My grandmother passed away on Sunday night at the age of 89 and so I write this with a heavy heart. We have always been close; I spent all my school holidays with her baking scones, learning to paint and taking trips to the beach. As I grew older, she was one of biggest supporters alongside my parents, always proud of my achievements however small.
Her passing away has reminded me why I’m pursuing financial independence – life is too short to be stuck in a 9 to 5 job that takes up time that could be better lived. I’m lucky in that my employer takes bereavements seriously; I can take compassionate leave without being penalised. However, the work will still be there waiting for me and the longer I’m away the more it will pile up and become more urgent. If I was financially independent and didn’t have to work a traditional job, I would have a lot more flexibility to support my family when I need to.
My grandmother was also a good example of frugal living although in her case this was out of necessity. Never earning a good wage, after my grandfather died 25 years ago she lived in rented accommodation with only a state pension to support her subsidised from time to time by my parents. She didn’t own a car and she made a lot of her clothes. She would never be considered wealthy but the memories we made together are rich and full of laughter. Let that be the lesson – time spent with loved ones is infinitely more precious than money spent on things.