And sprinting towards an unknown future
I find myself fortunate in that I have the freedom to constantly change my mind how I feel about my life and my relationship with work and money. While not financially independent yet, my savings allows me to have some level of FU mentality in that at this level of lifestyle I can be more picky about how I will go about achieving the next few slices of independence. I don’t have to take any deadbeat work that would make me saw my arm off in boredom.
I was taught about FIRE through a cousin of mine who showed me a bunch of great books within a year or two of graduating college. I was already the broke kid at a rich school, there wasn’t much I could take away at that point. Prior to that I really had never thought about money all that much. I am thankful that everything was provided for me to be sure, but that does remove some of the hustle I could have had. Not that I had everything I ever asked for – I still worked plenty, but I just never wanted anything of much value. I suck at math and I was generally uninterested in thinking about the future, so I slowly ramped up in the community till I have now been tracking my financials religiously for 4 months.
Learning about FIRE too early is deadly. You will see people asking questions along the lines of – ” if I stay in my dead end job and save 70% of gross for the next 13 years with a 2% yearly raise I will be FIRE at 48!”
Life is long and weird shit happens. Who in their right mind thinks this way? I don’t consider myself a particularly flighty person by any sense of the word but still how can you pretend to plan out the next year effectively much less the next ten? I do not know if I want to be in the same country next year. I don’t know if I want to be doing the same task for the next 5 or 6. I have never had a single step in my life where things went according to plan, so why would saving and working fall in line all of a sudden?
If I had learned about this stuff even earlier I would be tearing my hair out counting down the minutes of my life from as young as 21. I was a late bloomer to many things in life and I think that turned out to be a blessing. Having an over emphasis on financial focus and retiring would effect the psyche and choices of one so young. Oh prefer instead to slowly learn as I did, that way I can appreciate how lucky I am to have experienced all sides of the coin. I have spent. I have saved. I have bought frivolous expenses. I have lived on ramen. Having been at each level I think places me on more even footing when looking and viewing the world.
Now obviously it doesn’t suck entirely – I am being facetious. I am purely focusing on the over emphasis that your mind will place on this stuff once your plan has crystallized in mind. That will unfortunately always invariably happen as once you set up the financial plan – there is frankly not much to do but sit and wait. The way people write online you’d think they trudge back and forth slowly staring at the numbers tick by. I can’t do that. I live in New York city and I know way too many people that have died before 35. I work hard for both my future and my current self. So while I focus on the big wins – most would be appalled at the lavishness of some aspects of my life.
Hoarding your money and watching your life on a spreadsheet is bad. Live it instead. Set it, forget it, and just live within your mental means. Automated investing is all that is needed. If you set up your automation correctly and then learn to appreciate all the less expensive things in life you will never want for anything.