My journey of becoming financial independence by 35 years old
Alright, so you’ve graduated, made some “big bucks”. The check is really isn’t that “big” but it is a bout 20 times more than what you’ve been receiving as a student. You’d say to myself, hey, I have 30 more years of working, right? Why not live a little, why not buy all the things that I’ve been wanting but couldn’t afford. Unfortunately, that’s when all the tragedy come in.
True story, there is a guy that drive a regular 50cc motor-ped years after years without any problem, but the minutes his friend loan him the 500cc 200kg motorbike. He went out for a spin. He lifts the front of the bike up, lost control, hit the trees. He died instantly. He died happy you said, he got to drive the motorbike of his dream. But on the other hand, he won’t live another day to see his family and friend.
The moral of the story is people generally don’t know what to do with instant wealth. The truth is there is no feast. Just because you started making 20X more than yesterday, it doesn’t mean you have 20X more the spending power. In fact, most of it will go to taxes, mortgage, student loan, cost of living to sustain your life to go to work. One of my ex laughed at me for being frugal/stingy when I said I was “living paycheck to paycheck”. I had about $10K (5 mortgage payments if I lose my job, not enough for emergency situation) in the bank, $245k in mortgage debt, and $65K in student loan. I wouldn’t blame someone when they judge me superficially like that. They don’t understand your risk tolerance and your situation as a whole picture, and just choose to see what you can bring home every month, and budget the “spending” down to the pennies living no money in savings.
If there is no feast, then how do you suppose to live your life? All of your hard work is out the window? No, not really. Not being a student anymore is like having vacation, an early retirement. I remember feeling such relieve. I gain the other 14 hours back. Time is money. That is the FEAST (at least at the beginning, you have to maintain the positive thoughts). You can still have elaborate meals, frugal vacations, local traveling. You now only work 10 hours a day, you have free time to maintain your perfect body weight or shaking off a few pounds.
Happiness comes from within. Just simply enjoy the free time and the good health is happiness. Very simple! Here are some of the things we do over the past few weekends to make use of our free time and enjoy each other company.
1. We went to our local county recreational center where they have free group exercise, and free sport teams – we signed up for basketball, badminton, table tennis, pickerball, and volley ball.
2. We went to the local parks. We went picture hunting when the was some rare occasion where some spots of the river have frozen. We watched some ducks, visit Japanese garden trying out the wooden post run (the post in the middle of the lake, you can run from one side to the other testing your balancing skill, it’s really easy. They built it for the kids, and we did it anyway, because we’re babies at heart!).
3. We’ve been playing ping pong at home. I am very competitive, so I like to slam the balls and would get really mad if Mr. can still manage to turn defend to offend.
4. We catch up on movies that now coming on to cable. We also watched some classics like – anchorman. We had some good laughs.
I also take time to plan my meals for the weeks. The Bread That Bounces – 7 Days Meal Plan
When Mr. WRI and I started dating, I’d invite him over, I usually cook for myself so I cooked a little bit extra for him. Since he’s a traditional American man, I thought I’d add a bit of a surprise by making him some bread. I made it, and he looked happy eating it, but I sensed something wasn’t right. I asked him. As a man with good manner, he wouldn’t tell me and proceed to eat half of it. So, I finally got a chance to tried the bread, OMG, it was bitter, hard as a rock. So, I was mad at him for continue eating the horrible food, and he wasn’t being honest, and he couldn’t trust me, blah blah… So, he finally got more comfortable. He picked up a piece of bread accidently dropped it, the bread bounced several times before settling down. We laughed hard at the incident until this day.
I’m a scientist, a chemist, naturally I can read a formula (recipe) and proceed to make a successful lavish meal, without any major deviation from the intended taste. I didn’t have enough ingredient and bread do take a bit of time of you do it by hand. I usually don’t have the patient for that. Cooking for me should be simple, 30 minutes from start to finish. It is okay to make mistakes in cooking. The worst part when you made a mistake in cooking is you either get to eat your mistakes or throw it in the trash/feed the duck, the birds, the squirrels, or use it to make another meal. No one dies, so no pressure. 😛
Fillet mignon – with asparagus and rice for side. Grapes for desert.
Shrimp in sweet and sour sauce, rice and lettus on the side, grapes, orange, and banana alternate with each meal for different taste
Honey shrimp – the whole thing all over again, but the honey to ease myself knit the spring allergy season. It is believed that organic honey will contain a small amount of pollen. A small gradual dose of pollen will help the severity of allergies when the spring hit.
Curry tofu, rice, bamboo shoot, fruit varieties as usual – curry will help with blood circulation and stomach problem as the stress level goes up during the work week, causing stomach regurgitation, and cumin in the curry can heal the stomach lining.
Cooked too much tofu, so is continue to eat leftover.
Grilled salmon with a glaze of honey, with rice and steamed broccoli. Again, the weather will turn 50s and 60s this weekend, so I need a small amount of pollen exposure. Not to mention the salmon is superb.
Eat whatever left in the fridge, so Sunday I’d start with a clean, fresh, fridge full of veggies and fruits again.
Everything is cook to taste. 1 part protein, 1 part carb, 1 part vegetables, 1 part fruits. Occasionally, mixing things up with soup, bakery goods, and treats.
Banana bread (I don’t have a bread pan, so I use a cookie pan), I don’t have regular chocolate, so I use M&M 😛 This one actually tasted quite good, the smell from baking made the house feel warmer and lively.