This article has been sitting in my drafts for a few months now with nothing more than three names: Heimo Korth, Chris McCandless and Jim Dutcher. What do these three random names have in common? I couldn’t put my finger on it. But there was an elusive idea there that I couldn’t just quite catch. That is until Mr Whymances sent me a video on Ikigai. Then it all fell into place.
Up here in the snowy north, we hunker down around December and mostly don’t stray too far until March or April until the snowy weather clears up a bit. So come late winter, I get cabin fever and am eager to stretch my travel legs at the first opportunity. What about you?
This year was unusual in that we planned a week in a sunny destination for the first time ever. We went to Barbados for some much needed sun and relaxation. Even so, the very next weekend happened to be easter. My Whymances home town friends have a tradition of holding a Good Friday BBQ that he hasn’t missed since it started a few decades ago. Between not wanting to miss that and the fact we hadn’t seen family and friends since the wedding in September or xmas, we booked a car last minutes… At the cost of $400! One of my goals was to reduce road trip expenses this year, so I felt we weren’t off to a good start!
I find myself thinking about time a lot. Not so much in how to do everything I want within a day. More along the lines I can shake the feeling that I’m running out of time. Like I don’t have enough years left to do what I’d like. It feels like it’s slipping from me as fast as ocean waves come and go.
I’m in my mid thirties and for the past 6 months, there’s a constant low level anxiety that I’m running out of time to pursue what I want and where I’d like to be financially. Not unlike many others, I came to the party late and now I’m left scrambling; I feel I need to choose between some life goals or having financial freedom sooner.
What do the terms budget, minimalism, frugality and investment have in common? They’re often the first words people think of when figuring out how to do everything you want and still save. They provoke subtle feelings of discomfort, even perhaps leaving us feeling a little dirty. All the enthusiasm we had a second ago with planning how we want to spend our money evaporates and we pack it in. Because let’s face it, it’s human nature to avoid what FEELS or IS PERCEIVED to be unpleasant. It is possible to afford being social, hobbies and still save.
I’ve been fascinated by an experiment lately, where I introduce the concept of FIRE (financial independence/retire early) in conversations where lifestyle, goals or finances come up naturally. This isn’t done in the context of encouraging anyone to pursue it or how to do it, just at a very basic:
I’ve heard of this new trend where people are minimizing their costs and saving up to 50% of their salary to become financially independent after 10 – 15 years and some even choose to retire in their 30’s.
I’ve done this with friends, acquaintances, co-workers and even a local tailor. Reactions have ranged from intrigued to predictably ‘that can’t be possible’. The act of saying we all have different goals is one thing, but having that simple short conversation has been fascinating to see other perspectives. It’s really re-enforced how important it is to spend some time having those conversations. So what financial goals and perspectives are out there?
With December coming to an end, the new year is barreling towards us. This is when people look back at what’s passed, and make New Year’s Resolutions. Big resolutions are great, especially if you’re able to hang in there for the long haul until you reach it. I’ve set goals, big and small; some I reached, others I didn’t. What I have learned though, is that the impact of smaller goals or new year’s resolutions are often overlooked.