Changes Afoot

So I mentioned in my goals post that one reason why I wanted to keep my goals simple and familiar was because my life (as I know it) was going to be turned ‘upside down’.

Not in a bad way, I was being a little melodramatic there but certainly, there will be a big change happening later in the year.

So what’s the big change?

My sister is going to be moving in and living with me.

Before the arguments!

Sisters

The last time I lived in the same house as my sis was when I was 16 and she was 18. I recall desperately hoping that she would pass her A levels so that she could get into university and leave home. As teenage siblings are wont to do (or not, I don’t know about other families), we were arguing every single day and I just wanted her gone.

She duly passed her exams, left home (never to return) and I found myself missing her terribly!  Since then, we’ve always got on and been close as adults, but part of the reason might be that even when we were living in the same country, she was down in London so we weren’t in each other’s faces and only saw each other for relatively short periods of time.

Of course, we are no longer hormonal teenagers (although verging on hormonal middle-aged, which could be another issue!), we’re reasonable adults but I’ve been living a carefree, quiet, (mostly) singleton life, with no responsibilities (except for myself) and all that will be changing.

Hormones

Speaking of hormonal teenagers, my sis will not be moving in alone as she will have my tweenager nephew in tow.

In one sense, I’m very much looking forward to spending a lot of time with them both (in my mind, I’ve already planned days out, board game nights etc), as I love them both dearly and it’ll be good to finally have close members of the family living in the same country again.

I just don’t know how this might affect my journey to FIRE (positively or negatively).

Or my blogging – my family don’t know about this blog!

How will I be able to keep it secret from my eagle-eyed sis or inquisitive nephew!?

Living Arrangements

Long-standing readers of my blog may recall that I live in the family home. When I parted ways with my ex, we sold our house – I used my 50% to purchase a small BTL flat and moved into the family home which had been empty for the best part of ten years, my parents having returned to their country of birth when they retired early.

I pay my folks rent, which is below the market rate as I am also responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of their house.

The good news is that with my sis moving in, household bills will be shared. The bad news is that household bills will go up with more people living in the house. I can already picture myself running round the house turning off taps, timing their showers and switching off lights….

How long will they be living with me?

It’s uncertain but likely to be at least 1-2 years

Me Me Me

I have been really selfish thus far with this post because I’m only really seeing how this will affect me and my plans for FIRE, without really considering the huuuuge life change for my sister and my nephew.

I must consider that although my life will veer from its comfortable little norm, it will be nothing compared to the massive upheaval they will be experiencing.

It’s highly likely that she’s not exactly relishing having to live with me – my sis is an extremely organised person and although I’m organised at work, I’ll admit to being probably at the other end of the spectrum at home!

Also, she has suffered from mental health problems in the past, so I need to think of her and be supportive during this stressful period of her life.

My nephew is chatty and well behaved.  I have a great relationship with him, so I need to do my utmost to ensure that he settles in and remains a happy boy.

So there we have it.  I’ve got a lot of work to do around the house, decluttering (sis has already been dropping big hints about Marie Kondo) and making space for when they move in.

I have until the summer to do this, which sounds like plenty of time but isn’t, knowing me and my procrastination!

How would you cope with living with a sibling again?

41 thoughts on “Changes Afoot

  1. I see this as an excellent opportunity to pass on the principles of fi to the next generation!

    Having never had siblings it’s difficult for me to comment on this except to say its challenging living with anyone when you’ve had the place to yourself. I’d suggest laying ground rules down (for both of you) and also agreeing your own spaces where you can be yourselves if you are say less tidy than her

  2. Oh wow! Oh wow, oh wow.

    Yup that definitely counts as a huge life change. Don’t feel about about being selfish on this blog. We’re all on your side!

    I have a sister that’s almost two years older than me as well. Like you guys we get on better as adults than kids but we aren’t that close. We stay with each other 3-4 times a year for a few days at a time and that’s probably as much as we can cope with.

    Equally huge to be living with a child as that’s another dynamic again.

    Whatever happens I think you’re going to grow a lot over the next couple of years. One huge positive is that I think that you’re likely to build an even stronger relationship with your nephew. As he gets older that’s going to be invaluable.

    Good luck!
    Caveman recently posted…The magical world of prioritisation. How to win promotions and get pay rises the idle wayMy Profile

    • Hi Caveman

      I know..wow!

      Yes, dynamics will definitely change in the house – my nephew moving in too changes things a lot, having never lived with a child before…except when I was a child myself haha! Gosh, I’m going to have try to be a responsible adult in my own home…

      I agree, I will grow a lot over the next couple of years, hopefully for the better and yes, I can see a stronger relationship building with my nephew.

  3. Woah – didn’t see that one coming weenie!

    I have a sister 2 years older than me, and funnily enough we live very close to each other (her back garden backs on to mine!) which was just totally random really, but we probably don’t see each other all that much more than when we lived right across town from each other. We get on well and always have done, even as kids and teens, but I don’t think I could hack living with her again haha. Although if push came to shove and it was needed for any reason of course I would do it… that’s what family is for right!?

    It will be a big change but as usual you are already looking at the positive side of the situation which is why it will all work out for the 3 of you I’m sure.

    I look forward to reading QuietlySavingJr.com blog in a couple of years time once you have passed on the knowledge 😉

    Cheers!
    theFIREstarter recently posted…damp squib december – income / expenses reportMy Profile

    • Hey TFS

      I didn’t see it coming either! My sis mentioned something in passing a year ago and I dismissed/forgot about it. However, she confirmed her plan during my recent trip to HK and I was like, bloody hell, it’s really going to happen!

      You’re right – family’s there for when you need them and I have to say I’m in a better position than many others, who are estranged from their familes.

      The change is both scary though exciting – it will take getting used to.

      I’m not sure he’d be doing anything as ‘old-fashioned’ as a blog – it’s all about vlogs, until the next thing!

  4. Oohh big changes indeed. I guess you will have a few months to get used to the idea but it may take a little time to make adjustments to your routines etc when they move in. Look upon it as an opportunity for personal development!

    Seriously, good luck when the time comes.

  5. Providing I have my own quiet space, I quite like a full house. Before getting married and even for a few years after, I lived in a shared house and enjoyed meeting and doing things with people from a variety of different backgrounds. The one thing I cannot stand, however, is loud music. But perhaps I’m being nostalgic. My missus is a late riser and it means I almost never have to share any facilities with anyone in the morning.

    Overall, providing your sister is contributing to the bills it should be cheaper – especially if you can share cooking, don’t mind doing stuff like watch TV etc together. Council tax should be a nice saving too.

    • Hi Chris

      I grew up in a full house and loved living in a shared house as a student. But I’ve gone a long time living in the house on my own (apart from odd members of the family staying for short periods). I like my music loud so might have to use anti-social headphones!

      All bills will be shared so yes, savings there. She’s a better cook so has already mentioned ‘taking over the kitchen’ (and probably rearrange it again).

  6. Wow quite a change there Weenie – good luck! As FBA says, a good opportunity to pass on sensible habits to the next generation!
    I know I couldnt cope living with my sister – we are waaay too opposite we would kill each other in the first month (probably not literally but you never know!)
    Good luck keeping the blog quiet, but no need to apologise about it sounding selfish – this blog *is* about *you* and *your* journey 🙂
    Cheers

    • Hey FiL

      I dread to think if we were complete opposites, it definitely wouldn’t work. We’re different but alike enough in some ways I guess.

      Thanks – I’ll see how I get on with keeping the blog quiet and will surely say on here if I’ve been rumbled!

      Hope all’s well with you.

    • It is exciting but that’s not the only emotion I’m feeling right now! It will take a long time I think – when I have family staying with me, although it’s lovely to have them around, I often can’t wait for them to leave me in peace. Hmm…that doesn’t bode well, haha!

  7. Lovely news! I have a sister three years younger than me and like you we’ve become much closer as adults. She’s got a new flat with a spare bedroom so I’ve been staying with her and her partner a lot this past month. Not sure I could live with them – the flat typically looks like a bomb site – and they are terrible with food and energy waste- but then I could see it as a challenge to spread minimalism and sustainability.

    Good luck with the transition!!

    • Thanks Mindy.

      I stay with my sis all the time when I go over to HK which is fine, but like you say, it’s very different actually living with each other long term.

      The good news is I think my sis can be quite frugal when she wants to be, certainly she’ll be watching her pennies when she first moves over, unless she can secure a job transfer.

  8. Wow! That must be very exciting after so many years of living separately. It Is a big change and it probably needs time for you and them to readapt, so I would take it easy.
    In my case, I don’t have any siblings but always wanted to. Unfortunately my parents couldn’t afford it… I ve always wished I had at least one to support each other during difficult times. Luckily I’ve always had good friend, but I don’t think it carries the same deep feelings as a brother or sister would.

    My advice is: enjoy them as much as you can while you have them close to you

    Good luck accommodating the house!
    Tony recently posted…Paying yourself first – how long it takes to become a millionaire?My Profile

    • Thanks Tony.

      No, friends are not family so it’s a very different kind of feeling, closeness etc.

      I think there will be good and bad points about living together – I’m a pretty calm person so let’s home I continue to be so, haha!

      Agree, I may not know how long they will be with me so will try to make the most of it.

  9. I think that people who are working towards FI are those who have decided to take some control of their lives – certainly that’s me – and when you know that you are going to lose some of that control it can be a bit scary. As you say, will they continue to follow your frugal habits – maybe not, but sharing the bills has got to be a good thing. Even if they go up a bit, dividing them between the two of you has got to mean less money for you to fork out overall. My mum always taught us good spending habits and I am sure, as others have said, this will be a great opportunity to pass your wisdom on to your nephew, even if it is just by being a good role model. He may not necessarily adopt these things now, but I am sure he will be able to put it to good use in the future and look back and realise how wise his auntie was.

    • Hey Sam

      Think you might have hit the nail on the head. I’ve been in control of my life, certainly since I’ve been on the path to FIRE and this is something that isn’t in my control. However, what I perhaps should do is just try to do a bit of planning (better than nothing) so that there is an element of control.

      As I said above, I think my sister can be frugal when she wants to be and I will certainly try to pass on some good wisdom to my nephew. I so want to tell him about investing for starters!

      Thanks for the kind words and for stopping by.

  10. A big change indeed, but i’m sure that there’ll be far more positives than negatives for all three of you over the next couple of years. Perhaps the bigger question will be how you’ll cope with things once they move on, rather than how you’ll handle them moving in. No worries though, you’ll still have your big extended family here. Take care kid sis.

    • Hi KC

      Yes, I think there will be more positives than negatives, it’s just me stressing about change!

      And you’re right, I could get used to having them around and then find that I can’t live on my own…there’s a thought!

      Thanks for your kind words and for your continued support.

  11. I have a sister who’s a few years younger than me. I went travelling with her for a few months once and I’m not sure there’s anyone else whose company I could have tolerated to the same degree 24/7 for that period. What helped was that if we got annoyed with each other we’d just snap at each other but a few minutes later it would be forgotten, whereas if I was travelling with a friend I think it would have become a big, friendship-ruining deal. Not sure if the same principles would apply to living with her for a couple of years though. I’m a bit weird about mixing my family life with my London life. My parents always say that they probably wouldn’t know I’m in a relationship until I turn up one day married – and they’re only half joking.

    • Hi FF

      Yes, if there end up some sharp words between us, it’ll tend to blow over. If this happened with friendships, it would be a lot harder to mend. Still, if it got so bad and I needed to get out of the house, I can just jump into my car, go to the gym (or sympathetic friends) to get some space!

      Haha, funny comment about your relationships – it’s not too dissimilar to me!

  12. Hehe… I think it’s pretty natural to at times quarrel with loved ones, especially when your young and rebellious. I’m sure this will be a positive experience for you and your sister and you’ll enjoy the company.

    • Hi Wice

      Let’s just hope we don’t end up quarrelling since we are no longer young or rebellious!

      Hard for me to imagine while I sit in my quiet house but I think I will enjoy the company.

  13. Good on you!

    Couldn’t do it myself. But, what a great opportunity to shape a young mind of tomorrow! Teach that boy, Mrs Miyagi.

    If me and my bruv moved in together we’d probably become greater degenerates than we already are! Praise the Lord for The Wife keeping me in check.

    Here’s to hoping the three of you can settle in harmoniously. *clink*

    All the best,

    FIREflyfree

  14. Hi Weenie!

    Nice to hear your big news. That sounds like a lovely opportunity to get closer to your sister and nephew, no doubt you will look back on it as a time you cherished. I think if you set some ground rules from the start about being clean/tidy/energy efficient that everyone agrees to, it will help with the status quo. Also it’s super important to have a private space (like your bedroom as you have mentioned) to escape to when you need it, and for no-one to be offended if the other disappears off for their “quiet time”.

    I have just bought 2 Marie Kondo books and have been watching the Netflix series, I think there’s something in this decluttering/striving for minimalism approach!

    Hoping your news doesn’t impact on the blog we’ve all come to love.

    Corinna x
    Corinna | Inspiring Life Design recently posted…November And December 2018 Income & Profit ReportMy Profile

    • Hi Corinna

      I do hope that I’m not so stuck in my ways that I forget to cherish this time with my sister and nephew!

      I am aware of aspects of Marie Kondo’s ways and hope to implement some of them soon, though not to such extreme lengths as I really couldn’t live like a minimalist!

      Thanks for your continued support, it’s much appreciated!

  15. Pingback: Full English Accompaniment – Is financial independence achievable by anyone? – The FIRE Shrink

  16. Wow ! the news has broken.
    Quite a change for you, it will be exciting as the time gets nearer.
    I have a younger sister and we have lived together in the past. She lived with me while waiting for her house purchase to complete.
    I then lived with her when I left my ex and was waiting for my house sale/purchase to go through.
    She enjoys living on her own and has done for years and is very set in her ways, she has become more insular over time. I go on holiday with her periodically and after a week, I am glad to be back home so I can do my own thing.
    I live on my own and have got use to being on my own after living with someone else, I miss the company some time; coming back after a hard day at work to an empty house can be sad.
    In summary : Good for sharing and talking. Bad for ‘me time’ and space.
    You can make it work I’m sure, I know that if my sister and I had to live together again we would. Just setting ground rules and having some accepted split of activities will help, time together and time apart to balance the shared living.
    Time to start sorting the house out ready for their arrival.
    Exciting time ahead!

    • Hi SparkleBee

      Now that I’ve broken the news, it doesn’t seem as daunting as it was before – I think I just needed to get it off my chest!

      Like you though, I’ve lived a long time on my own (which in itself took a while to get used after the break up of 15-year relationship) and I like my own company. I’m not sure that I feel alone, my social life is enough that I don’t feel like I’m stuck in the house all the time on my own.

      However, I think it’s the ‘doing my own thing’ thing which will take some getting used to.

      I’m quite looking forward to sharing out the household chores however, haha! They can do the stuff I hate doing!

  17. Wow! I think it’ll take some getting used to – sharing your space as an established singleton. But it’ll certainly be great to connect with family on such a close level. There’ll be little frictions, I’m sure, but you’ll get to know them in a way that you can’t just by visiting and meeting and on such a different level than when you were teens.

    And it’ll definitely good to share household chores, I reckon. I’m a reluctant cleaner (although I love a clean and tidy house) so I’m the kind of person who’ll clean like a mad thing while cursing all my messy co-habitants as I go. In my really-fed-up-with-all-the-messy-kids moments I dream about a retirement where there will just be me and Mr Fu in a tiny bungalow which will take an hour to clean, tops, which is where we started our married life.
    It’s a pipe dream. With our brood I reckon we’ll always have someone with us.

    Good luck with the preparation, and I speak from experience that you will find some ‘me’ time…. even with eight of us in the house there is the opportunity to do my own thing – if not indoors I just go out somewhere – usually the supermarket! haha

    • Hi Mrs Fu

      I think I will get used to it and adapt and you’re right, just visiting and meeting for short spaces of time is not the same as spending a lot more time and living with them, so in that respect, I’m looking forward to them moving in.

      Thanks, I’ve started clearing a few things out but probably not doing as much as I should!

      Escaping to the supermarket sounds like a good idea if things got too much, haha!

  18. I honestly would probably kill my brother if we lived together again assuming he didn’t kill me first! I love him but I think we both have our own ideas of what a comfortable home is and we would clash. I would be turning lights off and he would be turning them on. I would be cooking home made meals and he would be ordering take aways.

    • Haha, thanks for sharing, Mrs Chai!

      Everyone’s relationship with their siblings is different – speaking to my friends, they all say that they couldn’t live with theirs again!

      The good thing is that my sis is more into home made meals rather than takeaways so in that respect, nothing will change!

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