If you’re on the journey to a work optional life, or you’re already retired, you have probably spent some time pondering what you truly value most, and what doesn’t add value to your life. But do you spend accordingly, and — importantly — without guilt? If not, this post is for you, talking all about giving yourself permission to spend on what you value most, whatever it is, and regardless of whether others in the FIRE movement think it’s a worthy expense.
Achieving a big financial goal like early retirement is made possible by committing to saving aggressively. But when I look back at our years when we were so focused on saving, the things I regret aren’t the times when we didn’t save enough, they’re times when we didn’t spend on once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Today I’m sharing one such instances, and the lesson I learned from it that it’s a mistake to let life pass you by just because you’re saving for a big goal.
I recently had an experience that offered a sharp reminder: despite years of saving (successfully!) and a year and a half of not blowing our early retirement budget, I’m still a spender at heart. But being a spender rather than naturally frugal doesn’t doom you to fail financially. You can still thrive and save at a high rate if you just structure your life in ways that set you up to succeed.
The choice of whether to buy on the basis of cost first, or on the basis of quality first, is a personal one, and in our case, we tend to go for quality as the first consider and price second. But that approach has taught us some hard lessons, both good and bad. Here are three examples of purchases, and the lessons we’ve taken away from them.
It’s 2018, the world is upside-down, we’re retired and we’re… saving for retirement??! It’s true, friends. Despite already saving for retirement and feeling completely solid with what we’ve saved, this year we’re saving even more. Here’s why and how.
If you’d told me at the beginning of our early retirement journey that we’d be on the verge of retiring only six years later, and that we wouldn’t be miserable or feel like we’d lived a life of sacrifice to make it possible, I wouldn’t have believed you. But it’s true. And not because we haven’t dramatically cut our spending. We have. But because sacrifice is a perception, not an absolute, and we’ve managed to balance out cuts to our spending with additions to other parts of our lives. Here’s how.
We don’t walk around in the world feeling like some financial masters of the universe. I blog about money, of course, so I think about it a fair amount – though less than when I was more obsessive in checking our balances and updating the spreadsheets. But I […]
There’s a principle in medicine that the dose makes the poison. Which means, very few substances are good or bad for us no matter what. Instead, what matters is how much of them we take. And it’s exactly the same with money. It’s easy to make symbols of things like buying lattes or paying for cable, but those behaviors aren’t objectively a problem. What might be the problem, however, is the dose. Why we’re big believers in focusing on the dose, in context, and embracing a sense of radical moderation.