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At the time I am writing this post, I am a single 45-year-old woman. While I’d love for the single part to be different, I’m learning to embrace it. However, sometimes it’s hard and here’s the post where I broach this topic.
I opened this topic up to the Twitter community and received some really good feedback, both on the financial side as well as the loneliness side. You’ll get to read about the dialogue in this article. Due to the fact that I want to delve deeper into the financial side, there will be a follow-up article on finances as a single person on the path to Financial Independence (FI)…
Fritz over at Retirement Manifesto wrote a great article on being alone and what he learned from a two year period where he lived in an apartment in the city during the week away from his wife who lived in the mountains. His reflections are profound and I recommend you check it out!
I just got off the phone with my new friend, Nadine, who BTW, is someone I met as a result of being so raw on the Dave Ramsey Show. She had some great pointers on dealing with loneliness worthy of being shared:
- Know your triggers – this is a common theme in recovery. Basically, it means to know what might trigger you into being tempted to drink or drug. When you know your triggers you can avoid them and/or implement a plan when you experience them. Nadine suggested this method can be applied to anything and specifically dealing with loneliness. If I recognize a trigger, I go to the next step…
- Pray and make declarations – I am obviously a woman of faith so prayer helps me tremendously and declaring truth is a great way to fight off lies and change your mindset.
- Turn on the music and/or phone a friend – To the former point, music can be transformative and mood changing so this is always a good idea. To the latter, I need to remember I don’t have to go it alone.
There is no one else relying on me financially which means I have fewer factors that subtract from a high savings rate. It also means I don’t have anyone to share in the expenses. Money Saved is Money Earned spoke to this point.
For many years, I lived the way I wanted without a financial plan and ended up with a lot of debt to show for it. Fortunately, I turned this ship around and dug my way out of debt. When I did my debt-free scream on the Dave Ramsey Show, I had a moment where I thought it’d be nice to have someone up there with me. I felt a little sad about being alone. Then my friend, Tricia, spun it and said I can also stand tall and recognize that I did this on my own. Amanda seems to agree with that sentiment.
I choose to embrace the latter perspective and knew that while I was standing there alone, God was with me the whole time.
In regards to accountability, I decided to start this blog to chronicle my journey to FI and so Y’all are my accountability partners.
I have the financial goal to achieve FI within the next 10-15 years. Owning a home is something I would love to do again soon and I’m considering the possibility of having a rental property as an investment.
I want to advance in my current career and earn more money. I’m working on that by employing some career hacking.
Teaching is one of my passions. I am technically a certified 7-12 mathematics instructor though I am not currently teaching in my career. I have written a recovery curriculum and am waiting for the right time/place to launch it. No surprise but I’m also working on a personal finance curriculum.
I feel weird writing this next one but I’m going to be vulnerable and share it. I’ve always wanted a big family. Ever since I was a little girl I’ve dreamt of having a husband and a house full of kids. I’m aware of the reality of my current situation but I also don’t know what the future holds for me. Having a family can happen in a non-traditional way and I remain open to possibilities.
Future Financial Goals As a Single
Military Dollar sent me a great blurb with some thought-provoking questions on this topic that I’d like to share below:
When you are pursuing financial independence as a single person, you have to make some choices that committed couples already have the answer to. For instance, do you declare yourself FI once you have enough money to support only yourself, or do you wait until you could theoretically support a family? Do you know how more people would affect your FI number? Should you assume a future partner would come into the relationship with assets to support themselves? Are you willing to date a person who isn’t interested in FI, or who has considerable debt or trouble with money? These questions can limit the single-seeking-FI individual, either in their dating efforts or their ability to declare themselves FI.
To be honest, I hadn’t considered all of these questions, but they are really important. I want to ponder them before I respond so stay tuned for my next article where we go deep on the financial side…
So over the last 4 years, I lived with other people. First I lived in a ministry home with 6 other people and then I lived with my parents. The funny thing is that while I had all of those people with me, I craved alone time and rarely got it. Now that I moved into my own little apartment, I crave people time.
How do I deal with this? Well, for starters I invite friends over for dinner. I have been helping some different women with their budget and I love inviting them to my humble place to work the magic.
I go to the gym a lot, participate in fitness classes or play volleyball. It’s a win/win to connect with others and boost the endorphins! I’m finding that I love the camaraderie of team sports.
Megan tweeted a great idea that I know a lot of single people embrace on the journey to achieving FI. I signed a one year lease on my little apartment, but most likely will consider this next year.
Now it’s time to confess the hard stuff.
I want a best friend, a partner, a husband to do things with, someone to cook dinner with, someone to share in the ups and downs, someone to come home to, someone to be on this FI journey with. I would love to be a wife and encourager.
So I employ a lot the things mentioned in this article but let’s be honest there are still moments when it hits me. The hardest times for me are when I come home alone at the end of the day.
Mind you I have been married before and for many reasons, it failed but in it, I learned that I loved being a wife. I gotta believe that I’ll have the chance at it again. However, it’s not a guarantee so what kind of mindset do I want to embrace?
I could choose to dwell on what I don’t have in my life. Or I can choose to embrace all that I do have:
- A loving supportive family
- A great job
- Fabulous friends
- My health
- Drinking water
- A budget for groceries
- The ability to save towards FI
- My faith
- Brothers & sisters to share in my faith
- My education
- This blog
- FI Friends
I think one of the keys to fulfillment in singlehood is helping others. Invariably, when I help someone in need, I am helped. I no longer feel alone but instead feel a sense of purpose. I have a calling to help women who are recovering from addiction or alcoholism. Lately, I’m discovering I also have a calling to help others gain control of their finances.
I apologize that I cannot give the exact reference for this next nugget of wisdom but it’s too good not to share. I heard a pastor being interviewed on a radio show and he talked about a man who was riddled with physical pain. He suffered constantly and doctors came to the end of the road on how to help him so he turned to his pastor. The pastor simply said to him, you can focus on the pain and be miserable or you can choose to live a life of servitude. If you choose a life of servitude your pain won’t disappear but it will no longer be the main focus of your life and hence bearable. That man chose to be a servant and found a life filled with joy.
I’m very privileged in what I have and where I live and I notice there is no shortage of people who need help. I consider it an honor to be able to use my gifts in ways that make others lives better.
I want to close with a great word from my favorite book, “And don’t be wishing you were someplace else or with someone else. Where you are right now is God’s place for you. Live and obey and love and believe right there.” ~ Paul, The Bible (The Message Translation)
Now, I would love to hear from you! Please share how you cope with loneliness. Or perhaps you are married and crave some alone time. Let me know how you deal with that. I am open to any and all feedback. If you want to email me some thoughts on the financial side of being single, I might be able to use it in my next post…