My New Year’s (FIRE) Resolutions
Normally I’m not big a fan of New Year’s resolutions. Even with the best intentions, my resolutions seem to disappear faster than food in our pantry. Remember, we’ve got a few hungry kids to feed. Food disappears pretty fast around here.
But this year, I’ve decided to make some resolutions focused on our race to FIRE (financial independence, retire early).
Live in the Now
It seems all my husband and I talk about these days is our journey to FIRE. We dream about the day when he can choose when and if he wants to work.
And while it’s great to have dreams, it’s sad when these thoughts of the future hold you back from living in the present.
With two kids still at home, we’ve only got a few precious years left before all our kids are officially grown and flown. Here are three ways we can make the most of our time with them.
1) Get off the devices and play more board games as a family. While we love to play games, it seems that we rarely take the time to hang out together and engage in some friendly (or sometimes cutthroat) competition. I vow this year we’ll use our time more wisely. Whether it’s a spare five minutes when we can deal a few rounds of Crazy 8’s or several hours for a seemingly never-ending, soul-crushing, we won’t quit till someone starts crying, game of Risk. You know the game of World Domination.
2) Eat dinner together as often as possible. With our kids’ growing social itineraries, sports, academics or life on their screens, it gets harder and harder to sit down at the same time and share a meal together. But I’ll keep pushing for it, even if we can only make it a couple of meals per week. After all, my husband and I have plenty of time for dinners in front of the TV once the kids fly the coop.
3) Listen when my kids WANT to talk. I’m actually pretty good at this one, but there’s always room for improvement. It seems my moody teenagers never want to talk when I’m available. But once I sit down to work, they’re suddenly in the room with me asking about my day. So, for the next few years, I’m on their time. If they interrupt my typing, that’s OK. Even if I can’t remember that Pulitzer Prize winning idea I had before the interruption. ha ha.
Leave the Money Alone
I have a bad habit of checking the stock market on my Finance App a lot. Like several times a day. I’m fascinated by the ins and outs of the market. And that’s fine, until it causes me to tinker with our accounts.
Take, for example, this past September.
You may recall that we had taken the proceeds from a house we sold in the beginning of 2017 and put all the money into a taxable account focused on individual stocks of the Dow. At the beginning of 2018 we took all the gains from the previous year and moved them to cash, intending to leave the remainder in the market for the long term.
Related: Running with the Dogs (of the Dow)
But in late September, we decided to withdraw a large portion ($50K of the total $300K in the account) and add it to the cash account at the bank. Now with the recent dive in December, it seemed as though we were financial geniuses, as we had cashed out a portion of our stocks within a few weeks of the market’s all-time high. But we aren’t financial geniuses. Just lucky with our timing. And next time, we may not be so lucky. Therefore, I swear I’m not messing with our asset allocation this year!
Make a few bucks with my writing
In October, I applied for a side gig as a contributing writer for a large, internationally syndicated financial site. I’m currently working on my 4th article. And, they pay me for each article that’s published! Writing for profit – what a novel idea!
Plus, my editor, who is based in the UK, seems very chill and lets me pitch ideas and send articles on my own schedule. However, I’m still in a trial period. Therefore, I’ll withhold the name of the site until it becomes official.
Keeping the Resolutions
With a very sketchy track record of keeping resolutions, I’m hoping to at least keep these until March.
Which will be about 2 ½ months longer than I’ve ever kept any of my other New Year’s resolutions!