A pandemic-inspired thought experiment proposed by Saving Ninja.
Image by Valiphotos via pixabay
I, like many others, find myself with more free time than usual at the moment, so I thought I’d try my hand at the latest Saving Ninja thought experiment:
Unprecedented events create new experiences. What fun, misadventure, or positive discoveries have you encountered while locked down?
Working from home; so far, so good
Like all non-essential staff, I’ve been working from home since this lockdown started. The entirety of my job can be done anywhere where I have a laptop and internet connection, so I am able to carry on almost as normal.
Until this pandemic started, my boss was pretty old school and wanted everyone in the office during core hours, so this is my first experience of working from home long-term. I have to say, I like it! I’m just as productive at home as I was in the office, but now have added freedom and flexibility in when I start or finish. I can take a two hour break in the middle of the day to go grocery shopping, for example, and then finish my working day two hours later.
I will say that I do miss the option of going into work occasionally for some socialising, or for the ease of just turning around and asking someone for help. But we’ve set up a group Slack so it’s easy enough to contact someone for whatever reason if needs be, and obviously meetings can be carried out over Zoom/Skype/etc.
Also, my current work-from-home setup is far from ideal. We live in a tiny one-bedroom flat. This means that I either have to work at the dining table and suffer the definitely-not-in-any-way-ergonomic dining chairs which give me back pain after an hour. Or I have sit on the sofa with my laptop perched on my lap and notes off to one side. This is better, but can again lead to a stiff neck if I’m not careful. Makes me almost long for the days where I was a student with a desk and decent chair in my bedroom! (Almost, but not quite, because I quite enjoy not living in damp, cold, shared student housing).
I enjoy spending more time with my wife
With the both of us suddenly working from home, you’d think that tensions could be high now that we’re always up in each others space. Happily, that is not the case, and we get along just as well as ever. Which is reassuring, considering we only recently got married!
Risk tolerance seems fine for now
My networth has dropped by about £8K, but I’m not that fussed. I still have a healthy amount in the bank and a job that is secure until the end of the year. May be a different story when I come to look for a new job to start early next year though! And of course, it will probably feel much, much worse if/when we have another financial crash in 20 years time and I (hopefully) have much more money tied up in the stock market.
Fun & Misadventure:
Weekly Houseparty/Zoom/Skype boardgame nights
Maybe I’m the minority here, but I find myself being even more social than before the lockdown started! At the beginning of April, I was expecting to visit two different groups of friends on two different weekends to celebrate some birthdays, and otherwise just hang out with Ms FIRE. All of our friends live in different cities, so our weekday evenings are usually quiet. However, I now have weekly boardgame nights with friends that I would usually only see once every few months, quizzes, D&D with family, etc. Makes me very grateful to have a good network of friends right now, even if I am usually very introverted and anti-social.
More walks around the neighbourhood
One disadvantage to working from home is that I no longer have my daily walk to and from work (about an hour total). Considering this was most of my exercise, that’s not good! So we’ve got in the habit of going outside for a walk most days. Sometimes just a short 20 minute walk, sometimes a longer one along some nearby country paths. It’s good to stretch our legs, get some vitamin D and some fresh air. It also provides some time away from the screen and allows us to talk about whatever comes to mind.
I have found myself playing some very old retro computer games for nostalgia, as well as working through Far Cry 5 with Ms FIRE. I probably wouldn’t have chosen to get the game myself, but it has turned out to be a decent co-op shoot-em-up.
Much more reading
My general aim is to read roughly a book a month, which I’ve more or less managed over the last few years. However, I’ve smashed this target in April, reading 4-5 books. I realise this is nothing compared to some, but it’s pretty good going for me.
As you can see, I’ve been very (un)productive during this pandemic.
But’s that’s OK. This is a strange time. I still have to work my usual 40-odd hours per week. And once I’ve finished for the day, I’m more inclined to just relax for the evening
Check out what other people thought:
- Mrs SavingNinja
- Total Balance
- Money For The Modern Girl
- Quietly Saving
- One Million Journey
- The Fire Shrink
- Tips to FIRE
I’ll continue to update this list as more bloggers contribute in the future