Now that our focus is no longer FI but LifeJoy, we are having some interesting discussions at home. We explore a lot of new ideas. Let’s discuss the impact of a recent thought we had. Can you help us to improve?
My wife has a creative itch. She wants to spend her time being creative and creating items to sell, help others to discover their creative side via workshops and encourage people to meet. In order to explore this route and make it happen, we did a thought experiment.
What if my wife stops working all together and goes after her idea and pursues an ideal occupation?
The main problem with this idea is that our current lifestyle can not be supported by my salary alone.
Option 1 – Use the FU money and Ms. ATL stops to work
We do have FU money. That money could fund for many months the gap that we create. That means we will have a negative savingsrate as long as my wife can not make a profit.
This plan scares the hell out of me. It leaves us very vulnerable and depending on just me. What if I get fired, get sick, die,…? These are unlikely events, yet possible.
With this plan, we would need to define a checkpoint in time to decide to continue, to stop or to switch to another option.
Option 2 – Redesign life and Ms. ATL stops to work
In this option, my wife stops working, we adjust our life to life of my salary alone. It would mean we need to take a set of actions to lower our cost of living. The ideas we have:
Sell the second car, use the money to buy an electric bike. This means we need to plan our activities around one car, public transport and an e-bike – not impossible. This would save us 180€ per month
Extend the mortgage. We have a flexible mortgage and the renewal is due at the end of this year. We could double the time to repay. I have a call with the bank to explore this.
This could save us anywhere between 100€ – 500€ per month. Just go off the phone… We could save 220€ per month (due to a contractual maximum extension). The total cost of the loan would go up – borrow longer means that you pay interest longer (This comes down to a yearly average cost of 118€ when interest remains the same). Our loan has a cap, so, I know the max interest I would need to pay…!
Staycations. This would be by far the most effective way to reduce our budget. Between summer holiday and ski and random weekends out, we are north of 7K per year.
Reduce our fun money. We each have a monthly allocation for fun, clothes, gifts,…. This is spend guilt free. To be honest, there is some slack here…
No more cleaning lady. At this time, we have a cleaning lady. We could stop that. (Note MS. ATL is 100pct against this suggestion.)
This option makes me feel bad. It does not solve the problem from option 1 and it makes my life in the short term less joyful…
option 3 – Ms. ATL finds/keeps parttime job to close the gap
Option 3 means that my wife finds jobs that can close the gap and put our savings rate to 0% while keeping the lifestyle we have.
In this scenario, she has less time to explore and set up the framework she has in mind. It does make us less dependent on only one salary and our lifestyle does not need to change. Sounds perfect! I dislike the 0% savings. I know, I want it all…!
option 4 – Job to close the gap and lifestyle change
In this scenario, my wife would work to put the SR to 0% or slightly above. With a lifestyle change, we would pump a SR hogher. That way, we keep working on our longterm plan as well. The lifestyle change would not have to be that dramatic in order to reach a SR of 10-15%. by FIRE norms, this is ultra low, by average norms, this is high already.
What are your thoughts? Have you gone through something like this? share your experience with us.