Have you ever tried sharing the idea of financial independence with a friend or loved one? I sure have, more than once. Not that I’m pursuing it myself but more sharing my thoughts about reaching a stage in life where your passive income exceeds the cost of living. That and increase my savings rate.
How do people react? Something like… “Sounds like paradise, but not sure if that is possible” or “I try to save money but it never works”. I know what you’re thinking…
It seems like the whole idea about working your ass of for 40 years just so the government can “take care” of you afterwards is so indoctrinated in our minds that we don’t even bother thinking about it. We get up, go to work, get home (exhausted as shit) and repeat the same circle over and over again. Until one bright soul starts to think… Wait a minute here…What the hell are we doing.
I’m sure that a lot of people think like the aforementioned at a certain point along the way. However, the threshold between thinking about it and actually doing it seems small but isn’t. We’re creatures of habit. Once you establish a habit of spending lot’s of money, it’s hard to change your behaviour. Especially if you don’t know any better…
I hope I can be a voice of reason. I hope that I can accomplish some changes, even if it’s just with one person it would be a success. I do have to admit, it can sound a bit contradictory, but I don’t spread the word around that I’m pursuing financial independence. Why not? To be honest, it’s to damn stressful. You get all these weird looks like your some kind of strange creature, while, I see myself as a bright light in a dark crowd.
I assume, if anyone reads this blog, they’re interested in finances, investing or in the process of making some changes. Maybe you just discovered this community or maybe you’re already an expert. This blog, this tool can help both of us. I‘m here to share my experiences and to learn from other people. That’s another reason why I started blogging.
To answer my initial question, who knows about my plan? Only one person, the most important person, my girlfriend. And she is totally on board of the financial independence train.
Was she at first? What do you think?
When I first explained the FI concept to my girlfriend, she was suspicious. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. She’s open to discuss every topic but has a critical mind, just like I do. In the beginning she thought that saving 50% of your income would have a negative outcome on our quality of life. And that’s something she didn’t want to do, which I fully understand. I find this one of the most common assumptions people have. They don’t see a frugal person, they see a cheap and stingy person who doesn’t do anything except not spending money.
However, the more she thought about it, the more she was convinced it’s actually possible. To be honest, I didn’t really have to convince her a lot because we already had a pretty frugal lifestyle. Our system just needed a few small tweaks. We also think you have to find a good balance in your saving behaviour. As the road to financial independence needs to be fun and exciting, it’s not worth saving 80% of your income if your miserable. This exceeds being frugal to me and leans more towards being cheap. From the moment she realised this, I had the feeling she saw the light.
As mentioned before, I know our savings behaviour exceeds 50% but I have no clue about a precise number. I assume we can easily go to 65-70% in the future, without cutting down on the fun.
Do you have any experience with spreading the word?