Author Topic: Regrets?  (Read 11580 times)

MgoSam

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Regrets?
« on: June 16, 2014, 01:58:40 PM »
I'm 26 years old and living fairly frugally. This does mean avoiding many things that many my age are. For instance, I'm renting a room from a friend in an unglamorious part of town instead of living in Uptown or downtown. This saves me on rent and the higher cost of living that living there would entail. At the same time, I can't help but feel like I am missing out on a part of life, especially being this young.

Does anyone here ever feel regret from living a frugal lifestyle?

Numbers Man

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Re: Regrets?
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2014, 02:02:03 PM »
There's a happy medium between living like a hermit and living like a rockstar. It's okay to go out once in awhile.

jp

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Re: Regrets?
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2014, 02:07:34 PM »
Frugality should not be about deprivation.  If you are foregoing things that you want and should want, that is the wrong way to go about achieving FIRE IMO.  The key is to not want these things that probably would not add to your happiness.  Some things you describe never appealed to me and as such I do not regret foregoing them (going out, living in a certain area).  But if I felt was missing out on something important in order to be cheap or work more, I would regret it. 

The bottom line is that you need to decide if these things are truly things to be sought or if they are only things you think you are supposed to want because of what the advertisers and society has sold you.

JoyBlogette

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Re: Regrets?
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2014, 02:07:58 PM »
You have to weigh cost vs. benefit.  If the amount you are saving on rent is not worth what you are giving up with a better location you will surely have regrets.

boarder42

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Re: Regrets?
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2014, 02:09:00 PM »
i'm 27 i dont feel that i'm missing out on anything living frugally.  its all a happy balance and what you're comfortable with.  now my definition of frugal isnt near what MMM spends.  we spend around 50-60k annually and plan to spend around that in retirement. could we get down to 30-40 if we had to yeah.  that give us a huge buffer barring some bad market years in early retirement.   

kyanamerinas

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Re: Regrets?
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2014, 02:17:58 PM »
it's also about knowing yourself so that you can compare what you are doing with what you would like to be doing rather than with what you feel you should be doing.

for example, i felt for a while that i ought to be going out more and meeting up with more people. so for a few weeks i actively socialised in some format every day (coffee, dates, nights out, meals in, trips, cinema etc.). It wore me out and I didn't enjoy it. My natural balance is closer to one, occasionally two, social activities a week (excluding fiance and texting/calling). i also tried drinking more, didn't like that either.

maybe cut yourself some slack and try doing the things you would like to be doing/feel you ought to be doing. see if that is actually true.

there are times i wonder if i'm missing out because i'm naturally frugal. then i remind myself hat i didn't enjoy those things when i tried them. so no regrets. yes, my life will be missing some experiences the media thinks i should have. but i won't miss them.

nawhite

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Re: Regrets?
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2014, 02:21:49 PM »
Frugality should not be about deprivation.  If you are foregoing things that you want and should want, that is the wrong way to go about achieving FIRE IMO.  The key is to not want these things that probably would not add to your happiness.

Agree. These forums used to be very deprivation centered but recently, that has changed for the better. Most posters realize, for example, that if I get a ridiculous amount of enjoyment from a fancy car/flying/horses/big house/international travel/whatever expensive thing/experience, then as long as:

1) I am consciously aware of the true costs of that thing/experience in terms of additional time working
2) I don't go into any amount of debt for it (and am not currently in debt which is the same thing, both cases you are spending money you don't have)
3) I try to be creative to lower the costs (buying used/getting a part time job with perks/travel hacking/etc)

it probably is ok for me. Mustacianism fights against mindless spending, not carefully researched spending which we are self-aware enough to realize will give us true happiness, not fake short-term happiness that a marketer says we will get.

Cassie

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Re: Regrets?
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2014, 02:30:32 PM »
Do the things that bring you true value/enjoyment but forgo things that do not. Do not deprive yourself because that is not a healthy/fun way to live. Balance is the key.

MgoSam

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Re: Regrets?
« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2014, 02:48:42 PM »
Yeah that is great advice. I don't think I deprive myself of much of anything, if I want to go out I do. I think what is getting to me is not living my life this way, this isn't something that I want to do but occasionally I will have a desire to do it. Does this make sense?

Cassie

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Re: Regrets?
« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2014, 02:54:28 PM »
Sure it does. I go to someone else's home that is much nicer/newer then mine & start to think it would be nice to have this.  But then when I think it through it was really not a regret but a short ting of envy that goes away quick.  I think it is human nature to want what we don't have. I also think that feeling is more intense when you are young.

mpg350

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Re: Regrets?
« Reply #10 on: June 16, 2014, 02:54:41 PM »
Yeah you gotta figure out what gives you enjoyment.


Like a poster above said don't live like a hermit but don't live like a rockstar….find a medium.


Here is my code that I follow….as long as I don't get into debt and I still and putting money away I don't feel bad.

« Last Edit: June 16, 2014, 03:22:44 PM by mpg350 »

warfreak2

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Re: Regrets?
« Reply #11 on: June 16, 2014, 03:11:14 PM »
Regrets? I've had a few. But then again, too few to mention...

HSLmom

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Re: Regrets?
« Reply #12 on: June 16, 2014, 03:15:56 PM »
I allow myself some things that I place high value on essentially using the 80/20 principal. For me, it's spending extra on gas and sometimes hotels to go on road trips/day hikes.  I just don't kid myself into thinking that we need to go to expensive attractions (disneyland, etc), or drive a new vehicle do do those same things.

I would regret it if I saved ~$50-100/month and never saw the awesome things around where I live.

shotgunwilly

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Re: Regrets?
« Reply #13 on: June 16, 2014, 03:21:17 PM »
I've cut things out of my life that, until i actually did, I didn't realize that they literally had 0 affect on my happiness.  On the contrary, most of them were actually unhealthy for me, either physically or mentally.  For example:  Stopped drinking soda, got rid of facebook, stopped eating out so much, watched what I was buying at the grocery store, stopped drinking during the week, etc.

I also have things in my life that I "splurge" on because they do actually make me a happier person.  Learning about, and knowing yourself and what genuinely makes you happy will allow you to spend without guilt on the things that are important and have no regrets on the things that you do not.

I have to admit there are things i catch myself wishing I had, or i get jealous of someone having something.  Once I stop to think about the happiness factor, most of it goes away.

Grid

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Re: Regrets?
« Reply #14 on: June 16, 2014, 03:52:03 PM »

Quote
car/flying/horses/big house/international travel/whatever 

was much better read as

Quote
car/flying horses/big house/international travel/whatever 

marty998

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Re: Regrets?
« Reply #15 on: June 16, 2014, 04:14:08 PM »

Quote
car/flying/horses/big house/international travel/whatever 

was much better read as

Quote
car/flying horses/big house/international travel/whatever 

Glad I'm not the only one who was thinking that.

NinetyFour

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Re: Regrets?
« Reply #16 on: June 16, 2014, 05:37:17 PM »
Sometimes I'm a bit sad that I don't have a larger, more comfortable house with a nicer yard and a garage.  But, on the flip side, I'm ecstatic that my savings rate is in the 75 - 80% range.    Also, even though I don't have the big house and garage, I still have more house/car/money/food/clothing than I need, so it's all good.

Nords

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Re: Regrets?
« Reply #17 on: June 16, 2014, 08:54:43 PM »
I'm 26 years old and living fairly frugally. This does mean avoiding many things that many my age are. For instance, I'm renting a room from a friend in an unglamorious part of town instead of living in Uptown or downtown. This saves me on rent and the higher cost of living that living there would entail. At the same time, I can't help but feel like I am missing out on a part of life, especially being this young.

Does anyone here ever feel regret from living a frugal lifestyle?
When you start feeling that way, you have to question whether your spending is aligned with your values.  Is it important to you to live uptown with your hipper friends or trendier activities?  Are you willing to work the extra years it'll take to reach financial independence?  Is it cheaper to commute to the desirable places or cheaper to pay their more expensive rents?  Are you finding enough things to do now that make you feel that you're seeing enough of life?  Or do you need to hit the reset button on your finances and enjoy a few more life experiences right now?

You might have temporarily crossed the line between frugality and deprivation:
http://the-military-guide.com/2010/12/22/frugal-living-is-not-deprivation/
http://the-military-guide.com/2014/04/03/the-frugal-effect/

Regrets? I've had a few. But then again, too few to mention...
Yeah, that was my first thought too.  Considering the ages involved here, OP may have to Google that one...

MgoSam

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Re: Regrets?
« Reply #18 on: June 16, 2014, 09:22:38 PM »
Yeah, this is something that I need to put a lot of thought into. For me I realize that when the decision comes down to needing to spend money to be happy, I realize that this is a losing proposition. This is where the principle of sleeping on it comes into play, because the more I think about it, the more I realize that I won't be  happy by doing it. Instead, I am focusing more on internal things that will lead me to a happier place. This is what drove me to quit drugs (with the exception of alcohol), while the health and financial benefits are awesome, I realized it was really affecting my level of happiness. It influenced me to avoid doing things that I want to do because I could instead smoke.

rmendpara

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Re: Regrets?
« Reply #19 on: June 16, 2014, 09:22:56 PM »
I'm 26 years old and living fairly frugally. This does mean avoiding many things that many my age are. For instance, I'm renting a room from a friend in an unglamorious part of town instead of living in Uptown or downtown. This saves me on rent and the higher cost of living that living there would entail. At the same time, I can't help but feel like I am missing out on a part of life, especially being this young.

Does anyone here ever feel regret from living a frugal lifestyle?

Just be sure to maximize Happiness/$ ratio in everything you do (if you can use less $ and achieve similar enjoyment out of something, then you should).

Giving up a little bit of happiness for a lot of $ is probably a good trade off, but giving up a lot of happiness for a little bit of $... maybe not a great idea.

It's not a competition, it's about freedom and happiness.

Live long, and prosper!

greaper007

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Re: Regrets?
« Reply #20 on: June 16, 2014, 09:41:14 PM »
I don't think it's so much a money question as much as a "what do you think you'll regret" question.    Sex, intoxication, travel?    Maybe I'm more hedonistic than other people, but that's what I think you're getting at.   

Unless you think you'll regret not eating at Michelin starred restaurants and getting bottle service at clubs, I don't think there's anything you might want that you can't get for a discount.    Sex is free and only requires that you make yourself more attractive or talk to a lot more members of your target group.   A 12 pack of PBR is what, $11?   Drink a few with your friends before you go out and you can just sip a domestic beer at the bar later on.     Travel is tougher, but possible.    You can get a part time job with an airline, non-reving isn't what it used to be but it's still a cheap way to get around.

Think outside the wallet, there's lots of ways to get 80% of an experience at only 20% of the price.

MgoSam

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Re: Regrets?
« Reply #21 on: June 16, 2014, 10:00:36 PM »
I don't think it's so much a money question as much as a "what do you think you'll regret" question.    Sex, intoxication, travel?    Maybe I'm more hedonistic than other people, but that's what I think you're getting at.   

Thank you, I think you have captured what I couldn't articulate or even figure out myself. And the remainder of your statement is spot-on. The sad part is that I can get travel through work if I am more aggressive, I can organize trips around the country and to some foreign destinations through my job and might be able to convince the owner to let me stay a few days longer to explore, provided that part come out of pocket. I did this in April to explore Colorado and loved it.

greaper007

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Re: Regrets?
« Reply #22 on: June 16, 2014, 10:17:03 PM »
I don't think it's so much a money question as much as a "what do you think you'll regret" question.    Sex, intoxication, travel?    Maybe I'm more hedonistic than other people, but that's what I think you're getting at.   

Thank you, I think you have captured what I couldn't articulate or even figure out myself. And the remainder of your statement is spot-on. The sad part is that I can get travel through work if I am more aggressive, I can organize trips around the country and to some foreign destinations through my job and might be able to convince the owner to let me stay a few days longer to explore, provided that part come out of pocket. I did this in April to explore Colorado and loved it.

Don't beat yourself up.   I was a pilot before kids and had access to basically free airfare anywhere in the world and cheap hotels once we got there.    Unfortunately, my wife and I were paying off big student loans so big discounts were still too expensive.     I don't regret paying off debt now (I'm soon to be 34) but I do occasionally wish I still had free airfare when my wife has to go to Ireland or Australia for a week for work.

There's lots of ways to travel on the cheap.    Frequent flyer mile hacks, hitting cheaper destinations, hostels and things that I don't even know about.   

If you think you'll have regrets about something, you probably will.    So figure out a budget and go do what you want to do now.

DollarBill

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Re: Regrets?
« Reply #23 on: June 16, 2014, 11:10:27 PM »
I'm 26 years old and living fairly frugally. This does mean avoiding many things that many my age are. For instance, I'm renting a room from a friend in an unglamorious part of town instead of living in Uptown or downtown. This saves me on rent and the higher cost of living that living there would entail. At the same time, I can't help but feel like I am missing out on a part of life, especially being this young.

Does anyone here ever feel regret from living a frugal lifestyle?
I would say pace yourself. This sort of thing didn't occur to me until a few years ago (I've always been a saver but never serious until a year ago). Your a head of the game. I think most of us have a sensitivity to risk. I still wrestle with this same question but I think I'm happier doing it my own way and living debt free....it's a nice freedom. I hear all the time: "you can't take it with you", "it's only money" but I stick to leaving the work force as soon as I can.

carrytrader

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Re: Regrets?
« Reply #24 on: June 17, 2014, 12:45:09 AM »
 I regret not enjoying the social aspects after graduating university. even further back high school at the time we worry about everything when looking back it does not really matter. Just learn and live life to the fullest.

Rpesek6904

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Re: Regrets?
« Reply #25 on: June 17, 2014, 06:09:39 AM »
Sure it does. I go to someone else's home that is much nicer/newer then mine & start to think it would be nice to have this.  But then when I think it through it was really not a regret but a short ting of envy that goes away quick.  I think it is human nature to want what we don't have. I also think that feeling is more intense when you are young.

I have that happen to me as well. I think it is important to be able to spot the difference. Even for people like us (mustachians that have a vision for longer term happiness) you can momentarily be pulled in by other people extravagances. Just take a deep breath and remember the bigger picture. I feel confident we are much better off in the long run (and the short term, where we don't have the "invisible" headaches all the extravagance causes).

soccerluvof4

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Re: Regrets?
« Reply #26 on: June 17, 2014, 06:59:01 AM »
Like many have said its all about balance.  Taking time to make the decision of the value of your want. I have found that if I feel regret which is less and less or Envy I usually need to sit back and realize what I have and that most would regret or Envy what I have. While my savings rate isn't 70% like some its definitely doubled and goes up every year from just taking time to weigh out whats important and making sure I do satisfy some of our wants. It gets easier and easier as time goes on I find to make these decisions and feel good about that as time goes on.

Erica/NWEdible

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Re: Regrets?
« Reply #27 on: June 17, 2014, 07:07:24 AM »
Sometimes I'm a bit sad that I don't have a larger, more comfortable house with a nicer yard and a garage.  But, on the flip side, I'm ecstatic that my savings rate is in the 75 - 80% range.    Also, even though I don't have the big house and garage, I still have more house/car/money/food/clothing than I need, so it's all good.
Sometimes I'm a bit sad that my savings rate isn't in the 75 - 80% range. But mostly that's because of my larger, very comfortable house with an awesome garden and a garage full of canning and gardening gear.  So I'm ecstatic that even though I don't have the highest savings rate on these boards, that extra money mostly goes to a home I love, and our savings rate is still high enough to get us where we want to go, when we want to get there, so it's all good.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Regrets?
« Reply #28 on: June 17, 2014, 07:09:01 AM »
Much fewer regrets now than from the consequences of previous mindless spending.

Have what you want, want what you have.

pachnik

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Re: Regrets?
« Reply #29 on: June 17, 2014, 07:43:25 AM »
I don't have any regrets from living a frugal lifestyle for the past year since I stumbled upon this website.   I have what I need and really enjoy seeing my net worth grow.  I'm not sure how frugal I am though compared with others on this forum. 

I do have some regret about not having lived a frugal lifestyle earlier in life.  I have a few decades of unconscious spending behind me.   However, I am grateful to be here with you all now!  I am really enjoying this journey.

erae

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Re: Regrets?
« Reply #30 on: June 17, 2014, 08:01:32 AM »
I echo all the comments here about money as a tool for happiness.  For some, that happiness is control of their time, for others a garden, for others it's options. 

What I found in my 20's was that there wasn't much critical thinking among my peers around the difference between diversion, fun/enjoyment, and happiness.  I suspect that what you're missing out on is some up/downtown opportunities for diversion.  Some people may find these activities fun, but in a trendy part of town, the going out scene is often driven more by external ideas of "fun" (what's prestigious, what's cool, what's trendy) than by a more personal reflection on what is fun to each person - what experiences do they really enjoy the most?  Whether my friends live in downtown areas or in less fashionable parts of town (I'm only 31), I've found they're more discerning about what they enjoy and what makes them happy and, even the ones who aren't frugal, are spending their money in a way that's more aligned with what they enjoy rather than what others think they should.  And spending your resources (time, money) in a way that is integrated with your values and your preferences is a big step towards happiness. 

shotgunwilly

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Re: Regrets?
« Reply #31 on: June 17, 2014, 08:07:39 AM »
I echo all the comments here about money as a tool for happiness.  For some, that happiness is control of their time, for others a garden, for others it's options. 

What I found in my 20's was that there wasn't much critical thinking among my peers around the difference between diversion, fun/enjoyment, and happiness.  I suspect that what you're missing out on is some up/downtown opportunities for diversion.  Some people may find these activities fun, but in a trendy part of town, the going out scene is often driven more by external ideas of "fun" (what's prestigious, what's cool, what's trendy) than by a more personal reflection on what is fun to each person - what experiences do they really enjoy the most?  Whether my friends live in downtown areas or in less fashionable parts of town (I'm only 31), I've found they're more discerning about what they enjoy and what makes them happy and, even the ones who aren't frugal, are spending their money in a way that's more aligned with what they enjoy rather than what others think they should.  And spending your resources (time, money) in a way that is integrated with your values and your preferences is a big step towards happiness.

^ This is great.  I am 26 and have started to come around to this type of thinking. 

NinetyFour

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Re: Regrets?
« Reply #32 on: June 17, 2014, 10:30:08 AM »
Sometimes I'm a bit sad that I don't have a larger, more comfortable house with a nicer yard and a garage.  But, on the flip side, I'm ecstatic that my savings rate is in the 75 - 80% range.    Also, even though I don't have the big house and garage, I still have more house/car/money/food/clothing than I need, so it's all good.
Sometimes I'm a bit sad that my savings rate isn't in the 75 - 80% range. But mostly that's because of my larger, very comfortable house with an awesome garden and a garage full of canning and gardening gear.  So I'm ecstatic that even though I don't have the highest savings rate on these boards, that extra money mostly goes to a home I love, and our savings rate is still high enough to get us where we want to go, when we want to get there, so it's all good.

Maybe we should switch places every now and then!  ;-)

Zikoris

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Re: Regrets?
« Reply #33 on: June 17, 2014, 10:54:32 AM »
I did a bit of post-secondary on student loans before realizing it really wasn't my thing. Then I worked at a commission-based job and made quite a bit of money for about two years, and spent most of it. If I could turn back time, those three years (20-23) would have gone differently. But ultimately, I figure I could have at most put myself $20K-$30K ahead of where I am now, which is really not the end of the world.

Basically, I somewhat regret not living a frugal lifestyle sooner.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2014, 04:21:19 PM by Zikoris »

apfroggy0408

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Re: Regrets?
« Reply #34 on: June 17, 2014, 11:31:45 AM »
None.

If there's an experience I want to have I do it, simple as that.

Following buddhist/zen practices makes those experiences typically not cost much since I don't believe material things bring me happiness.

But that doesn't mean that I don't spend any money ever. I haven't seen my parents in about 6 months, they drove 20+ hours to see me and we went to Chicago. Spent more money this weekend eating out at fancy pants restaurants than I have all year.

Some of the bills made me go ouch that sucks but the time spent with my parents completely justifies it!


scrubbyfish

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Re: Regrets?
« Reply #35 on: June 17, 2014, 12:13:23 PM »
Does anyone here ever feel regret from living a frugal lifestyle?

Yes, but/and I've found it hard to predict where I will feel regret.

I am delighted with some of my biggest spendings, for example, yet still totally regret not having bought brand new, super cute clothes for my kid when he was an infant and toddler. WTF? But there it is. If I could go back in time, I would totally spend $1000 on those. Not the zero that I did, and not even just $200. I would spend $1000. This makes little if any sense to me. I can't, though, think of any other frugal decision I've regretted. So, I don't know if we can know in advance what we might regret.

I do know that one wonderful gift I've given myself in general is to allow myself to experience as much as possible. So, if I have a dream of a detached house (which I do), but cannot afford it long term, I can help myself a great deal by living in one for at least a few months. It becomes a balance of satisfying a dream without breaking the bank.

MgoSam

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Re: Regrets?
« Reply #36 on: June 18, 2014, 07:18:28 AM »
Yeah, I think I am starting to face many internal issues that I have been brushing aside.

Let me share a little about myself. I just moved out of my parents house a month ago, and am renting with a friend of mine. Thus far it has been a good experience, my lease is for the summer months and after that it will go to month-to-month, with rent increasing at 3% each year. I moved out because I wanted to, I could afford it, and I knew that I wasn't going to grow while living at home. That said, I was thankful for the ability to live at home as it helped me save money and invest. In addition, I am getting a better understanding of what my actual expenses are, which makes it easier for me to know how much I need to have saved to achieve FIRE.

I currently have $250,000 in Vanguard and am contributing $380 a week towards it. Based on my projections I should be able to retire in about 11 years, my calculations include at 8% growth rate and no increase in contributions. This is me being conservative as this doesn't include any pay raises or bonuses (which I should have coming soon as business has been doing very well).

For the past two years my goal has been to set up this base. At the time my business was struggling with a cash crunch and a lot of debt. Now we have paid off all our debt (in April), and own our building and inventory, and have amble cash reserves. This has lifted a huge burden off my mind, but now I am trying to think ahead to the future.

This could be why lately I am having issues on what else I can do. It's easy to focus on one thing (turning around my family's business) when facing a crunch, but now that this more manageable my mind is now seeing things that I brushed aside.

With work, I've noticed that I have been less happy for the past 6 weeks. This could be possibly since we have achieved a goal we set a few years ago (to eliminate all debt), and haven't yet articulated a new goal. Do you think it would help to sit down with everyone and come up with some new goals? In general, when it comes to sales our mantra has always been, "Sell as much as you can for as much as you reasonably can."

Besides work, does anyone here have additional goals that they think might help me? I am not happy with my weight and so I am aiming to drop 10 pounds by the end of the summer by eating healthier, drinking less, and working out more.

In short, I think I have let work dictate my life for a few years, and now that it is less of a constraint on my life, I think I am trying to find ways to be happy. Is anyone has any advice, please let me know.

Grid

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Re: Regrets?
« Reply #37 on: June 18, 2014, 11:01:57 PM »
Quote
Besides work, does anyone here have additional goals that they think might help me?

Asking for help in this way means to me that you feel something is wrong and you can't really explain it.  You're doing great financially and now have less stress at work, which fortunately allows you to reflect and improve your life in the ways you've been neglecting.  Take the extra time to exercise, clear your mind, and focus on what's important to you.  It may be that you need to take some time and figure out what is actually important to you before you can focus on it. 

Life is more about the journey than the destination.


arebelspy

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Re: Regrets?
« Reply #38 on: June 19, 2014, 08:03:31 AM »
I opened the thread hoping this was a philosophical discussion about the idea of regret, rather than a practical one.  D'oh.

No, no regrets, ever.
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Nords

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Re: Regrets?
« Reply #39 on: June 20, 2014, 08:38:07 PM »
What I found in my 20's was that there wasn't much critical thinking among my peers around the difference between diversion, fun/enjoyment, and happiness.
Now that I have a 53-year-old brain, I'd like to transfer it back to my 25-year-old body...

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Re: Regrets?
« Reply #40 on: June 21, 2014, 06:00:07 AM »
^^^^^ This!!

Frank