Thinking About Money Differently Since Getting FIRE’d Up

I find that I don’t look at money the same way as I once did.  I remember being in awe when I would see a hundred dollar bill.  Although I still find value in money, it doesn’t hold the same handcuffs as it once did.  I don’t idolize it anymore.  In fact, it wasn’t that long ago where I used to blow my money away.

When you have more than enough

Until a few years ago I never had enough to imagine what it would be like to have more.  It was a limitation of myself.  I put on these golden handcuffs and then spent money like water.

If I had more money then I spent more.

I once lived in a small (yet super nice) studio that cost $2200 a month in one of the nicest neighborhoods in the country.  I really had no business living there and my car was actually the worst in the lot.  My old Mazda used to be parked right next to a GT-R and a S-Class Mercedes.  I was okay with it as I soaked in the hot tub and lounged in the cabanas by the pool.

Over time, something inside of me changed.  Fast-forward to today and I could comfortably stop working for several years before having to decide to go back.

And the answer is yes, it feels great!

Rewind it back

Go back a few years and I had a $0 net worth.  My mortgage now is less than my last 5 years prior in rent and my income is substantially more.  I don’t regret what I did since it was a great time, but I’d probably do things differently knowing what I know now.

Although I don’t have enough for financial independence, I have way more than enough to take some serious time off to re-evaluate life.  That in itself is a huge burden lifted.  No debt… and options.

How much to call it quits?

I don’t have a solid number in my head to say “I’m done.”  Right now I’m aiming at enough savings/investments to cover at least 10 years.  This is obviously much sooner than my FI number.

One, I’m fairly young (in my early 30’s) so I can re-evaluate what I’m doing currently.  I don’t mind what I do, but I believe I can find other things I’d rather do with my time.

Two, many in the FI community mention how they could have called it quits years earlier and I had heard the 10 year idea and I liked the sound of it. 

I don’t have crazy expenses and have brought down many of them.  $30k can sustain me for a year assuming I don’t do anything too exciting.  That would mean I would need around $300k.  Considering that number is likely not too far away, I feel as if that number may be a bit low and may reconsider and aim a little higher.  Possibly something more around the range of $400k-$500k, but nothing is set in stone.

The Hard Part

Having enough of a next egg to last me years is a blessing and a curse.  It can be hard to want to continue working during the stressful times when you know you can call it quits and be alright.  This is where the eye of the tiger comes into play and I need to stay focused.

eye of the tiger

Why would I want to put myself through unwanted stress when an email can solve all those problems!

Dear Bossman,
I’m done.  Thanks!  It’s been a great ride!
Sincerely,
The Man on FIRE

See how easy that was?  In fact, I’ve done it before – except with much less money.  Sometimes, even offered substantially more.  The things is, money isn’t everything and if you’re unhappy I truly believe you should always put happiness ahead of any job.

Don’t burn bridges though!  There will be times when you need to turn around and cross them again and life will be much easier if those bridges are still there.

Money Is A Mindset So Start Thinking About Money Differently

The longer your money can continue to last for you, the less it has a hold on you.  While my view on money and how I perceive it has drastically changed, I believe it will continue to do so as I keep trekking down the path to financial freedom.

Has your view on money changed over the years?  If so, how?  

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