Starting Over In My 30’s With (Almost) Everything

I started this blog to write, share and connect. Over finance and lifestyle. Fifteen months into this, I realize that while I am talking about finance, urban homesteading, and contract work, the thread that holds it all together is my journey of starting over in my 30’s. With almost everything.

At 34, I lost 4 close family members in short order, separated from my high school sweetheart and was staring down sudden unemployment. This time was to become the equivalent of a raging forest fire in my life. Most things were burned to the ground and virtually no landscape was recognizable in the aftermath.

This post isn’t a woe is me tale though. There’s plenty of sorrow to go around, and others that have gone through worse. It’s about gratitude for that time in my life, both for what it gave me at the time, and the new growth that’s replaced the scorched areas.

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Nothing Wrong With Retiring At 65

In the FIRE community, retirement planning for when you hit 65 likely isn’t relevant. You’ll have saved enough to become financially independent as soon as you can and that’s great!

Why focus on retirement at 65 then?

FIRE as a concept can be alienating if that’s not your plan.

With statistics like 44% of Canadians being within $200 from insolvency and 1 in 3 Americans having less $5000 saved , it’s obvious the majority will retire at 65 or later. Be it for lack of savings or by choice.

Give the statistics above, that’s a whole lot of potential people turning away and missing out on all the good resources and knowledge they could use.

And there are SO.  MANY. Good things!

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Prepping: Survival Skills Are Only A Piece Of The Puzzle

I was nervously sitting, along with 49 other people eating breakfast on the last day at a camp my friend had started. We knew something of sorts was going to happen, where we would put to use the survival skills we had learned.

We just weren’t sure what, when or how.

There had been a lot of anxious chatter the previous night among the crowd, making alliances, plans, guessing. A camp coordinator came into the cafeteria..

“We don’t want to alarm anyone. We’ve received reports of suspicious activity. The authorities have issued a lock down…”

Before they could finish, a group of zombies burst through the door and attacked him. Yes, you heard right, ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE!

Panic ensued and everyone ran out the closest exit, breakfast and plans instantly forgotten.

And so began the day where I formed so many memories, and took away ‘Prepper lessons that went beyond the basics of fire starting skills, purifying water, and what have you.

 

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Buying A House In A High Cost City

We’ve been calling Toronto our hometown for over a decade (two decades for My Whymances to be precise). Ask anyone in our country, they’ll say real estate prices in this city are banana’s. Period. It’s the one thing we can all agree on. And that’s saying something; good luck getting any consensus on rent vs buy, city vs suburbs vs country, housing crash, etc.

We’re not a house horny couple. Buying a home is not THE DREAM. Renting is not a waste of money. Owning real estate is NOT AN INVESTMENT. So with all of that, and crazy housing prices, how exactly did we conclude that buying another a bigger house was a goal?

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How To Let Things Fail

Have you experienced the sting of failure recently?

This is best talked over with a tasty drink. So grab yours and join me.

Got One? Great!

Failure comes in all sizes: from slight discomfort to devastation that changes who you are. There’s a lot of talk on failure as something that happens to you.

What about choosing to let things fail?

I was having a conversation with a good friend recently about a big choice I had to make five years ago

Keep my 57 year old mother on life support or let her body fail.

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Financial Update Oct 2018

Personal_Net_Worth

I’ve seen a meme going around lately that has an image of an ATM with words:

“Sometimes you just have to hit ‘no receipt’ at the ATM because you just don’t need that kind of negativity in your life”

My first reaction was to cringe. Ignoring it won’t solve anything. Better to tackle it now. Ever realize that you’re thinking/saying one thing, then realize they hypocrisy of your actions?

I had one of those moments this morning. I haven’t done a financial update in over six months because I’m afraid… Not to look at my bank account, but to face the reality of some cold hard numbers (results) on progress of this year’s goals.

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Urban Homesteading

What does homesteading mean to you? Do you picture acres of land, with a few animals and huge garden? Maybe close to a small town or in the middle of the country? This is exactly what I picture. Though I moved to a big city a decade ago out of necessity (read jobs), there’s a part of me that yearns to try homesteading like Frugalwoods.

Except one major roadblock: IT project management and graphic design jobs aren’t exactly common outside cities. Not to mention we’re used to a carless existence and Mr Whymances really enjoys having the city at his fingertips.

Over the summer, I’ve come to realize homesteading can be many different things and it’s first and foremost an attitude. Not only does it have a lot in common with financial independence, homesteading can be done in an urban environment.

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Unexpected Income Loss As a Contract Worker and How to Survive It

Income Loss As a Contract Worker_1
This sure was pretty to look at. How you’d feel if you were lost out here makes it a great representation for sudden income loss:  lonely, isolating, stressed and anxious

To kick off financial literacy month, I’m focusing on my recent experience of a unexpected income loss as a contract worker and how I’ve learned to survive it.

For those just tuning in, spring was mired with indecision on whether to take a sabbatical; then fate decided and catapulted me into one, right at the start of summer no less. How lucky is that?

I turned my unexpected loss of income into a summer sabbatical, which came to an end in early September. Gone are the days of gardening at sunrise, daytime eavesdropping expeditions at coffee shops (you’d be amazed how interesting people’s lives can be), last minute plans to visit family and friends and fire & ice vacations! In return though, income is flowing again!
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Garden Adventures – Late Summer

Garden Adventures Late Summer
New garden friend. His name is Jimmy!

Jiminy crickets, the garden is in full bloom! Mid September came up on me without realizing. That’s not surprising given we were baking in mid to high 30’s (celsius)! While I love the summer warmth and what it brings from the garden, I’m looking forward to the temperate weather fall brings.
But back to late summer gardening….
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