Mrs YFG here. It’s been a mixed bag for me working towards FI. I have a few years left.
I was brought up with the idea that you always saved one-third of your money. The rest you could spend as you pleased. I did this until about the age of 16.
After working nearly a decade to pursue a career I thought I would follow for the rest of my life, I became mentally and physically tired of it. I thought that being able to say I was a solicitor would miraculously make me happy and all the things I ever wanted would fall from the sky. It didn’t. Bugger.
Mr YFG was on his path to FI and I saw what he expected of life and I wanted that too. I wanted to find a job which was less than 60-70 hours a week and just absorbed all my energy. In fact, how about getting to a point where I don’t have a job?
Work doesn’t give you the skills for life
But then I sat down and thought of what I could change in my life – what else could I do with my time? I am qualified to be a solicitor. I can’t build stuff or do DIY, I’m no artist. There was no backup plan. I had no idea what else I could do, or wanted to do, with my life. I had never considered the possibility of choosing to live life without work, or without the trappings of what society expects from me.
Trapped by the guilt and shame of feeling that I was being ungrateful for the privileges I enjoyed, I struggled for years to just get on with it. I had been dealt a good hand in life, I would say to myself “stop being so precious“. I read articles online desperately trying to find other people who felt the same: to know my concerns were valid.
Finding my way
Mr YFG has always gone his own way and often I need to learn or realise something for myself before I agree with him. I was convinced FI wasn’t for me. I ridiculed his spreadsheets at first and resented handing over my credit card and debit card bills so he could assess our expenses. I later realised how I was essentially spending my freedom.
That was before my first nervous breakdown from stress at work. After losing my mind and skipping through months of drugged reality, I reassessed. I left Firm #1 at that point and took some time off to see what I wanted out of life and to consider what other jobs I wanted.
Over four months in 2014, I struggled to be away from work – a job, a routine – and couldn’t find fulfilment without some kind of paid work. I struggled with the prospect of relying on Mr YFG for income (he was working at that time). I knew I didn’t want to not work (if that makes sense). So I went back to work, to Firm #2 where I am now.
Coming back to work with a new view on life still didn’t stop my mental health deteriorating. In late 2016/early 2017, I suffered another relapse caused by work, and I thought “f**k this sh*t” and sat down with Mr YFG to figure out my own FI path.
Discovering my FI Philosophy
While I was online, I discovered people who rejected the idea of a traditional working career altogether. They wanted to enjoy life without the trappings of consumerism, and save money to be able to decide what they do, when they do it. Mrs Frugalwoods, Mr Money Mustache, Retirement Investing Today and the ilk hooked me in.
Skip forward a few years and, inspired by the FIRE community, me and my husband are on the path to financial independence. This blog serves as both a motivation for me and, hopefully, maybe as a method of opening the mind of some poor lawyer trainee sat under a pile of documents at 3 am wondering what the hell they are doing with their life.
The beach where I decided to write this blog. I don’t want to retire and lie on a beach, that would be ridiculous. I just want to use my life for more than it is used for now. Preferably with more beaches involved.