Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Financial Escape Plan

As I've said before, I really do love my job. Despite that, though, I have days when it's hard, when it feels like it's just too much, when it's emotionally draining and exhausting and just takes so much out of me. There are things I would like to do, creative things and fun things and domestic things, that at the end of the day I just don't feel capable of doing.

These are the days when I start plotting my escape.

I know that at this point in my life it makes no sense to quit my job. I'm in a lot of debt, my husband is still in school, and honestly if I quit my job I would have very little to make me feel fulfilled. But sometimes it's nice to fantasize about all the things that I could do if I didn't work full time.

So on those evenings I devise a financial escape plan. I sit down with a notepad, a calculator, or sometimes a spreadsheet, and I figure out exactly how much money I would need to survive for one month. I figure out ways I could generate extra income, through part time work and ventures, and I try to make those things as close as possible. Then I figure out how much more money I would need to spend a few blissful jobless months and how long it would take me to save up that much money.

What do I take away from these exercises? Well, besides a strange nerdy kind of satisfaction and sense of calm, I do develop a greater understanding of some truths about my financial situation. For one, I will never come close to financial freedom until I can knock out all the debt, so that is a serious priority. Also, when I can see a goal, like 2 months with nothing to do but bake banana bread, do yoga, and sleep late, my idea of how much money I can cut on entertainment changes significantly. And finally, that the better job I can do at generating alternate income, the easier it will be for me to eventually switch to part time work.

Of course this is a long way off, but for now, a girl can dream.


Jazmin said...

I am /with/ you on that! It's when you start plotting your escape with your co-workers on break that you know you need a vacation! Now, off to either conjure the few hundred thousand in investments I figure I'd like to live off the divendends of, or go the sensible route of earning them. :)

E.C. said...

A financial escape plan can help keep you sane. Last December during our annual camping trip, my dad talked about how nice it is to know that if he really wanted to, he can afford to quit his job, sell the house, build a place in the woods, plant a big garden, and live off the land and his savings. He plans to keep working for 10 to 15 more years, but knowing he doesn't have to sure helps with the stress.

Busy Woman said...

I am right there with you!
I am planning all the time about how I can make my escape. We have now finished our mortgage but I have young children and always feel that I have a duty to make as much as I can to try and save for the future.
I am always dreaming up ways of changing my life to devote more time to my famiy but still have ivestments etc to sustain us. I am often in a huge quandry about this. Maybe I too am in desperate need of a holiday!

SavingDiva said...

I try to think about what I could do to make a lot of money....

Anonymous said...

Perhaps you've already read this book, Your Money or Your Life (Dominguez and Robin). It's the 9 step plan to financial independence.