Women’s Personal Finance Wednesdays – Week 35
1. I Quit. Three Reasons I’m Walking Away From A Part-Time Job With Great Benefits Downsize Your 2080
Financial independence is ultimately the greatest freedom money can buy, but having a hefty FU fund is a close second, especially for those of us who mostly enjoy our jobs and want to keep working for the foreseeable future. If early retirement isn’t your goal, or at least not your short term one, then having the flexibility to say no to a specific job or for a specific amount of time is hard to beat.
I love that Carol purposefully worked through the reasons for quitting what was clearly a great job once it was clear that it was no longer a great option for her family. If only everyone had the opportunity to examine the whole picture equally instead of having to make decisions solely on a paycheck.
Carol has been a vocal proponent of part time careers, and as is clear by my personal situation, so am I. We’ve both chosen lower hours – and lower pay – for that flexibility, and we would both tell you it was absolutely worth it. The one thing I wish though was that we heard more stories of men doing something similar. If you know of any who are doing this, please give them a shout out! As much as I love my less than full time schedule, I hate to think of it just as the woman’s prerogative to cut hours to make time for family.
Clearly, Carol and I have both made decisions that our best for our families along with input from our husbands, and it’s worked out this way for both of us, but I hope it is also clear that it could have also gone the opposite direction if situations were a bit different in our careers. Flexibility, and not just in the years with children at home, would benefit all of us.
2. My Version of Financial Freedom Wanderlust Wendy
I love this discussion of financial freedom as a spectrum instead of a fixed date on a calendar and a fixed net worth number. Not only does Wendy ruminate on the differences in freedom and opportunity that money creates in greater sums, but she also works through the mental aspect of that freedom. Beyond simply the “one more year” syndrome that happens at the end of a career, regardless of age, there’s something to be considered in that way along the road to ultimate financial independence.
She closes this post with:
“I wish I had learned earlier that financial freedom isn’t so black and white; it would’ve alleviated a lot of stress and frustration. My version is most likely not yours, and that’s the beauty of our diverse lives. Have a long-term financial freedom vision is helpful to serve as the North Star, but defining a short-term freedom goals is paramount to avoid burnout, keep some sanity, and enjoy the ride.“
Isn’t that the whole point of this whole thing? Hopefully, we are enjoying the ride and figuring out what’s best for us along each step of the way rather than being so fixated on the end point that we forget our lives are happening right now, too.
3. Is the Pursuit of Financial Independence Inherently Selfish? One Frugal Girl
I think there’s a huge gap in the Financial independence world when it comes to giving. I’ve noticed people tend to land in two ways: either optimizing every dollar and exalting in paying no tax and getting support out of the government (and otherwise feeling no need to give back to those less fortunate) and then there are those who find that by tracking their money – and sometimes even their time – they find more space to be more generous because they aren’t spending on other unimportant, unnecessary things.
I tend to agree with the sentiment that the online forums and so many blogs that have sprung up in the last few years tend to highlight these things and make both sides seem more “normal,” though unfortunately I think I’ve seen more of the former showcased than the latter.
My hope is that as we acknowledge that fact, those of us who are more inclined to be more generous with both our money and our time are more public about it to show that it’s also normal to be pursuing that long term financial security for yourself while also looking behind you for ways that you can help others along the way.
My comments here are perhaps a little more biased than my typical reflection on my Wednesday roundups, but it’s important. Money is not the most important thing, and as this community continues to get more of a spotlight shown on it, the more important it is that we’re more intentional about the things beyond increasing our own personal savings.