So, I came across the blog last week, and it's really kicking my ass.
I'm 30 years old, a Canadian living in Ireland. I've spent my life since childhood being "kind of poor" but spending wastefully on things like cappuccinos, fancy sandwiches, books, and beer. I have some natural moustachian habits...I don't care much about "stuff" or clothes or makeup or haircuts, (in fact I once spent a year in a spiritual experiment where I gave away all my clothes and just wore three rotating identical dresses for a year) I cycle everywhere, I don't pay for TV (I watch some box-sets online) I buy most of what I need second hand. (which isn't much, mostly jeans when the butt wears through on my current pair, from cycling.)
I've almost always worked low-income jobs, being a bit of a drifter and a daydreamer by nature with very few go-getter bones to call my own. I'm now a freelancer, living on about 15,000 euro a year (actually I have no idea what I earned this year, because I only exist week-to-week, until tax time. Shameful.) ...but that's doing the very bare minimum I need to do to keep the wolf from the door. As in, like, 10-15 hours of work a week. I have no debts, but no savings, either.
I was looking up financial stuff for the first time because a.) I am in constant need of new ways to procrastinate, and b.) hey, suddenly I'm 30 and that carefree student live-for-today kind of lifestyle I've enjoyed for more than a decade doesn't look so practical now that I am thinking about maybe getting married and having kids. In Aesop's "Ant and grasshopper" fable, I have been a big old grasshopper.
I've felt like I have life pretty great, loads of free time to pick berries and make jam, ride my bike and read books, enjoying the "little luxuries of life" like 5 euro feta cheese from the goat farmer at the farmer's market. And it is pretty great, but I now see, thanks to MMM, that I am living life as if I'm retired, when really I squeak by invoice-to-invoice, with scary months when I end up needing to see a doctor, or a client pays me late, and I'm reduced to apologising to my landlord for being a week late and eating stale ramen from the back of the cupboard.
SO! I am trying to get my shit together. My freelancing gigs are quite new, but I know I'm capable of doubling or tripling my workload while still retaining some semblance of free time....it's just that I suck, am SUPER lazy, and a complete complainypants. I'm wondering now if I should try to get a regular kind of job instead, to stashe away as much as possible, since I'm starting kind of late, but that scares me so much I think I'm going to spend these first weeks cutting off the cappuccino, feta, and other assorted crap out of my daily spending, while kicking my ass to get a few new clients (just signed one yesterday) and then a few more, etc.
Financial independence seemed like such an impossible, ridiculous goal for me that I never even considered the option. My real hope for myself is that this new motivation to think about FI will the the fire (heh heh) under my ass that I've lacked all my life. I've just never had any drive to work hard and earn lots of money, because I'm pretty content without it. But now that I'm (very belatedly in some ways) growing up and thinking about the fact that uh, the future is coming (is here, etc) I think this new lifestyle might be the trick that gets me off my ass and into badassity. I'm already an eccentric, so I might as well be an efficient one.
I've enjoyed lurking these boards the last few days. Lots of brilliant bad-asses. I'm excited to join you.