Find out what makes two 40-somethings create more stress and less free time by side-hustling their way out of an empty nest. We’ve tried to explain why we want to side hustle now.
Where we are now with our side hustle
As we mentioned in our “Hello World” first post, we’re in a very weird phase of life right now. We’ve been together 20+ years. Our offspring is about to graduate from university. Bengal kittens (now nearly 6 months old, fill our empty nest.
For a bunch of reasons, we’d already left working for someone else to be consultants working for ourselves. The contract roles we currently have mean that one of us commutes and one of us works from home. We’d like to spend more time together but we’re not ready to retire.
Understanding how and why
We started looking at the blogs and YouTube channels, it became clear that these people weren’t like us. The majority of them are under 30. They’re talking about systems that let them retire early and enjoy debt free living while raising their kids. (For example systems like FI/RE.)That’s advice that’s a little late for us.
Matt had bought his first house at 21 and was living in his second house when we met. CJ was still paying off student loans and working a barely minimum wage job. In our early 20s Offspring, living together and buying a bigger house happened in pretty quick succession. As did a wedding, private school fees, periods of unemployment and health issues.
Grinding out the day jobs as freelancers or permies just to cover the bills was our normal. So when offspring went to university we were in our early 40s. We felt that we had an opportunity to make new plans. It was time to talk about how our life was going to be with just the 2 of us.
We concluded that we wanted to make some changes to our lifestyle. But unlike other people, this isn’t about control or less stress. The primary objective for our side hustling is to spend more time together without losing our standard of living.
Our reasons for the side hustle
Firstly, we want to pay off our debts faster. This means that we will need less money coming in to cover our monthly spend. Our biggest debt is the mortgage on our house. It has 15 years left to repay on it. The others are smaller. For example car loans, credit cards and overdrafts. But when you take them together they’re still a big sum. We estimate it will take us at least 5 years to pay them all off.
Secondly, we need to diversify our income so that we are not reliant on a single source. Being independent consultants, we never know what the need or appetite for our skill set is going to be. Plus the potential impact of Brexit can’t be ignored. The impact of these can be lessened with more streams of income from diverse sources.
Thirdly, it would be nice to re-build some savings (other than our pension pots). We do have some money saved as cash in the bank. However we’re going to use that to fund our buy to let property business. If we don’t top up our savings pot, we have no safety net.
Fourthly, we want to spend more time together. This is something that can be achieved by being able to work from home on our consultancy gigs too. However we’ve always enjoyed building little
together. Spending time planning, discussing and sharing the workload of making it happen. It would be nice to be able to do that again.
Finally, it’s something to do with our free time. We’ve both always needed a creative outlet. This lets us learn new skills and refresh skills that we don’t use in the main consultancy roles.