Typical Day

In a recent comment, @Playing with Fire mentioned that it might be interesting to know what a typical day looks like during my ‘unplanned practice retirement’.

I’m not sure it would make a very interesting post but here goes!

Also, I would love to treat it as ‘retirement’ but feel a little uneasy about enjoying myself too much!

Anyway, three of my days in the week are pretty much the same so I guess they’re ‘typical’:

My alarm wakes me up at 7.30am. I know this isn’t actually that early but considering I don’t really need to wake up at that time, it’s still quite early (for me, especially as I’m not a morning person!). I need to set the alarm as I don’t want to end up treating every day like the weekend. Also, when I get a job, the transition won’t be so painful!

I’m up and about, have a simple breakfast, read the news online, check my emails and by 9am, I will sit down to do my matched betting.

This can take between 1-1.5 hours, depending on the number of offers on and if I can get any decent matches.

Matched betting done, I do my job hunting – this can take between 1 – 3 hours depending on whether there are any vacancies worth investigating, what job matches I have in my inbox, if I make any applications etc.

I probably get 1 or 2 agencies calling me each week, some just to go over my CV and experience; other times, I end up having a mini telephone interview.

I’ll have my lunch anytime between noon and 2pm, depending on the above activities. I used to take my own salad box for work but for some reason, I can’t face eating salad at home. It would be so easy to just nip out and buy lunch but keeping costs down in mind, I just make a light lunch at home.

If it’s sunny, I’ll then potter around the garden. If the weather’s crap, I’ll catch up on some blog reading, read my book, occasionally practise my ukulele or listen to some podcasts or the radio.

At around 4pm, to avoid traffic, I’ll set off for the gym. I catch up with my friends in the club area and then do my own training in the gym (weights and punchbag). After this session, I rejoin my friends for the aerobics class. Shower, change, drive home – by this time, it’s nearly 8.30 pm.

I never have much of an appetite after a workout so I’ll make a small evening meal, perhaps have a couple of snacks.

Anyway, it’s then back online to check how my matched bets have gone and I update my spreadsheets, cheering at the profits/free bets and grimacing at qualifying losses!

The TV is finally switched on and I’ll watch 2 or 3 episodes of some show I’m currently in the middle of watching or catch up on iPlayer.

Around midnight, time for bed but I’ll read for up to an hour before my head hits the pillow.

And that’s pretty much it – the days don’t seem to drag but I’ve noticed they certainly don’t go by as fast as they did when I was working.

I’ve still been keeping to my drinking-only-at-weekends rule – it’s feels important to me to distinguish the weekdays from the weekends so yes, I still look forward to the weekends. In this, I think I’d probably practice something similar when I am finally retired.

My social life hasn’t changed but I actually turned down a couple of recent ‘unplanned’ outings, (“Champagne afternoon tea? Sorry, count me out!”) which I would have probably accepted when I was working.

I’m spending a lot of time at home, which would drive some people mad but the other alternative is to go out and going out often means the opportunity to spend money. On the few days when it’s been sunny and I’ve decided to walk into the local village, I’ve deliberately not taken my purse.

I still do my one supermarket shop a week, keeping to my usual routine. My grocery bill hasn’t changed too much but I might start planning my meals better again, cook in batches etc.

Resistance was futile…

As mentioned in discussions with @FIREin’ London, I was trying to not buy any alcohol for home consumption this year – I lasted until April – ended up wandering down the ‘wrong’ aisle in the supermarket and left with a few bottles of Brewdog! I’ll see how long I can resist again – really need to get another homebrew on but struggling to find the motivation to do so.

Positive

I think I’ve retained a positive outlook by keeping to routines, maintaining my fitness and continuing to network. My friends and family seem more concerned that I’m not working, when in the back of my mind, I don’t think I’d be too upset if I was free to enjoy the summer! However, my preference of course would be to get back to working sooner rather than later.

My ex-boss has been calling me every other week to see how I’m getting on and to provide support and advice. I’m actually very grateful he does this as we had a great working relationship.  His calls help keep me focused on the job hunting, plus he has a lot of contacts in the industry.

Today

Today would have been one of the above ‘typical days’ only it wasn’t because I had an interview so spent the entire morning prepping for it (all of yesterday too). It was probably one of the toughest interviews I’ve had and I very much feel like breaking that no-alcohol-in-the-week rule, haha! Fingers crossed for this one!

13 thoughts on “Typical Day

    • Haha, if it was no-alcohol whatsoever, then I would fail every week too! What I was trying to do was to not purchase any MORE alcohol as I have plenty of bottles of wine, gin, vodka and prosecco in the house!

  1. Looking at it like a trial run for retirement is a good perspective to have. It makes things finite, so you make the effort to consciously take pleasure in being in control of where and how you spend your time. Plus it avoids thinking too much about things if it turns out there is a large void, or even an abyss, in the practical realities of not working.

    One thing I would suggest is putting a time limit on the job hunting. I’m not sure about your industry, but certainly in mine recruitment grinds to a halt around the time school breaks up and doesn’t really get started again until mid September. With that in mind you would enjoy your time off more by downing tools on the job hunting after this cut off date, with a view towards resuming the hunt for a site lucky enough to deserve your expertise in earnest after the summer.

    That certainly beats frustratedly hitting refresh on jobserve several times a day, only to see the same generic pretend job adverts posted by agencies looking to populate their candidate database and consultancies looking to restock their bench depth at bargain salaries!

    Good luck with the interviewing, I hope you find a suitably remunerated role with a reasonable commute where you’ll be challenged (in a good way) and learn some marketable new skills.
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    • My job range can transition various industries however, I have been told that the job market as a whole does slow down in the summer so perhaps I will rein things back a little and enjoy the time off. Thanks for your kind wishes.

  2. Good luck! I like our positive attitude and I agree that it is a good idea to distinguish week days from weekends. I too am job hunting but as yet have not found anything suitable so am working hard on the frugal front to help build up that FIRE balance as well as making money on the side whenever an opportunity arises. I spend way too much time listening to inspiring podcasts though!

  3. It was interesting reading about your typical day, good idea from Pwf there!

    You’ve kept a good schedule in the week especially with the gym activities. You must be super fit by now!

    I’m not sure I’d be so disciplined.

    Keep up the good work and hope the interview went well.

  4. Thanks so much for the insight Weenie. I really enjoyed learning more about how you are spending your time.

    I like how much structure you’ve put into your days while taking advantage of your flexibility. Good work with the alcohol discipline. I found that easier when I drove to work as I’d never drink with work people. Now that I get the train it’s easy to go for drink(s) after work as the opportunity arises.

    Good luck with the job hunting.

  5. 7:30am is super early! Especially when you don’t *have* to get up then. You obviously have way more willpower than I do…

    I hope you get good news after that tough interview. And it’s the weekend now (the weekend starts on Friday evening, right?) so I hope you’ve cracked open that beer… 🙂

  6. I hope you hear positive news from your interview..

    I applaud you on the no alcohol in the week rule, as someone who enjoys a drink in the evening after a long day at work, I would fail this every week haha!

  7. Hi Weenie,

    Thanks for the pingback! 🙂 Glad to see you are keeping the discipline of getting up in the morning – I think that is really important, and as you say will make it less painful when you start work again! Really structured and sensible approach – so many people would just lie in and waste the time they have rather than make the most of it as you have.

    Good to see also the support you have from the ex-boss and family / friends – it’s just a case of waiting for the right thing! Enjoy it while you have it!

    I actually tried a “Spankers IPA” yesterday – very hoppy and very nice – so good luck avoiding the “wrong isle” challenge again, always easier said than done!

    Cheers,
    FiL

  8. Hey Weenie,

    I found this post really interesting, thanks for sharing. I love hearing about what people get up to in an average day. I don’t think I could have your patience for the matched betting, but what is great about it, is that it’s a way to make some money any time of the year.

    OR

    • Matched Betting profits already at all time low this month – 1) because the football season’s ended and 2) because I can only do at the weekend. I should still be able to make something – I’ll be well happy if I can scrap £100!

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