Day 254 on FIRE:Work Life balance in search of Financial Independence

It is important to maintain a healthy work life balance to avoid burnout chasing FIRE goals. Learn to balance Time for yourself & family when chasing money

Hey there! Hope things are good at your end.

The past few months have been hectic for me, I have been working hard on my office job, working on my website, writing and also looking for ways to increase my income from side hustles. In total, I work 8 days a week. Barely caring for my family or health.

While reflecting on the way I was handling my Life and FIRE, I realized a few things I have done wrong.

Is it worth making money on weekends?

My life is something like this, Monday to Friday, I toil away at my office day job. This is morning to night, they pay me for 9 hours, and make me work for 12 hours. During Saturday and Sunday, I take wifey and my daughter out for grocery shopping and perhaps a lunch or dinner out. Apart from this couple of hours of time, I don’t spend much time with my wife or daughter.

Most days I work late into the night to try to juggle the multiple things I am handling. Most of this is in pursuit of Financial Independence and the fact that I have set a high target for myself. The question I asked myself, and you should ask yourself is, is it worth working on weekends?

The opportunity lost when making money

My daughter is a little over a year now. She comes to knock on my door at times calling out asking me to come play with her or read to her. And I decline 🙁

I am not around when she is growing up, learning new things and needing attention. She needs me around the most during these times. If I am busy trying to make money to achieve Financial Independence, then, once I retire, why would she feel like hanging around with me? In search of money, I would be pushing my family and friends aside and creating a gap in our relationships.

When you spend your time chasing money, the price you pay in terms of the lost opportunity is somewhat priceless. Time spent playing with children, enjoying a meal with your spouse, watching a movie with your parents, there is no price tag on these activities. These are not things you can do later in life. Of course, making money too is difficult later in life. But the point is, you need to find a balance between these roles you play.

Find work/life balance in your pursuit for money

FIRE is not something that is set as a goal for you by someone else. It is a self-accepted target or goal, you try to abide by.

The first thing I realized in my FIRE journey is, if I need to sacrifice a lot of time with my family in order to meet my FIRE goals, then I am going to rewrite these goals. I can reduce the stress from this by taking it one notch lower and work for an extra two or three years to reach Financial Independence. This will be giving more importance to my family, I will be happier, healthier and better off for it.

Now to get a work life balance, I have started a few changes to my work schedule. I have taken a few resolutions that will ultimately help me find a better work/life balance as well as meet my FIRE target.

My resolution to find a work life balance

I know this is not that time of the year when you take a resolution. But, I still am making one, I will:

  • Spend a couple of hours a day with my loved ones.
  • Take some personal time out for myself as well
  • Have more meals with them instead of eating at my work desk
  • Spend 1 complete day of my two day weekends with them, Saturday or Sunday, using the time in the reminder of the weekend for all other activities
  • Once this Corona is over, plan regular holidays that give me time with my family. We all have been stuck inside and need some travel time!
  • Ensure I only give the 9 hours of work my day job pays me for. I am not working for charity any more. To do this, I need to be more efficient in handling work on my plate and also push back when things that need me to extend working hours come up

Think about how you are pursuing greatness. If you notice that your family is not getting enough of “you” time, then re look at your priorities. This is time that you will not get back. Early retirement is good, but a distant relationship with your children, all because you were too busy making money when they had time for you is not good.

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Abhi is a 29 yr old Indian, on FIRE to retire by 40. He has been investing and learning Finance for the past 12 years. After completing Mechanical engineering, he started working in a multi-national Bank and grew to become an AVP. Currently with an IT MNC as a VP. He lives in Bangalore with his wife and their 1 year old daughter. In his free time, Abhi loves to game on the Xbox, watch movies, read and blog.

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