Feeling Impatient On The Road To Financial Independence – 4 Ways To Overcome Them

I’ve learned about the financial independence/early retirement movement over a year ago. I got super excited, dove in headfirst into my finances and I make all of the calculations: how can I maximize my savings, how can I cut back my spending, how can I earn more income, how long until financial independence?

As I’ve already discussed with you, I’m a big advocate of automating your saving and investing by paying yourself first. So after I’ve set that up, I’m tracking and trying to regularly update my spreadsheets (my love for spreadsheets is real!).

Well, I’m sitting here impatiently waiting to reach financial independence. Which, according to my planning, will take me another 10 years and 11 months. Yay for me..

Okay, so now what do I do?

I have my finances in order, I’m working my job and working on the blog as a passion project – which I totally love, obviously. But it’s just that time that you’re waiting, waiting, and they some more waiting.

I feel like Donkey in Shrek; are we there yet?

The Waiting Game Starts

I have done a lot of work already. I know that I still have things to learn and that there will always come lessons on my path, but the basics are taken care of:

I feel totally blessed because I have 11 years left to work instead of 47 YEARS. Writing things like this down already brings it into perspective, which is great! I feel amazing for the opportunity that I have, but I just don’t feel it in my soul.

I have to wait now. Wait for the paycheck to roll in, wait for my next salary increase, wait until my investments accumulate. All the while I still want to have fun in life!

Delaying Gratification

We live in a fast-phased world, where delaying gratification can be difficult. It’s already difficult for me to not eat that donut that’s lying in front of me, let alone strive for a goal for 11 years. I know the time will pass, but it’s just taking longer.

The issue is, that I feel like I have to keep my spending as low as possible in order to get to FI faster while still enjoying life.

And while this is true, how much faster is faster? I will still do all the fun things I love, like going to festivals and hanging out with friends. I am determined to enjoy the way to financial independence, even that means that I’m achieving financial independence a few months later. One thing is for sure, I am still going to that festival or to that concert.

I’m Not The Waiting Type

Waiting is just very hard for me. I’m oftentimes the proactive one who takes matters into my own hands. I’m asking for a raise, investing in the stock market, negotiating my mini-retirement. I think many of us that are pursuing financial independence – or other financial goals for that matter – like to take matters into our own hands.

We like to do things, solve problems, figure it out as we go, fall forward, and most of all take action!

Now I’m sitting here, waiting. Don’t think that I don’t enjoy it, because I do!

I love to be striving for a goal that makes people think I’m crazy, only for them to ask how I’ve done it afterward. It’s something that I’m really enjoying. Helping people along the way, showing them how I did it, and inspiring people to try and take it on!

It’s not just about pursuing financial independence, it’s about teaching people they can do what they want and be whoever they want to be!

How To Overcome My Impatience

1. Avoid Rather Than Resist Temptation

If you know you’re being triggered by something, cut it out of your life. It’s very hard for me to see all the full-time travelers on Instagram where they’re posting their best travel photos. That’s the life I want to be living when I retire. They trigger not only wanderlust but also the ‘are we there yet?’ feeling. So I’m cutting back spending time on my personal Instagram, while also cutting back on reading travel blogs – I’m focusing on the FI blogs now.

Eliminate your triggers. If promotion emails make you buy stuff online, unsubscribe from those emails. If sale makes you go overboard, avoid them altogether. It’s much easier when you’re not having the temptation at all, than resisting the temptation. I mean, it’s pure torture when you’re buying cookies that you are telling yourself you can not eat. Not buying them in the first place is a better plan.

2. Document Your Progress

When you’re striving for a financial goal and want to reach it ‘as soon as possible, things get hard along the way. You’re not sure whether you’re running a sprint or a marathon. The last thing you want is to set in a sprint and after the first 400m, you’re noticing that there’s no finish line yet.

Well, that’s awkward!

This way it will be hard to hit your goals if you don’t know how much money you need, how much you need to save, or how much your income needs to increase. If you map out everything, you can pace yourself accordingly. Knowing what you want and how much of it you want, is an important focus. This brings me to the next point.

3. Create Short Term Goals

If you pace yourself accordingly, it’s important to create short-term goals that make you feel like you’re making progress. Some short-term goals could be; when you increase to X amount of income, when you pay down X amount of debt, when you save X amount. Adding numbers to your savings, dropping numbers for your debt.

It’s not only the €100k net worth you can celebrate. It’s also the €100 salary increase, the €1000 debt decrease, or your first €5000 that you have saved. Look at your current situation and set short-term goals accordingly. The little wins will continuously remind you that you’re getting closer to your goal, which will motivate you to keep going.

4. Don’t Over-Focus

Starting out I was focusing on every cent I invested, every increase in savings, and everything I spend. I still make a general overview of my spendings of the month, but I’m not going week-by-week to check everything that I’ve spent, saved, and invested. Neither should you.

Focus on the general progress that you are making, on the short-term goals, and don’t dive in too deep. It doesn’t matter if you’re checking your bank account 3x per day or 1x per week, there will be the same things happening. Just the latter will bring you less stress, which is something we should all be striving for.

5. This Too Will Pass

Try to focus on the positive things that happen. If you’re having a shitty moment at work, realize that these moments too will pass. Try to be present at work, show up for your colleagues, and focus on the fact that one day it will all be over. One day you don’t have to work anymore. Focus on that – and feel the stress fade!

It’s okay not to save all of your money towards the future and to not give the future all our attention. It’s important to enjoy life now. You never know what tomorrow will bring.

Do you experience this feeling too, or am I the only one? What do you do when you’re getting impatient?

 This article is published and syndicated by Radical FIRE.

16 thoughts on “Feeling Impatient On The Road To Financial Independence – 4 Ways To Overcome Them”

  1. I had this exact same feeling until recently! Then had a complete 180 after a conversation with my spouse. I’m now planning on enjoying the journey more and investing slightly less, giving me a much longer road to FI (around 8-10 years) but a much more enjoyable road.

  2. That’s good to hear James, it’s motivating me to involve my spouse more with my money decisions and my FIRE journey! It’s important to enjoy the journey as well as the destination!

  3. Thanks for the article :).

    You’ve got to celebrate and embrace the progress. I think the reason why a lot of people in the PF/FI/RE community get stuck into their spreadsheets is because they can see progress in the numbers.


  4. I was listening to Paula Pant talk about an interview with The Mad Fientist recently and she said that he regretted how much money he saved, or at least the sacrifices he made in order to save as quickly as he did. He apparently kept the temperature in his home very low – I think he lives in Scotland so at times it could have been freezing. Apparently this affected his relationship with his wife. Although one can have one’s eyes set on the final prize you have to enjoy the journey along the way. Little goals are a good idea and reviewing progress, whether that is through publishing on your blog or just privately. A thoughtful and interesting post. Thanks

  5. Hi Ellie, thanks for stopping by!
    Yes you’re totally right, the spreadsheets show to progress. They’re bringing this sense of certainty and makes it as tangible as it can be. Feels warm and comfortable, PF nerd alert haha!

  6. Hi Sam, thanks for stopping by!
    Oh my, I can only imagine how it would be in Scottish winter with no heating on!

    “Although one can have one’s eyes set on the final prize you have to enjoy the journey along the way.”
    Your wording is so on point, the journey should be as important as the destination, well said. It’s like running a marathon when you rather be biking. It would make sense to stop running and get on your bike, where you’ll actually enjoy the ride!

  7. I can definitely relate to this. Once you set up the key financial elements of FI, it feels like a “Hurry up and wait” scenario!

    This line is so true: “It’s important to enjoy life now. You never know what tomorrow will bring.” It seems to be a recurring theme amongst bloggers who have now reached FIRE (eg. Mad Fientist, Our Next Life), that they would have preferred to take it slightly slower and enjoyed the journey more.

    That’s great you’re still getting along to the concerts and festivals you want to! As a big fan of music gigs, I still incorporate these into my life too, but I will often do these as a volunteer or a worker, getting free entry or even getting paid to be there (plus occasional free accommodation)! Best of both worlds, I think. I have been to festivals as big as Glastonbury UK music festival this way. Worth considering.

  8. Amen! Fantastic post. This us why I do those monthly goal updates. Keeps me grounded and helps me see what we have gotten done. 😁
    We’ll make it to the finish line.

  9. Hi FOGTA, thanks for stopping by & being patient with me, haha!
    Yes I saw your goals last month and it’s a great way to keep track, I’m also trying to set small goals, keeps us accountable. Of course we’ll make it to the finish line!!

  10. Hi Michelle, thanks for reading & being patient with me!

    I feel like enjoying life now it’s so so important, so trying to go back to what’s truly important,
    Like these concerts and festivals!

    Volunteering is actually such a good idea, I’ll look into the options! There are so many great festivals worth visiting, that this might just do the trick!

  11. I feel exactly the same!

    I like your advice about setting short term goals. I’m one of those people who always check my bank account multiple times per day, and it annoys the frick out me now! I need to stop doing it! 😛 I do the same thing with my pension – that’s even worse! 🙁

    I hate playing the waiting game, but I guess it’s all part of the process – to learn to also love the journey 😉

    Unfortunately I’m 10 years behind you! If only I had realized what I know now 10 years ago. So you should definitely be happy that you started early!

    Good luck on your journey! 🙂

  12. Hi Nick, good to know that I’m not alone!
    What really helped me is putting my banking app and my investment app onto the second page of my phone screen, that way it’s harder for me to go and check my balance. Perhaps you could check out if that would work for you!
    I am definitely happy that I started early, but you’re still ahead of the game in general. Let’s see where we are in a few years!

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