Financial Anarchist

I am a late 20s female from Canada. I work in Public Relations. This blog chronicals my journey from debt to extreme early retirement, where I will escape wage slavery and opt-out of becoming a pawn in the Corporate Monarchy. 2011 Goals: pay off debt, renovate house. 2012 Goals: rent out part of house, bank and invest $100k, semi-retire.

Unfuck tomorrow morning

unfuckyourhabitat:

  • Wash the dishes in your sink
  • Get your outfit for tomorrow together, including accessories
  • Set up coffee/tea/breakfast
  • Make your lunch
  • Put your keys somewhere obvious
  • Wash your face and brush your teeth
  • Charge your electronics
  • Pour a little cleaner in the toilet bowl (if you don’t have pets or children or sleepwalking adults)
  • Set your alarm
  • Go to bed at a reasonable hour

I can never read all the books I want; I can never be all the people I want and live all the lives I want. I can never train myself in all the skills I want. And why do I want? I want to live and feel all the shades, tones and variations of mental and physical experience possible in life. And I am horribly limited.

—Sylvia Plath  (via katisque)

This.

(Source: larmoyante, via fecundity-of-will-deactivated20)

UPATE: so close…

So, I leave this day job, to start another that fell in my lap. This new job is with a fortune 500  100  that will increase my yearly salary by between 30-40%. I start this job on Monday. I’m nervous, but also excited, since I haven’t hidden the fact that I missed this numbers-based industry over the pretentious one I decided to switch over to a few months ago.

So, besides that, I have a boyfriend. He is a mathematical genius (literally), who’s also cute and kind, with a great job….and a spending problem. No, he’s not in a wackload of debt or anything, but he’s not particularly a saver either. I’m trying to figure out a way to introduce ERE to him, without sacrificing what will surely be my expensive Christmas/Valentine’s/Bday gift requests. (For the record, I just picked up a shirt for him that I know he’ll love..just for no reason! I’m a girl, but I like pampering too!).

Our (parent’s and mine) house is listed, as in, on the market. It’s listed for much more than we bought it. If this sale goes through, in three months, I’ll be well on my way to the $100k by mid-2013 goal…in fact, that combined with my new gig + freelancing + side hustle bar gig = well on my way to 150k by mid-2013. As you may recall, we have relative living with us…and over the course of the year this has turned into a bit of a drag, exacerbated by us trying to sell the place, and the challenge of trying to fit her into it (do you know a 20 year old who’s excited about having to keep her room immaculate and being forced to leave whenever there’s a showing???).

And if I actually launch and successfully market my online business idea…?

Parent and I do plan on buying a new house for ourselves plus an investment property with the proceeds. 

***

Which all leads back to (for now, while I’m in the infatuation stage) boy. How do I tell him in 10 months that I have this much money???

Left in a cafe, or whatever, by this guy.

Left in a cafe, or whatever, by this guy.

Top Reasons to Keep your J*b (for now).

A carrot was danlged in front of me this week, that if grabbed, will interrupt my ERE dreams with even more hardcore careerism.

And then, while painting my toenails at the office with the other colleagues (I work with 99% women), it occurred to me that sometimes, there are benefits to this whole 9 to 5 gig (not a lot, but just enough to make me possible stick it out a couple more years). 

Here they are, and hopefully, this will inspire you to keep at it and keep on trucking’ until ERE kicks in.

The No-Brainers:

1. Benefits: explicit and implicit.

Obviously health benefits are great. As employee discounts and access to resources. For example, for a small monthly fee to my credit card (about $20 bucks, I had access to the excellent lawyers at a discounted price, sometimes even free).

2. Prestige/status

Having a job gives you legimacy in the modern world. Titles are everything, and sometimes if you work at very well-known company, it can be flaunted like a designer handbag.

3. Sense of purpose/importance

When I was packaged out a few years ago, I knew I still wasn’t ready to leave the work force when I did my daily Starbucks-in-sweatpants routine, watching all those attractive, confident, smartly dressed people on their way to work where people will LISTEN to them and respect their opinions and act on their ideas.

4. That regular paycheck

Self-explanatory.

The No-So-Obvious Reasons:

5. Credit

For now, with my low network, in order to acquire property, I need to have a steady pay check, otherwise, the banks will laugh me out of their offices. 

6. Time-leveraging

You know what’s better than getting a pay check? Getting two for the same amount of time spent. In my down time on my day job, I’ll quickly get some freelancing done, there by increasing my income per workday, or as my friend likes to say “increasing my pennies per second.” Employers call this “time-stealling.” I call this “time-leveraging” - instead of surfing the net looking at Pinterest like my colleagues, I’m increasing my pennies per second. And no, I don’t feel guilty about this.

7. Seed money

My salary is my start up seed money, it’s the spring board for my other businesses, it’s what covers the mortgages when my tenants flake or I have vacancies, it funds the start up costs of my new online and offline publishing ventures.

8. Professional skill development

From sales training, to learning how to negotiate with vendors to corporate behavioural subtleties and progressional decorum, you’ll fine-tune this skills that will help people take you seriously in your entrepreneurial business deals. This is even more important for those who have more difficultly getting business-y people to take them seriously.

Whenever you get frustrated with your 9 to 5, just remember the above. It’s just the launch to your better, more abundant, ERE life.

Financial Anarchist’s Guide to Preparing for the Rat Race Escape

I’m almost 9 months away from leaving my full-time job indefinitely. Unless things go disastrously wrong financially. I’m one of those people who believes that talking about things too much will jinx them (especially in real life…on the blog is a bit better) but on the other hand, when I get excited about something, my first urge is to talk about it. I have a hard time keeping my mouth shut, which is why this blog is such a great outlet for an ol’ blabbermouth like me. 

ANYWAY.

While I’m a Chatty Cathy, I’m also a planner. I run numbers and what if scenarios over and over again. I plan for every possible outcome and even though June 2013 seems like a long way away, and anything can happen, I’d rather be prepared. Plus, it can really sneak up on you, the months. Was it just last year I decided to reclaim the property that I own, turning my family dynamics upside-down (or rather, rebalancing them to their rightful place) and the commitment to stepping off the rat race and becoming a part of the leisure class. It’s only been a year and yet, It’s a completely viable option in less then another year. 

Wow, by June 2013, it will only have been two years ( plus another 3-5 years of smart financial decisions that set me up well) since I made the decision that I can’t do this 9 to 5 thing (or in my case, 9 to 9). 

All of this has got me thinking about how drastically my life could change after semi-ERE. I mean, will I be able to afford happy hour beers and wings downtown (wine and calamari for my prissier friends) with the girls? What about all of my $60-a-month oregano oil and priobiotics supplements? Will I be able to afford those?

Basically, how can I maintain (at the very least) my standard of living without dipping into my investments (which I want to not touch and let compound interest work its magic)?  In order to do that, there are things I know I can start doing now to prep:

1. Engineer a muse

I have what I think to be a very viable online business idea that sells a product, instead of my time. Like Mr. Ferriss, I’m of the school of thought that trading your time for fees doesn’t make sense, depending on your lifestyle (at one end of the spectrum ERE…at the other end, jet-set). I know it definitely doesn’t make sense for me, although some business owners like to feel like Masters of the Universe strutting up and down their offices while their employees flutter and fuss about them.

I’m half-done developing the product and yet I’m finding it hard to motivate myself to get it all going. Ugh. I set a deadline of labour day weekend launch and completely missed that, now I’m setting a new deadline of November 1st launch. Why then? Because that’s when I start bartending again, so 1) I’ll have even less time and 2) one of the bartenders (who’s also building his own web-based business) will ask me about it. I’d be embarrassed if I didn’t accomplish anything in that respect.

2. Wind down the time-suck side hustles, while grow and maintain the location-independant side hustles. 

This will be my last season bartending. You have to be physically present to do this job, and if it’s one thing I’m growing to hate, it’s being accountable to other people for my time. My freelance gigs, on the other hand, only require me to have a computer and an internet connection, so I wouldn’t mind hanging on to those. 

3. Take advantage of those discounts and perks for all their worth.

I have friends who get discounts at my favourite health food stores, for example. Items I know I use regularly, I will start buying in bulk using her discount, building up a year’s reserve or so.  This will help ease the shock of expenses and no monthly pay check to cover them, while I get into my rhythm.

4. Acquiring long-lasting, good quality items on sale:

One good pair of fancy shoes, winter boots, rain boots and leather boots. I expect these all to last me for 5 to 10 years.

A down duvet and pillow

New, good quality sheets

A DVD player

A microwave

A new laptop

True, I don’t have any of these things now, but that’s because my pair of fancy shoes are on their last legs (ha), a family member stole my duvet and won’t give it back (winter is coming..), I’m a grown woman, I want nice sheets, the laptop is for my business, and the DVD player is because I plan on borrowing a lot more movies from my friend who works in that industry and will let me borrow his in my new life.

5. Get a traveller’s credit card, and start putting everything on it.

6. Use up my work benefits.

Get my eyes checked out, get as many massages as possible. Go for free therapy…whatever my benefits offer, I want to use them all up.

7. Reduce my too-regular indulgence in excess. 

The other night, after a night of much spending and drinking, my friend Bob and I shared a cab home. We’ve been doing this same empty party drill for 6 years now, and it’s starting to get old. We’re starting to get old. The silence and loneliness in the cab was sad and spirit crushing. We knew it was all for nothing. We knew we were bored and empty even though our lives seem great. But we were only doing what we know how to do, nothing else.

This is when you know you need to stop. Nevermind the emotional consequences, the financial ones are just as devastating.

8. Set up bank accounts overseas.

For a variety of reasons. I’m a Sovereign Man follower so read him and see where I’m coming from. True, I find it a tad-fear mongering and hokey, but I believe in the basic principles. And, I’m lucky to be a dual citizen of a tax haven. Plus I need to set one up in the country I plan on spending the second most about of time in. Thanks to relatives and Sovereign Man, this is easier than you think.

9. Eliminate

I live in a sparse studio-sized place. Happily, it seems spacious because I got rid of a LOT of stuff over the past year. Even still, I plan on getting rid of another third of my stuff, mostly old paperwork and clothing. While I’m not of the “fit all your possessions in your suitcase” school of thought, I like the idea of being able to pack up and move everything I own from one place to the next in only 2 hours.

10. Research Your Overseas Options

I want to spend some time in NYC, developing my writing career, before moving on to Europe. I need to research where to find housing for under $600/month (even if it’s just an air mattress on the floor) as well as volunteer and internship opportunities that will allow me to gain access to connections who can further my new career as a novelist.

In Europe, I want peace, and inspiration to write. I want strolls in flea markets, dinner parties and cuddling up with my lover drinking wine. I need to research my options for work/student visas (to work part-time!) affordable housing options, and ways to accelerate language knowledge. Wwoofing is one example I keep tossing around in my head.

So there you go! It’s a lot of stuff to do, when you think about it. But fun stuff all the same :)

Random Goals

I got a somewhat painful rejection today. Fine, I’ll get over it, that’s the business. I’ll save the crying melodrama for another post when I get home from work.

Anyway, the whole experience, combined with some beautiful friends finally achieving some awesome things after giving up their humdrum careers in their late-20s made me reassess my life, and the lack of direction it seems to have as of late.

This happened to me two years ago, actually, and as a result, I pushed myself to achieve some crazy stuff. Now lets repeat that, only upping the anti. And, instead of this being an every two years kind of thing, let’s make this yearly, or even 2x-a-yearly.

Now onto goals.

-Reach my goal of $100k liquid-ish by mid 2013.

-Put finances on auto-pilot so I’m still amassing $ without lifting a finger

-Publish at least 2 short stories within the year, either in major lit mags, or anthologies.

-“Go to school” full-time for what I actually want to do with the rest of my life. Work just enough to cover my expenses plus a tiny bit towards savings.

-Live in a different country for part of the year.

-Finish a 2nd manuscript by mid-2013

-Finish my other four manuscript ideas from 2014-2018 (basically a draft a year).

-Land a lit agent by mid-2013…or publish a short story collection with an indie press. Something like that.