2

Behind or Ahead, Does it Matter?

Seventeen or so ladies crammed together in a tiny San Francisco space drinking tea and crumpets, celebrating an upcoming birth. At the adorable baby shower I arrived late, and sat in the back with the older friends of my friend’s mother, who commented on how their group of daughter’s were not yet procreating despite being over 30. This woman was the first. They seem stunned when I noted many of my friends and acquaintances from back east were already on their second child.

I sat and ate my crumpets with organic jam, sipped my Darjeeling tea, and soothed a panic attack from claustrophobia and life-o-phobia with pastries and ice water. I texted my boyfriend: let’s have a baby, now, soon, I’m ready. I am ready. And I do want a kid. I really want to have kids. Continue reading

1

My Goal: $500k Networth Before Kids

I’m terrified of having children before some sort of financial stability. While $500k networth does not mean financial independence, I think I’ll start to relax a bit once I hit this major life goal (the others are 2 kids, 1 house, + $1M by 40 and $3.5M by 65 all while being able to travel and see the world on occasion.)

This chart assumes that each year I can make an average 5% off my existing networth (figure shown below = the networth at the beginning of the year.) I reduce my monthly savings in 2017, at age 33, assuming some of that money will be going towards my first child!

Year Age interest 401k invest Networth
2014 30 $12500 $17,500 $36,000 $250000
2015 31 $15,800 $17,500 $36,000 $316,000
2016 32 $19,265 $17,500 $36,000 $385,300
2017 33 $22,903 $17,500 $30,000 $458,065
2018 34 $26,423 $17,500 $30,000 $528,468
2019 35 $30,120 $17,500 $30,000 $602,392
2020 36 $34,001 $17,500 $30,000 $680,011
2021 37 $38,076 $17,500 $30,000 $761,512
2022 38 $42,354 $17,500 $30,000 $847,087
2023 39 $46,847 $17,500 $30,000 $936,942
2024 40 $51,564 $17,500 $30,000 $1,031,289

This chart offers the same savings plan but at a better rate of return: 10%. Here I reach my $1M goal early by 38. Continue reading

1

Maternity Leave at Startups: Does it Exist?

They call us job hoppers. The average tenure of a millennial employee is just 1.5 years to 3 years, according to various studies. If only there were opportunities to actually move up within our own organizations, we won’t be so tempted to hop. But there often is a great divide between opportunity in one’s current position versus the opportunity outside of it. Leaving becomes the only way to move up.

I’m very committed to my company, so committed that I’ve probably stayed longer than I should have given the opportunities that have presented themselves. I am just hungry for a new challenge, a new topic, a new game to win. I also have, in my deep reflective thought over the past few days, realized that at this point in my career I need to surround myself by positivity and growth, not stagnation or worse.

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14

Getting to Where I Want to Be, Part Who’s Counting Anyway

Returning from a romantic weekend with my s/o, I’m tingling with happiness and love. Here is, for the most part, the man of my dreams – kind, gentle, caring, funny, and willing to put up with my¬†shenanigans¬†as well. We spend too much time staring into each other’s eyes and talking about our plans for the future together: getting married in 2014, trying to start a family soon after, and so on.

That’s where I hit a wall. The story I like to dream of still seems impossible. I’m pushing along as hard as possible, setting my mental health issues to the side, trying to save as much as possible without a so-called frugal lifestyle, and here I am, almost at 30, and feel so terribly far behind. I look at my friends (and I know it’s a bad idea to compare oneself to anyone) and they seem somehow more ahead and settled then I’ll be in the next few years. My Facebook newsfeed is filled with images of too-cute babies, some who aren’t even babies anymore, some who have siblings to boot, and all created by people who are my age or younger. The younger sisters and brothers of people in my class are getting married off, some who are 5, 6, 7 years younger than me, are already popping buns out of their ovens.

Here I am, nearing the big 3-0, with no clear direction in my life other than this fantasy of adulthood that doesn’t seem real at all. A very irrational part of me wants to wake up one day a mother. She no longer cares about a big fancy wedding – in fact, she’s been with her s/0 for nearly 7 years and with that practically feels married anyway. Vows are not necessary to prove love. Many marriages end before the seven year anniversary of a couple meeting in real life, what’s to say those marriages are any more real than the one that we haven’t signed documents or been stuck with needles to verify? I’ve always thought marriage was a silly concept. Either you love someone and you’ll stay with them or you won’t, but having a binding legal contract to tie you to another person doesn’t make sense (unless divorce were to be illegal. Otherwise, the only winners are the lawyers.) Continue reading

7

Marry for Love or Money?

When I mention my boyfriend and likely future-husband-to-be is unemployed, my commenters frequently point out that I’m an idiot for dating him. “He’s pulling you down,” wrote Erin on a post I wrote over the weekend. Maybe I’ve made the biggest mistake of my life by falling for him, but I don’t think that’s the case. Here’s why:

I never knew what I wanted in a relationship until I met *Derek (names changed to protect the innocent.) I had dated a few guys before off and on, but everything felt fake, like I had to be something I’m not to be with them. Derek was different. We met performing in a local community theater. He was shy yet extremely handsome. His smile melted my heart from day one. As I got to know Derek, I discovered he was perhaps the sweetest man on earth. He cared so much for others and lacked all selfishness which was so common in my family and in myself. He made me realize that no matter how much money I had or didn’t, I could always be happy just cuddling up to him and watching our favorite TV show. For better or worse, wealth started to matter less when I met him.

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