So when I turned 30, I officially became the last single person I knew. Literally everyone I knew was married or married twice and had at least one or two and sometimes even four children. The marriage and kids came in waves. The first wave being between high school graduation and college graduation. The second wave of wedding and birth announcements came after college and an advanced degree. Thus, making me the last remaining single in all the lands, at least that’s how it seems.
Then I started my career and I was again in no man’s land. The topic du jour at the office water cooler was baby number 3 or 4 or the bigger house and family vacation on the horizon. Enter in My Early Retirement Journey. In the personal finance blogosphere, I was hard pressed to find one single lady going at it on her own, partner-less and childless. Admittedly, when I first started this journey, my immediate thought was gee, this sure would be a lot easier (financially) if I had someone with whom to share expenses. On an empirical level, it would certainly cut my housing expenses in half and increase my savings rate. But then you’d have to deal with the reality of living and sharing your space with another being…forever. I tend to avoid things that have a forever end date, namely things like work.
I digress, part of the reason I decided to blog about My Early Retirement Journey is to create a space for women like me where there was none. Creating a niche for the remaining lone singles in their 30s trying to conquer their personal finances has kept me motivated to continue this journey in a public forum. So far, I have encountered no other bloggers quite like me, so that in itself is a benefit. Here are some other key reasons it’s better to being single in your 30s!
- No roommates. Presumably, you’ve started your career in your chosen field and you have money to pay the bills and buy your way out of shared space. No more chore calendars or unwelcome overnight guests. No more movie nights when you’re trying to get work done. No more randos as the roommate next door feeds into the hegemony’s anachronistic view of marriage as THE destination, full stop.
- No checking in. No one blowing up your phone everyday wondering “where you at?” Nobody to collect your every move. No more dependency. Wow, yes, ladies, this is what independence looks like. It looks good on you! No external feelings to manage.
- No more lies. Nobody to plaster on a smile for and placate with tales of how big and strong and smart they are. Nobody’s career and perspective to mold. No more house-training. No more pretense. In fact, your girlfriends are now confiding the truth to you about the once un-shared realities of marriage. It’s nothing like any of them thought it would be, and their lives in fact are not actually better just more complex. You know what lies behind “my husband and kids are the best things that ever happened to me” no matter how many Facebook photos to the contrary. Live your truth, my girl!
- It’s your money…use it when you need it. You’ve all heard the commercial. J.G. Wentworth had it right. With singlehood comes your own bank account, savings account, and personal financial goals. Nobody to convince to make frugal (or-non frugal) choices. Nobody to hide anything from or check behind. Ready to take that leap and move to Germany to open your coffee-shop (I’m talk to you, Yazzy)? Who’s stopping you? Freedom, your time is now.
- You can phone it in. Don’t feel like putting on make-up today? Don’t. Don’t feel like washing your hair, blow drying it, flat-ironing it, then putting it up to make it look natural? Don’t. Don’t feel like washing your clothes today to have something stylish and impressive to wear for x,y,z event? Don’t. Today, you are free to go pantyless, unwashed, unbrushed, in rags to whatever destination you choose – far or nearer to the couch.
- Look at all this free time. I charted what my typical week looks like (below). What’s there to moan about anymore? The only thing left to figure out is how to use this time more intentionally. As Captain Planet said, “The power is yours!” If you’re on your financial freedom journey like me, the next thing to do is figure out how to budget all this free time for a life lived more intentionally!
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BONUS. Beyonce wrote a song about your life! I’m talking to you Single Ladies.
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