BaristaFIRE Log 01 (5/7/19)

BaristaFIRE Log

When I announced that I am pursuing BaristaFIRE within the next year, I also began wondering if the “point” of this blog will end when I quit my full-time job. But good friends on Twitter pointed out that it’ll be nice to read about the process I go through, both emotionally and logistically, to make the leap.

So… Here we are! #BaristaFIRE Log 01! These are probably going to be a bit rambly and in parts not that coherent, because they are kind of going through all the things swirling around my brain and whatever conflicts or concerns that come up.

BaristaFIRE Date is in Flux

In my previous entry, I mentioned that I am planning on moving to the ‘burbs EOY, and quitting around April. This “around April” was to max out my 401k for 2020 (I need to confirm with my HR person if this is even possible).

But now that I’ve decided this is going to happen, I honestly don’t know if I’ll even last that long. Given that I will be taking care of my mom for a few months, I’ll have a regular living-schedule in beginning of 2020… Which I’m wondering might be a good opportunity to create post-full-time job living patterns instead of allowing myself to leap free-fall into a schedule-less life.

I know I won’t do very well if I were suddenly allowed to not have to get up in the morning and do anything. I’ll end up wasting all my days and feeling crappy all day. Not to mention the pain my body gets into when I don’t move around. #YayArthritis!

If I have a regular schedule (with my mom’s dogs and taking care of my mom) for a few months, maybe I’ll build up enough momentum to have a life-schedule set up that’s not reliant on a job telling me to be up by a certain time every morning.

So right now, not quite sure if I’m quitting EOY or April, 2020, but either way, I’ll probably be moving out of New York City at EOY or right at the beginning of 2020.

Money, Money, Money

Ah, the biggest problem when considering quitting… THE MONEY 💰

So we were spending a little while mentally going through the way we might divide up the paychecks on my boyfriend’s current income, and given the cost of living in the ‘burbs I’m moving to (where he already lives), especially with the high rent, it seems like it might even be a stretch to save $500 a month after just the basic stuff like rent, utilities, gas x2, and food. Which is a little concerning to me.

And if we only have a little bit of wiggle room every month ($500 in grand scheme of things-that-cost-money is not a lot), then we definitely can’t afford to have a child on one income. So that was a bit stressful to realize.

I think we’ll get some tax breaks for him having a “dependent” and there are a lot of other factors we haven’t considered, but the preliminary high-level sweep wasn’t very confidence-inducing.

Doesn’t mean we can’t afford it, but it does mean I can’t live up a stay-at-home-wife life. (Hah. No weekly spas and brunches with the ladies for me!)

I’ll have my passive income (and some active income probably when I get stir-crazy), but I don’t want to count on those because they can stop at any time. And we’re hoping to put most of my passive income into my i401k plan while maxing out his 401k with his employer.

To be fair, if we maxed out my i401k (without touching the “employer side”), his 401k, and saved $500 a month, that’s still $44,000/year we are saving… So it’s not the end of the world to only be saving $500/month.

But coming from saving $1,500/month along with maxing out my 401k, HSA, and Roth IRA, it was a bit of a shock.

Can’t Have Everything!

But one thing I had to tell myself is that I can’t have “Everything.” I can’t expect to be saving at the same rate that I am while quitting my freaking full-time job.

I’m so used to controlling everything about my finances and being the agent of my own ability to earn, but I’m giving that up (for the time being). And I have to accept that it’s not necessarily a bad thing. The whole point of this exercise is for me to get less obsessed about the dollars and cents, and focus on my health and relationships.

I’m already at such a privileged place to be able to afford to quit and have a partner who is willing to be the primary breadwinner for as long as it takes for me to want to work again. I feel like I’m making “problems” where there aren’t any, and obsessing over them… While forgetting to realize the immense opportunities that I am being presented with. What a “rich” problem I’m having! What the heck am I even getting freaked out about?

It’s also worth noting that by the end of the year, we’ll probably be collectively net-worthed at around $600,000. And honestly, starting our 30’s (we’re both 29) at net worth of around $600,000 with no debt… And I’m freaking out about our savings rate? We probably don’t have to save a cent over the 401k’s and we’ll probably be fine.

BIG PICTURE, ZERO, LOOK AT THE BIG PICTURE! (I think this is going to be a theme for a long time, as I try to come to grips with my money anxiety and my obsession with saving for “the time” that might never ever come.)

What about the BaristaFIRE?

I know I’m talking a lot about my partner’s income. But Zero! You might be thinking. You said BaristaFIRE! Not “I’m gonna be living off my husband” FIRE!

So let’s take a look at my own income in the upcoming year. As you know, I currently make $75,000/year at my full-time job, and make side hustle income from variety of passive and active sources. I’m planning on leaving this full-time job, which comes with HSA, 401k, and full benefits.

My current projections for passive income in 2020 is slated to be around:

  • $2,000~$3,200/month from my 4 online courses (once they’re all up)
  • $200/month from my ebook
  • $150/month from Amazon Affiliates
  • $50/month from savings account interest

So I’m expecting the total to be around $2,400~$3,600/month pre-tax.

If all goes well, I will be making $25,000~$45,000 in 2020 with passive income. Which is definitely nothing to sniff at, and I can definitely live on it, if it comes to that.

But we are choosing to put the money into savings and retirement (mainly i401k) so that we aren’t reliant on it (as side hustles/passive income tend to be unstable). We are considering maybe using my income that isn’t going into my retirement as an annual vacation fund.

This set-up allows me to not be stressed about “having” to earn money to keep our finances afloat, but at the same time, having it ready for our use.

I’ve always wanted to make sure we live on one income and save the other income (if we had any) so that we are prepared financially and emotionally in case something happens and one of us can no longer work. The balance is a little more tipped towards my partner because I’m actively making a decision to not work full-time, but starting here will allow us to keep our expenses lower and get used to feeling comfortable with the limited income. So when I do return to work full-time (if I choose to), we can save all of it without feeling like we are missing out on anything.

Changing My Mindset about “My Money”

One thing I’m having difficulty over is the fact that we will no longer be operating on “My Money” and “Your Money.”

My partner has always said (since we started dating) that his money is “our” money. But I’ve never felt that way, because I work full-time, and I earn and pay my own way. He feeds me food, and buys me presents periodically, but I mentally “sort” those as his gifts to me, like he buys his friends food or donates to Patreon.

But once I stop working, his money literally becomes OUR money, and I have to begin deconstructing my anxiety about not having my “own” money to control. “Our” money means we both equally contribute our time to manage and understand it, and we will be spending it.

Coming from a place where I always assumed we would do something like “My Money” “Your Money” and “Our Money” (for our split expenses) because I’d always be working, it’s a process to wrap my head around.

I think upon marriage, we’ll keep whatever we already came in with separate (just for kicks, and mostly for my and his protection in case we separate), and from then on, everything else will be joint. I brought up pre-nup, and I think he basically is ok with us separating with what we brought in being “returned” to us individually, and whatever we accumulate beyond our marriage, we’ll split 50/50. Still not sure how we’re going to go about this, and I still think we should talk to a lawyer, but I guess we have plenty of time to think about it.

I was thinking about how it would be weird for me to buy presents for my mom or take my dad out for dinner with money my partner makes, but he assured me that I need to stop thinking like that, because it’s “Our” money, and like I said before, as long as we are saving a certain amount every month that we decide on, it shouldn’t really matter what I’m spending money on.

So this is yet another “non-problem” that I’m trying to wrap my head around, being fiercely independent because I’ve always had to “prove” myself that I’m a STRONG INDEPENDENT WOMAN AIN’T NEED NO HELP OR MAN.

It’s definitely a lot of things swirling in my head! But I’m really excited to be making this shift and thinking about the future. And how I am going to start focusing on loving my friends and family, working for the community, and taking care of my body to get into remission.

Anyways, as I promised, it was a ramble, but thanks for reading my #BaristaFIRE Log 01! 😊


  1. APurpleLife

    Love the peek behind the curtain and reading about your thoughts as you approach this life change. I can also see how viewing your partner’s money as “our” money would be difficult. I would struggle with it as well. Glad you worked out that some of these problems might be self-imposed 🙂 . Excited to follow your journey! 8-11 months Woohoo!!

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