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Old 01-12-2010, 09:51 AM   #41
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I'm on a track now to FI by about age 45,
I used to look at it this way, but I now think of it in terms of:

"As things stand, I can retire at 60 without saving another dime for retirement."

It's nice to think that I could start spending every penny that I earned and still retire "early". Clearly I'm not going to start spending everything; like you, I save a large percentage of my income and will no doubt continue to strive to do so. But this perspective allows me to loosen up a bit. If I save a little less, my FIRE date will approach more slowly, but it will still be getting closer so long as I'm saving a decent amount.

Sounds to me like you need to lighten up the pressure, both financially and emotionally, that your FIRE goals are putting on you. My prescription would be spend a little more and try to think more about what you've ALREADY accomplished as opposed to endlessly dwelling on what you're trying to accomplish with FIRE.
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Old 01-12-2010, 10:43 AM   #42
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@MichaelB, just for you I calculated it out. A 10% increase would push my retirement out from 44.87 to 46.37, or exactly 18 months
2Cor521, now youre sounding like your old self again.

FIRE is a goal but its also a means to another goal having the age and finances to do other things with your life. It helps to keep both in sight.

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As far as this one goes, I'm hoping that with time I'll get further up the learning curve and/or will learn to be less anxious about meeting my own too-high expectations of myself. Also just getting out in the Idaho sunshine (:-P) during the day will help. Historically I have the winter blahs from about mid-December through mid-January, so if history is any guide things should start to feel better in a week or two.
Perhaps mid-December to mid-January in Idaho is a good time to schedule a getaway the Caribbean, Rockies, some place with water, uneven land, tall buildings ...you know, ABI (anything but Idaho). if you know its going to happen, one way to enhance your current lifestyle is taking some preventive medicine.


Nothing wrong with high expectations. IMHO I think your doubts are a healthy sign, as is revisiting the trade off between current and future lifestyle. The age part is a bit arbitrary IMHO (general comment, not 2Cor521 specifically) and what matters is what you do...
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Old 01-13-2010, 10:53 PM   #43
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I'm in the same boat as OP. Because I'm hoping for an "early out" this is predicated on low spending more than a huge nest egg. $1 more spent means I have to save $25 more in savings so I agonize over small purchases.

What I did to hopefully get around this is look at my last 2 years spending and basically created a budget for me this year that is that amount + 10%. As long as I spend under $X in the year I'll be happy as it won't materially impact me.
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Old 01-16-2010, 10:30 PM   #44
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I'm a cheap date anyway...I think I'd be pretty happy just buying a new non-stick skillet; my current one is a few years old and has lost the non-stick stuff in the center. I think a new one would be about $15.

Thanks again to all.

2Cor521
I have been trying to spend more money and one thing I did was allow myself gifts to me that don't cost more than a gift I would give others. So a single nice thing under $50 or so once a month or less helps me feel less poor.
Also picking up something special at the grocery store once in a while. My favorite luxury foods are fresh cherries and fresh blueberries. Last summer I got 42 lbs of blueberries at about 1.75 a pound. They were then frozen and used instead of ice cream for months. So about 35 worth of blueberries saved me 10 worth of ice cream or 25 to feel rich. I also stocked up on cherries, pears and other fruits but most were loss leader sales so a good deal like 29lb for pears or nectorines.

An extra $5 a week on a grocery treat takes the pain out of poverty. I still couldn't spend $10 on 4 packs of diet cola so am drinking water so I didn't go hog wild.

Maybe you can work a hobby into money making and use that money without accounting for it
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Old 01-17-2010, 11:04 AM   #45
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$1 more spent means I have to save $25 more in savings so I agonize over small purchases.
I never did the math that way - excellent metric, and an empowering way to think about small savings. But also horrifying in that it makes me worry about every $25 purchase.

DH and I also sort of solved this problem by having a budget that we agree is "enough" progress toward FIRE without feeling deprived. Not that we never worry about it, but less than we used to.

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Last summer I got 42 lbs of blueberries at about 1.75 a pound. They were then frozen and used instead of ice cream for months.
Just out of curiosity, do you do anything special with the blueberries? I don't eat dairy any more, and am always interested something good instead of ice cream.
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Old 01-17-2010, 04:00 PM   #46
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Just out of curiosity, do you do anything special with the blueberries? I don't eat dairy any more, and am always interested something good instead of ice cream.
Not to answer on OW's behalf, but a peeled banana, placed in the freezer, magically becomes a wonderful frozen, creamy treat. I have also enjoyed frozen peach slices and frozen strawberries - not as creamy as bananas, more like frozen Italian ice. I imagine blueberries would be like that, too.

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Old 01-17-2010, 04:25 PM   #47
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Not to answer on OW's behalf, but a peeled banana, placed in the freezer, magically becomes a wonderful frozen, creamy treat. I have also enjoyed frozen peach slices and frozen strawberries - not as creamy as bananas, more like frozen Italian ice. I imagine blueberries would be like that, too.

Amethyst
Frozen blueberries are great. I buy Trader Joe's frozen wild blueberries, thaw a serving on brandy, and pour on a generous measure of heavy cream.

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Old 01-18-2010, 11:20 AM   #48
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If you are "tired of scrimping and saving" and "just want to relax a little, enjoy life a little", then you should ease up on the purse strings a bit and treat yourself to whatever you feel deprived of. Sure this will mean deferring FIRE somewhat, but no one says that you have to achieve FIRE by a certain age or date. Life is not a race, and you are your own master!

If you are also "tired of ... working and earning", but are not yet FI, there are somethings that you can do: (1) negotiate an unpaid sabbatical to allow you to recharge your batteries; (2) negotiate better work hours; (3) switch to a different career that might provide new challenges. Easier said than done, I agree.
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