Author Topic: Random perspective from a MMM vet and why going for FIRE *EARLY* is critical  (Read 7307 times)

Gondolin

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OP - are you me? We have almost the exact same timeline and trajectory.

I feel the same way too. I see all this doom and despair go by me online and I think ďWow. Canít relate. Must be rough.Ē

Should be FI by 40. 45 at the latest.

Jack0Life

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I think OP has done everything right and the increase in living expenses as you get older is something that is completely natural -- screw the hedonic treadmill, you should not be staying in the same cheapass BnBs at 40 as you were at 25. You absolutely should buy more expensive shirts and shoes. You absolutely should  dine at a better quality of restaurant, enjoy better quality wine, book flights that depart at 4pm rather than 4am... all without beating yourself up about it. It's fine being a CF when you are young to get ahead. It's not fine when you have got ahead and still behave like a CF.

This post resonate with me.
We are definitely closer to the finish line and me, myself have care less about pinching pennies.
This year, We got a $2k all in one washer/dryer, 1 Tesla and soon to be another. Nothing changed
to our stash.
Worked hard and be smart early and I'm reaping the benefits now.
BTW, what's a CF ?

Just Joe

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I see no indication of gloating in your post, just the panic & relief that overtakes after you feel a rush of wind at the crosswalk & realize you were nearly run over by a reckless driver, but stepped out of the way just in time. Early commitment to FI has been that lucky lifesaving step a few times for me.

I miss the facepunching community. We ribbed & kept each other mindful. I havenít lost my frugality without community support but miss the sense of counterculture & backup in weak moments. Itís more fun finding creative solutions than just spending money, but most people here seem to just be confused by the idea now. I wonder how many read the blog.

The $25 bottle is within my means, but I donít get 2.5x the enjoyment from it; it might be 1.5x as good (or maybe I just know where to get the best $10 bottles?) But neither touches what I can bottle myself for $3 & a few minutes of quiet joy in a perfumed kitchen on a sunlit afternoon.

Same. All that. Bookmarked this thread. Some of these threads are as good as the MMM blog is.

halfling

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Yep.

I find there are two schools of thought regarding 20s...

1) Explore, go out, try things, fail, travel abroad, etc.
2) Hunker down, work and try to get well established by your 30s.

Neither of them is inherently superior. Path 2 has a side benefit of having financial stability later. It provides options as you outlined in your post. Path 1 provides unique experiences such as being young unburdened ESL teacher in an exotic location (it's an example, ok??). I've heard path 2 people complain about not having all those fun experiences from the path 1. Complaints go the other way around too. In a way, grass is always greener.

Ultimately, it's a deeply personal decision. I wish more people made this choice slightly more consciously rather than being pressured into path 1 or path 2 by their peers, parents, societal expectations or other parties.

So you made a conscious decision and followed through on it. Well done.

I actually think MMM helped me land the best of both worlds; focusing on increasing my income and getting out of debt ASAP led me to have FU money while still in my 20s, so I've been able to strike a balance between buckling down AND getting out there and having fun. Also realizing that spending money =/= having fun, beyond the basics of just getting out of the house.

Thrallama

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I didn't get that at all. I saw it as two parts - what was the moment of realization that you were glad you are on the FIRE path, or already FI - and what was the impetus for it. I suppose yours would be your "promotion" sucking and your view of working life changing.
This is an interesting way to reflect on it.

I think my impetus was twofold: first, my first job out of school was insanely stressful, so I learned early on the value of being able to quickly/easily leave a job without added financial pressure. Second, my parents both retired (at normal retirement age) right around the time I was starting work, so I would joke with them about "can I retire too?" That joke became less fantasy and more actual goal as I learned about FI.

I've had many small moments of realization about how grateful I am for my savings, but reading this article really solidified it for me. The situations it describes are all too common, and I never want to be in them: https://www.thebillfold.com/2016/01/a-story-of-a-fuck-off-fund/

footwear

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This is such a good discussion thread. I have nothing really to add. Nothing is guaranteed, but sometimes I just plug my savings into a 30-year compound interest calculation when I need to remind myself that I'm doing fine.

Lol...this really got me. I do this way too often and DW ridicules me (rightly) all the time about it. I'm not sure if its me always wanting to see if we are still on track to FIRE in 10 years or if its just a safety blanket to say that everything is okay, we're doing great, stay on the path. Probably a little of both!

Chris Pascale

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I'd call this a not-so-random perspective.

Agreed on the forum. I only showed up around 2019 and see a pretty big difference.

The Beebsta

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Getting face-punched for buying coffee is quite the motivator, even if it was self imposed.

I am big on FI and agnostic on RE; just a personal thing. Others can agree or not.

But I do think itís important that people respect the approaches others take when they are being thoughtful about their lives.

So if someone gives you a facepunch for drinking coffee, I recommend giving them a ballkick for being an asshole. My 2 cents.

Ha ha! I drink my coffee first thing in the morning. If someone gives me a face punch for drinking coffee I will definitely be giving them a ball kick for being an asshole. 🤣

Sanitary Stache

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Getting face-punched for buying coffee is quite the motivator, even if it was self imposed.

I am big on FI and agnostic on RE; just a personal thing. Others can agree or not.

But I do think itís important that people respect the approaches others take when they are being thoughtful about their lives.

So if someone gives you a facepunch for drinking coffee, I recommend giving them a ballkick for being an asshole. My 2 cents.

Ha ha! I drink my coffee first thing in the morning. If someone gives me a face punch for drinking coffee I will definitely be giving them a ball kick for being an asshole. 🤣

There is a difference between drinking coffee and buying a coffee. Buying a coffee implies spending 10 times as much to drink a coffee. That is not mustachian.

Enjoying a specialty coffee at a favorite location is also different than buying a coffee. Buying a coffee might be spending 10 times as much on a coffee from a gas station. Definitely worthy of a face punch.

I would expect anyone throwing a face punch to be prepared for a retaliatory crotch kick and step back accordingly. Or at least put the internet and anonymity between the face punch and crotch kick for dampening effect.

Just Joe

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Getting face-punched for buying coffee is quite the motivator, even if it was self imposed.

I am big on FI and agnostic on RE; just a personal thing. Others can agree or not.

But I do think itís important that people respect the approaches others take when they are being thoughtful about their lives.

So if someone gives you a facepunch for drinking coffee, I recommend giving them a ballkick for being an asshole. My 2 cents.

Ha ha! I drink my coffee first thing in the morning. If someone gives me a face punch for drinking coffee I will definitely be giving them a ball kick for being an asshole. 🤣

Sounds like a tough way to start the day - all that kicking and punching... Forgot my coffee out in the car. Going for a walk... 

evanc

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Anyway, this is a reminder that this stuff WILL happen eventually.  Something will happen to make you wish you had/happy you had saved that 50k in your 20s that is now 250k+ 20 years later.  Or not inflated your lifestyle when you were most of the way there/skinny FIRE in your 40s.  Don't be that guy in his 50s or 60s who has to work instead of being able to spend his wife's last few months alive with her after she gets a terminal diagnosis.

Or be the person who has to work through his own health crisis. A coworker recently passed in his early 60's, and for the last couple years he has been dreaming of "one day" retiring but couldn't afford to. Even through kidney dialysis, limb amputation, and multiple heart attacks, he had to continue to work to keep the lights on and the rent paid.

Quite confident he would have preferred to spend that precious time with his family. And when you see the raw reality of that situation, you quickly realize that it's more than hypothetical catastrophizing. Stuff DOES happen, and life is short.

Metalcat

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Anyway, this is a reminder that this stuff WILL happen eventually.  Something will happen to make you wish you had/happy you had saved that 50k in your 20s that is now 250k+ 20 years later.  Or not inflated your lifestyle when you were most of the way there/skinny FIRE in your 40s.  Don't be that guy in his 50s or 60s who has to work instead of being able to spend his wife's last few months alive with her after she gets a terminal diagnosis.

Or be the person who has to work through his own health crisis. A coworker recently passed in his early 60's, and for the last couple years he has been dreaming of "one day" retiring but couldn't afford to. Even through kidney dialysis, limb amputation, and multiple heart attacks, he had to continue to work to keep the lights on and the rent paid.

Quite confident he would have preferred to spend that precious time with his family. And when you see the raw reality of that situation, you quickly realize that it's more than hypothetical catastrophizing. Stuff DOES happen, and life is short.

Yep, this is the exact point I made earlier in the thread.

Yes, it does happen, it happened to me at 37.

leevs11

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I wonder if the change from the good ole days of face punching is caused by 2 things:

1. The economy. Most of the FIRE blogs were started a few years after the great recession. A lot of like minded people saw that people were losing their shit all over the place. This made people very excited to save some money and feel the freedom that it gives you. It also made people who were already frugal feel like their frugal ways were helping them stay ok during a bad time. On top of it, there was a ton of money to be made buying stocks on the cheap. This was exciting.

Now we've been doing nothing but going up for the past 10-15 years. This makes it very easy to be a bit more free with your money. It feels more ok to spend a bit more on yourself.

2. FIRE has become slightly more mainstream. There are tons of people doing this in some form or another. Similar to most niche communities, once it gets big it gets bland. Look at reddit. Back in 2008 or so it was a very cool community. Now it's basically facebook. Things can't stay the same forever.

I still think a lot about #1 though. We've seen nothing but boom years for a long time. When there is a real recession we'll see who's doing well vs who's just riding the hedonic treadmill wave again. Who knows when it'll happen though. I remember back in 2006 thinking that I'd never be able to buy a house because they were so outrageously expensive. Well that didn't last.

I do miss some good face punching though. I should probably go bike to costco tonight.

bacchi

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I wonder if the change from the good ole days of face punching is caused by 2 things:

1. The economy. Most of the FIRE blogs were started a few years after the great recession. A lot of like minded people saw that people were losing their shit all over the place. This made people very excited to save some money and feel the freedom that it gives you. It also made people who were already frugal feel like their frugal ways were helping them stay ok during a bad time. On top of it, there was a ton of money to be made buying stocks on the cheap. This was exciting.

Now we've been doing nothing but going up for the past 10-15 years. This makes it very easy to be a bit more free with your money. It feels more ok to spend a bit more on yourself.

2. FIRE has become slightly more mainstream. There are tons of people doing this in some form or another. Similar to most niche communities, once it gets big it gets bland. Look at reddit. Back in 2008 or so it was a very cool community. Now it's basically facebook. Things can't stay the same forever.

I still think a lot about #1 though. We've seen nothing but boom years for a long time. When there is a real recession we'll see who's doing well vs who's just riding the hedonic treadmill wave again. Who knows when it'll happen though. I remember back in 2006 thinking that I'd never be able to buy a house because they were so outrageously expensive. Well that didn't last.

I do miss some good face punching though. I should probably go bike to costco tonight.

Agreed on both.

Re: 1. The same thing is visible in the "Work is pretty easy so I'll continue working and loosen the purse strings" threads. It's not a horrible idea but eventually a shit boss will take over or the economy will turn or you'll face an RTO and have to spend a soul draining hour in traffic each day.

I'd also add 2.a. As the FIRE concept becomes more monetized, the sellers have to make it more interesting. To bring in more eyeballs, the FIRE path has to be expanded to include those who like the concept of FIRE but not the reality of truly examining their consumerism.

Turtle

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I wonder if the change from the good ole days of face punching is caused by 2 things:

1. The economy. Most of the FIRE blogs were started a few years after the great recession. A lot of like minded people saw that people were losing their shit all over the place. This made people very excited to save some money and feel the freedom that it gives you. It also made people who were already frugal feel like their frugal ways were helping them stay ok during a bad time. On top of it, there was a ton of money to be made buying stocks on the cheap. This was exciting.

Now we've been doing nothing but going up for the past 10-15 years. This makes it very easy to be a bit more free with your money. It feels more ok to spend a bit more on yourself.

2. FIRE has become slightly more mainstream. There are tons of people doing this in some form or another. Similar to most niche communities, once it gets big it gets bland. Look at reddit. Back in 2008 or so it was a very cool community. Now it's basically facebook. Things can't stay the same forever.

I still think a lot about #1 though. We've seen nothing but boom years for a long time. When there is a real recession we'll see who's doing well vs who's just riding the hedonic treadmill wave again. Who knows when it'll happen though. I remember back in 2006 thinking that I'd never be able to buy a house because they were so outrageously expensive. Well that didn't last.

I do miss some good face punching though. I should probably go bike to costco tonight.

Agreed on both.

Re: 1. The same thing is visible in the "Work is pretty easy so I'll continue working and loosen the purse strings" threads. It's not a horrible idea but eventually a shit boss will take over or the economy will turn or you'll face an RTO and have to spend a soul draining hour in traffic each day.

I'd also add 2.a. As the FIRE concept becomes more monetized, the sellers have to make it more interesting. To bring in more eyeballs, the FIRE path has to be expanded to include those who like the concept of FIRE but not the reality of truly examining their consumerism.

All good points.  And I must confess that point 1. applies to me.  I'm basically working for a larger FIRE travel budget, though I am ready to pull the plug at any time if work becomes too much of a hassle.

spartana

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I wonder if the change from the good ole days of face punching is caused by 2 things:

1. The economy. Most of the FIRE blogs were started a few years after the great recession. A lot of like minded people saw that people were losing their shit all over the place. This made people very excited to save some money and feel the freedom that it gives you. It also made people who were already frugal feel like their frugal ways were helping them stay ok during a bad time. On top of it, there was a ton of money to be made buying stocks on the cheap. This was exciting.

Now we've been doing nothing but going up for the past 10-15 years. This makes it very easy to be a bit more free with your money. It feels more ok to spend a bit more on yourself.

2. FIRE has become slightly more mainstream. There are tons of people doing this in some form or another. Similar to most niche communities, once it gets big it gets bland. Look at reddit. Back in 2008 or so it was a very cool community. Now it's basically facebook. Things can't stay the same forever.

I still think a lot about #1 though. We've seen nothing but boom years for a long time. When there is a real recession we'll see who's doing well vs who's just riding the hedonic treadmill wave again. Who knows when it'll happen though. I remember back in 2006 thinking that I'd never be able to buy a house because they were so outrageously expensive. Well that didn't last.

I do miss some good face punching though. I should probably go bike to costco tonight.

Agreed on both.

Re: 1. The same thing is visible in the "Work is pretty easy so I'll continue working and loosen the purse strings" threads. It's not a horrible idea but eventually a shit boss will take over or the economy will turn or you'll face an RTO and have to spend a soul draining hour in traffic each day.

I'd also add 2.a. As the FIRE concept becomes more monetized, the sellers have to make it more interesting. To bring in more eyeballs, the FIRE path has to be expanded to include those who like the concept of FIRE but not the reality of truly examining their consumerism.
Or worse than RTO is that there is no office because you've been laid off - along with everyone else everywhere else - and the cash cow house you leveraged to the hilt as equity rose so you could buy and do ALL THE THINGS is now only worth about 50% of its former value and you can't afford to make your $4000/month payments on your $1500/month UEI. And your stash, which also dropped 50%, isn't going to keep you from afloat very long. And your a 30, 40 or 50 something person with a spouse and kids who's now living in Moms basement after they foreclosed on your house and you tapped all you savings and you can't even get a job flipping burgers at Mickey D's. Maybe a little hyperbole but RTO and shitty bosses aren't the worst that can happen if the economy take a big nose dive. Us frugal types did ok during that time. Sadly there weren't many frugal types pre-great recession.

 

Wow, a phone plan for fifteen bucks!