, I think it would be ignorant not to acknowledge that some people are simply not ready for something like that. Not ready could potentially mean on a number of dimensions like, self-determination, openness, equanimity (the teachers favourite word), physical fitness/injuries (this was my demise). I am 3 weeks out from the course now and although I rapidly became desensitized again (i.e. back to normal), the experience is with me now and I know what my mind is capable of. It has also radically changed my perception of “willpower as muscle”. Not because I think that is totally false, but because I no longer think it is totally true. With full awareness, willpower is not a think, the lack of willpower is simply a bodily sensation that makes you feel urges to not do whatever you need to do. The final thing from it, is I discovered/thought through a metaphysical (spiritual/religious) view that I can comprehend and agree with while I had all the time to think, in my first truly religious experience. Doesn't really matter to talk about here, so I won't.

Finally, finally, the only other experience I could relate it to would be some experiences on mushrooms that I've had...soooooo, yeah.

suomalainen
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Re: SustainableHappiness Journal

Post by suomalainen » Sun Mar 25, 2018 4:51 pm

Very interesting. Thanks for sharing. I have thought about doing something like this too, but haven't been able to pull the trigger though. I for one would be curious to read about your religious experience as well. I've had some myself, even though I'm no longer religious.

SustainableHappiness
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Re: SustainableHappiness Journal

Post by SustainableHappiness » Thu Jun 14, 2018 3:47 pm

Around Week 36 of the downshift

Wow, it’s been a while since I journaled here! I just looked back at my very first journal entry a year and a half ago-ish and am happy to see the progress that’s happened. Interestingly in broad strokes, the plan has stayed intact, its just moved up in speed.

Money
No financial update, however we had a significant drop is cash this week because we bought a minivan… Now I can be that soccer dad I always dreamed up. Spent $18k on a used minivan and that is the heftiest bill I have ever paid at one time and it hurt a little. Then again it is also hurting a little knowing I don’t have a firehose of cash under my ass anymore. On a positive note, the pressure has increased my wheeling and dealing to find things I am interested in that also happen to pay me some money.

I am definitely feeling a lot more psychological pressure to keep our spending down though, which is…shitty. For example, our spending’s gone up quite significantly with quitting my job as we have to buy gas, a cell phone plan, car insurance, a car. This has created a different conversation between DW and I when we discuss going to visit family who live 1.5 hours away for a day because there is an added expense in there as well as my least favourite pastime of driving a billion kms. I have yet to see the gas expense as a good enough reason not to go visit family and friends since I firmly believe family and friends = a key component of happiness, but it still is a new balance we need to work on as a family unit.

The psychological pressure mentioned above might just be high enough for me to add in more work to compensate…however I will not do work I think is shitty.

Work
College teaching is great still. Beautiful hours, good social experience, teaching a fully international cohort which is interesting and teaching me a lot about Indian culture too. Because of this I am on the fence about whether I would take a full-time position if they offered (unlikely). On one hand, I’d still get summers off each year and make scads of cash and all psychological pressure would be gone. On the other hand, I’d be much busier throughout the Winter and I am enjoying 15 hours a week. The question is, is being busy in the Winter actually a good thing since the Winter months are not historically great emotional times for me. The decision doesn’t need to be made now anyways, but it comes up from time to time as a conversation topic.

Digital marketing hours have dropped to zero for the next month at least as the client I was doing work for changed their strategy to hyper-targeting which my boss client is not willing to deal with. However, I’ve learned skills and they’ve actually opened a door to conducting sales and marketing workshops for small business owners. These would be cool as they are paid out by the # of attendees, so if I can market them properly and make $15-20 a head then they could work out to a really high hourly rate. It also is another gateway to public speaking which is one of the ideas I’ve had banging around in my head for a while.

My ex-employer may make me an offer to come back for a part-time, remote contract because they recently fired the person who they had filling my spot. So far it’s just a conversation, but they approached me and asked about my interest, meaning it is a distinct possibility. I said I’d be interested if it was 10 hours a week and I could have full remote flexibility. I think my decision would depend on their offer, I also need to figure out what hourly rate I could bill them if this happened…I am tempted to start really high. Once again, it’d be an easy way to earn $ and if I could bill hourly then I’d only do work if I was getting paid for it instead of the mind-numbing desk jockey gig.

Real Estate
Still one house up for sale…ugh. Gotta get that shit sold. Had one cash offer that was interesting, but it was 20% below asking and the person wouldn’t budge. We rejected it on the basis it’s only costing us about $500 a month to hang on to. In hindsight we should’ve just taken it as it still would’ve worked out to about a $200k capital gain and a bird in hand is worth 2 in the bush. Ah well…shit.

Emotional Status
Content majority of the time. Still suffer from pangs of boredom, anxiety, fear, etc. but typically they are brought on due to lack of sleep due to the baby (he’s 10 months now and growing like a weed! It’s so fun, but he still sleeps likes shit), or missing a few days in a row of exercise for whatever reason or eating terribly for a day. The pangs are also short-lived as I have such an underlying reserve of positive feelings right now and vipassana gave me a better ability to see emotions and feelings for what they are…transient. As mentioned above the newest and largest source of fear is the pressure to not let our bank account ever decrease. But maybe that’ll go away eventually too.
Summer

Lots of cottage and camping plans this summer and a trip out to Vancouver should all be fun, taking advantage of the fact I only need to be somewhere physical 1 day a week by doing half week visits and stays. Cottage and camping weeks are also very affordable so that makes me happy too. Our kayaks got stolen a couple years ago, so we purchased a couple medium duty inflatable tubes and went on one of our annual river runs with some friends. It was a blast, however I ended up going about a quarter of the river with my finger in a hole caused by a particularly branchy waterway…patched up now, just need to test it again in a couple weeks.

Keep on rockin’.

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Fish
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Re: SustainableHappiness Journal

Post by Fish » Fri Jun 15, 2018 2:40 pm

Did you go back to RE investor who made the cash offer and ask if they would still be willing to purchase at that price? Or still holding out for more?

You have an amazing and highly supportive spouse, who in addition to being ERE-compatible allowed you to spend over a week attending a weeklong Vipassana retreat while she was taking care of the baby at home. You and cmonkey need disclaimers on your journals reminding readers that your results are not typical. ;)

SustainableHappiness
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Re: SustainableHappiness Journal

Post by SustainableHappiness » Sat Jun 16, 2018 8:06 pm

@Fish, went back and they had already spent their money elsewhere (ouch!). We've actually been dropping the price to be more in line with the market. We've set a date at the end of august that we'll go back to renting it out if we can't find a buyer at the moment. We've also debated just selling it for less than expected because we are tired of it.

As for my spouse, she is truly amazing. We have always adopted the, if this is something you feel like you have to do than go do it and I won't judge approach to things. It's hard when someone says, "I'm going to do X, which won't be very fun for you", but we each give and take in our own ways and it's all good. That being said, we literally spend all day most days together since we are home all the time. She spent the week at a farmhouse with her parents, while family and friends cycled through to visit so she had a great time!

It also gave us both a chance to cry when we saw each other for the first time in a week and a half, distance makes the heart grow fonder and all that jazz. Those moments help remind us about parts of Love we may have misremembered.

suomalainen
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Re: SustainableHappiness Journal

Post by suomalainen » Sat Jun 16, 2018 8:21 pm

OMG you two are so effing cute. :D :) ;) :shock: 8-) :lol:

SustainableHappiness
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Re: SustainableHappiness Journal

Post by SustainableHappiness » Mon Jul 30, 2018 3:54 pm

Week 43

Financial
The second house finally sold (ending up at about 20% below asking anyways!). We are officially out of RE and sitting on a buttload of cash, so about 50% of our assets are no longer inflation proof…working out what route we want to take, but it’s looking like some sort of GIC or high interest savings account for the time being to cover inflation and keep the cash accessible, since we’ve maxed out our retirement accounts.

All in all financially having hundreds of thousands of $ in the bank feels a lot better than owning a house.
Our spending on increased due to a recent move into a house with a backyard and no landlord upstairs. Still working out what our new spending structure looks like but it’s probably up by about $4-5K a year because of that…that sucks, but we’ll be ok since I’m also making more than expected through teaching.

Work
Teaching is still good. Signed up for another 12 hours a week next semester. It’s also become very apparent how much easier it will get as I teach the same courses multiple times. No plans to change this. Got some really nice feedback from my students this semester and am trying to help a few get jobs and contacts in their desired sectors since Indian experience and education is not well-respected in Canada. I think I may really be able to help them out, which is a good feeling.

Started on the BOD of a large non-profit in my area. They needed marketing and sales expertise to help them fundraise and create a fund campaign. I am the youngest on the board by ~20-25 years which is both cool and frustrating because they all think digital is the silver bullet, but can’t nail down the branding fundamentals and don’t know how it works. Meeting lots of interesting folks though and helping the clients live in much better situations. Also kind of mind blowing learning about how the gov’t doles out dollars to these organizations, as transfer payment agencies and privately funded and direct gov’t branches vs separate non-profits. Our org has over $30 Million a year pushed through it to different agencies as well as directly to clients. The background work is truly staggering!

Officially done with my old job and hanging out my flag as a freelancer and speaker. A couple potential speaking gigs lined up teaching business development workshops and I’m also building a workshop on personal finance in relation to small business ownership and careers. I think it could be a really cool thing to teach, with my biggest barrier being a lack of financial experience in my work history… However, I am going to fake it ‘till I make it as the saying goes.

Meeting on a potential consulting gig this week, will see what they want, how often and for how much and see if our numbers line up. Currently making around $30K with teaching, so extra cash isn’t necessary, but I think I could help them out and make some serious $ per hour (>$75) with the majority of the work only being done in a few months of the year. Once again, we will see if they actually want me and what for! I did not think I'd be bargaining for a consulting contract in my late 20s, but I guess this is how life is right now that we've moved into our first stage of FI.

DW Business
Mrs. SH has officially started her own business as well as a doula (labour coach). She’s got her first client (on a volunteer basis) and is extremely excited about it. It’s cool that she’s finally found something she really enjoys that is still semi-related to her nursing experience. I think with kids the max it’ll pull in is $10K a year, but it’s very flexible (minus the whole labour thing) and gives her something to orient around besides just babies, which is worth a lot.

We’re still working out how each others respective work will happen in relation to each other while still only needing 1 car and avoiding day-care expenses, but so far so good. On the flip side since we both now own a business…DOUBLE TAX WRITE-OFFS! YESSSSS!

Other
Since we’re not working much this summer we’ve managed to spend 3 weeks at different cottages and we’re going on another trip to Vancouver soon for a wedding. This summer has been quite awesome since we only paid partially for 1 cottage and the trip to Van. Gotta love friends with cottages!

Emotional Status
Better than ever. I was hungover for the first time last weekend and RV-ing/Snowbirding jumped into my mind again since I was feeling dumpy, but besides that life’s good, our new place is great, Baby SH is growing like crazy and learning new skill constantly which is really fun to watch. Also, 11 month babies are waaaaaaaay more fun than newborns which makes afternoons hanging out even better. All in all, ex. Normal daily ups and downs, emotions are high.

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