I’ve mentioned before that I’ve always wanted to become financially independent (FI). I may not have known the term “FI,” but it’s always been my goal. With that in mind, I was focused on making effective financial decisions. At the top of my list: becoming a homeowner. I heard that renting meant “throwing money away” (in reality this is not always true) and I never wanted to do that. Here’s the story tallying up my wins and losses from buying a condo at 24.
Reading hundreds of blog posts surrounding the personal finance community, it’s easy to get a little jealous of others’ success. I mean, on a daily basis I read about people going from rags to riches, or having a $1M income, or people retiring at an obscenely young age. With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, I think it’s time to step back and focus on all the reasons I have to be thankful.
3-Year-Old Son: Daddy, can you play trains with me?
Me: I’m sorry, I can’t play right now, I need to go to work.
3-Year-Old Son: [Sad Face]
Me: One day, I’ll have enough money that I won’t have to work.
3-Year-Old Son: And then you can stay home and play with me all day? [Happy Face]
Unfortunately, by the time I have the money to stay home, I’m not sure my son will want me to play trains with him all day. I expect that he may have other interests by then. I was very impressed by how quick he grasped the concept of doing what you want with your time once you have enough to support yourself.
Once You are Financially Independent You Can:
- Continue working to increase your lifestyle
- Quit a job that makes you unhappy
- Start a business without the pressure of needing to succeed right away
- Spend more time with friends and family
- Spend time on a hobby you are passionate about
- Work to financially support or volunteer for your favorite cause
- You may even be able to do a number of these things, – or thousands of others – the possibilities are endless!
Some mornings, before heading into the office, my son looks at me with a sad face and asks:
Mini WPF: Daddy, do you have to go to work today?
Mini WPF: Why?
Me: I go, so that I can pay for our house and food.
Mini WPF: And toys?
Me: Yes, and toys.