Author Topic: Sobering Reality of Non-FI Life  (Read 12141 times)

Captain Mars

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Sobering Reality of Non-FI Life
« on: January 19, 2016, 03:54:48 PM »
I'm new to all of this. This month has been my first real attempt at adopting a whole new life strategy, to get out of debt, live frugality and put my money to work, and everything was going really well...

I've diligently changed my travel, taking the bus and walking a lot more, saving 100 per month. I cancelled my fancy gym membership, saving 65 per month. Changed my phone (15 per month saved), switched my current account to a non fee-paying version (10 per month saved), put a limit on my daily food budget, quit drinking and smoking. Got a second freelance job which I hope to start earning on soon (I didn't think my main employer would allow it, but I asked all the same - you don't ask you don't get, it seems!).

Also worked out a plan to get out of all debt by December through the power of super frugality and clean living. So far so good right?

Then, boom. This morning, a major filling came out from a front tooth, necessitating an emergency trip to the dentist. A lot of tears (drills are my all time number one fear) and 235 later, my tooth is beautifully restored, but it has left me with a sad feeling like all the work I've put into changing my life this month went down the drain.

This is the life of the indebted. All it takes is one inexpected emergency...

I'm trying to stay positive. The outlook is still good. The changes I've made will reap lots of rewards long term and this is all about looking ahead, but wow... do I feel crappy about the whole thing.

Anyone else had any similar setbacks on the road to frugal living?

BigHaus89

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Re: Sobering Reality of Non-FI Life
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2016, 03:59:54 PM »
Sounds like you're kicking ass!

Don't get too down on the unpredictable situation you were put in. Minor dental work now can save tons of money later! Think of it as an investment for your health.

innkeeper77

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Re: Sobering Reality of Non-FI Life
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2016, 04:01:22 PM »
Well without changing your life around you would still have the dental bill, so you still are just as far ahead as before!

Hang in there, its worth it! Being frugal makes unexpected expenses -which will always come up- a lot less stressful.

Captain Mars

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Re: Sobering Reality of Non-FI Life
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2016, 04:06:38 PM »
Well without changing your life around you would still have the dental bill, so you still are just as far ahead as before!

Oh hey.... you know, I didn't look at it that way. That's a very good point.

Old me would have put it on the credit card and buried my head in the sand, doing my best to forget about it, then whining about it later when I took out yet another loan to consolodate.

Okay I do feel a little better now...

hernandz

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Re: Sobering Reality of Non-FI Life
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2016, 04:43:41 PM »
To be honest, emergency dental work has a way of making even the most FI of us a touch cranky.  When someone is just beginning their journey, it is quite awful, and when someone is hitting rock-bottom, it is quite awful. 

Your jaw is liable to be aching from the manipulations of the dental staff, your favorite comfort food/drink is liable to be off-limits, and no one at work will likely give you money to stay home and recover the week or so that would put your energy level back up to sunshine-perky you had before the dental emergency. 

But, take a moment to count what blessings you do have.  This is the time to pretend to be a little perky.  Unless the dentist forbid it, smile widely at the telephone the next three times you answer it, and give a small complement to the next three people you encounter in person.  Should your friends look at you oddly for smiling, it's ok to tell them that you are "faking-it-until-you-make-it through".  Then smile again.  Laugh as you tell them it's hokey, you feel like crying a bit, but you are "under orders" to pretend to be tough enough to smile through and keep saving. 

It did not take you one month to get into your money problems, so it would be impossible to get out of money problems in one month. 

We believe you can do it -- you can continue to change, even with this setback.  We believe that your solid efforts to save on your phone bill and gym and travel expenses will make next month a great one.  We believe that the side-gig will pay off quickly.  We also think going to the dentist showed bravery, and intelligence.  We believe you can fake-it-until-you-make it.

iamlindoro

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Re: Sobering Reality of Non-FI Life
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2016, 05:03:08 PM »
Anyone else had any similar setbacks on the road to frugal living?

Lord, yes!  You will constantly encounter setbacks!  The cool part is (and it's tough to see it from where you are right now) each setback as your financial picture improves feels less and less like an emergency.  I'm not saying it's ever *fun* to spend unexpectedly, but the anxiety slowly fades and eventually becomes annoyance because you'd rather improve your net worth with those funds instead!

Speaking of dentistry, I had to bite the bullet and finally get what would have been $15-20K USD in dental work this year/last year.  I have been traveling abroad to get the work done for about half that. So, all things considered, 235 is a minor setback!  Keep it up!

okits

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Re: Sobering Reality of Non-FI Life
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2016, 05:04:25 PM »
Even with the emergency dental bill it sounds like you're no further behind this month, thanks to the changes you made.  The Old You would be an extra 235 in the hole.

Sometimes being an adult means you feel like you're bleeding cash from every orifice.  Even if you're saving a decent percentage of your income.  Even if you have a stash.  Even if you've already optimized a bunch of things.  Things happen.  You are still on your way, stick with it, you're doing great!

Tjat

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Re: Sobering Reality of Non-FI Life
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2016, 06:22:48 PM »
Dude, you completely eliminated costly short term conveniences and abandoned a major health hazard that you paid to previously partake in ONE MONTH. These changes will set you up for the long term, don't let one coincidentally timed health issue slow you down. In 12 months, how much will you have saved? In 10 years? Even if you have the worst mouth imaginable, you only have so many teeth!

esq

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Re: Sobering Reality of Non-FI Life
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2016, 08:16:05 PM »
You'll be fine.  10 yrs from now you'll look back on this and laugh, (except for the drilling part).

FYI, for the best way to care for your teeth, buy a Philips Sonicare.  Somewhere here there's a thread polling about Sonicare, and it shows that even though it's a $50 - $100 toothbrush, it got a big thumbs up from many hard core mustachians as a solid investment.  (Sorry, the search feature is giving me a database error or I'd post it for you.)

 I inherited terrible teeth and gums.  Checkups by professionals over the years have confirmed that because of the Sonicare, my gums are more tightly knit to my teeth (eliminating pockets), and I have zero plaque, even though I never floss.

Best of luck on your journey.  Consider this a good life lesson and move forward!

Rosy

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Re: Sobering Reality of Non-FI Life
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2016, 08:52:31 PM »
Quote
Even if you have the worst mouth imaginable, you only have so many teeth!

LOL Tjat - that is an hilarious, but true statement. My son is going through major dental and it is one painful ordeal, physically and financially.

To the OP - these things have a habit of creeping up at you - particularly - while you are taking your first steps towards FI. It is like the universe is testing your mettle. I bet you that by the time a year is up, incidents like this are no longer an emergency, but are demoted to minor financial annoyances.

Welcome to the forum - check out some of the other areas for support and motivation - like the badass and gauntlet threads.

Le Poisson

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Re: Sobering Reality of Non-FI Life
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2016, 09:04:13 PM »
Raises hand - we aren't building yet. Our family is still digging upwards to pay down debt. And I look at our numbers and keep thinking, damn we've come a long way.

In the last year we have managed to:
- Install Hardwood floors (discretionary)
- replace a roof (somewhat expected)
- do a family vacation to the USA (discretionary)
- replace the dishwasher (unexpected)
- replace the washer and dryer (unexpected)
- replace 2 cars (one unexpected, one for safety reasons - somewhat expected)
- Do a family vacation to Cuba (discretionary)

And STILL pay down our debt by close to $20,000

The advantage of frugal living is that when these kicks to the nards arrive (expected or not) you can take them in stride, manage the offset, and get back on track. Nothing will prevent the unexpected, but you can do a lot to insulate the impact. Of course we could be way ahead of we didn't do any of the discretionary items above, but we chose to enjoy those things, so, yeah, our debts aren't done yet - but they will be. Very soon.

backyardfeast

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Re: Sobering Reality of Non-FI Life
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2016, 10:58:03 PM »
We have definitely gone through the frustration of 2 steps forward, 1 step back. :(  Last year, we finally were feeling good about our budgets, had paid off our credit cards, and were about to start putting all that money that had been going to debt into savings.  Then...DH cracked his front tooth and the only solution was a $5000 implant that we had limited dental coverage for.  Then that fall I got a tooth infection that necessitated a root canal and crown (about $1500)... and some other things happened that I can't remember except that we were feeling incredibly frustrated and like we would never get ahead.  Argh!  Oh! And then this past spring, MIL had a brain tumour (resolved successfully, hurray!), which meant DH had to do an emergency flight across the country and miss 3 weeks of work!  Sigh.

A year later, we're still in that 2 steps forward 1 step back phase, but we're a little farther ahead, and most importantly we can see that some of our spending habits have really changed.  I also posted here about my trap of paying off all our credit cards aggressively, and then having an emergency hit and having only the credit cards to fall back on, putting us back in debt (albeit in relatively small amounts).  So now I am not paying the debts down quite as aggressively and we're building a small cash buffer in a savings account.  It feels a little more resilient.

The others are right; it's the habits over the long term that count; we continue to be in a better financial place every year.  It can just take a little while for the snowball to pick up speed.  Good luck!

Le Poisson

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Re: Sobering Reality of Non-FI Life
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2016, 02:21:54 AM »
A year later, we're still in that 2 steps forward 1 step back phase, but we're a little farther ahead, and most importantly we can see that some of our spending habits have really changed.  I also posted here about my trap of paying off all our credit cards aggressively, and then having an emergency hit and having only the credit cards to fall back on, putting us back in debt (albeit in relatively small amounts).  So now I am not paying the debts down quite as aggressively and we're building a small cash buffer in a savings account.  It feels a little more resilient.


This reminds me - one of our 'going against the grain' strategies has been to build up a cash buffer before paying down debt. We are now sitting on $10K specifically to take away the need to go into debt in the event of a major 'whatever'. I call it being our own credit card. Its made a huge difference. We haven't touched it, but simply having the cash on hand makes it less scary to pay the big stuff out of pocket.

Captain Mars

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Re: Sobering Reality of Non-FI Life
« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2016, 03:42:56 AM »
Thanks so much everyone, some real food for thought in this thread and really just the sort of thinking that helps me focus and get past stuff like this. Just goes to show, the average Mustachian is a real optimist and generous in nature (if not in cash, but even then that's not always a rule)!

You'll be fine.  10 yrs from now you'll look back on this and laugh, (except for the drilling part).

FYI, for the best way to care for your teeth, buy a Philips Sonicare.  Somewhere here there's a thread polling about Sonicare, and it shows that even though it's a $50 - $100 toothbrush, it got a big thumbs up from many hard core mustachians as a solid investment.  (Sorry, the search feature is giving me a database error or I'd post it for you.)

 I inherited terrible teeth and gums.  Checkups by professionals over the years have confirmed that because of the Sonicare, my gums are more tightly knit to my teeth (eliminating pockets), and I have zero plaque, even though I never floss.

Best of luck on your journey.  Consider this a good life lesson and move forward!

Yes, I wasn't laughing at the drilling. Nor was my credit card. ;)

Oh hey, thanks so much for suggestion! I'm actively trying to only buy things which are investments, and which will last me a long time. I'd rather get a really good toothbrush than keep replacing sub par ones.

To give one example of this change in my thinking, my coat of choice for the winter was made in 1943 (a nice thick fitted Army coat)! It cost 40 on eBay and, sans replacing some buttons, looks good as new and is hardwearing as hell. Short of a fire, it's basically been indestructable since I got it. Now that's what I call an asset!

steviesterno

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Re: Sobering Reality of Non-FI Life
« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2016, 05:55:16 AM »
i'm finding this lifestyle is making it easier to handle bumps in the road. those always happen, cars need repair, the roof breaks, appliances explode. My wife, who was 6 months pregnant at the time, got T boned coming home from work right about at my birthday this last year. she and the baby are fine, and all that mattered in the hospital was that they were. money wasn't going to be a deciding factor in her care.

then we had the issue of replacing the car, since she needs one for work. we hadn't gotten a check for the old one yet but knowing that we could go out, buy what she wanted/we needed and not miss a single mortgage payment was a great feeling. then when we did get the insurance check, it went right into vanguard.

setbacks suck, but they will happen. it's much easier to deal with when you're not one bounced check away from repossession, or eviction, or ramen all month to make up for it. 

slappy

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Re: Sobering Reality of Non-FI Life
« Reply #15 on: January 20, 2016, 06:05:33 AM »


Sometimes being an adult means you feel like you're bleeding cash from every orifice.  Even if

This feels like you are describing my life!

golden1

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Re: Sobering Reality of Non-FI Life
« Reply #16 on: January 20, 2016, 06:32:35 AM »
One of the things I learned about FI is that it is really critical to take a longer view about certain aspects.  If you are constantly stressing over every unforeseen expense, you will just get frustrated and lose motivation.  I am finding that the key is to understand that, yes, sometimes things don't go as planned in the short term.  That's why you have an emergency fund, and as long as your savings rate is high enough, you can keep it at a level so that you don't have to worry about those things that crop up. You don't have to go into debt every time you have an unforeseen expense.  Until you have that cushion, you will still be vulnerable to those expenses, but hey, by cutting your expenses this month alone, you saved yourself from having to go into debt for the tooth repair!

I feel your pain though. This year is a rebuilding year for our emergency fund because we had some stuff we needed to take care of with the house that cost more than we anticipated. 

And yeah, the Sonicare was the best investment I ever made for my teeth.  My dentist recommended one when I was in my 20's.  I had multiple small cavities and was getting them filled every year.  I started using the sonicare and I have had one cavity in the past 18 years and my gums are in great health.  You will be amazed at how nice and clean your teeth feel too!

meg_shannon

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Re: Sobering Reality of Non-FI Life
« Reply #17 on: January 20, 2016, 07:09:00 AM »
Oh hey, thanks so much for suggestion! I'm actively trying to only buy things which are investments, and which will last me a long time. I'd rather get a really good toothbrush than keep replacing sub par ones.

Oh you'll still have to replace the toothbrush heads, and they are more expensive than a standard toothbrush - even if you buy them in bulk. You might still save money in the long run in reduced dental bills if you're not brushing properly now.

sjc0816

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Re: Sobering Reality of Non-FI Life
« Reply #18 on: January 20, 2016, 07:15:20 AM »
I can really relate to the OP although we are a little further along in our journey.  We have managed to pay off all of our debt and get to $15,000 in our emergency fund. One one income -while maxing 401K.  But, in the last year we have had 8k in unplanned emergencies/expenses. Including a massive flood in our basement ($1500 deductible, $1,600 landscaping to fix drainage issue), my FIL passed away and we contributed 1k to his funeral expenses (MIL is in poor financial shape), $1,200 for surgery for my son, 3k to replace rotten windows).

Now we are down to $6 in our emergency fund and we feel so uncomfortable with it.  Building back up again. We've had a bad year and just hoping we get a break for awhile.

NoStacheOhio

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Re: Sobering Reality of Non-FI Life
« Reply #19 on: January 20, 2016, 07:29:27 AM »
This reminds me - one of our 'going against the grain' strategies has been to build up a cash buffer before paying down debt. We are now sitting on $10K specifically to take away the need to go into debt in the event of a major 'whatever'. I call it being our own credit card. Its made a huge difference. We haven't touched it, but simply having the cash on hand makes it less scary to pay the big stuff out of pocket.

I find this aspect of debt-reduction really frustrating. I haven't found the right balance for us yet, and I waffle back and forth on what the best approach is. So far I've been paying stuff down, but trying to keep about $3,000 cash on the sidelines. Luckily, most of our credit is at 0% for now, but there's one with high interest that just frustrates the crap out of me.

Cougar

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Re: Sobering Reality of Non-FI Life
« Reply #20 on: January 20, 2016, 07:30:35 AM »
I'm new to all of this. This month has been my first real attempt at adopting a whole new life strategy, to get out of debt, live frugality and put my money to work, and everything was going really well...

I've diligently changed my travel, taking the bus and walking a lot more, saving 100 per month. I cancelled my fancy gym membership, saving 65 per month. Changed my phone (15 per month saved), switched my current account to a non fee-paying version (10 per month saved), put a limit on my daily food budget, quit drinking and smoking. Got a second freelance job which I hope to start earning on soon (I didn't think my main employer would allow it, but I asked all the same - you don't ask you don't get, it seems!).

Also worked out a plan to get out of all debt by December through the power of super frugality and clean living. So far so good right?

Then, boom. This morning, a major filling came out from a front tooth, necessitating an emergency trip to the dentist. A lot of tears (drills are my all time number one fear) and 235 later, my tooth is beautifully restored, but it has left me with a sad feeling like all the work I've put into changing my life this month went down the drain.

This is the life of the indebted. All it takes is one inexpected emergency...

I'm trying to stay positive. The outlook is still good. The changes I've made will reap lots of rewards long term and this is all about looking ahead, but wow... do I feel crappy about the whole thing.

Anyone else had any similar setbacks on the road to frugal living?

you're always going to have setbacks.

what you need to do is start saving to expect some and if they happen, you're prepared; if not you are in better shape. you just need to determine for what you make and have in savings. what you should set aside.

Le Poisson

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Re: Sobering Reality of Non-FI Life
« Reply #21 on: January 20, 2016, 07:56:52 AM »
This reminds me - one of our 'going against the grain' strategies has been to build up a cash buffer before paying down debt. We are now sitting on $10K specifically to take away the need to go into debt in the event of a major 'whatever'. I call it being our own credit card. Its made a huge difference. We haven't touched it, but simply having the cash on hand makes it less scary to pay the big stuff out of pocket.

I find this aspect of debt-reduction really frustrating. I haven't found the right balance for us yet, and I waffle back and forth on what the best approach is. So far I've been paying stuff down, but trying to keep about $3,000 cash on the sidelines. Luckily, most of our credit is at 0% for now, but there's one with high interest that just frustrates the crap out of me.

We did too - for a long time. Our approach was to combine all the credit card debt etc. into a set of low interest/no interest lines of credit - our highest is 1.99% - using the offers that come in the mail pretty much quarterly. Watch for them. We had enough home equity to take advantage of these "90 Day" offers, and then domino them when new ones showed up. Basically hopping between offers for about a year. Like you, we got frustrated and kept having setbacks.

Then I got a side-gig delivering pizzas and Momma took a side gig on a Phillipino office cleaning crew. Between the two of doing night work in very menial roles, we managed to fill up the war chest (OK, emergency fund) while not impacting our family finances. We managed to put away $10,000 in 3 months from pizzas and office cleaning.

With the war chest in place, we now don't have to worry as much about major events/purchases impacting the family budget. For instance, we can live skinny and buy a dishwasher out of pocket, and just keep an eye on the family budget. If it can't recover fast enough we can dip into the warchest. So far we haven't needed to. And that includes buying two cars at an average price of about $10K each in the past year. We just planned the purchases to coincide with major cash inflows. If our car was written off in a crash, we couldn't play that game, and would have to dip into the warchest, but in our situation, we could wait for the right deal, and right cash, and that meant a stronger negotiating position.

Towards the end of the year last year we found a good footing and had no major surprises come up. This allowed us to really hammer the debts and still afford a trip down south with the family, without impacting the family budget. The downside to all this - our savings rate is dismal. Until we get the debts paid off, we are basically saving nothing. I am actively pondering new, more fruitful side gigs to boost our savings again.

We now have the debts locked into 2 lines of credit - one at 0% and one at 1.99%. One of those should be discharged early next month (I think) the other should be gone in a couple months. Then our savings landscape will change dramatically!

NoStacheOhio

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Re: Sobering Reality of Non-FI Life
« Reply #22 on: January 20, 2016, 08:31:12 AM »
Towards the end of the year last year we found a good footing and had no major surprises come up. This allowed us to really hammer the debts and still afford a trip down south with the family, without impacting the family budget. The downside to all this - our savings rate is dismal. Until we get the debts paid off, we are basically saving nothing. I am actively pondering new, more fruitful side gigs to boost our savings again.

We now have the debts locked into 2 lines of credit - one at 0% and one at 1.99%. One of those should be discharged early next month (I think) the other should be gone in a couple months. Then our savings landscape will change dramatically!

It helps to think of killing debt as saving, even when you're at 0%. It's all psychological, but I feel way better about prioritizing debt payments over IRA/403b/savings account contributions when I frame it this way.

GrowingTheGreen

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Re: Sobering Reality of Non-FI Life
« Reply #23 on: January 20, 2016, 08:34:56 AM »
As others have said, your dental work is a minor, one-time setback. You've made changes in your lifestyle that will negate the effects of the setback in no time at all. In 5 years, you'll laugh when you look back at it.

One question, though. Have you used some of your savings to start an Emergency Fund? I think that this is a bare minimum--even before you start paying down debt. It will prevent any future emergencies from causing setbacks. Shoot for 1k. It will take no time at all and help prevent the anxiety you're experiencing right now if something else happens in the future.

Apples

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Re: Sobering Reality of Non-FI Life
« Reply #24 on: January 20, 2016, 12:38:10 PM »
Fist bump OP!  We got on a budget, then I dove into MMM and we made some more minor changes that increased our savings.  I changed all of our spreadsheets to reflect the new time we were going to be out of debt and then hit some net worth goals.  And then...my husband quit his job.  It was a good choice for him, and due to our lowered living expenses we could make it on my income while still putting 10% of that into savings, plus we had an emergency fund.  But alllll of those gorgeous spreadsheets with their updated deadlines were wrong.  It was going to take longer than we expected.  A part of me felt deflated.  This month we are 13 months past when my husband quit his job and 12 months since he started working part time, and 9 months since he was back to full time.  We still hit our goals very quickly.  I now almost forget that blip on our radar, and I'm sure in 10 years it'll be nothing more than a story about how DH changed jobs and it slowed us down by just a tiny bit.  You can do it!

Captain Mars

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Re: Sobering Reality of Non-FI Life
« Reply #25 on: January 20, 2016, 01:05:44 PM »
As others have said, your dental work is a minor, one-time setback. You've made changes in your lifestyle that will negate the effects of the setback in no time at all. In 5 years, you'll laugh when you look back at it.

One question, though. Have you used some of your savings to start an Emergency Fund? I think that this is a bare minimum--even before you start paying down debt. It will prevent any future emergencies from causing setbacks. Shoot for 1k. It will take no time at all and help prevent the anxiety you're experiencing right now if something else happens in the future.

Everything is going into debt repayment, as the longer I keep it, the higher the interest, and I think I can get out of it by August if I work hard now. But once that's behind me, a nice FU Fund is definitely going to be a priority. Basically, I want to never be in a position to have to worry about this stuff again. It's one of those things - I don't have a family or a partner, so no lifeboats. It's all me, sink or swim. *dramatic music*

Good advice though definitely!

meadow lark

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Re: Sobering Reality of Non-FI Life
« Reply #26 on: January 20, 2016, 01:25:47 PM »
Those unexpected issues are so annoying!  Mine were always $1000.  The second we got ahead something would cost $1000.  But your progress is amazing!  You have done a lot in a month.  At this point, I don't even stress about the money.  2014 My MIL breaks both arms and my DW is off for 4 weeks to take care of her in another state?  No problem.  2015 I decide I need 10 wks off work, out of state for an eating disorder treatment, no problem.  We still hit our aggressive financial goals for both those years.  Over time your financial life gets more robust, less fragile.  These little hits won't even surprise you.

Mr.Tako

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Re: Sobering Reality of Non-FI Life
« Reply #27 on: January 20, 2016, 02:21:14 PM »
Dude, you're doing great!  This month wasn't a financial win, but maybe next month will be.  Keep the faith.

In my life, I've had tons of financial setbacks of all sorts - job losses, car wrecks, furnaces dying, unexpected medical costs.  You name it!  And I've had tons of debt too!

But look at me today!  Over $2million in assets (my blog has the details).  It all worked out despite the challenges.

You just inch forward day by day, penny by penny.  Eventually it adds up!

Captain Mars

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Re: Sobering Reality of Non-FI Life
« Reply #28 on: January 20, 2016, 02:39:04 PM »
Dude, you're doing great!  This month wasn't a financial win, but maybe next month will be.  Keep the faith.

In my life, I've had tons of financial setbacks of all sorts - job losses, car wrecks, furnaces dying, unexpected medical costs.  You name it!  And I've had tons of debt too!

But look at me today!  Over $2million in assets (my blog has the details).  It all worked out despite the challenges.

You just inch forward day by day, penny by penny.  Eventually it adds up!

Wow, bookmarked! Thanks - now that's definitely the sort of motivational story I can get behind.

Albert

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Re: Sobering Reality of Non-FI Life
« Reply #29 on: January 20, 2016, 02:55:02 PM »
You'll be fine in the long run as long as you keep your new habits!

It is however yet another cautionary story why it's dangerous to live so close to the edge financially. Make all you can to have a solid emergency fund. Not only it will it help with unexpected expenses (those happen to everyone from time to time!) but also will allow you to feel better psychologically. Others here would probably say it's too much, but I keep about 6 months of living expenses (ca $15,000) on a savings account.

Geekenstein

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Re: Sobering Reality of Non-FI Life
« Reply #30 on: January 20, 2016, 07:04:01 PM »
It's really important to remember, your plan is just that - a plan.  Putting dates to it is great, but just stay focused on small goals, and celebrate those.  If you are doing the small things that make the plan work and life derails things a little, don't fret too much, you keep getting closer to the goal and that's all that matters.

slschierer

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Re: Sobering Reality of Non-FI Life
« Reply #31 on: January 21, 2016, 09:08:04 AM »
I think everyone else has pretty much covered anything constructive I could have said!  I just wanted to say Welcome to MMM!  It may not feel like it at the moment, but you're doing great!  Keep hanging out around these forums when you can.  It's a great way to tap into others' experiences and learn from them!

arebelspy

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Re: Sobering Reality of Non-FI Life
« Reply #32 on: January 21, 2016, 03:39:42 PM »
Your post is just like another one on the forums here:
http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/realizing-that-fi-is-one-of-those-things-that-end-up-owning-you/

Check out all those replies, cause I think they're pertinent to you as well.

Here was my thought on it:
Quote
I suggest the idea of reframing it in your mind.  Instead of a financial setback leading you to think "man, this will delay my FI by X," instead think "Wow, I'm glad I have all this extra money to deal with this issue in comparison to people who are bad with money--i.e. most people" and "Wow, even with this event, I'm still on track to FIRE by Y, amazing!"

It's all in your mindset and perspective.  Choose a positive one, instead of a negative one.  :)

That's the best way to approach a setback (like your dental issue), IMO.

Good luck!
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

Bolshevik Artizan

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Re: Sobering Reality of Non-FI Life
« Reply #33 on: January 21, 2016, 04:03:10 PM »
My wife and I were both born in Scotland and now live in Canada but we call this kind of thing "getting smacked in the puss (face)" - since doing FI and moving to our dream location four weeks ago we've had three face-punches - daycare for our son just disappeared because they had given his (booked and paid for) place to someone who just turned up on their doorstep; the local telecom company arbitrarily decided to hit us with an $300 "security deposit" oh and the rental we are in turns out to be a rat-infested electricity sink where we got billed $200 for two weeks' heating costs (OK, in January, but still).

So as true Mustachians we did what we had to do: found another daycare through friends, turned off the heating and started using a wood stove for heating and began the laborious and unpleasant process of trapping and clearing rats and mice from the house.

Oh and did I mention the plumbing went to pot in our rental as well? And our land lady refuses to help?

The point is: carry on being Mustachian and before you know it nothing will stop you. Gold rings on you and good luck, my friend!

Le Poisson

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Re: Sobering Reality of Non-FI Life
« Reply #34 on: January 21, 2016, 04:24:49 PM »
My wife and I were both born in Scotland and now live in Canada but we call this kind of thing "getting smacked in the puss (face)" - since doing FI and moving to our dream location four weeks ago we've had three face-punches - daycare for our son just disappeared because they had given his (booked and paid for) place to someone who just turned up on their doorstep; the local telecom company arbitrarily decided to hit us with an $300 "security deposit" oh and the rental we are in turns out to be a rat-infested electricity sink where we got billed $200 for two weeks' heating costs (OK, in January, but still).

So as true Mustachians we did what we had to do: found another daycare through friends, turned off the heating and started using a wood stove for heating and began the laborious and unpleasant process of trapping and clearing rats and mice from the house.

Oh and did I mention the plumbing went to pot in our rental as well? And our land lady refuses to help?

The point is: carry on being Mustachian and before you know it nothing will stop you. Gold rings on you and good luck, my friend!

Where are you, and can I help with some changes? PM me so we don't hijack a good thread.

WSUCoug1994

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Re: Sobering Reality of Non-FI Life
« Reply #35 on: January 21, 2016, 05:56:17 PM »
We all face these same challenges - I would learn to separate those things you can control (financial planning) and things you can't control (life).  I have been on this road to FI for a long time and although it is a little frustrating it turns out a healthy mouth is actually a good investment and so is a refrigerator, a washer, tires that don't have steel radials showing, a roof....you get my point.

These are just things we need as infrastructure to get to our goals.  Just like in any business (your financial business) it requires infrastructure to operate and grow.  If you came on here and said you went on bender with cocaine and whores you would be getting little sympathy and a ton of face punches.

Be proud of what you have accomplished so far - that is very impressive.

MrsPete

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Re: Sobering Reality of Non-FI Life
« Reply #36 on: January 21, 2016, 07:20:41 PM »
Then, boom. This morning, a major filling came out from a front tooth, necessitating an emergency trip to the dentist. A lot of tears (drills are my all time number one fear) and 235 later, my tooth is beautifully restored, but it has left me with a sad feeling like all the work I've put into changing my life this month went down the drain.
It's hard not to feel discouraged when you're new to frugal living, you're just seeing small results ... and BAM! ... you're hit with a bill that wipes out your efforts. 

But look at the big picture:  Had you not saved, you still would've been hit with the bill, but you would've had to pay it through payments, or you would've been forced to put it on a credit card.  Aren't you glad you were able to pay the bill? 

And you aren't going to run into these unavoidable bills every month.  Call it what it was:  Bad luck.

BTDretire

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Re: Sobering Reality of Non-FI Life
« Reply #37 on: January 22, 2016, 11:40:57 AM »
You quit smoking? That's great, congrats.
 I see your setback as minor compared to 2007/08 when my networth dropped by $300,000 as
the stock market tanked. It has since got all that back and a lot more.
See what you have to look forward to. :-)
When you have $10,000 in savings, that $250 will look a lot smaller.
Keep at it, it pays off over time.

obstinate

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Re: Sobering Reality of Non-FI Life
« Reply #38 on: January 22, 2016, 12:31:32 PM »
Your efforts were not in vain. You'd have had this filling either way, so you'd just be that much further behind if you hadn't changed your other habits.