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Hey there,

This is mazske here. I started this board a while ago, when I was pursuing FIRE.

Now, all plans are on hold.

Oh, I still plan to leave my current job, police officer, in 12 years and some months when I'm 50. But, police pay is poor, at least in the area I'm in, and expenses just keep rising.

I have two kid and as much as we try to keep expenses down, they still cost a bit.

We have two cars, since we both work. We had to buy a "new" used car last year when my wife's car suddenly died and we were told that it was not worth fixing because odds were that the rest of the car would fall apart soon. So, we bought a used Toyota Camry and got a good price, burt we are still paying on it.

My car is dying and I think it's on it's last legs. It's 18 years old and has 182,000 miles.

We had to reduce our savings just to make ends meet and trust me, we live very frugally. I hated to do that, but surviving is more important than FIREing.

And, to top it off, I recently turned down a promotion in my job which would have given me a 5% pay raise. Why, you ask?

Because I'm passionate about the work I'm currently doing. I'm doing my best to promote literacy and I honestly believe that I can make a difference to millions of persons in this world. See for a glimpse of what I'm doing.

So, if I had accepted the promotion, I would have gone back to the street and my work on literacy and Book 'Em would have suffered.

So, here I sit. A guy who is also passionate about FIREing, so I can pursue my love of promoting literacy as a volunteer, but now I have to put my FIRE plans on hold.

There is not a lot left to cut to Live further below my means. Yes, I could cut out the boys piano class, but I don't want to. OK, before you say they are spoiled by having piano classes, the piano we own is about 50 years old and currently has 6 broken keys that I can't afford to fix.

So, I just keep plodding along, trying to positively impact one child at a time, yet I hope to stay afloat on my meager salary. Taxes, gas prices, food prices and basic living expenses all get higher. My salary does not.

Ok, my rant,no, not rant, my crying, is over for tonight. Sorry about that, but I thought I'd update some of you on what is going on in mazske's life.

Keep the faith, fellow FIRE Wannabees. Just because I've faltered, that doesn't mean any of you will do the same. You can do it!
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When Life Gives You Lemons
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