Banking Perks – Quality Time

Working in banking has some perks that are priceless: you get some top quality time with the kids on Good Friday. Anyone has an idea why Good Friday is a Banking holiday?

The day starts with a normal routine: getting the kids ready for school. After that, I did some household chores like grocery shopping. The real fun starts at lunch time. As my wife and I work both a full time job (correction: my wife does not work on Wednesdays), the kids eat their bread meal each day in the school canteen.

It is high on their wish list to be part of the little group that gets picked up at noon for a home lunch. Bank holidays are such an occasion! Oh Boy, seeing their reaction is priceless.

Rather than taking them home, I decided to offer them a true Belgian fast food meal: French Fries with mayonnaise. Not the healthiest food in town, but for sure it gives a lot of credits to Dad. We only eat this once a month. Far less than the Belgian average.


On Saturday, freed up from a list of chores, the kids choose to go to an indoor play garden. The food this time was an apple for each. Combining sport and good food – heaven. With the kids playing and jumping around, I also have some time to catch up with blogs and videos. Free WIFI is a standard now in most playgrounds



This is probably what life would look like if we were already Financially Independent.

Being able to do this once in while is worth a lot to me and encourages me to push myself towards the 2029 FIRE date. At the same time, it is also a hard confrontation with reality: There are only that many occasion that are available to working parents while perusing the FIRE dream. To me, it confirms that finding the right balance between the FIRE goal and the living now is key to long term happiness.

How do you deal with this duality: Living now vs pushing for an early FIRE date.


19 thoughts on “Banking Perks – Quality Time

  1. That is the hardest part, isn’t it? We’re saving for a long trip to New-Zealand. Killing my debt would be better, but indeed we want to live life at 100%. Financially it’d be better to wait, but now we’re young and we don’t have children so..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Do not hesitate to save up for such a nice vacation. It will be double as expensive with kids. That is one of the reasons that the last 6 years our travel was rather limited compared to the kids free life. We hope to change that in the coming years!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. It’s expensive here (to live OR visit) but worth it 😀

      Good Friday (and Monday) are both public holidays here so it’s always a four day weekend.


  2. That’s a very good questions AT, and I think we all handle it differently. I tend to be a planner, and plan far too much about our future. So my tendancy is to live less today. My wife balances me in this regard, because she’s an impulsive YOLO (you only live once) sort of woman. We try to live some today, while keeping our eye on longer term goals. We’ve done pretty well at this, so far.

    I hope your week goes well. Funny you mention french fries with mayo. Being American, I had never seen this before my trip to Belgium and the Netherlands. I got a good chuckle, but didn’t try it…..because I’m not a fan of Mayo.


    1. I am so surprised you’ve never had that Bryan. A particular favourite of ours is do a line of tomato, a line of mayo next to it (touching it) and dip/pull the French fry through the middle so it’s half covered in both. Tastes great!

      Also, dip your French fries in EVERYTHING, it really changes up the taste. Tartare sauce, seafood sauce, BBQ sauce, honey bbq, honey mustard, etc etc! You are not living if you do not spread the saucy love.



    2. TO be honest, in our house, I am the planner as well. Overtime, my wife and other sources have thought me to value the now as much as the future promise of FI.
      Next time, try the fires with ketchup or just without anything. And try some of the fried “meat” that you see in the picture


  3. When balancing living now with early FIRE perhaps a rule like “Not to the detriment of the other” is valuable to have. Both are important and one should always strive to dedicate time to what is important. In the end, you will find that you are richer for having both.


  4. It’s so important to live now especially if you have kids. Trust me, they grow up so fast. it seems like a few years ago I was holding my baby girl at the hospital and now she is in college. Looking back I regret not living more in the now.


  5. I guess I am so fortunate that my work is on holiday too when there are federal holidays. Plus, I get a Friday off every other Friday.

    Before this current job of mine, I had a hard time balancing time with my family and work just because every time I came home, I would be so tired to do anything. That’s the reason I had to find another job, which is what I have right now.

    For me family time is so precious that I am not willing to sacrifice my time with my family for work. Kids do grow up so fast. How I wish my 2 year old daughter would stay a little bit as 2 years old.


  6. That’s why they call it “banker hours” for people who has really good hours. 😛
    Family time is great! I’m looking forward to it when I call it quit or move to parttime for sure.


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