Author Topic: Combating mustachian fatigue...  (Read 4251 times)

homeymomma

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Combating mustachian fatigue...
« on: May 19, 2014, 02:57:17 PM »
How do you keep motivated if your FIRE date is quite far in the future?

Last year we paid off around 25K in student loans and a car loan. We moved in with family. We're maxing out two Roths. We're saving for a house. Our current savings rate is 66%. All good stuff.

But the house purchase is at least 3 years away, if not much longer, because we need to move somewhere cheaper but are tied to a single job. We really can't cut our expenses down much more without selling our kids. My spouse is not entirely on board. He gets frustrated at my being lame and saying no thank you to going to restaurants. I feel lame and boring because I don't even like window shopping now. How do you keep things fun and interesting while still keeping your FIRE goals in sight? It was so easy when we had the tangible goal of paying off the debt. But the FIRE number is so much bigger (and hard to even estimate) that both of our motivation is waning. We don't have a big income accelerate the process, so our tactic is slow and steady. Without a major change of circumstance, we've still got 20 working years to live and enjoy before retirement.

Anyone else find themselves here? How to do stay on track without getting depressed?

Emilyngh

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Re: Combating mustachian fatigue...
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2014, 03:14:37 PM »
When I feel like FI is too far away, I try to think creatively about ways to save and/or bring in extra money that I can throw at it.   I'm amazed at how easy it is to come up with another $1k or so that gets thrown directly into savings.   

mxt0133

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Re: Combating mustachian fatigue...
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2014, 03:26:05 PM »
I am at the same place you are in my FIRE journey.  60+ savings rate, all the low hanging optimization fruit plucked, any other optimization would yield smaller returns, but still worth it nonetheless.  So now what, I have 4-7 years to go?

What I decided to do was to start optimizing my attitude along with my finances.  Because we no longer eat out often, I decided to make eating at home more enjoyable, trying new recipes, finding really easy and delicious dishes that I don't really get bored off.  Find new things to do around town that don't cost a lot of money, like more trips to the park, museums, community events, and hanging out with neighbors and family.  Since I've mostly stopped going out to bars, movies, parties in the evenings.  I've started reading more and learning things that I have always been curious about.

Basically with the free time I have, I've really started to experiment and try new things that really make me happy.   

deborah

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Re: Combating mustachian fatigue...
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2014, 03:39:39 PM »
I am at the same place you are in my FIRE journey.  60+ savings rate, all the low hanging optimization fruit plucked, any other optimization would yield smaller returns, but still worth it nonetheless.  So now what, I have 4-7 years to go?

What I decided to do was to start optimizing my attitude along with my finances.  Because we no longer eat out often, I decided to make eating at home more enjoyable, trying new recipes, finding really easy and delicious dishes that I don't really get bored off.  Find new things to do around town that don't cost a lot of money, like more trips to the park, museums, community events, and hanging out with neighbors and family.  Since I've mostly stopped going out to bars, movies, parties in the evenings.  I've started reading more and learning things that I have always been curious about.

Basically with the free time I have, I've really started to experiment and try new things that really make me happy.   
Fantastic - I think that is what MMM does - increases his enjoyment so frugal ways become happier ways. You're post really focused the message for me!

CarDude

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Re: Combating mustachian fatigue...
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2014, 05:11:59 PM »
Yup, pursue happiness now...just do it cheaply. :D

Ian

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Re: Combating mustachian fatigue...
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2014, 05:20:38 PM »
In addition to the good advice already related, I've tried taking on short term projects that are in alignment with my overall goals. Even neutral to those goals is fine - it still provides a sense of progression that makes things easier while the math keeps moving slowly.

thepokercab

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Re: Combating mustachian fatigue...
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2014, 05:30:23 PM »
I'm in a similar spot right now.  We've optimized just about everything, all of our savings and investments are on auto pilot, but according to the FI Laboratory we're still 13 years 8 months from our FI target.  We also want to potentially buy a house at some point, but i'm worried about the hit that will put on our FI path. The retirement accounts have been building steadily, but our taxable account doesn't grow as fast, since there isn't much left after we max out everything else. And that makes me feel like I suck.  I also can get pretty frustrated with my job, so thinking about doing it for another 13 years or so can be downright depressing. 

Personally, to keep me motivated, i've also started exploring a lot of self-improvement areas.  I want to lose weight, so i've focused a lot on that lately.  I also want to learn more about web development, so i'm signing up with the local community college to get a certificate of completion.  A friend of mine has been talking a lot with me lately about potentially starting a small business in an area that I love, so i've been trying to put some attention towards that as well.

Basically, i'm trying to do some of the things I envision myself doing in FI- but just part-time.  Sure, i've got the 9:00 to 5:00 still, which can suck, but if I can get a taste of all the cool things I will do in FI now, I feel like that will provide the motivation I need to stay the course.   


Annamal

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Re: Combating mustachian fatigue...
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2014, 06:57:22 PM »
My parents who are totally mustachian and do not know it, would set themselves smaller closer goals (like say $10k off the house) and promise themselves small extravagences ( like a dinner out).

Small measureable goals that you can acheive within 6 months and celebrations of that acheivement

Daisy

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Re: Combating mustachian fatigue...
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2014, 08:22:17 PM »
My advice...take it easy. You've only just begun. No point in being miserable for the next 13 years. Think of ER as your second career/life and enjoy the one you've got now. You have a lot of great memories to make in the next 13 years. If you put the pedal to the metal, you may even get there earlier. But it's too far in the future to focus on it too much. Save away in the meantime...

I always knew I'd ER in some way (before 65), but never thought it would be in my mid-40s. I'm only one or two years away now and I do have this fatigue of wanting to get on with the rest of my life. I guess I'm happy to not have thought about it too much in my 20s or else it would have made those two decades less enjoyable.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Combating mustachian fatigue...
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2014, 10:44:17 AM »
I break it into sub-goals related to retiring debt and milestones in stash.

Plus, with young kids, I'd trade some fun now for a later FI. Fun doesn't have to cost much, but cutting things to the bone (exe: no unnecessary driving, which means less nature) is just not worth it to me.

Gimesalot

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Re: Combating mustachian fatigue...
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2014, 11:26:52 AM »
I am at a similar point, and self-improvement is really where it is at.  You can get in better shape, learn a new sport, a new language, etc. 

However, since you are buying a house within a couple of years, I strongly suggest that you start volunteering at an organization like Habitat for Humanity.  I just bought a house, and I really wish someone would have given me that advice.  I have owned my house for 2 months, and had I BASIC sheet rock and wood-working skills, I could have saved $2000 to $3000 already.  As you can imagine, I will be volunteering with them soon.  Hopefully it will stop the hemorrhaging of money.