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primm shares,

Every now & then I get quite fired up about this topic, but then I read posts about saving 40-50% of your income, & think to myself I will never be FI.

My situation - I am a single mum with 2 boys - 9 & 12. I have no debt, but the assets I thought were worth a certain amount halved last year when the ex & I separated.

I am 34 years old, an RN with not a lot of hope of my income improving dramatically, & the bills don't go down just because there are 3 of you instead of 4. And with boys, my grocery bills are doubling on a weekly basis (or so it seems!)

So what am I doing about it? Well, firstly, I am appreciating what I have. No debt, a reliable car, and my health. Plus I do have some money (about $32k at the moment, but $12k of that is earmarked for school fees).

My plan is to go back to uni to get a business degree this year. 2 years full time, which I will be able to do because social security here is really good for single parents, so I will not have to work, as I already have the cash to pay my uni fees up front (at a 25% discount). The downside of doing this is that I will not be able to save AT ALL for the next 2 years. But when I graduate, I will be on a starting salary not much less than my current one with 15 years of nursing experience, and the opportunity to increase that far more than my current job allows.

So that's my situation at the moment (sorry it's a bit long). I guess I'm just looking for some reassurance that it is possible to start with nothing, & eventually have enough to be financially independent. And please don't give me the line that both my ex AND my financial advisor friend gave me, the one that goes "but when you meet someone else....."!!

In some ways, I can relate to your situation. At age 36, I had to start all over after divorce. I loss more that half my assets and was left with a lot less money than you have now.

OTOH, I had a good paying job and I don't have kids.

Anyway, I'm in my late 40's now and I am now retired. And I never remarried. I think waiting to meet the right person is bad advice, since a)you can't make that happen and b)it's not necessary.

I defintely think that ER is not out of the question for you.

Here's two suggestions for you:

1) Try to get into a better paying job. The higher your salary, the more you can save. Instead of going for a busines degree, why not condider on based on your nursing backround. One example is nurse anethetist. I know that they earned 75k back in the late '90s so it's probably a lot higher now.

2) You can successfully lower the cost of child rearing. I would encourage you to read the Tightwad Gazette books, which were written by a woman who successfully raised her family of 8 on 18k per year.


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