Author Topic: Can I start living a life I enjoy? Even at Low-ish income?  (Read 3563 times)

JanetJackson

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 616
  • Location: United States
    • How I actually made $50 just for taking a survey and being in the healthcare marketplace
Can I start living a life I enjoy? Even at Low-ish income?
« on: November 13, 2018, 07:45:49 AM »
Hi!
OK, I will try to follow the instructions…

Life Situation: Single, No dependents.  Middle cost of living city that I plan to leave for a LCOL area in the next few years.

Blurb: I have posted before, but have some updates and want to know what everyone thinks about me moving ahead with my goals list (see below). 
I am massively unhappy with my life and want to start this list as soon as I can... but feel tentative.  Hoping I guess for some nods of support?  Or smacks of reality?
I have simply been in "spend very little, work as much as possible" phase for a few years now, and I am burnt the HECK out.
I'm so sick of working for other people on projects I either don't care about or ACTIVELY work against my morals.  I'm sick of doing nothing but working and sleeping and feeling like crap.

So.... following that cheerful introduction (LOL)… Let's get started! :)
[/b]

Numbers adjusted to rough AGI:
--All of the income numbers are post tax, yet quite variable.  Everything is hourly or client based.  I estimated way DOWN to show how numbers might look at my worst month.  Sometimes they are 30% higher than this.  I did my best--

MONTHLY Income:
In order of 'I enjoy this' at the top to... 'I cry on my way to AND from this job'

Small Business: $850
Random Gig: $100
Day Job: $1600
Weekend Job: $450

Total: $3000.00


Monthly Expenses:
In order of 'I generally need this (food/shelter/etc)' to 'I could trim this'

Rent (all inclusive): $450
Consumables (Grocery, Home Goods, Dog Food, Dining out): $275
Health Ins and Prescriptions: $100
Vehicle (Gas, Maint, tax, registration, insurance): $210
IRA: $36
Student Loans (Min. is $85, I overpay): $140
Gym: $88 (Prepaid until April, bucket funding currently for 2019)
Clothing: $5
Spotify: $10
Dining out: $20
Phone: $0 (covered by day job currently)

Total: $1364.00


Difference: $1636.00
Currently pushing into IRA, Emergency Funds, Bucket Funds, and my lil baby Vanguard Mutual Funds.  Was previously pushing a high percentage toward student loans, which is how I got them down to their current 5.5k.

Assets:
CD (toward house down payment): 6k
General EF: 3k
Bucket Funds: 7,800k
Vanguard Mutual Fund: 1k
Roth IRA: 2k
Car KBB value 5k
-------------------------------------------
--Bucket Fund Breakdown--

Gym: $700
Medical EF: $800
Estimated LLC Taxes and LLC EF: $850 (it's my first year doing estimated taxes and I want a buffer in case I screw it up)
Vehicle EF: $2600
Pet EF: $900 (instead of pet insurance)
Car Insurance: $250 (pay every 6mo)
Moving/Closing Costs/Etc: $1700
---------------------------------------------

Total: $24,800 ($19,800 without car)

Liabilities:
Student Loan: $5,500.00 @ 2.65% (original amount ~38k)

Goals, in order of importance:

1. Quit Weekend Job: It's maybe quite literally killing me.  I'm beginning to be injured often and crying on my way home (and I am not a cryer)... bad signs - have been there for 8 years.

2. Quit Day Job: It's a company that has values I do not believe in and feel immense guilt for working there- long story, but they actively work against my moral code and all of the things I believe in.  Only cry on the way home once every week or two weeks.  I've been there for 3 years.

3. Expand Small Business: I currently turn down approx. $2750-$3,000/ year in active client requests (I've been tracking it this year).  I also blank out my calendar for three days a week to work at Day Job, and also block out big chunks of the weekend for the weekend job, so who knows what other clients I am "turning down" simply by not being available. 
I have been doing this for 8 years, got business license and insurance 4 months ago (was previously working under a larger company).  I'm all set to expand, but fearful of leaving the larger income of Day Job and Weekend Job (even though I hate them) and having the rough few months I know I will have.  I grew up poor (like actually poor, not "poor") and am scared of the idea of voluntarily leaving jobs that make me money for the unknown. 

4. Spend more money on Medical needs and Therapies (+$100-200/mo): Long story short, I think I have SIBO (I went to the doctor a ton as a kid for my stomach stuff, but there are so many new diagnoses available, so I really think I could finally get some help if I went now… as an adult) and haven't felt good in 3+ years but haven't gone to the doctor because my PCP just refers me to a specialist and specialists = $$$.  I could also benefit from a little talk therapy.

5. Spend more money on social activities: (+$50-75/mo) My budget used to be more bare bones. 
I added Crossfit about eight months ago in order to build my social network and make friendships and it's helped a LOT!  Plus keeps in me in fair shape. 
BUT, I still quite literally will do something with gym buddies every 8 or 12 weeks.  I have no family nearby, no close friends (just gym buddies), no significant other (not dating), and I live alone outside of the city lines.  I'd like to go to some of the things my gym friends invite me to.  I turn most of them down because they either cost money or I am required to take off work to make them happen. 
I'd also like to go to things that Enrich my life.  Eddie Izzard came to town a few months ago and I didn't go because of the cost ($75) but I am a lifelong fan and would have really really valued that experience, and things like that are so rare, it's not like a slippery slope to spendy-pants.  I'd like to do maybe one event like that a year?  Currently I don't let myself. 

6. Build my House Down Payment fund to $15k and purchase home up to 70k in the LCOL area I want to move to.  I plan to make the home a profit center, or at least break even with the mortgage-either hosting Air BnB guests or renting out a room, etc.



.... So, what does everyone think?  Can I start working on my list so that I can have a life that has some value to me?  It's a very hard decision to make on my own, as I'm used to just saying "no" to 90%+ desires that I have.
Currently I'd rate my of enjoyment of life at a... 4?

« Last Edit: November 13, 2018, 12:31:12 PM by JanetJackson »

HamsterStache

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 66
Re: Can I start living a life I enjoy? Even at Low-ish income?
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2018, 07:59:38 AM »
My opinion is that it is not worth living a life that makes you unhappy, even if it seems like you are making the logical choices. If leaving guaranteed sources of income is too scary at the moment, try one of the less financially impactful items on your list first - spending more on social activities is not going to make a huge dent in your finances, but enough that you can test out the change, and it sounds like the personal value of those experiences is going to far outweigh the monetary cost. If you are improving your happiness, it may also make your intolerable jobs more tolerable and allow you to put up with them a little better for a little longer as you build up more of a financial buffer and confidence you need to make those big changes.

lhamo

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 9055
  • Location: Seattle
Re: Can I start living a life I enjoy? Even at Low-ish income?
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2018, 08:04:34 AM »
Definitely quit the weekend job.  I know you care for your clients/their families but you have given them more than enough of yourself and your time.

I'm torn on the day job issue.  Can you find a similar PT position working for an org that you are more morally aligned with?

Alternatively, you have been talking about moving in a few months.  Can you push that up?  Reinvent yourself in a new/better for you location sooner rather than later?

JanetJackson

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 616
  • Location: United States
    • How I actually made $50 just for taking a survey and being in the healthcare marketplace
Re: Can I start living a life I enjoy? Even at Low-ish income?
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2018, 08:10:10 AM »
Definitely quit the weekend job.  I know you care for your clients/their families but you have given them more than enough of yourself and your time.
Yes.  This is kind of starting to happen whether I want it to or not... I keep trimming it back more and more and more, and calling in late, and needing to leave early, etc. etc. etc.  It's like my psyche is doing it for me.  Ha.

I'm torn on the day job issue.  Can you find a similar PT position working for an org that you are more morally aligned with?
I have been on the look out.  Haven't found anything yet, but still keeping an eye out always.

Alternatively, you have been talking about moving in a few months.  Can you push that up?  Reinvent yourself in a new/better for you location sooner rather than later?
Huh, I hadn't even thought of that.  Probably not without the proper down payment.  I don't want to rent and then have to move again- I've moved 12+ times in the last ten years :\

lhamo

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 9055
  • Location: Seattle
Re: Can I start living a life I enjoy? Even at Low-ish income?
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2018, 08:25:28 AM »
I know moving sucks, but it doesn't sound like you are blooming where currently planted.  Could you try to line up a few longer-term pet/housesitting gigs in preferred areas and use those as staging grounds while you search for longer-term housing?  I also would not want to buy a place in a new location until I knew it was a good fit/worked for the business.

Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good here.  You are miserable where you are and with much of what you are doing (business aside).  There doesn't seem to be much downside in making a leap sooner rather than later.  If you keep going as you are, you are going to have a physical or mental breakdown.

kei te pai

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 223
Re: Can I start living a life I enjoy? Even at Low-ish income?
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2018, 08:27:50 AM »
Can I give you a big internet hug? You are working so hard, and it sounds like there is no one there to tell you you are brave and wonderful. I think you are.
Give up the weekend job. Its killing you. Sleep, eat well (more time to cook), and up the exercise. Add a bit more socialtime.
Sometimes you have to make the space in your life for things to change.
It will be easier to tolerate the day job when you are not so stretched.
kia kaha (stay strong).

reeshau

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 329
  • Location: Dublin, Ireland
Re: Can I start living a life I enjoy? Even at Low-ish income?
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2018, 08:30:33 AM »
First, Congratulations on thinking about your financial life so deeply.  You are still in the muck, but you have some clear goals ahead of you.

First, a small point:

Monthly Expenses:
In order of 'I generally need this (food/shelter/etc)' to 'I could trim this'

Rent (all inclusive): $450
Consumables (Grocery, Home Goods, Dog Food, Dining out): $325

Is dining out really that high in priority?  Break that out and put it in its proper priority.  Then, rename it "Entertainment," and you have your goal #5.  The decision has always been there, but now you can understand when "mindlessly" eating out (at lunch at work, because you are tired at home) is costing you a social activity or once-in-a-lifetime event.

Now, bigger points:

It seems that you are aware that you have business opportunities that almost make up for Weekend Job.  And you have $1,600 per month excess!  Only, you don't really.  I would also put your Bucket Funds into your spending, to understand your real excess.  That said, you are only $150 per month out of range of the Weekend Job.  The boat is close enough to the dock--jump!

I would also propose that doing so on the small job could build both your confidence and your clientele, and perhaps let you build the courage to leap away from the Day Job.

I also share the question about moving immediately to the LCOL area.  You say you don't want to rent, which would be one way to accelerate.  Can you do your small business there?  Can you serve the same clients there?  (remotely, or are they close together?)  The business could be a conduit to your desired location in more ways than one.

Tuskalusa

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 325
Re: Can I start living a life I enjoy? Even at Low-ish income?
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2018, 08:30:40 AM »
Hi There. First things first, take a minute to recognize that you’ve done some amazing work in paying down your student loans!  You are on the home stretch. The sooner you have that gone, the more flexibility you will have. Yay!

I totally agree that you should quit the weekend job. It sounds like a horrible situation, and it’s time to move on. Sounds like you could pick up some additional work with your small business, if you wanted to. But that seems optional right now, since your other income sources cover your expenses. Maybe it’s time to use the weekends for fun and relaxation.

The next issue is your day job. Going to a job you hate totally sucks. (Been there. Done that. Sucks.). I would recommend keeping it for now and using your newly found weekends to dust off your resume and see what else you can find. You sound talented and resourceful. I bet there’s another employer out there who would be happy to have you. Heck, maybe you can get a raise out of the deal (which would help you knock out that student loan balance even faster).

Honestly, I’d love to see you find a FT job that you like a little better. Would love to see you free up time and energy to pursue your other dreams on your weekends.

You have a great starting point here. Now you have a chance to make a solid career shift to get closer to your goals,and to start building your stache. :)

LifeHappens

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5415
  • Location: SnowBirdLand
  • Downshifting from 5th to 3rd Gear
Re: Can I start living a life I enjoy? Even at Low-ish income?
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2018, 08:31:22 AM »
It does seem like quitting the weekend job and using that time to expand your business and make time for social activities would give you the quickest happiness boost. Describing a job as "maybe quite literally killing me" is a good sign it's time to quit!

At your current pace of savings, how long will it be before you have your $15k down payment fund? Do you expect moving to result in an immediately better situation, or will you have to build up a social network again? From what I'm reading, you are pretty emotionally depleted, so having to start from nothing in the social sense might be too much right now.

Yanisimo

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 7
Re: Can I start living a life I enjoy? Even at Low-ish income?
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2018, 08:33:55 AM »
It seems your level of frugality is negatively affecting your life. Frugality should be pushed to an amount that makes you a bit uncomfortable, but not so much that it genuinely prevents you from participating in activities that will increase your overall happiness in the long term. I say: quit your weekend job immediately, look for a new day job that will align with your values and, once you find it, quit your current day job. Participate in more activities that will allow you to socialize, even if it means spending more money. We are talking about your happiness here. We are social creatures...we need companionship, so allow yourself to spend money on that because it is a priority for you. Spend the money to see a specialist. Spend the money to expand your business. You are currently seeking approval from strangers on the internet to start working on this list of yours, so I assume that means you don't have close friends/family to talk about in regards to these things. Which means you are indeed quite lonely. I recommend you recognize your accomplishments, and be proud of yourself. In summary, YES, START ON THIS LIST TODAY!

JanetJackson

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 616
  • Location: United States
    • How I actually made $50 just for taking a survey and being in the healthcare marketplace
Re: Can I start living a life I enjoy? Even at Low-ish income?
« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2018, 08:37:09 AM »
Hi Y'all, thanks for all of the responses so far! 
I will take the time to read and respond to all a bit later, but wanted to throw a few quick clarifications into the mix:

  • LCOL area: I lived there previously, so I do have a social network there.  The population is smaller, so my small business may take longer to build, but it's doable.

    Dining out can be seperated from the consumables budget and is $20/mo.

Roadrunner53

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1904
Re: Can I start living a life I enjoy? Even at Low-ish income?
« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2018, 08:44:01 AM »
JanetJackson, I agree with another poster. Leave the weekend job. Do baby steps. Step one, quit weekend job! Keep working day job for the time being or look for another day job that aligns closer to your beliefs. OR can you possibly ask the boss if you can work from home? Seems you spend a lot of time coordinating things over the phone. That way you could be away from them but still do your work. If the boss balks, maybe you could make a deal to do one day or two.

Have you ever dabbled in selling stuff on ebay? I have sold stuff for years off and on. Mostly household stuff and I sometimes find stuff at tag sales or Goodwill to buy and resell. Parts are good sellers. For instance, if you were to buy a used Keurig coffee machine that is in good shape, sometimes it is more lucrative to cannibalize the unit and sell the parts. There are lots of things people are looking for like knobs off of stoves, washers, dryers, replacement game pieces. Things like Kitchen Aid blenders have the container, lid base. Just as examples. I have a friend who got me hooked on ebay and he and I would always talk about finding one thing that was lightweight that we could ship over and over and over. So there would be no real sourcing of the item. You could just have a bucket of these things and keep mailing them out. I have seen some really odd things on ebay too. Like people are actually selling different varieties of Spam! There are other food items people sell too. I am guessing people some stores in the USA don't sell some of this stuff so people buy it on ebay. Then college kids buy crazy stuff. You could put together some kind of 'care packages' like a junk food basket and mail out as orders come in. This is something you can do without working for an employer. Since you are into animals, maybe you could put together doggie gift baskets to start off with.

You can't have two jobs that are killing you. Get rid of the weekend job and you will feel a ton of pressure off you. Good luck!

JanetJackson

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 616
  • Location: United States
    • How I actually made $50 just for taking a survey and being in the healthcare marketplace
Re: Can I start living a life I enjoy? Even at Low-ish income?
« Reply #12 on: November 13, 2018, 11:14:49 AM »
@HamsterStache : "My opinion is that it is not worth living a life that makes you unhappy, even if it seems like you are making the logical choices"… This part totally got me- I think this is part of what I'm scared of.  I don't want my life to get to the point of depravation that life doesn't feel worth living.  You know?  I can see the downward swirl from what used to be a moderately happy life and I'm concerned.  I am making the logical choices for someone in my income level, but I think I'm taking it too far perhaps, and my path toward some level of Financial Independence can't be a "catch up" game with people who make 80k and me trying to frugal down enough to match their savings...


@kei te pai
Thanks for the internet hug.  I've been working a LOT on sleep, meditation, exercise, good food, and all of that.  It's not helping enough, which is most likely why I am wondering what else in my life needs to change.  The part you say about needing to make space for change resonates.  Thanks.

@reeshau Thanks for the response.  My dining budget pulled out from the consumables budget is $20/mo.  I don't always spend this.  I pack my lunch every single day and generally only cave for coffee out on occasion when I feel like I need more caffeine (um, I never need more, ha).
You're right, my bucket funding is hard to break out from my monthly spend, but I did account for it in Medical, Vehicle, and Gym monthly.  I need to brain crunch that to help it make more sense.  Some of the bucket funds are maxed out and I'm no longer contributing.  Ha, I guess it's "complicated".
I think my small business (it's dog walking/pet care) could thrive in many places.  I work my ass off, and sometimes walking someone's dog is the only time I smile during the whole day (besides with my own dog, ha- I'm a softy for animals) so it's incredibly motivating.  I go above and beyond and think I could thrive in any city upwards of 100k population, but a smaller population would take more time to grow.  I truly enjoy it.

@Tuskalusa : Thanks for your response!  To be very honest I'd probably prefer to build my business full time than find a full time job, but it would be a wise thing for me to consider perhaps.  You're right, I do a great job at all of my jobs, get glowing reviews and so far any raises that I ask for... but I am just not fulfilled.  And I guess it's taking a bit of a toll on me.  You're right- going to a job you hate sucks! :)

@LifeHappens : Thanks for your response!
 At your current pace of savings, how long will it be before you have your $15k down payment fund?
Since my income is variable, I am not sure.  BUT a lot of my bucket funds are full or close to where I'd like them to be to consider them full... Which means I have a few months of runway left in 2018 and I can probably push a lot of that money toward the down payment.  I'd say a year to 18 months?
Do you expect moving to result in an immediately better situation, or will you have to build up a social network again? My plan is to move to the city I lived in from 2007 to 2011.  I still have friends there, and enough of a social network to feel connected, I THINK.  I've been gone for a while, but I visit once a year and mesh pretty well into the community fabric still.  I do get occasional dreams of moving to some other city, or perhaps closer to family, but for now the plan is to return to that city because I miss it.
From what I'm reading, you are pretty emotionally depleted, so having to start from nothing in the social sense might be too much right now.
You're right.  I think half of the reason I currently turn down social events is because I'm too exhausted to make good connections.

@Yanisimo : Thanks for your response! - "You are currently seeking approval from strangers on the internet to start working on this list of yours, so I assume that means you don't have close friends/family to talk about in regard to these things." This part really rang true to me.  I have two very close friends in life and both live in other areas of the country (one in the LCOL area I am planning to move back to).  I will often vent to them, but I also want to respect that they are not my therapists and that I need to warn them nd get permission before unloading emotional baggage on to them.  This is, in my opinion, how you burn out friendships, and I want to keep ours good.  We text as a group chat just about every day and help each other as best we can from other states.  My family is too much of a mess to vent to.  Ha. :)

@Roadrunner53 : Thanks for your response!  You always have wise things to say.  I do occasionally work from home, but I always end up needing to book-end a task because I need so-and-so to approve it or need to be in the office to ____ (fill in the blank).  I'd say I get about three hours a week of work from home? 
I have sold on Ebay!  Back in its heyday I was in college and supplemented my income by reselling clothing on there.  It was fun, but really cramped up my studio apartment.  I do like the idea of parting out and selling from smaller stock.  Maybe I'll invest in a thrift store haul sometime soon and test what I can turn it around for... Thanks!
Man, the Day Job didn't start getting to me as much until recently when I started really enjoying the small business stuff.  Now I feel just a little more bitter about it every day and I can feel the water starting to boil.  GUH.

kei te pai

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 223
Re: Can I start living a life I enjoy? Even at Low-ish income?
« Reply #13 on: November 13, 2018, 11:36:53 AM »
I wonder if you could sort of stretch your pet care/dog walking business into pet therapy for the vulnerable in the future. Just thinking about your skills, experience and education it would seem a way of integrating it all.
Not sure if there would be any money in it where you live, but sometimes elder care facilities have depressed residents who respond to animals, or schools supporting children with anxiety, learning impairments etc.

JanetJackson

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 616
  • Location: United States
    • How I actually made $50 just for taking a survey and being in the healthcare marketplace
Re: Can I start living a life I enjoy? Even at Low-ish income?
« Reply #14 on: November 13, 2018, 11:45:02 AM »
I wonder if you could sort of stretch your pet care/dog walking business into pet therapy for the vulnerable in the future. Just thinking about your skills, experience and education it would seem a way of integrating it all.
Not sure if there would be any money in it where you live, but sometimes elder care facilities have depressed residents who respond to animals, or schools supporting children with anxiety, learning impairments etc.

Yes!  I really want to offer a charitable giving page that allows people to donate toward free walks for service pets or free walks for shelter dogs, or free walks or pet visits (cats, etc) for elderly individuals so that they can keep their pets longer.  I've always worked in the nonprofit sector so my heart definitely wants to do something like that as part of my business structure.

jc4

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 160
Re: Can I start living a life I enjoy? Even at Low-ish income?
« Reply #15 on: November 13, 2018, 11:59:55 AM »
BUT, I still quite literally will do something with gym buddies every 8 or 12 weeks.  I have no family nearby, no close friends (just gym buddies), no significant other (not dating), and I live alone outside of the city lines. 

Participate in more activities that will allow you to socialize, even if it means spending more money. We are talking about your happiness here. We are social creatures...we need companionship, so allow yourself to spend money on that because it is a priority for you.

You got to move socializing way up from 5, maybe to 1. While the others seem like bigger changes, and work feels like the bigger burden, doing it alone will take more of a toll than you realize. You can get the most value at the least cost here.

Aim for getting that once per 8-12 weeks down to 1/week. Even if it's coffee once a week. You don't have to think of it as an much added expense. You can plan low / no cost activities and invite people.

merula

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1164
Re: Can I start living a life I enjoy? Even at Low-ish income?
« Reply #16 on: November 13, 2018, 12:24:34 PM »
I would also like to give you an internet hug. Your posts have been a great contribution to this forum and it makes me sad that someone with so much to offer is feeling so unhappy.

I agree that you should quit the weekend job. Monetarily, you're so close with what you're passing up from your small business, and I would bet that there's more you could get if you were looking. (Like, if you asked your clients to pass along your name to anyone who they thought could use your services versus having to turn down jobs? That's a big difference.)

If there's anything I can do to help you, please please please PM me. I'm good at insurance (I work in insurance) and taxes and I'm a good listener generally.

KBecks

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1488
Re: Can I start living a life I enjoy? Even at Low-ish income?
« Reply #17 on: November 13, 2018, 12:39:07 PM »
Quit the weekend job immediately.  I mean, if you're working this weekend, fine, but no more after that!

Enjoy about a month of having your weekends free, then re-assess the rest.  I agree with those who have said to look at other full time jobs that you will enjoy more.  Try to make an upward move!!!  The economy is good, unemployment is low, go out there and see what you can dig up that will help you learn and grow.

As for the dog sitting business, I'd keep growing it to replace your weekend job, but do not let go of your full time job (with benefits, right?) until you are in an extremely stable position.  You need to make sure your household is not going to be put at risk by the instability of a business, so build your business super-strong.  If this is just you selling your time, it is not a business.  Learn how to hire and train employees so you have people working for you and that is a business! 

As for the charity work, be careful to take care of your situation first.  You need to make an income for yourself, that is your primary responsibility.  Build strong relationships with your clients. Take care of that, make yourself secure, then you can give generously and with confidence.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2018, 12:45:32 PM by KBecks »

Roadrunner53

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1904
Re: Can I start living a life I enjoy? Even at Low-ish income?
« Reply #18 on: November 13, 2018, 01:33:41 PM »
JanetJackson, maybe you could somehow jiggle your work so you can get all reasons to go into the office done in one day and the rest of the days try not to go into the office. OR go at the end of the day and just make a cameo appearance to get signatures and leave.

Speaking of ebay, my first Keurig machine broke and I did buy a new one. I cannibalized the broken one and sold the water tank, the drip pan and a few other items on it. I didn't sell the 'body', wasn't sure if it would sell and didn't think to cut off the cord and sell that. I see people are selling the cord too. I made enough money to pay for more than half of the new machine. Plus, the stuff sold so quickly I was shocked! I wish I had a connection with an appliance place that takes away old appliances. I would take all the knobs off of everything plus the grates off the gas stoves. I sold my Mom's grates and knobs off her old stove. I tore the control panel off my dryer and sold that too when the dryer broke. If you have an old dishwasher the silverware rack is good to sell. Don't throw out anything till you analyze if it can be sold as is or cannibalized! Make sure you have make and model number when you advertise.

If you have any old books (vintage or antique) and they have pictures, could be flowers, antique cars, horses, cats, fish, ferns, anything that is in good condition and would make a nice framed picture you can sell just the print cut right out of the book and sell it. You need to ship it flat or rolled in a tube to protect it from damage. There are a lot of old magazines and books you can find everywhere. Library book sales, old books on ebay and if you know the title of a book you can go to addall.com to buy the book. A few books don't take up a lot of room on a shelf for your inventory!

Here is an example of an etsy seller selling book prints: https://www.etsy.com/listing/586290041/louis-wain-cat-art-garden-cat-vintage?
ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=cat%20print&ref=sc_gallery-2-11&plkey=915af6949b7498cf2550c15be2b77cae01427cda:586290041

Just a few ideas on how to make a little money if you dump the weekend job.

ElleFiji

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3777
  • Age: -166
  • Location: Always Winter
Re: Can I start living a life I enjoy? Even at Low-ish income?
« Reply #19 on: November 13, 2018, 02:02:04 PM »
I think that you can afford to quit the weekend job AND not replace that income stream. You won't save as fast... But you will have time to improve your quality of life and maybe work on your business. Being permanently run down can get expensive in the future.

Could you trade doggy services for treatment for your sibo or other health concerns? Some practitioners will do an occasional trade.

FIFoFum

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1845
    • Captain's Log - Mission to Puppy Waystation on Puppy Island
Re: Can I start living a life I enjoy? Even at Low-ish income?
« Reply #20 on: November 13, 2018, 03:41:33 PM »
Sending internet and jedi hugs as well. You are in great shape financially to make some choices to help with the happiness.

I agree with quitting weekend job as fast as you possibly can. Then I would wait on changing day job or moving to see how you feel after x amount of time of quitting weekend job - maybe 3 months? Enough to see how you start to fill that time. Mentally, I would try to make sure you're using at least 50% of the time saved for social, enrichment, and interaction, not for building up small business. You can build in checkpoint to see how you feel and reassess once that stress is taken off your plate.

Is your health insurance linked to day job? Do you have a plan for it if you leave day job? How does this shake up if you relocate? The answer affects how and when you might want to move away from day job for something else.

MaybeBabyMustache

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1517
Re: Can I start living a life I enjoy? Even at Low-ish income?
« Reply #21 on: November 13, 2018, 04:18:41 PM »
Others have given great advice, and I agree with the overall sentiment. Quit the weekend job, & increase time spent on socializing & "fun".

One call out- do you work full time at the day job? That is quite a low rate that I expect you could make significantly more in a variety of different fields. Have you considered that? Are there network opportunities that might lend themselves to switching to a better paying day job?

Roadrunner53

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1904
Re: Can I start living a life I enjoy? Even at Low-ish income?
« Reply #22 on: November 13, 2018, 09:43:01 PM »
JanetJackson, my one concern for your business is do you have a back up plan if you get sick? That is the worst when you are a one man band and you get sick for 3-4 days and can't work. Do you know a person doing the same work as you who could take over for a few days while you recuperate and vice versa if that person should get sick? I never had a job where I was solely responsible to be at work if I was sick. I worked for corporations where if I was too sick I would call in. The company didn't go out of business because I was sick. But if you are just one person running a company, it is a financial hardship if you get sick for 3-4 days. You need to collaborate with another person doing the same work and discuss how you each can help one another.

JanetJackson

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 616
  • Location: United States
    • How I actually made $50 just for taking a survey and being in the healthcare marketplace
Re: Can I start living a life I enjoy? Even at Low-ish income?
« Reply #23 on: November 14, 2018, 06:57:08 AM »
Thanks to everyone who has given great input!!

I wanted to clear up the jobs, since I suppose I sure did present it a little vaguely:

Day Job: Part time, no benefits (a few perks, paid cell phone) between 20-39 hours a week $20 hourly after taxes.  No opportunity for full time.
Weekend Job: Part time, no benefits (a few perks, full wage paid commute) about 5-7 hours a week ~$23 hourly after taxes.  Could extend hours infinitely if so desired.
Small Business: Part time, no benefits (a few perks, I do get tips about 30% of the time).  About 10 hours a week.  Generally shakes out to be about $20-$25/hr depending on clientele.  Varies up to $40-$50/hr during holidays, but down to $15-20/hr during seasons where I have to turn clients away or it's very slow.  I used to have "slow" times of the year, but I don't really any more, so I'd put this at a steady $20/hr exchanged for time.  I spend 15m/day 7 days a week on the office side of this business, so just shy of 2 hours a week.
Random Gig: Very part time, no benefits.  House Cleaning.  Word has gotten around with people I know about how I tidy up when I dog-sit for folks, and people know me to be a tidy and methodical person, so I clean a few houses on occasion (I didn't account for those in my case study) and I clean one house regularly for $100/month.


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Direct Responses:
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

@Roadrunner53 : Thanks again for keeping the great ideas coming!  I haven't tried to get the Day Job down to one day a week, but it miiiiiiiight be possible.  I could certainly try it for a week or two and see.  They don't care how I do my schedule as long as it gets done and I'm available to do the things I need to do when they need to be done.  Sadly, it seems, being physically in the office makes doing those things 100x easier most of the time.  I should perhaps make a list of what I might need at home in order to keep things smoother when I do work from home.  I'm not sure it's possible, but it's a thought!
RE: Sick Days.  I don't get any paid sick days now, nor do I think I ever took them in jobs where I did have them available (because usually they offered some kind of bonus if you didn't take any- but this was years ago).  I go to work sick, even when I'm REALLY sick.  I know you have followed my journal in the past so you know I had bronchitis and then pneumonia late this summer- I didn't miss a day of work, just crammed things in and left early when I needed to, but my hours stayed about the same.
So long story short, I don't have a plan.  I do know people from the business and I DO think I need to hire on at least a contractor, so perhaps they could be my back up for these types of situations.
Gosh, I think in my whole working adult life I've taken maybe a day, maybe two days off sick?  It's not a good thing.

@MaybeBabyMustache : I do not work full time at the Day Job.  They are not offering full time for this position, and the positions they may eventually offer full time for would be a living nightmare for me (not a good fit, position-wise).  I work about 20 hours a week for the rate I listed above.  But my hours are extremely variable.  For example, this week I will be working 45 hours.  I am offered no benefits, but have some perks (they pay for my cell phone, they offer use of a company car if I choose to use it).  I am paid an hourly rate that shakes out to be just about $20 even after taxes. 

@FIFoFum : Thanks for your response!  I am offered no benefits at the Day Job.  it is a part time position of variable hours paid at an hourly rate.  I never work less than 20 hours a week (which is what I reflected in the case study), but I 'generally' average about 28-30 hours.... yet, it's extremely variable.  This week I am working 45 hours.  It's all over the place.
It will never be a full time position.
I get my health insurance through the marketplace, and since my income is so variable, generally I change plans about 3x/year since my fluctuation of income is generally enough to qualify as a life event.  I always get a Bronze plan with a 6-8k deductible.  It's never good insurance, just catastrophic, so to speak.  It's hard because I can never establish with a doctor since my plan changes so often.  This year I discovered that my OBGYN was not in-network.  I've been with her for 8 years and she's the ONLY health professional I have ever gotten along with.  I was upset.  I paid cash and am just hoping that she'll be covered on whatever plan I end up with this year.
Good idea to limit myself during my newly established free time (when I get some).  I'm the type of personality that will just fill the time with income generating work.  50% fun.... gotta remember that.

@ElleFiji : Thanks for your response!  I wonder how I would even go about bartering with a health professional?  I feel like it must be against their code of ethics?  Hmmmm…  Interesting thought!

@KBecks : Thanks for responding!  No, my Day Job is not full time, and it doesn't offer any benefits.  I get my healthcare through the exchange.
I don't mean to be challenging, but how is selling my time, not a business?  I thought that was what service businesses were?  I do eventually want to hire on a few people, but sitting in an office just managing those people sounds like my worst nightmare, ha.  Again, I am so very grateful for all input and advice, but I think I'm not following exactly what you're saying here.
Also, very good call on waiting for my charitable giving.  I have to admit that when I get above 30k/year, which I am currently juuuuuust above, I tend to get the itch to give.  Under 30k and I feel the struggle a little bit.  It's like once I get off of the beans and rice diet I immediately want to give some of my money away.  Sort of illogical, but that's a different battle I need to address within myself I guess.  Ha.

@merula - Thank you for your response!  You have, in the past, had very kind input toward me on the forum and I appreciate that.  Perhaps I could send you the info for my current insurance and you could give me your input?  I'd love to get some feedback on the choice I made (I paid for the year already, but always good to review).  Thank you again.

@jc4 - Thanks for your input!  I've often wondered if I should just date so that I can have a social life.  BUT, I am not particularly interested in sharing my life with someone in that way and that would feel a bit like tricking the system.  Ha.  I'm a perfectly good looking person, but dating is just not something I'm interested in.  I think your advice is good... I may not want to move it up from 5 to 1, but I do need to address it.  People have kind of stopped inviting me to things, so I'll be starting from scratch a bit... but I guess it's a task I need to complete if I ever want that feeling of community again.

blingwrx

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 14
Re: Can I start living a life I enjoy? Even at Low-ish income?
« Reply #24 on: November 14, 2018, 11:23:34 PM »
I applaud the good work ethics and great savings rate. However I think your approaching this the wrong way. I think you should be working smarter not harder.

The main problem is your primary job's income is too low even though the hourly rate is decent, it has no benefits and has no real career path for you since you say you hate it there. For someone with a college degree, these days entry level salaries should be around 40k-50k with full benefits. At most Mega corp jobs I've been in the benefits you can expect are 3-4 weeks paid vacation, 401k matching, Platinum health insurance plans mostly paid for by the company. Also a lot of career opportunities and room for growth. So with your work ethics you can probably quickly move up from there and see big jumps in salary. The higher stable income/schedule and benefits can certainly help give you back time for your social life and your health. It's terrible to be working almost everyday and not having any vacation time, that can cause a lot of burn out and unhappiness.

I'm not sure what degree you have but hopefully it's a 4 yr degree in a decent major otherwise it could also be worth continuing education to obtain a degree that pays well(School is also a great place to meet people and socialize) if you're career choice isn't making you happy.

The whole reason people invest 50k-200k and 4 yrs on a degree because it will give them the opportunity to make more money once they get out of school, so definitely aim higher, you already put in the time and money, now is the time to reap the rewards.

Another thing is just to have confidence in yourself and your abilities, I see all too often people with great qualifications don't use their full potential because they're scared of change or don't have the confidence to move up. Use that work ethic and really work hard on fixing up your resume and hunting down a good full time job that has growth potential and benefits. Half the interview is really showing the interviewer you're confident and you can do the job. No one wants to hire someone who's unsure of themselves.

In terms of moving to a LCOL area vs MCOL or HCOL that's up to you. Sometimes it could be an adventure to explore new cities and start over.

The way I see it, you're working your ass off with multiple gigs and just scraping by on a low income and high savings rate and being miserable. Just have one full time day job and if the small business doesn't cause you too much stress you should continue on that and see if maybe one day you can expand it enough to just work for yourself.

Overall money isn't everything, social life and life experiences matter a lot for overall happiness. All the money in the world won't mean anything if you're miserable and you wasted away you're younger years being frugal and passing up opportunities to enjoy life. Some people even end up alone never marrying or having kids because they were so focused on work at a young age they missed the opportunity to meet anyone. Get out there socialize, enjoy life, travel the world, meet people, maybe one day find someone to get married to then buy a house together and then have kids. You don't have to do it all on your own. What use is it to have a house and retire early if you have no one to share it with.

ElleFiji

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3777
  • Age: -166
  • Location: Always Winter
Re: Can I start living a life I enjoy? Even at Low-ish income?
« Reply #25 on: November 15, 2018, 05:04:26 AM »
Are we back to the days where a 4 year degree and good work ethic get you everything in life? What beautiful news. I will start to preach the wisdom of the good degree to all I meet

Roadrunner53

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1904
Re: Can I start living a life I enjoy? Even at Low-ish income?
« Reply #26 on: November 15, 2018, 05:08:59 AM »
I applaud the good work ethics and great savings rate. However I think your approaching this the wrong way. I think you should be working smarter not harder.

The main problem is your primary job's income is too low even though the hourly rate is decent, it has no benefits and has no real career path for you since you say you hate it there. For someone with a college degree, these days entry level salaries should be around 40k-50k with full benefits. At most Mega corp jobs I've been in the benefits you can expect are 3-4 weeks paid vacation, 401k matching, Platinum health insurance plans mostly paid for by the company. Also a lot of career opportunities and room for growth. So with your work ethics you can probably quickly move up from there and see big jumps in salary. The higher stable income/schedule and benefits can certainly help give you back time for your social life and your health. It's terrible to be working almost everyday and not having any vacation time, that can cause a lot of burn out and unhappiness.

I'm not sure what degree you have but hopefully it's a 4 yr degree in a decent major otherwise it could also be worth continuing education to obtain a degree that pays well(School is also a great place to meet people and socialize) if you're career choice isn't making you happy.

The whole reason people invest 50k-200k and 4 yrs on a degree because it will give them the opportunity to make more money once they get out of school, so definitely aim higher, you already put in the time and money, now is the time to reap the rewards.

Another thing is just to have confidence in yourself and your abilities, I see all too often people with great qualifications don't use their full potential because they're scared of change or don't have the confidence to move up. Use that work ethic and really work hard on fixing up your resume and hunting down a good full time job that has growth potential and benefits. Half the interview is really showing the interviewer you're confident and you can do the job. No one wants to hire someone who's unsure of themselves.

In terms of moving to a LCOL area vs MCOL or HCOL that's up to you. Sometimes it could be an adventure to explore new cities and start over.

The way I see it, you're working your ass off with multiple gigs and just scraping by on a low income and high savings rate and being miserable. Just have one full time day job and if the small business doesn't cause you too much stress you should continue on that and see if maybe one day you can expand it enough to just work for yourself.

Overall money isn't everything, social life and life experiences matter a lot for overall happiness. All the money in the world won't mean anything if you're miserable and you wasted away you're younger years being frugal and passing up opportunities to enjoy life. Some people even end up alone never marrying or having kids because they were so focused on work at a young age they missed the opportunity to meet anyone. Get out there socialize, enjoy life, travel the world, meet people, maybe one day find someone to get married to then buy a house together and then have kids. You don't have to do it all on your own. What use is it to have a house and retire early if you have no one to share it with.

Blingwrx, I do agree with much of what you said. However, from what I have read JanetJackson's passion is in animals. The corporate world isn't what she is looking for. I worked for a fantastic corporation and had all the bells and whistles you mentioned. The 401K was my salvation. I worked extremely hard and when I took vacation I was a burned out shell of a person. I would just veg out for 7-10 days to get brain function back! Maybe JanetJackson could consider finding a full time job with all the bennies or maybe she will continue to follow her dream. I do think JanetJackson is working too much and making herself miserable and sick. She is working toward her goal of a dog care business and I hope she succeeds! If JanetJackson could find a turnkey operation pet care business where she could step into a already functioning business and not start at rock bottom I think that would be the beginning of a successful business that she could add onto and mold it into what she wants. Also, she mentions a low cost area to buy a home. However, I think JanetJackson would be wise to find out where the HCOL areas are for her business. People with high incomes will pay premium for doggie care. Maybe she could straddle her living and working area so that they are close by.

KBecks

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1488
Re: Can I start living a life I enjoy? Even at Low-ish income?
« Reply #27 on: November 15, 2018, 09:20:54 AM »
Working for yourself you have no stability and nothing to make money except selling your own labor.  It's a business in the sense of you being your own boss, but there is nobody to work and nothing to make money when you are not working.  You will exhaust yourself selling your time, and if you get sick or injured, there's nothing to make you money.  If you have employees, or a product that you can sell, your business may be able to produce more money and you will have much more security.  You basically have a better job without a boss, but you don't have a sustainable business that will last when you are not working, that you can sell to someone else, or can retire from working day to day and still keep running.
It's a ton more responsibility and much more difficult to hire, train, manage and retain employees, but that's where the real, long-term money is.

What happens to your jobs if you get sick right now, let's say, you broke your leg and are out for two months?

You really need to make more money.  Are you willing to take a full time day job and how much will it cut into the dogwalking?  Can you take a different night job that you can work your dog walking business around?

KBecks

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1488
Re: Can I start living a life I enjoy? Even at Low-ish income?
« Reply #28 on: November 15, 2018, 09:23:51 AM »
Overall money isn't everything, social life and life experiences matter a lot for overall happiness. All the money in the world won't mean anything if you're miserable and you wasted away you're younger years being frugal and passing up opportunities to enjoy life. Some people even end up alone never marrying or having kids because they were so focused on work at a young age they missed the opportunity to meet anyone. Get out there socialize, enjoy life, travel the world, meet people, maybe one day find someone to get married to then buy a house together and then have kids. You don't have to do it all on your own. What use is it to have a house and retire early if you have no one to share it with.

This person needs to eat and have a stable life. She really needs to increase her income to afford a less stressful life.  That does not mean slaving away, but 40 hours a week is not bad.

blingwrx

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 14
Re: Can I start living a life I enjoy? Even at Low-ish income?
« Reply #29 on: November 15, 2018, 12:05:05 PM »
Blingwrx, I do agree with much of what you said. However, from what I have read JanetJackson's passion is in animals. The corporate world isn't what she is looking for. I worked for a fantastic corporation and had all the bells and whistles you mentioned. The 401K was my salvation. I worked extremely hard and when I took vacation I was a burned out shell of a person. I would just veg out for 7-10 days to get brain function back! Maybe JanetJackson could consider finding a full time job with all the bennies or maybe she will continue to follow her dream. I do think JanetJackson is working too much and making herself miserable and sick. She is working toward her goal of a dog care business and I hope she succeeds! If JanetJackson could find a turnkey operation pet care business where she could step into a already functioning business and not start at rock bottom I think that would be the beginning of a successful business that she could add onto and mold it into what she wants. Also, she mentions a low cost area to buy a home. However, I think JanetJackson would be wise to find out where the HCOL areas are for her business. People with high incomes will pay premium for doggie care. Maybe she could straddle her living and working area so that they are close by.

I agree corporate life may not be for everyone. I was not aware of what her line of work was, but it's just an example of a career path most people take and i think the stability and benefits she would get from trying that out would be beneficial overall. Overall just any full time job with benefits and potential to grow whether it's a small or big company would be the way to go, I use megacorp as an example as they can usually offer better benefits. It looks like she's isn't able to take care of herself health wise as she doesn't have good insurance right now and the lack of stability and consistency is wearing her out emotionally. She definitely needs to move on from that PT day job and find something FT with benefits that's tolerable(Maybe not a dream job but i'm sure half of us here can say we don't work at our dream jobs and that's why most of us here are looking to FIRE).

While i'm also not saying she shouldn't pursue her passion, I think that's secondary to putting food on the table. So work the full time job to get the health benefits, be able to pay the bills and boost up savings and continue with the side business on the weekends to pursue her passion and maybe in time after building up enough clients and having enough capital cushion she can expand that business and go into that full time.

ontheway2

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 34
Re: Can I start living a life I enjoy? Even at Low-ish income?
« Reply #30 on: November 15, 2018, 12:28:44 PM »
I would do 1, 3, and 4 right now. There is no reason at all to keep the weekend job. It is not your main source of income, but it does seem to be your main source of unhappiness.

With the weekend job gone, you can probably devote more time to your business which does bring you happiness (and money).

Your health (both physical and mental) in important, so number 4 should happen. You can afford it, and I'm not saying that in a consumerist justification kind of way.

I don't see buying a home on your priority list although you are saving for it. Whether you do number 5 now, to me, is dependent on if it ranks above buying a home.

Edit: I don't know if you edited or if I just completely missed #6. Either way, I'm not really sure about #5. It's pretty low on the list. Maybe start a little smaller ($300/year) and increase as your business income increases or when you pay off the student loans?
« Last Edit: November 15, 2018, 12:37:24 PM by ontheway2 »

Roadrunner53

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1904
Re: Can I start living a life I enjoy? Even at Low-ish income?
« Reply #31 on: November 15, 2018, 12:38:29 PM »
I do agree that a steady job with benefits is more my cup of tea. It is very, very hard to be self employed. My aunt worked for the State of KY and upon retirement had a dog care business where she would go to people's homes to feed and walk the dogs. It was her after retirement job, she did very well and had a partner. JanetJackson will have to evaluate what she wants in life. She is getting burned out.

koshtra

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 603
  • Location: Portland, Oregon, USA
  • massage therapist, database guy, worder
    • Mole
Re: Can I start living a life I enjoy? Even at Low-ish income?
« Reply #32 on: November 15, 2018, 12:48:48 PM »
I'm with the crowd about quitting the weekend job, immediately.

I also am wondering about moving sooner rather than later. As soon as you move, you'll be losing the business you've built up and starting over, anyway. If you're in place then the short-term may be harder -- and I recognize that your margins are pretty narrow! -- but your business gains will be long-term ones, and I think that might feel way different. And ditto on building the social network. How invested can you be in friendships that you're planning to leave?

If you quit the weekend job you could devote your weekends to RESTING and figuring out the move. (Resting. It's a thing.)

In any case -- don't lose sight, ever, of the fact that you're doing magnificently. You've already done the hardest least rewarding parts of getting off the financial ground.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2018, 06:49:38 PM by koshtra »

frugalfoothills

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 200
  • Age: 29
    • Bulls, Bears and Beers
Re: Can I start living a life I enjoy? Even at Low-ish income?
« Reply #33 on: November 15, 2018, 01:50:01 PM »
I agree with the poster who said work smarter, not harder (though don't necessarily agree with everything else in the post...) Maybe juggling 3-4 different gigs, none of which are high-paying and none of which are getting your full attention, is a good fit for you. But I think if it was a good fit for you, you'd be happy and content... a far cry from where you are now.

I can empathize... my passion is also animals and if you handed me a huge pile of cash today and told me I had the freedom to pursue my life's passions, I would take my (currently) very small rescue and turn it into the large, thriving organization that I've always dreamt it could be. But I don't have a huge pile of cash. Instead, I work a full-time job that compensates me well, gives me benefits and security, I do a good job to ensure I keep the gravy train rolling, and I focus hard on managing the work/life balance stuff. This means I have money and free time (nights & weekends) to pursue other interests and passions. I have funds to spend when there's a dog that needs my help (because saving dogs is expensive AF, by the way), and I have worked myself into a position where if something urgent comes up I have the flexibility to handle it without sacrificing my pay. Sure, it's not my absolute dream, but it's enough to make me happy and fulfilled for now. I still have dreams of how much more I'll be able to do when I'm FI, but I am putting in the hard yards now and trying to incorporate my passions as much as I can.

Maybe the corporate gig isn't for you, but there are other paths you could pursue that would provide you a more stable source of income (and probably MORE income) along with combining your love of animals. Do you have a college degree? What about looking into a vet tech program? It's not a lucrative career but you would get to be around animals all day and it wouldn't be overly expensive to pursue the qualifications for that.

In the words of Ron Swanson, "Never half-ass two things. Whole ass one thing." You've got too many irons in the fire and it's leaving you depleted and unfulfilled. Try to align full-time employment as much as possible with what you care about, and then pursue your other passions and endeavors in your spare time.

Oh, and for God's sake, spend a little cash on yourself and your friends!! That needs to be higher on your priority list. I think it will go a long way toward helping your overall mood and health.

Sending good vibes your way!

Roadrunner53

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1904
Re: Can I start living a life I enjoy? Even at Low-ish income?
« Reply #34 on: November 15, 2018, 02:43:08 PM »
JanetJackson, have you ever considered grooming dogs? My dog groomer works out of her home and grooms dogs Tuesday thru Saturday. She also boards some dogs but doesn't have a kennel.

Reason I ask is that if you move to FL and are wanting to buy a house, if zoning allows, you could groom dogs out of your home. Kill two birds with one stone. You would have your home and have a place to groom.

I know there are mobile groomers that go to people's homes. That would be far more expensive to buy a blinged out van with all the grooming needs.

Dog grooming courses are not super expensive and might take less than 8 weeks. I was a little interested in it years ago when I lost my job but didn't pursue it. A woman I know did go to grooming school and worked for Petco for a short time, got bit and quit grooming. No longer grooming and probably never will.

Grooming can bring in a good amount of money. You seem to have a lot of patience with animals and you would need it with grooming. Also, I think personally, I would cater to smaller dogs because those big ones are hard to handle and back breaking!

Finances_With_Purpose

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 533
    • Finances With Purpose: deploying resources wisely to live vigorously
Re: Can I start living a life I enjoy? Even at Low-ish income?
« Reply #35 on: November 16, 2018, 11:09:49 PM »
I'm with the crowd about quitting the weekend job, immediately.

I also am wondering about moving sooner rather than later. As soon as you move, you'll be losing the business you've built up and starting over, anyway. If you're in place then the short-term may be harder -- and I recognize that your margins are pretty narrow! -- but your business gains will be long-term ones, and I think that might feel way different. And ditto on building the social network. How invested can you be in friendships that you're planning to leave?

If you quit the weekend job you could devote your weekends to RESTING and figuring out the move. (Resting. It's a thing.)

In any case -- don't lose sight, ever, of the fact that you're doing magnificently. You've already done the hardest least rewarding parts of getting off the financial ground.

This.  Lots of wisdom here.  I second all of the above, and my first thought upon reading your list was: well, this person really has his/her priorities in order. 

Your mental health and well-being are important, too, and the weekend job sounds like it needs to go as soon as you can possibly afford to drop it. 

As for the bolded part above: it took me years to learn that, and I'm still bad at it.  Humans aren't robots.  We can't go on seven-days-per week forever without breakdowns.  That's how we function, normally - this is not you, and it's not even the jobs necessarily (though they also sound bad), it's just life.  You need rest, deep down in your soul.   

This is what having a "day of rest" is for, and most humans can only make it so far without one before they start burning out.  Time to consider ways to get yourself some rest, and then, how to change your paradigm. 

JanetJackson

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 616
  • Location: United States
    • How I actually made $50 just for taking a survey and being in the healthcare marketplace
Re: Can I start living a life I enjoy? Even at Low-ish income?
« Reply #36 on: November 17, 2018, 06:44:21 AM »
Thanks for all of the thoughtful input everyone.

Roadrunner53

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1904
Re: Can I start living a life I enjoy? Even at Low-ish income?
« Reply #37 on: November 17, 2018, 07:04:19 AM »
JanetJackson, just for the heck of it I looked up grooming schools and found this one in PA. I don't know what state you are in but this particular school says you can earn your certificate in 4 weeks! It says the certificate is good in every state. Just food for thought. Here is the link: https://doggroomingschoolofpennsylvania.com/tuition/

Kind of makes me wish I had pursued dog grooming years ago. Who knows if I would have liked it. My two dogs are annoying to brush but maybe if I had proper training it would make grooming easier. I also thought of going to Cosmetology school after high school but glad I didn't do that! I could deal with dogs much better than ~shudder~~ people!

JanetJackson

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 616
  • Location: United States
    • How I actually made $50 just for taking a survey and being in the healthcare marketplace
Re: Can I start living a life I enjoy? Even at Low-ish income?
« Reply #38 on: November 17, 2018, 08:36:56 AM »
JanetJackson, just for the heck of it I looked up grooming schools and found this one in PA. I don't know what state you are in but this particular school says you can earn your certificate in 4 weeks! It says the certificate is good in every state. Just food for thought. Here is the link: https://doggroomingschoolofpennsylvania.com/tuition/

Kind of makes me wish I had pursued dog grooming years ago. Who knows if I would have liked it. My two dogs are annoying to brush but maybe if I had proper training it would make grooming easier. I also thought of going to Cosmetology school after high school but glad I didn't do that! I could deal with dogs much better than ~shudder~~ people!

@Roadrunner53 Thanks so much for all of your recommendations.  I talked a bit in my journal today about how great you are with offering suggestions and bringing positivity in your comments, and I really appreciate it.
Unfortunately I don't have any interest in dog grooming, vet tech, or dog training really (maybe a LITTLE bit of interest in training).  I'm quite a ways away from PA, but I do know that there are quite a few options with short training times for those who are interested in grooming.  Thanks again for your thoughtfulness. <3

pbkmaine

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8006
  • Age: 62
  • Location: The Villages, Florida
Re: Can I start living a life I enjoy? Even at Low-ish income?
« Reply #39 on: November 17, 2018, 08:46:46 AM »
Look for a job in your preferred location, see if your social network can assist you in finding an inexpensive place to live, and move! It will be much easier to find a house to buy once you are in place.

Roadrunner53

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1904
Re: Can I start living a life I enjoy? Even at Low-ish income?
« Reply #40 on: November 17, 2018, 08:49:50 AM »
JanetJackson, good you know what direction you want to go in and not go in. You will find your way!