Hi there! Today I have a guest post from Taynia, who is a CPA and founder of The Fiscal Flamingo, a sassy website dedicated to helping women navigate their journey from debt to decadent. When she’s not rallying big spendahs and turning them into dynamite savers, you can find her chronicling the break up with her career at Skinny Seahorse or designing blogs at The Skinny Mermaid Design Studio.
In December of 2010, I broke up with my career as a corporate CPA. 10 months later, we’re getting back together.
For me, myself and I, the beauty of being financially independent is the freedom of choice. I was blessed with the ability to choose to take 10 months off. And now that I’ve had a taste, I want to make it a lifetime commitment.
I hadn’t planned to return at 10 months. I planned to return at 12 months. Truth be told, I hadn’t planned to return at all. I wasn’t sure what I wanted or what I was going to do, but I had saved enough money to enjoy 12 months of blissful unemployment. I’d figure it out along the way. Perhaps I’d win the Powerball. (That didn’t happen, which is a real bummer.)
Funny thing is while I’ve been unemployed during the past 10 months, I’m not exactly “not working”.
First I started a personal blog to 1) learn 2) share why I quit my career and 3) just because I had the time. As I built my readership, I received email after email in response to my Skinny Wallet Phat Life series, which was focused on my personal journey from big spendah to dynamite saver. They wrote to tell me how much they appreciated my honesty and my humor. They wanted to know more details about my process to get out of debt. That was something I did not expect.
So one blog led to another. (Blogging is addicting, if no one has told you). I started The Fiscal Flamingo, a blog focused on teaching the principles to go from broke to Benjamins in a smart and sassy fashion. No fancy schmancy financial jargon. No big words or boring terminology. Just fun and free worksheets. Lots of worksheets.
And in between and on the side, I learned how to design websites and started Skinny Mermaid Design Studio.
So you see, I was “working” – just in a much different (and way more fun) capacity. I was enjoying myself so much – I knew I wanted it to last. I tasted entrepreneurship and like a Lays potato chip, I couldn’t just have one (year).
My version of financial independence involves a home that neither a landlord nor the bank owns. Therefore, I need to pay my mortgage off. My husband is a stay-at-home Dad so I carry the financial responsibility for our family. By returning to work for five years, I will be able to pay off our mortgage and build another year long nest egg in the process.
You may be asking why I need to return to traditional employment. Why don’t I just continue my entrepreneurial endeavors? Because, duh, that sounds like the reasonable thing to do.
While my plan has always been to pay off my mortgage in five years, I need to guarantee that happens. Self-employment may get me there but it also might not. I don’t want to risk it. My dream WILL become a reality – no risk involved.
While working (no quotes), I will continue to build the readership on The Fiscal Flamingo and my skills at the Skinny Mermaid Design Studio. Both businesses play a leading role in my journey to financial freedom because they are location independent.
Once my mortgage is paid off, my family and I will be free to roam wherever our hearts desire, with the security of knowing we have a home waiting for us should we wish to change our mind. Through a marriage of location independent income and living in a lower cost country, I will have the ability to only work 20 or so hours a week.
It’s possible, I’ll change my mind when five years is over and just decide to stay put. I do live on an island, so it’s not a bad deal. But that’s the point, it’s a decision I will have the ability to make because I will have the freedom of choice.
Cheers to reaching financial independence and to the freedom of choice.
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. What’s yours – what drives your quest for financial independence?