We had a little adventure in the desert last Tuesday. Really no adventure is little in the desert with all those cactus and other pricklies.
We were riding our mountain bikes and got stuck on a trail with tire sucking gravel and ended up walking our bikes. Mr. Ms. Liz saw what I now think was a game trail off to the left and thought it would be a great idea to follow that. The goal being to find a trail better suited for our bikes.
Half an hour later, he greeted me with a “Ta Da” because we had, finally, found a better trail. But getting there sucked. I was bleeding from a scratch in my leg, my shoulder was wonky, I was NOT happy.
Mr. loves these adventures, I do not. Yet I continue to follow him . . .
Whilst we were on this adventure, the constant refrain that was running through my head was:
What can I control? Speed and Attitude.
Because once the decision was made to go off trail, that was pretty much all I could control. I didn’t do a great job of controlling either.
The same can be said for reaching any financial goal–once we’ve decided that’s what we are going to do, we can control our speed and attitude. And that’s pretty much all.
If your goal is financial independence (aka FI–please, please say it is! It’s so worth it!), reducing your spending puts you in warp speed. It frees up cash for investment today, and means you’ll need less invested to support your lifestyle later. Bam!
How to control attitude? This is the tough one and clearly I’m no expert. But I’d say set milestones on your way to the BIG goal and celebrate your successes.
I learned something in a mountain biking clinic. if you keep your eyes focused well ahead of you, you will still see objects between you and that distant point. And your riding will be smoother and safer. Same with reaching your goals.
If you want to be a millionaire, celebrate reaching $0 net worth. Then celebrate reaching the first $50,000 of net worth, then the first $100,000 and so on. Joel at FI180 suggests these milestones:
FU money – savings that allows you to walk away from work for a year or two
Half FI – half of what you need to support yourself forever
Lean FI – passive income to cover bare bones, essential expenses
Flex FI – savings of 20 x your annual expenses
FI – savings of 25 x your annual expenses
Fat FI – 30 x your annual expenses
There are huge benefits from being anywhere on this path–even the first step of FU money.
I was chatting with my BFF the other day and she was telling me her boss had given her a ton of his work to do. But, for some reason, it didn’t bother her as much as it used to. I asked her if it didn’t bother her because work is now optional. She had enough money to walk away if she wanted to. She paused, then smiled a big smile and said YES!
Having money set aside changes the lens through which you see the world. When work is a choice, it is better.
So get after your goals y’all! Whatever they may be. Don’t let the setbacks get you down–all you can control is your speed and your attitude.