Snow Days And The Financially Independent…

If you happen to live in a climate that experiences the season called winter, “Snow Days” are a thing that happens.  Kids get the day-off from school (because the schools close), and parents have a reason to play hooky from work

“Sorry Boss, schools are closed!  I’ve got to stay home with the kids!”

That excuse might work with your Boss a couple days a year, but after a few Snow Days his (or her) patience begins to wear thin.  Bosses don’t usually like unannounced days off.  Projects need to be completed, customers need to be taken care of, and the job needs to get done… regardless of whether a few snowflakes have fallen or not.

Especially in this day and age when business goes on constantly around the globe.  Customers enjoying a balmy summer in Australia couldn’t care less if it’s snowing in North America.  They just want the work done.

When Mrs. Tako and I were both working we “tag-teamed” days off to watch the kids — First Mrs. Tako would take a day off, then it would be my turn.  And so on… alternating on who needed to watch the kids.

This is how we tried to keep the Boss’s disapproving scowl to a minimum.  The “tag-team” solution works for awhile, but kids have so many irregular days off now…

Check out this list of “irregular” days off my son has experience over the last 5 months:

  • Snow days
  • Teacher Conference days
  • Teacher Grading days
  • Sick Days
  • “Other” Strange holidays most people don’t get off from work
  • Early release days
  • Mid-winter break

Holy cow!  Do kids even go to school anymore?  If a parent takes that much time off, it’s bound to get noticed and/or aggravate the employer.  A employer needs workers that actually get work done.  They don’t want to have to deal with the employees that always have some excuse.

Financial Independence makes life so much easier on so many levels…


Recent Snow Days and FI

At 5:08 AM on Monday morning, I got the first school closure announcement of the week.  The school’s automated system called my phone, announcing the school closure.  Bright and early.

I muted my phone and mumbled something about “schools are closed today” to Mrs. Tako.  Then, I rolled over and slept-in.  No need to wake-up early on a Snow Day.

In the past, the mere mention of a snow day would have stressed me out.  I never could have gone back to sleep.  There’s always the negotiation about who’s going to watch the kids, and then how much extra commute time is necessary to deal with conditions.

(I commuted by bus, which was extra tricky when local bus routes changed to “snow routes”)

Now days, life is so much more relaxed…

We got around 4-6 inches of snow overnight.  (This doesn’t sound like a lot, but it was enough to create two “snow days”.)  It blanketed the neighborhood in all it’s pretty whiteness, and the roads were bad.

Mrs. Tako decided to work from home (telecommute) rather than attempting to drive to work.

snow covered garden
The backyard garden area covered in snow.

The kids of course *love* Snow Days.  They get a chance to play in the snow, which is a pretty rare occurrence here.

Snow means tons of free entertainment — We shoveled the driveway, went sledding, built a snow man, rolled in the snow, threw snowballs, and so forth.  I even made hot chocolate and pizza for lunch.

the snow ball
Tako Jr. #2 showing off his snowball.
happy snow kids
Snow days are happy days for kids.

Mrs. Tako even took a break to come out and play in the snow.  It was a great time — the kind of day I hope the kids remember as “a good day” when they get older.

We didn’t accomplish anything notable, but I could probably win an award for the cleanest driveway in the entire neighborhood.

the clean driveway

Basically, a Snow Day for the Tako family now means life on “easy mode”.  Fun and family time.  Sleeping-in a extra couple of hours.  Hanging out with the kids.  I don’t try to accomplish anything or stress myself over deadlines.

While this surely isn’t a new revelation, Snow Days really showcase the beauty of financial independence with a family — Any disruption to life becomes almost no disruption at all.

Life is just easier.  The stress and disruption caused by inclement weather just melts away… like snow under the heat of a FIRE.

With nothing on the schedule that can’t be easily rescheduled (and no boss to please), a Snow Day becomes just an excuse to goof-off and enjoy life with the family.  So we did.

plenty more snow
Plenty of snow left to shovel…

Of course, all that goofing around means I didn’t get around to working on my usual month-end blog post.  Instead, you get this sorry excuse for a blog post…

Sorry folks, I was taking a Snow Day!


[Image Credit: Flickr]

23 thoughts on “Snow Days And The Financially Independent…

  • February 6, 2019 at 3:41 AM

    I loved working at my boys’ school for the very same reason. Snow days became a bonus relax day. I kind of miss them now that we live in North Carolina–but not the snow! Yesterday it was 75 degrees, and I definitely felt like Spring was near. That driveway was impressive! Glad you guys had a fun day!

    • February 7, 2019 at 11:59 AM

      Thanks Laurie! It was actually 3 days of no school in the end! Enjoy that 75 degrees! 🙂

  • February 6, 2019 at 3:48 AM

    Love it, nice pics too! I love snow more than I can express in words and it still makes me feel like a kid every time. Nature is wonderful and beautiful.

  • February 6, 2019 at 6:04 AM

    I remember those days – waking up to a massive jolt of stress as we tried to figure out how to manage two work schedules (both operational, with little chance of staying home) with a snow / ice day. It’s a true luxury to instead just ask the kids, “What are we going to do today?” 🙂 Glad you guys enjoyed the day off.

    • February 7, 2019 at 12:00 PM

      It actually turned into 3 days without school. Today was the first day back!

  • February 6, 2019 at 9:47 AM

    So lovely! I am close to FI, and have some good FU money tucked aside, so I am starting to not care whether I have not filed TPS reports or not. Knowing I can take a hard line with my employer takes much of the stress off.

    It is freezing rain here north of the 49th parallel, very slushy, but so glad I am not living a commuter lifestyle, the unpleasant 10 minute walk from Montessori will not be too bad.

    Happy snow fights and snow angel making!

  • February 6, 2019 at 12:37 PM

    Your snow day sounds lovely. Mine was unfortunately less relaxed despite working from home. Monday morning was my appointment at SeaTac to interview for Global Entry. Needless to say that didn’t happen. I waited 30 minutes for the bus that was supposed to come at 7am (according to the snow routes) and never did. Oh well. I prefer your approach 🙂

    • February 7, 2019 at 12:02 PM

      Oh yeah, the buses become unreliable once they start on the snow routes. Major pain!

      I’ve definitely been there! 🙂

  • February 6, 2019 at 3:16 PM

    That is an impressively cleared driveway, Mr. Tako! Cute kiddos, too. The snow has mostly melted down here in the Portland burbs, but it looks like you may get another snow day or two next week with the weekend wallop that appears to be heading our way!

    • February 7, 2019 at 12:02 PM

      Yeah, I heard 6 inches on Friday. Maybe Monday will be another snow day.

  • February 6, 2019 at 7:54 PM

    What an awesome bonus you experience being FIREd while having kids still in school. That certainly lessons the headaches of unexpected school closings etc.

    Glad you got to spend some relaxing quality time with your kid while the rest of the workforce have to navigate through snowy roads

    • February 7, 2019 at 12:03 PM

      Yeah, I *much* prefer having a slow/relaxing day at home rather than trying to fight the traffic, snow, and everything else.

      Being FI is so much easier.

  • February 6, 2019 at 10:22 PM

    You guys got lots of snow. Nice! We got about half an inch in downtown Portland and it didn’t stick around long. The school closed and we moved a few things to our new place. Way better than working. 😉
    I hope no snow this weekend. We need to move more stuff.

    • February 7, 2019 at 12:14 PM

      Yeah, we got 4-6 inches and it’s mostly melted now. Although the weatherman is forecasting another 6 inches for our area on Friday.

      You might not make as much progress on the move as you wanted. 😉

  • February 9, 2019 at 9:20 AM

    I still dont understand what to do for health insurance post early retirement. Especially for people with existing medical conditions. I could easily retire now but can’t gamble with how long the ACA will be around.

    • February 13, 2019 at 5:43 PM

      We’ll purchase private insurance or join a health sharing ministry. One of the two. As long as private insurance is a thing, you should be able to purchase a policy.

      • February 13, 2019 at 5:47 PM

        But…it will probably be prohibitively expensive for people with pre-existing condition.

        • February 13, 2019 at 6:33 PM

          I can’t comment on the future pricing of healthcare policies. Predicting the future isn’t really where my skillset is. Focus on getting healthy and staying healthy in the meantime.

  • February 10, 2019 at 5:57 PM

    So. Much. Snow.

    Telecommuting day for me tomorrow, husband is still unsure. We are in the tag team phase of life and it certainly helps a TON (especially since the kiddo has been sick twice this winter already). One of those things where early retirement definitely comes out ahead lol


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