Ten Things We Can Do Now, That We Couldn’t Before

One of the best things about FI and not working is the amount of time that is now available. In fact we wonder how we got *anything* done when we were working. I guess we just got most of our chores done at the weekend. Apart from the required activities there are now a lot of things we can do now that we simply never had time for before.

Here are ten of them.

More Vacation

It’s Spring Break next week. Although we don’t have any specific plans, if the weather is good we can get out for a few days. Although we had 5 weeks vacation at our last job it was rare we would have spring break off to spend with the kids. Now we can drop things whenever we want and head out to do family activities.

Cooking and Cleaning

In our old neighborhood, we were one of the few houses that didn’t have a part time maid. We would clean at the weekend, and we never thought our house was dirty. But now we can have a daily rota and ensure that each room gets cleaned each week. With our meals, often it used to be a panic once we got in at 6 pm (or later) each evening. Although we cooked most evenings there was very little planning. Now we sit down on a Monday and can plan for the week and ensure there is a cooked meal on the table at 5 each evening.


As mentioned before I do boardgaming as a hobby. Although my main time at the games store is on Saturday evenings this still wouldn’t have been  practical in our previous lifestyle. Saturday nights were usually free but it would have not been fair on the rest of the family to be out every Saturday. Now though with more family time, being out on a Saturday night is no big deal. I can also pop in during the week should a group be getting together.


Running was in my schedule when we were working but a mixture of weather and free time meant it was often at 6 am or at weekends. Now I can get out and exercise whenever I want. This is also more conducive to longer runs; previously finding a 90 minute slot for a 10 mile run was tricky. Also I have a running group that meets as 6pm on Tuesdays. That wouldn’t be practical to make on our previous schedule.


Reading has always been an important activity for me. Although I would try and squeeze in half an hour during lunch on days when I didn’t have meetings, it would be tough to find the time to do the amount of reading I would want to. Now if I need a couple of hours on a book I can find the time.

Video Games

It might seem odd as a middle aged man but I do still enjoy playing video games. Typically I like role playing games (RPGs) such as Witcher 3 and Elder Scrolls. These are the sort of games that take a time investment and often have 100 plus hours of play and cant typically played for just a few minutes here or there, an hour session or more is usually required in order to get into the flow of the game. It used to feel selfish disappearing off to play these when there was only limited family time. Now however I have the time to invest in the storylines.

Community Activities

The other week with our background we were asked to go along to help judge a local middle school science fair. As this was happening during the middle of the day we had the time to do this. This was just one way we could give back locally. Tuffy is involved in volunteer work and there is usually things going on in the community we can help out with.


Clearly in our working days we couldn’t have started this blog. It’s a useful outlet for thoughts and interests and i’m enjoying organizing what we are doing onto the page. Obviously it takes time to think about what to write, research if necessary and then to write and edit.

Kids Activities

We now have a lot more time to attend school activities, whether it is volunteering at my son’s school or being available to organize our daughters tennis practice we now have the luxury to be able to assist in these things.

Trying out Restaurants

Portland is a foodie town, but it can be expensive eating out and we are obviously on a  budget. We do like trying out these new places, and we have found the best way to do that is at lunchtime. We can try these places for usually under $10. Although we usually only do this once a week, we couldn’t do that when we were working.

Having lots of free time means being able to pursue any activities we want (within financial reason!). Boredom is not an option.


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All the FI life!

I’m on a one year mat leave and I don’t know how I’m going to do it when I get back to work. I think one of the best things about not working is the meal planning. You don’t feel exhausted at the end of the day and are actually able to eat at a decent time.