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So much has happened this month that I’ve been putting off writing this update. I’m so damn tired as well.
I know that introspection and writing these posts is something that brings me joy, and it’s good for my mental health, but then when life gets in the way they’re hard to do.
I guess it’s the same for exercising, eating healthy, and meditating. You know that you should make time for it, but it’s difficult.
It’s a shame that I haven’t been able to write some longer form posts as well, it’s been so long since I have.
The more “financially free” we become, the more overworked I become. I’ve heard this before as the Salary Man’s bane. The higher you climb in the corporate ladder, the more you’re paid but the less time you have and the more unhealthy you become.
FIRE was meant to change that.
But I feel we all, including me, have it within ourselves to want to achieve and want to climb, we want to say yes to more responsibility, a higher status. Being able to stop, to take a step back, with a FIRE pot at our backs, I think that will be the biggest challenge.
Moving to New Hampshire
We moved to the White Mountains, into a three bed rental costing $1850 per month.
It’s a barn conversion that’s nice but also old.
It’s not perfect, but the rental market here in rural USA is very slim if you don’t want to live in a crappy city like Manchester NH.
We’re paying more here that we were in Massachusetts, but we’re saving more money monthly as New Hampshire is state income tax free. This means that we’ll net about an extra $500 per month from my regular salary even with paying $500 per month extra for a bigger place. This doesn’t include any tax savings on vested stock, Mrs SavingNinja’s income, or sales tax savings.
We’re living in more comfort that we did in MA, we have a much bigger kitchen with a dishwasher. It’s crazy how much quality of life increases with a dishwasher, you save so much time! The office is much bigger and we have more space.
The location is beautiful. We don’t have much of an outside space and we still have 3 neighbors, so it’s not perfect yet, but it’s a nice improvement. We’re minutes away from some of the most beautiful New England scenery, a lot of hikes, mountains and swimming spots in rivers and lakes.
Here’s the view outside of our kitchen window.
The moving day itself was insanely tiring. As we have done for all of our other moves, we did it ourselves to save the most money. We rented a 20 foot U-Haul and naively thought that we could: load it with all of our stuff, fully clean our old rental, drive 3 hours, and unpack everything, all within 1 day.
We made it, but we’ve both never been so tired. We were working from 6:30am until 10pm, we used these cool moving straps to lift the heavy furniture and washing machine.
By the end of the day we had bruises, cuts, and rashes. We were broken for the next week.
Next time, I think we’ll have to stump up the payment to hire some moving muscle to help us load and unload the truck.
Double the Work
One of my peer managers got fired in May. It was kind of expected, he’d been burnt out for a while and his team was under-delivering for over a year.
As half of his team is based in the USA, I was given it in the interim. I’m proud of my own team and the processes I’ve introduced, so I was happy to renovate this team, and I’ve made significant progress in a short amount of time. But, I’m too eager in thinking how much I can take on.
I now have 12 direct reports. All requiring weekly one to one’s, 1.5 hour development talks, and two teams to shepherd. 7 people are also in the EU meaning that I have to get up early if I want to catch all of them.
To top this all off, my boss is going on a 2 month parental leave in mid-June. I’ve been given the reins of the whole product area as an interim area lead for this time. That’s a 60 person area, 6 more direct reports, and needing to interview and hire a new manager for the aforementioned team.
I’ve never been so overworked in my life. Most days, I have 6 hours of meetings. I’m trying to not get burnt out. I need to learn to value my own health and not say yes to everyone and everything, I’m too eager to please and now I’m in the position where I can’t please everyone.
We’ve been in the USA for a year now. Time has really gone by quickly. This means that we should be able to initiate our Greencard application. I just need to get work to approve it first.
This means that it’s probably time to do an income and expenses comparison for the USA, similar to the Sweden vs UK breakdown post from 2 years ago.
I just need to find the time!