The year was 2006 and my life was in turmoil. I was breaking up with my long-term boyfriend and leaving our big suburban house with the in-ground pool to move into an empty apartment with 4 lawn chairs and my 2 cats. Up until that moment, I had everything – minus a great relationship. On top of being forced into a Life Reboot at an age I always pictured I would be marrying and starting my family – my dad was dying. His death taught me so much about my life and helped carry me through that dark period. I’ll forever be thankful for his death. His death taught me a little bit about myself and inspired my continued resilience. He continues to teach me life lessons from his grave. I’m willing to bet you have a lost loved one who does the same for you.
Mr. MMM and I have been on the path to early retirement since 2015, and even when we started our journey, we were total DIKs. In case you’re not aware of this acronym, it stands for Dual Income with Kids. Similarly, there are others such as DINKs and SINKs. I’m not sure if SIK is an official acronym in the personal finance space, but I’d like to make it one, since I was one. The inspiration for this post was born yesterday when I was reading a great article over at Think Save Retire about the decision to NOT have kids, and why that’s okay. Check it out here! Before meeting Mr. MMM I was living on a single income with my daughter. Going from being SIK to being a DIK is more wonderful than I can express. Suddenly early retirement doesn’t seem so far out of reach. It seems realistic and we even have a date! However, I must say, being a DINK would make the process go much, much faster. So, before treading into the territory of having kids, you might want to make sure all of your goals, including the financial ones, are aligned.
It’s been 7 years since my little girl arrived into this world. Since that day, I have wanted to provide her with the very best life I could afford, while also making sure she had a secure future. I suppose that is what all parents wish for their children – a life better than the one they lived. I found myself a single parent for the better part of her first few years. Because of this, I worked extra hard to make sure she had what I thought she deserved. I didn’t want her to be the child who had to go without just because she didn’t have two parents at home. Hence, the first 7 years of her life went a little something like this.
It is with a heavy heart that I announce the passing of our beloved Mad Money Cat. I adopted him from a humane society 13 years ago; at the time, I was told he was 3 years old, but I’m guessing he was even a few years older than that, which means he was likely pushing 20 years old. We were all devastated and Mini asked to have a funeral. This was a wonderful idea and, surprisingly, helped us all to celebrate him and say a final farewell. Below is the eulogy I wrote for him. And just in case you were wondering, his real name was Bailey and he has adorned the bottom of most of our posts.
The best part about being on the road to early retirement is feeling a greater sense of financial freedom with each step. Each retirement contribution, each investment deposit, and each debt repayment is a tiny notch of freedom. Each step in the right financial direction allows us the opportunity to have more freedom with the money we earn. We had the opportunity to help a loved one last week because we have been actively making smart financial decisions. We were able to give a small gift that could’ve saved a life. A loved ones life.