A Change in Focus: Money No Longer a Top Thought

2017-06-21 02.16.22

Bath, England

As you may have noticed, I’ve been really lazy with the blog lately.  It’s been over a month since my last post and I wonder sometimes if I should keep it going.

I remember a time not too long ago when I thought about money constantly.  I’d wake up and immediately check my stocks to see if any news came out overnight.  I’d monitor our account balances daily.  I’d read personal finance blogs nonstop and think about posts to write.

And then it just stopped.

I’m not sure if it was the move or quitting my job or what.  I’m just not interested in focusing on money anymore.  Now, this doesn’t mean we’ve been going on spending sprees or anything like that.  Nothing like that at all.  Our spending habits are still exactly the same. Our automatic investments are still doing their thing.  Our finances are on autopilot.

It’s just that different things have taken priority.

Travel has become a bigger focus and I think we’ve done fairly well on this front since moving to the UK last summer.  We’ve been to tons of places throughout southern England and now want to focus more on central and northern sites.  Not to mention, we still haven’t been to Wales or Scotland. 

Outside of England, so far as a family we have gone to the Netherlands, Italy, France, and Spain.  I’ve spent another three weeks in Germany on my own for my reserve job.  Next month, we’ll be heading to the Canary Islands for a week in the sun.  We’re shooting for one more big trip towards the end of the year, possibly to Portugal.

These travel opportunities have been an amazing blessing and experience for our family. 

My career aspirations definitely aren’t what they once were.  I still want to and plan on doing well in the reserve, but I’m really enjoying the part-time work tempo much more than the full-time grind.  It feels like a much better way to live, where work is not the primary focus. 

I’m becoming fully convinced that we could easily cover all of our bills with part-time and investment income alone.  I’ve been running some numbers and should be able to share them soon once I have a little more data. 

I’m also convinced that because most people don’t even consider the possibility of early retirement, they set their lifestyle at their income level.  Simply observing others, it’s hard not to see waste in everyday activities.  Throwing away food, shopping to pass time, booking travel without much research or cost comparisons.  It’s almost like people don’t realize how much unnecessary stress they’re adding to their lives with their haphazard spending.    

I’ve recently come across an opportunity that would have me working more regularly.  Details are still being worked out and I’m somewhat on the fence about the whole thing.  On one hand, I wouldn’t mind working a little more, especially if it’s on something interesting.  My pay would be fairly high and we’d be able to put aside even more money.  On the other hand, I really enjoy the freedom of setting my own schedule. 

I’m not sure what’ll end up happening, but because I don’t need the job I definitely have the upper hand in the discussions.  Either way, it should end up working out well and it’s always nice to have another option.

10 thoughts on “A Change in Focus: Money No Longer a Top Thought

  1. upnorthinvestor says:

    when all your needs are met with investment income, your world changes, we are just about to the point where we can normalize the rental portfolio, and let it pay our personal bills, plus our fun, its quite exciting to think, we wouldnt have to push if we didnt want to, my biggest hang up is in my own mind, the money is coming in, but just fear the safety net of continuing to flip, an my wife working her 30 hours yet. You have inspired me, thanks for your blog. it has helped me with my mindset holding me back.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ditching the Grind says:

      Thanks for the huge compliment and well done on the rental income! Oftentimes our minds are the biggest things holding us back.

      Our two rentals don’t make a ton (probably a few hundred a month) and I usually don’t even include them in our investment income since any profits just go to paying them off quicker right now.

      One issue we do have is that both our investment income and money I get freelancing/working part time is very irregular. Combined, they’ve ranged from $1K to $10K per month so far this year. It doesn’t matter right now with my wife still working full time, but it definitely illustrates the need to have a cash cushion once our regular income is gone.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. mrspickypincher says:

    Well I’m really happy that you posted here, and I’d love for you to continue writing if you like it. 🙂 Only you can decide if the full-time gig is right for you, but if you like where you’re at now, why shake things up?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ditching the Grind says:

      Thanks! I plan on keeping with it and have a few ideas for future posts. I just needed a little break.

      You ask a good question. My opportunity involves picking up additional orders with the Air Force Reserve at the local base. This has an added benefit of increasing my future retirement pay, besides the immediate income I’d get. The orders would likely be for 30-90 days, maybe a couple times a year. Depending on what they want me to do, it could be kind of fun.


  3. Graham @ Reverse The Crush says:

    Thanks for sharing an update an where you’re at, DTG! Although it’s ultimately your own call on what’s best, I hope you continue with the blog. Even if it’s only once per month or once in a while, I really enjoy your blog.

    I also sorta know where you’re at. When I was making my own schedule during my year off, I totally stopped caring about money too. The most creative version of myself started to appear and I became more interesting in photography, blogging, and spending time with friends and family. Now that I’m back to work, admittedly, my mindset has begun to change. However, I’m focussed on money only for the freedom it provides and because I really do enjoy the analyst side of dividend investing.

    Hopefully, I can one day get back to blogging and dividend investing full time again. Your mindset set in this post sorta brings me back.

    Good luck with your decision on that job opportunity. Thanks again for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ditching the Grind says:

      Thanks, Graham! I enjoy writing and plan on sticking with it. It’s just easy to get out of the groove. Plus, I’ve spent 2 weeks in Germany and another 2 weeks in the US since the beginning of May so any semblance of a routine I had is all out of whack!

      I’ve been meaning to rebalance our portfolio to focus more on dividends for what seems like forever, but keep putting it off for no good reason. I’ll blame the time difference!

      It’s interesting how the mind changes when it’s in the structured job world versus having the flexibility and time to just think and be creative.


  4. The Payslip Pauper says:

    It sounds like you are in a very good place with some pretty decent choices ahead of you, I’m looking forward to hearing what happens next.

    I think you made a really important point about setting the lifestyle cost against the income level, this is something I hope I will be able to stick to in years to come!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ditching the Grind says:

      Thanks for stopping by! I’ve actually had a couple new opportunities come up in the last few days. Really amazing what becomes available when you’re flexible and don’t necessarily need the money.

      Best of luck to you moving forward!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Ditching the Grind says:

      Yeah. This would be a hard one to answer with a specific date. At this point, I don’t think we will ever run out of money or even get close to doing so. Our current NW is quite high and keeps growing. To be honest, I don’t see a situation where our expenses will outpace our income, even after we stop working completely. Not sure if that helps at all.


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