Pay as a ticket on journey to ER


Recycles dryer sheets
Nov 13, 2005
This may not be actionable, but when working, I viewed every paycheck as a short ticket on the long journey to FIRE. I kept working to buy those tickets until I finally got to my destination.
Or as my Dad used to put it, "Every time you get fed up with work and want to quit, just think of the cash register going Ka-ching when you get paid. Enough Ka-chings, and you won't have to work any more."

Sort of like saving up for vacation.
A (hopefully) LOOOOOOOOOONG vacation :dance:
For me the metaphor was very clear and palpable: every paycheck was a brick in a high wall I was building between me and the horrible people and surreal situations I was escaping.
Often when the alarm goes off my wife will sigh and say she wishes we didn't have to get up and go to work today. I like to tell her that, if we keep saving the way we are, soon we won't 'have to'. That is pretty motivating for the both of us.

Interesting that we all have these mental tricks ...
I always treasured the receipt of the paycheck; even when I was enjoying my career (yes, I'm one who of those few here who will admit that) there was something so rewarding about receiving that piece of paper. When they converted to direct deposit I missed the routine of walking to the bank every other Friday and getting some cash and depositing the rest. Up until the end, I still enjoyed the delivery of that paper "stub."
Interesting that we all have these mental tricks ...

I am skilled at [-]self-medication[/-] self-hypnosis when it comes to a "j*b", but now that I'm rounding the final turn, and headed for the home stretch, it's getting much harder to pull off...
When I was a teenager I used to imagine my life in the future. Work certainly was a part of it, but I also visualized a time when I would not have to work. I didn't think of it as "retirement". Once I started working in my chosen career (medicine) I realized that this was something I wanted to do for a finite time only. Becoming FIRE became an unspoken goal. Unspoken, because if articulated, it would have led to loss of credibility. An inheritance put me over the edge to FI, but I did not flaunt it. Hence, when I decided to move on a few years ago, my colleagues were taken by surprise.
Your story is mine exactly, including the inheritance that tipped me into FI. When I visualized my future life I never realized that medicine would be so hectic and that I would be working such long hours. But there is good job security and you are helping others so worth it. Looking forward to next year!
Back in the '80s, as a young lawyer, I tripped across a book called "Your Wealth-Building Years" by Adrian Berg in a Waldenbooks store -- the Rule of 72 and that type of general (but valuable) advice. So I learned to obey the "Pay Yourself First" principle and build up my savings a thin layer at a time. As the paychecks got larger and larger (i.e., as a partner) I just raised my standard of living by very modest increments, far under my earnings. All in all, I have viewed being a lawyer as an interesting and well-paying route on a broadly envisioned life journey that never, ever included finishing out my life as a lawyer. I have always seen it as a (very long) chapter in the book that's my life. God willing, there's only a few pages of that chapter left. Then it's time to make fun things in my wood shop, travel, read, learn to cook, maybe sell antiques....
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