March 2021 Reflections

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Time for another life/blog/business update!

I admit, I’m all over the place. It’s part of what makes me so fun, right? I’m constantly trying new things.

Do I want to be a pro-blogger?

I ran my little experiment with a more professional approach for blogging via The Money Mix Insiders program. While I learned a good bit (and actually did stick around as a paying member on the lowest tier after my free 3-month trial, because I have learned a ton), what I really learned is, I’m probably not up to the task of being a pro blogger.

I suppose I kind of knew that… as I never got in to blogging intending to make money at it. But, for me, when I get to a point that I realize my skillset is getting to the level I could make some money at it, it’s hard for me to not investigate what that means.

I learned, I probably do have the chops. I had some personal growth learning how to do a few new types of blog articles, and am really excited that through this group I was able to get my work onto some bigger sites. But, I’m not currently willing to devote the time needed to get myself to that level (I’m having too much fun with other projects, like WomensPersonalFinance.org, my sticker empire and getting more involved in the psychedelics landscape with changing legal statuses and my state of Oregon being a forerunner in the country).

You’ll still probably see some posts from guest authors from time to time, but, I still think this site is a lot about “me” and my story. It probably wasn’t ready to take on a lot of content from other writers if I’m not able to be producing my own content regularly.

Still, I learned a lot and am grateful for that. If you’re a blogger and you’d like to check out joining the group I recommend you do so. You can’t argue with a free trial!

My baby is growing, as in, Women’s Personal Finance is fully live!

Well, what else have I been up to?

As I said, Women’s Personal Finance is now up and running. It’s been great having something to work on with a friend who balances me out well. We’ve already filled our founding membership cohort and are nearly filled on our second round of membership opening. I’m really proud of the website that I built there. It’s my biggest build to date and it’s exciting to be able to put my stamp on the bottom of the site. I might consider offering this as a service to others, but, it’s hard to think about doing it for a client. It was much easier because I knew exactly what I was going for and it fit my stylistic needs and such. But still, it’s another skill to add to the bag!

I’ve often said I feel better behind the scenes, promoting others. So this is a perfect way to see how that can really work. We’ve had two of our guest writer blog posts picked up and shared by bigger sites that showcase material. I love that we’re giving others an additional platform and audience to share their writing and that we can pay them to write. So that’s like, extra super duper cool.

I punched a clock!

In other news, I’m back to work, kind of. I had one day so far to get partially caught up on back bullshit computer trainings that generally speaking aren’t even relevant anymore. But, it’s a day to get paid for not really working so I guess I can’t complain about that.

It will be nice to get some cash flowing going again. Though my net worth has continued to rise and is, indeed, at an all-time high despite the 10+ month leave of absence from work, my savings has been dwindling with no replenishment. We carry a “very comfortable” amount of money in our emergency fund, so, we can manage, but I do not like shifting emergency funds to living expenses.

I did qualify for unemployment, but that ran out at the beginning of December 2020. I’ve also had one main freelance job I picked up that lasts for a year and I can invoice for monthly, which has been nice as a bit of a buffer. It’s shown me that we are firmly in CoastFI territory by now. That’s always pleasant to know, right? If I keep up working, all I need to do is pay my annual expenses. There is no major need to continue to add to retirement accounts. On the path to financial independence, that is definitely a milestone (which I know I hit a good while ago). Of course, it’s not fully financially independent, but as we are quite frugal and our annual cost of living needs are generally on the lower end (about $40,000 a year) I am fairly confident that even if I left my pharmacy career entirely, we could remain a one income household and pay the bills.

Do I want to leave pharmacy? Well, no, not really. Not at this point. I have a high pay rate and currently I have insurance with a part time job. To make the kind of money I can make as a pharmacist would require me to work much more than 20 hours a week.

With all this time off, I have really come around to the idea that, although I still loathe the inconsistency of my schedule and so much about retail pharmacy (… honestly.. it just sucks anymore… ), I’m not willing to work 4-5 days a week when I can work 2-3 for the same pay.

Reflecting on balance and how good I’ve got it…

The extra time off that my part time day job allows me gives me time to pursue things that do interest me and gain new skills while I’m at it. Some of these things might bring me some additional income soon. But, more importantly, I’m hoping that they create the means for me to have some income coming in when I do decide to step back from traditional work further. I’m super excited to see where my decades-long fascination with psychedelics can take me too. Totally unrelated to this blog, but, it’s a thing I’m actively building on.

That’s the cool thing about the route to FI. I have the ability to begin to think more about where I can do good and where I can focus that has meaning. I’m not chasing just-any remote work opportunity anymore. Since I’m in a pretty decent spot, I can just keep exploring the things that excite me and hope interesting opportunities present themselves.

I have to be honest with myself, my brain is on overdrive too much to ever just not work. But, the thought of finding niches I’m passionate about is super cool.

It’s kind of funny to think about it, and I feel like you see this story time and time again in the financial independence stories; when you’re stuck in the rut of a job you hate that’s sucking all your energy and joy away and when you’re burnt out, early retirement sounds so so wonderful. But many of us really aren’t tuned that way, we just want the space to do things we’re passionate about.

My family and my son, especially given his cancer diagnosis, are the most important things to me. So I do need to be cognizant of not getting in too deep with those other passions. My goal is still to maintain generally part-time employment. Ideally, I would be doing only things I love, and sometimes that would mean a busy month here and there. But to be doing something where I set my schedule, where we can travel, and where I shine and people appreciate me. Maybe it will happen, maybe it won’t.

It’s great to be happy with wherever the road leads… and I think I’m there.

PS, I just turned 34 and… and I’ve never loved my life as much as I do right now.

Except for that pesky shoulder that has me back in physical therapy. Dangit.

Regina is That Frugal Pharmacist. She’s a PharmD, mother to a son with cancer, breadwinning wife, personal finance enthusiast, artist, writer, and entrepreneur. Regina’s single-income household has been debt-free, including her home, since she was 28 years old.
Her money approach is “holistic financial health.” She encourages mindful spending, awareness of the non-monetary costs of choices, and aligning personal values with money habits. Regina sees a frugal lifestyle and mindset as an important part of environmental stewardship. As such she’s interested in ongoing efforts towards self-sufficiency and sustainability.

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