Women’s Personal Finance Wednesdays – Week 20
1. Don’t be a Rich Jerk Tenacious Feminist
This is one of those posts that seems like it shouldn’t have to be written, but it needed to be said. Those of us in the personal finance community, and more specifically the financial independence community, are generally a pretty well to do group. Until you’re financially stable, thinking about bigger picture things like early retirement is pretty much impossible.
In general, this group is a pretty fabulous bunch, but it makes me sad (but not surprised) when someone who has retired early – or has plans to – publicly acknowledges the fact that they do not give charitably or very minimally. While I do believe your first priority is to get to a level of base financial solvency, once you reach it, I think it is so important then to look around you. And to be honest, anyone who has the means to retire early or reach financial independence is pretty dang well off, no matter how you look at it.
2. The Privilege of Self-Employment Fiery Millennials
“It turns out as unhappy as I thought I was sitting in a chair at work for 8 hours a day, I was even more unhappy with sitting in a chair at home for 10 hours a day.“
“I wasn’t happy and wasn’t leading the life I wanted.“
I wanted to quote this whole post, so do me a favor and just go read it instead. Gwen took a serious leap into self employment and an interstate move, and while she really struggled through the process, there is a lot to her story that made it possible to make the moves she did. While there is so much online that glorifies change and “taking a leap” and going after your heart, there is a lot of inherent privilege that usually comes with the people who are able to go for it (and for pivoting as necessary).
And then, theres knowing when to get out when something you’ve gone for doesn’t go as planned. Kind of like the idea of not throwing good money after bad, you don’t want to throw good time and energy after bad either. Life and goals change, and it’s so much better to know yourself and change with them rather than trying to force an old dream, especially when it turns out not to be the one you actually want.
And of course, just because you acknowledge privilege doesn’t mean you also didn’t work freaking hard yourself. Gwen did an incredible job setting herself up to go an alternative path, and even now a year later she is so well set up for her future because she took those steps to do so early. Hard work, but also the transparency to acknowledge the rest of her story.
3. When Cancer Hits, Life Comes First That Frugal Pharmacist
Even though I’ve been listening along to my dear friend through this journey, it still isn’t easy to read through this update. I am so in awe of her strength and stability through this gigantic wrench life has thrown at their family.
Like so many of us in the personal finance space, she has prided herself on always able to take care of her family and to never need to accept help, but cancer has changed that. It is not easy to let people in and let people be your tribe when you need them, but the emergency fund you really need when things get rough is more than just money. And when life get so hard, the time with family and the people you care about gets thrown into a degree of focus that we never really appreciate otherwise.
But really, though, shouldn’t life always come first?