Author Topic: too excited about FIRE?  (Read 3918 times)

adizb

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too excited about FIRE?
« on: September 24, 2016, 10:59:00 AM »
I've found out about this crazy world where retiring early is possible about a year ago. Started out by finding and reading the dividendmantra blog, then as it was sold shortly after i discovered Mr. Money Mustache. Anyway, point is i am super excited about the prospect of not having to work until im old. I'm 28, single and living with my parents. Because of this im able to save over 50% of my income.

Every day i think about this, i make spreadsheets, check on my investments and count down the days. Haha the only problem is i am still years away from actually being able to retire. Ive told my family and friends about this which met with a lot of skepticism . And still its not enough to dial down my incredible pump about this amazing future. I guess my question and reason for posting this is, will i burn out? Should i force myself not to think about this 24/7 ? or is it normal and no harm here?

tomorrowsomewherenew

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Re: too excited about FIRE?
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2016, 11:21:37 AM »
I honestly don't know if you'll "burn out" by focusing on ER/networth all the time. I did for a while, but lost a little bit of interest in it, and things dialed down on their own. We're still saving a lot, on track, and all of that, I'm just not obsessing about it much these days. My opinion: not much harm, but see if you can develop other interests as well.

arebelspy

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Re: too excited about FIRE?
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2016, 06:54:30 PM »
This is typical among newcomers to the ER community.  The "excitement" is probably unsustainable.

From what I've seen, there's a few ways it can go after the initial passion/excitement wears off and the long slog to FIRE starts:

A) You can focus on FIRE.  Having years and years left, you can drive yourself crazy checking account balances all the time.  You'll be unhappy with your job, just thinking of FIRE. Unsatisfied with your life.  Dreaming of something that seems like it's never coming, for years, and years.  The irony is, when you get to FIRE, by having built it up so much, and having practiced being miserable so long, instead of practiced being happy, you likely won't even be able to enjoy FIRE the way you expected (it's not a cure all solution).

B) You can forget about FIRE, in a bad way.  It seems too far off, it's too much work, you get frugal fatigue constantly trying to get your spending down, and fall off the wagon.  Get frustrated with the concept, and give up.

C) You can forget about FIRE, in a good way.  You can set everything automated (investing, etc.), get your savings rate super high, and stop focusing on FIRE, knowing you're on the right path, and it'll come eventually.  Then work on enjoying your life and improving yourself in the meantime.  Think about what you want your FIRE life to look like, and work on getting as many of those things in your life as possible now.

Obviously this third one is more ideal in outcome.

I've found that those that get the initial passion/drive for FIRE, get their lifestyle set in a way so that their spending is naturally low via the situation you set up and the mindset you choose (not continually having struggle to force low spending, which can lead to burnout/frugal fatigue) to avoid situation B, and then move on, and enjoy their life. They'll be FIRE quick enough.. five years, ten, whatever.

But don't waste your 20s and 30s pining over a FIRE and then look back and regret having wasted that time and opportunity of your life.  FIRE is to gain back years of your life in time, but to throw away years of your life striving for it without enjoying the moment would be counterproductive.

Hope that helps!
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 two 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.

frugalcoconut

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Re: too excited about FIRE?
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2016, 06:53:01 AM »
@arebelspy: Thank you so much for this post.  It really resonated with me.  I think I need to re-read this every day ... especially the part below.  :)

You can forget about FIRE, in a good way.  You can set everything automated (investing, etc.), get your savings rate super high, and stop focusing on FIRE, knowing you're on the right path, and it'll come eventually.  Then work on enjoying your life and improving yourself in the meantime.  Think about what you want your FIRE life to look like, and work on getting as many of those things in your life as possible now.

But don't waste your 20s and 30s pining over a FIRE and then look back and regret having wasted that time and opportunity of your life.  FIRE is to gain back years of your life in time, but to throw away years of your life striving for it without enjoying the moment would be counterproductive.

arebelspy

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Re: too excited about FIRE?
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2016, 06:58:40 AM »
Cool, glad it helped!  :)
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 two 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.

pbkmaine

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Re: too excited about FIRE?
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2016, 07:24:12 AM »
I would also add that Mustachianism works best when combined with creativity. How can you have the most fun for the least amount of $? That's why you see so many posts on things like travel hacking.

Blatant

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Re: too excited about FIRE?
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2016, 07:33:39 AM »
Obviously I don't know you, your goals or your situation. However, I might offer that if you're 28, single and living with your parents, you might be missing out on, you know, LIFE.

You can still be mustachian if that's your thing. But it can't be your only thing.

sisto

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Re: too excited about FIRE?
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2016, 01:37:41 PM »
This is typical among newcomers to the ER community.  The "excitement" is probably unsustainable.

From what I've seen, there's a few ways it can go after the initial passion/excitement wears off and the long slog to FIRE starts:

A) You can focus on FIRE.  Having years and years left, you can drive yourself crazy checking account balances all the time.  You'll be unhappy with your job, just thinking of FIRE. Unsatisfied with your life.  Dreaming of something that seems like it's never coming, for years, and years.  The irony is, when you get to FIRE, by having built it up so much, and having practiced being miserable so long, instead of practiced being happy, you likely won't even be able to enjoy FIRE the way you expected (it's not a cure all solution).

B) You can forget about FIRE, in a bad way.  It seems too far off, it's too much work, you get frugal fatigue constantly trying to get your spending down, and fall off the wagon.  Get frustrated with the concept, and give up.

C) You can forget about FIRE, in a good way.  You can set everything automated (investing, etc.), get your savings rate super high, and stop focusing on FIRE, knowing you're on the right path, and it'll come eventually.  Then work on enjoying your life and improving yourself in the meantime.  Think about what you want your FIRE life to look like, and work on getting as many of those things in your life as possible now.

Obviously this third one is more ideal in outcome.

I've found that those that get the initial passion/drive for FIRE, get their lifestyle set in a way so that their spending is naturally low via the situation you set up and the mindset you choose (not continually having struggle to force low spending, which can lead to burnout/frugal fatigue) to avoid situation B, and then move on, and enjoy their life. They'll be FIRE quick enough.. five years, ten, whatever.

But don't waste your 20s and 30s pining over a FIRE and then look back and regret having wasted that time and opportunity of your life.  FIRE is to gain back years of your life in time, but to throw away years of your life striving for it without enjoying the moment would be counterproductive.

Hope that helps!

Very well said ARS! I find myself sort of stuck in A, but really pushing myself to move to C.

adizb

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Re: too excited about FIRE?
« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2016, 02:54:25 PM »
Thanks for all the replies! Definitely some good tips. Haha as fun as it is right now with x years away from the finish line i guess it might be a good time to start thinking what to do after FI.

Option C seems like a good way to go.

Retire-Canada

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Re: too excited about FIRE?
« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2016, 07:41:20 PM »
I went through the freak out, spreadsheet & simulator phase for about a year. It was fun, manic and I knew unsustainable, but it was useful in motivating me to make big changes to my life and focus my financial planning on my desired outcome.

I tend to get back into it for a few days at the end of each month as I tally my performance and invest my savings. Then I get less interested until the end of the next month.

At some point you are not going to be adding anything significantly new to your plan or knowledge base and you'll naturally taper off. I stay engaged on this forum because I don't really have a MMM style friend in my life and this forum acts as my financial social/support group to just keep my general moral up and keep me accountable to my FIRE goals.

Don't worry about being crazy enthusiastic for now unless it's causing you personal problems in your real life. At the same time don't worry when it inevitably changes either.

ender

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Re: too excited about FIRE?
« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2016, 07:49:15 PM »
I went through the freak out, spreadsheet & simulator phase for about a year. It was fun, manic and I knew unsustainable, but it was useful in motivating me to make big changes to my life and focus my financial planning on my desired outcome.

I tend to get back into it for a few days at the end of each month as I tally my performance and invest my savings. Then I get less interested until the end of the next month.

At some point you are not going to be adding anything significantly new to your plan or knowledge base and you'll naturally taper off. I stay engaged on this forum because I don't really have a MMM style friend in my life and this forum acts as my financial social/support group to just keep my general moral up and keep me accountable to my FIRE goals.

Don't worry about being crazy enthusiastic for now unless it's causing you personal problems in your real life. At the same time don't worry when it inevitably changes either.


+1

And don't forget do enjoy the roses along the way to FIRE, too. Your life isn't going to magically become less miserable if you hate your entire life prior to FIRE and have as your sole point of existence pursuing it.

aschmidt2930

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Re: too excited about FIRE?
« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2016, 08:12:27 PM »
Most people settle down after a year or so. It's important to enjoy the journey in my opinion, being obsessive about FIRE won't get you there much faster, but will significantly decrease your enjoyment of the present. 


Cyaphas

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Re: too excited about FIRE?
« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2016, 08:13:47 PM »
Also, whenever you're feeling like you need moral support, come back here and dance on this little island of sanity that is the MMM Forums. That clown car starts looking appealing? That McMansion starts sparkling when you drive by it? The latest Umptyinch Megathingamagic TV starts creeping into your conscious? We'll be here! Ready to hand out Facepunches!

MVal

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Re: too excited about FIRE?
« Reply #13 on: September 25, 2016, 08:30:55 PM »
This is typical among newcomers to the ER community.  The "excitement" is probably unsustainable.

From what I've seen, there's a few ways it can go after the initial passion/excitement wears off and the long slog to FIRE starts:

A) You can focus on FIRE.  Having years and years left, you can drive yourself crazy checking account balances all the time.  You'll be unhappy with your job, just thinking of FIRE. Unsatisfied with your life.  Dreaming of something that seems like it's never coming, for years, and years.  The irony is, when you get to FIRE, by having built it up so much, and having practiced being miserable so long, instead of practiced being happy, you likely won't even be able to enjoy FIRE the way you expected (it's not a cure all solution).

B) You can forget about FIRE, in a bad way.  It seems too far off, it's too much work, you get frugal fatigue constantly trying to get your spending down, and fall off the wagon.  Get frustrated with the concept, and give up.

C) You can forget about FIRE, in a good way.  You can set everything automated (investing, etc.), get your savings rate super high, and stop focusing on FIRE, knowing you're on the right path, and it'll come eventually.  Then work on enjoying your life and improving yourself in the meantime.  Think about what you want your FIRE life to look like, and work on getting as many of those things in your life as possible now.

Obviously this third one is more ideal in outcome.

I've found that those that get the initial passion/drive for FIRE, get their lifestyle set in a way so that their spending is naturally low via the situation you set up and the mindset you choose (not continually having struggle to force low spending, which can lead to burnout/frugal fatigue) to avoid situation B, and then move on, and enjoy their life. They'll be FIRE quick enough.. five years, ten, whatever.

But don't waste your 20s and 30s pining over a FIRE and then look back and regret having wasted that time and opportunity of your life.  FIRE is to gain back years of your life in time, but to throw away years of your life striving for it without enjoying the moment would be counterproductive.

Hope that helps!

Yes, this is the shot in the arm I needed right now as well. I'm only two years in and the fatigue is setting in just the way you described. I'm certain I will go insane if I keep forgoing every pleasure and progress in my life to keep this white-knuckle death grip on my finances, aching with impatience as I obsessively check my NW balance which never seems to grow fast enough to satisfy.

I've made up my mind to give myself a little leeway next year by finally getting my own place after many years with the same roommate and being a little more permissive in my leisure activities, such as allowing myself to pay for classes I want to take or for small trips and adventures. I've learned now that I can't live by MMM alone, I still need to have a life and be able to use some of my money to de-stress and develop myself. The living alone thing is a tough one for me though, because I feel so anti-Mustachian voluntarily moving into a living situation that will likely double my living expenses. But I think it will pay dividends when I finally have room to spread out, have creative projects going on around the house (some of which could turn into side hustles), have more comfortable and private accommodations for family visiting, etc. It will just be challenging to find something that isn't too expensive but still close to work.

Dmy0013

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Re: too excited about FIRE?
« Reply #14 on: September 25, 2016, 08:32:36 PM »
And then you get married and have kids... and well you don't even want to look at the spreadsheet anymore

arebelspy

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Re: too excited about FIRE?
« Reply #15 on: September 25, 2016, 09:11:31 PM »
And then you get married and have kids... and well you don't even want to look at the spreadsheet anymore

If you married a Mustachian, your path to FIRE should speed up quite a bit.
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 two 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.

FIRE_at_45

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Re: too excited about FIRE?
« Reply #16 on: September 25, 2016, 10:37:27 PM »
And then you get married and have kids... and well you don't even want to look at the spreadsheet anymore

If you married a Mustachian, your path to FIRE should speed up quite a bit.

That's very true!  You get the benefit of lower and more efficient living costs and 2 incomes.  The challenge is making sure you are on the same page or it can be disaster.

Mrs. S

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Re: too excited about FIRE?
« Reply #17 on: September 25, 2016, 10:44:59 PM »
We all have those phases for me that was for about a moth or two this year. I read and reread a lot of posts did calculations and spent sometime with Mr. S deciding what we want. During those first few months I would look at my networth find tools I could use and dig into various financial blogs. It was fun yet frantic and =not sustainable. Just like arebelspy said it will wear off and we are experiencing the same.

For me a lot of times it ends up being B but this time I couldn't risk it. So we started writing about it so that I would know when I am drifting into my previous spendy ways. We are 30 right now and are deliberating about adding another person to our family. If that happens then i am sure FIRE will take a backseat in the thinking queue for sometime.
I don't think we ever want to forget about our ultimate target but we have of late started looking into our health and food habits. This helps by giving us some short term goals as well as ensuring our live post FIRE will be better than what it would have been.

My suggestion will be to keep a journal and update it whenever you can, automate your spending and savings and find something which can become your new hobby. Even if it is a new series on youtube it will help.
There are still days especially when the job sucks that we both wonder when will these 10 years get over.