I love learning. Always have. So when I find a blog or writer that interests me I devour everything I can find. Every day I move countless amazing articles from an array of frugal, simple living, FI-minded writers into my Amazing Reads folder to be read at my leisure. These articles inspire me and the Mr. to think about things in different ways, to keep open minds and to constantly keep learning so we can be the best possible us.
In this episode of Friday Feast: Debt Discipline, Becoming Minimalist, One Cent at a Time, Suburban Finance, Blonde on a Budget, Enemy of Debt, Choosing Voluntary Simplicity.
Here are my picks for this week’s Feast. I hope they inspire you to set financial goals and take control over your heart, mind and – yes, your pocketbook. There is a fire lit within each and every one of us, and the sooner we find that flame, the quicker we can use it for the energy we need to master our own happiness.
Things that Matter and Things that don’t:
Sometimes decisions even big ones aren’t as important as we think. This week Steve talked about whether what college you go to matters and decided it often doesn’t. Meanwhile, Debt Discipline figured out what the best colleges for his kids to go to are based on ROI (Return on Investment), not prestige, which I think is a much better way to look at it.
Joshua at Becoming Minimalist took things one step further and discussed the 7 things that shouldn’t impress us anymore. I know that cell phones, cars, and jewelry certainly don’t impress me but I have a harder time with the age of retirement or social media photos. I have to remind myself that everyone has different goals and different strengths….and that Facebook usually only shows the good, not the crap.
I find it interesting learning how other people save money to get out of debt, become FI, and go on amazing adventures. Sometime saving begins not on purpose but by accident instead. Crazy, right? This is what happened and is explained on One Cent at a Time. Goal: loose weight. Result: Get fit and FI. Pretty awesome!
Once your savings goals are set, you have to develop some methods to prevent spending. I know I use a very similar method to Suburban Finance and use a want list. We also create separate budget line items for our bigger purchases. I’m only one month away form having enough to buy my hiking boots!
However, while having a goal to save for is great, once you reach it you need to set that next goal or lifestyle creep can start happening…even to finance bloggers as told by Cait from Blonde on Budget as a guest post on Becoming Minimalist. She has learned that what we appreciate, appreciates.
Setting the right stride:
I have now run 2 half marathons and while that sounds awesome I would gladly not run another….but probably will…maybe. I dislike running. There is no glow at any point in the whole process. The only reason I do it at all is to chat with my girlfriends. We train together and our training dates are weekly girl time that otherwise might get sacrificed in our busy lives, but are still maintained so we don’t absolutely kill ourselves come race day. One thing that is essential to running any kind of distance is pace. I’m learning that most aspects of life have a pace, and I am finding the one that works best for me.
Recently, Steve and I were talking with his dad about our FI plans. As Steve has mentioned before, he retired at 49 and is a great role model for us. He said we are doing it right. We are living the lives now that we want to live when we retire. We are setting our pace. It’s much easier to keep living at the perfect lifestyle pace than to try to radically shift pace from one extreme to another. So, we retire a little later than if we scrimped and saved and didn’t eat guacamole for a week. Is it worth it? For us yes. This is exactly what Enemy of Debt is getting at in his article about Finding your Financial Forever Pace. We are slowly settling into ours.
Meanwhile, another aspect of our life pace is learning to prioritize what we enjoy and NOT DO what we don’t enjoy (within reason). Choosing Voluntary Simplicity extols the virtues of learning to slow down. It’s a process but I’m getting there. Hubby and his don’t give two-shits attitude is ahead of me in this one. So when I say I may never run another half marathon, I mean it. I will need to decide whether my dislike of running outweighs or is outweighed for my love of spending time with my friends. I will be choosing the things I want to do and setting my pace to keep me happy, healthy and content while I’m working and into FI life!
Did you read something inspiring this week? If so let us know in the comments below!
They have been at a great feast of learning, and stolen the scraps.
– William Shakespeare
Steve is a 38-year-old early retiree who writes about the intersection of happiness and financial independence. Steve is a regular contributor to MarketWatch, CNBC, and The Ladders. He lives full-time in his 30′ Airstream Classic and travels the country with his wife Courtney and two rescued dogs.