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
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:
- Defining my money blueprint
- Changing my money mindset
- Changing my spending – upping my savings
myselffirst – automating my finances
- Track my savings and spendings
I feel totally
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!
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
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
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
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.
Founder of Spark Nomad, Radical FIRE, Journalist
Expertise: Personal finance and travel content
Education: Bachelor of Economics at Radboud University, Master in Finance at Radboud University, Minor in Economics at Chapman University.
Over 200 articles, essays, and short stories published across the web.
Experience: Marjolein Dilven is a journalist and founder of Spark Nomad, a travel platform, and Radical FIRE, a personal finance platform. Marjolein has a finance and economics background with a master’s in Finance. She has quit her job to travel the world, documenting her travels on Spark Nomad to help people plan their travels. Marjolein Dilven has written for publications like MSN, Associated Press, CNBC, Town News syndicate, and more.