Weekly Wrap-Up, October 18

Weekly Wrap-up

Another week gone! It’s impressive how fast time flies when you’re working a full-time job. I remember being in college and having all the time in the world. Forty weeks of fun and parties with six weeks of studying and exams twice a year. Hopefully I reach financial independence soon, so I can live like a college student again – this time without being broke.

Over the past few wrap-ups I have mentioned that work has been extremely busy. Guess what? It’s not getting any better. The scales of my work-life balance are currently tilting towards my job a little bit too much for my taste. I spoke to other co-workers about it and they all told me it should get better soon with a lot of school holidays coming up.

Sometimes I wish my job was more like Henry’s: getting in at 7h30 in the morning and being able to leave at 16h00 in the afternoon. Our official work time is 7 hours and 36 minutes every day, but lately it’s been up to 9 and 10 hours at least. Imaginary Mrs. NMW is not happy about me being home so late every day!

All in all, it’s not too bad. First world problem as a term has never been more appropriate: I’m in good health, I like my job, and I’m making good money. One major downside I’m really bummed about though is the lack of time to devote to my blog. No More Waffles turned three months a couple of days ago, but it’s not really alive and kicking anymore. This saddens me because, like Noonan wrote about this month, I’m greatly indebted to you all for both my blog’s success as well as my drive to reach financial independence. Thank you!

With so much time spent at the office, I also don’t get to enjoy most of my hobbies as much as I would like. On top of that I suffered a small injury last week. As a result, I won’t make my 20km running goal this year. Thankfully, some of you are dead set on enjoying your sports activities, so I’ll just enjoy sports vicariously through you guys.

Weenie from Quietly Saving found the cost of her expensive gym membership not to outweigh the fun and pleasure it provided her, so she decided to keep it. While I would normally strongly advise against that, she makes a great case for keeping the membership. I must say I agree with her.

In the end, it’s all about that sweet spot on how much entertainment is worth to you. On this very subject, Tawcan shared an interesting conversation he had with some of his co-workers. Apparently, they spend boatloads of money on cable subscriptions and television set-ups. Be sure to check out the hilarious phone call he had with a cable provider at the end of his post.

One advantage from having to work long hours: I can’t really check my portfolio and holdings all that much. As a result, I’m not emotionally swayed by the market’s volatility. You can imagine I almost fell out of my chair when I saw what the stock market had done to my portfolio in just a couple of days when I wrote my net worth update on wednesday. Sell, sell, sell! Wait, no, that’s not right.

Liquid from Freedom 35 showed that a plunging stock market is a good time to average down on your existing positions. By averaging down you effectively reduce the average price you paid for a single position, thus increasing your average yield on cost. Sadly, I first have to diversify my portfolio some more before I can start averaging down.

Not to worry, though. Discount prices for stocks are also great when you’re looking to initiate a new position for your own Miniature Berkshire Hathaway, like Jason from Dividend Mantra wrote about. He showed that he is basically following the same strategy as Warren Buffet, but on a much smaller scale of course: invest your free cash flow in high-quality businesses that provide more free cash flow in the future.

If you’re interested in why I believe being swayed by volatility is a bad idea, check out Steve’s article on financial pornography. His obsession with graphs shows that market volatility and random fluctuations like we’ve seen in the past few weeks don’t matter at all when you’re in it for the long haul. Once you’re over there, read up on his inspirational list of investment styles of 36 successful bloggers too.

If you’re aiming for financial independence, you’re definitely in it for the long haul. Market drops like we’re seeing now are but a mere distraction on the road to early retirement. More important is your overall plan on how to get there. Zee believes it comes from knowing what is important to you. For him that means not wanting or needing a lot of stuff, but rather owning his own time.

J. Money from Budgets Are Sexy voiced the same opinion this week when stating that early retirement is not about how you spend your time, just that you’re the one choosing how to spend it. Words to live by!

Want some ideas on how to reach financial independence sooner rather than later? Even Steven Money provides us with a great interview of Hot Doug’s owner who retired from his restaurant business at 52. The thing that struck me most in Steven’s post is that the owner knows the value money holds to him, something Kate learned this week for herself. If selling hot dogs is not for you, you can also try to turn your downtime into uptime, just like Charles is trying to do.

That’s it for me this week. Except I just found out that Debs turned 55. Happy birthday! To all you non-birthday people, have a great weekend!

30 Comments

  1. Thanks for the shout out NMW! And as for work, just remember that those hours of labor are building the nest egg that buys your future freedom. When you’re saving 70%+ of each work hour’s revenue, you’ll be seeing that freedom very soon.

    1. You’re welcome, pal!

      Sadly overtime isn’t paid, so it’s wasted effort on my part towards financial independence. It sucks, but there are much worse things… At least I like my job! 🙂

      Best wishes,
      NMW

  2. Good list of reading material here, so thank you! Best of luck in balancing your work and personal life. I’m fortunate to be working my dream job, as I literally wanted to do since childhood. However, it still must be balanced for happiness in your personal life and family. I’m always putting in way too many hours!

    1. SAD,

      Awesome that you’re enjoying your dream job! What do you work as?

      Work-life balance is extremely important. I hope the scales tip towards life a bit more over the next couple of weeks, but it sure does seem like it.

      Thanks for stopping by,
      NMW

  3. Thanks for the birthday shout out, Waffles! I understand perfectly where you are coming from about the unpaid overtime. I’ve done it throughout most of my career and it does help when you enjoy your work but it does get a bit old when you have other things you want to do and should do with your time. I’m trying to manage it better now, and worst case is I’m tracking it all and will try to take time off in lieu when it is not so busy. I don’t like it when there is too much work and not enough recognition and or compensation (or raises!) to compensate for it. Then you start feeling like you are being taken advantage of for your strong work ethic. I’ve been busy too and haven’t logged in to look at my portfolio recently. Hoping it will rebound a little and I won’t have such a shock.

    1. Debs,

      Hope you had a great birthday!

      Unpaid overtime is never fun, although it helps when you like your job of course. I’m trying to keep it to a minimum, but sometimes there’s stuff that’s got to be done. Thankfully others around me recognise my efforts, so at least that’s something.

      Cheers,
      NMW

  4. HI NMW

    Thanks for the shout out!

    “Hopefully I reach financial independence soon, so I can live like a college student again – this time without being broke.”

    I really relate to this comment because the last time I felt ‘free’ to do what I wanted, with the world at my feet was when I was a student, but I was limited by finances!

    Being FI and retiring early may get me to feel this way again!

    Hope the work/life balance improves for you.

    1. Weenie,

      You’re welcome!

      Student life was awesome! All the time in the world to do fun stuff. The only limits indeed were a constant lack of money. Hopefully FI/ERE fixes that last problem for us.

      Best wishes,
      NMW

    1. Thanks, Liquid! Seems like only yesterday when I published my first article, but in the mean time so much has happened. I’m closing in on my fiftieth post already.

      Cheers,
      NMW

  5. OH no, poor imaginary Mrs. NMW 🙂 !!! Mr. FW is working super duper long hours right now too, but, he is able to come home in the early evening and just do the rest of his work at home. Frugal Hound and I are happier with that arrangement than with him stuck at his office! I hope things slow down for you soon.

    1. Haha, if only imaginary Mrs. NMW could prepare dinner before I got home in the evening! 😉

      That’s a pretty sweet arrangement Mr. FW’s got there. Even though he has to work overtime, you still get to spend time together in the evening.

      Cheers,
      NMW

    1. Thanks, J!

      Feels like only yesterday that I started this blog, but so much has happened in the mean time. I can understand why you feel it’s been much longer.

      Keep it up the good work over there,
      NMW

    1. You’re totally right, DFG! It would be pretty sweet to be able to spend more time on hobbies and this blog when reaching financial independence.

      Best of luck in reaching it soon,
      NMW

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