Live Life While Pursuing Financial Independence

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

-Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

How do you find balance in your life? This is a tough question for all of us.

Life pushes and pulls us all in many directions. The financial independence journey is no different. Every paycheck, business windfall, or other time money comes into our possession we have a choice.

Consume it today or put it to work for tomorrow.

The majority of America makes their choice clear. They consume and often over consume. Sometimes by choice other times by necessity.

The financial independence movement is to combat this lifestyle. To challenge the status quo of consumption and test other boundaries of life. To see if there is another way to live.

So, for the minority that are extremists in a pursuit of financial independence where should the line be drawn for consuming today vs. in the future?

No One Is Promised Tomorrow

I have said before and strongly believe that being overly frugal is not the way to go. Sacrifice early and often to get your start but don’t get lost on the journey. Balance is crucial to staying motivated and sane while you pursue big goals.

No one is a machine. Make sure to reward yourself along the way. I live in Denver, CO which is a great place to be on my journey. Yet I am guilty of forgetting about all the beauty in my back yard.

As a Colorado native you adjust and start to take it for granted! Winter here is truly amazing, and I love to get to the mountains and snowboard. Work makes it harder, but it isn’t impossible. Over time everyone starts to rationalize why they aren’t doing something.

“Traffic will most likely be bad.”

 “I don’t want to deal with the crowds.”

“I will do that when I reach financial independence.”

Yet these are all just excuses to not start living today! The key is striking the right balance for where you are in life. Scale your situation based on the financial challenges you face. If you are in massive debt, then unfortunately your options are limited. Take advantage of free activities and crush your debt.

Just make sure that when you emerge and start to build your finances you take time to enjoy a bit more in life. There is a happy medium between lifestyle creep and being a miser. The whole point of investing is to make your life better! Make sure to remember why you are doing what you are doing.

Then step back and look around once in a while…there is so much to see!

What Are Your Thoughts?
  1. How do you strike a balance while pursuing financial independence?
  2. Do you regret not doing something when you had the chance?
  3. What are you taking advantage of now while you still can?

Spread The Wealth!

39 Comments on “Live Life While Pursuing Financial Independence”

  1. Awe that’s so nice! Did you go snowhoeing? That looks beautiful and the snow looks like fresh POOOOOOWWW (powder, that’s what we say up in Canada).

    I haven’t been up on the mountains here for over 3 years, I miss it! I should go but need to wait until baby is a bit older.

    When I read that quote by Ferris Bueller’s Day off I heard the theme song in my head.

    1. I did go snowboarding it was some very nice pow! The other shot is from snowshoeing on a sunny day.

      Click the link and watch the preview its so good love that movie.

  2. I have few regrets in life. Looking back most everything I did had a purpose. Yeah, I would do a few things differently, but how did I know at the time? The toughest thing to me is you can’t do it all and have to make choices. I had to memorize a poem by Robert Frost when I was in 8th grade. I didn’t understand it at the time, but I do now and I think the opening sums up life’s choices to a great degree. “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and sorry I could not travel both….”
    Tom

    1. Great quote. It is so true there is so much to do that one lifetime simply is not enough.

      So many great things about life if you are willing to look for them. We all just have to do our best to do what is right for us.

  3. There is definitely a balance like your stating, which is why I find budgeting (for me its mostly tracking bc I live a frugal lifestyle) is so important.

    You use a budget to make sure the highest priority items are being taken care of, then you know the extra can be used to live your life if you want to, or invested, or on new video games etc.

    This freedom to take care of high priorities with your end goal in mind, makes sure you spend moderately and still live your life, while getting closer to the FIRE dream you have!

    1. Absolutely Chris. After being super intense the first couple years I was getting on my feet I switched up my budgeting technique.

      Instead of doing categories I simply did savings goals. Once I met X amount of dollars put away for a month, paycheck, year I am free to spend as I want.

      This has helped me a bunch to enjoy the extra cash and not stress the little details.

  4. What an awesome post DM! Reminding us to enjoy the journey daily.

    I recently planned a trip to the Florida Keys with my oldest son. We did it last minute so it was a bit of a splurge. The reason I can splurge is years of diligently creating FI. Carpe Diem!

    PS Ferris Lives 🙂

  5. Yep yep… I do have regrets… and that’s not borrowing money to consume that Ferrari when I was 22!! Now I can’t say that I had a Ferrari at 22… Hah jk!

    But seriously, yes, I think that it’s important to have a balance. For those in debt or don’t make a decent amount, they can find ways to make more (a motivator) to live life and get what they want.

    But for those who amassed a $hit and are extremely frugal (don’t spend on anything), idk what to say? Sometimes I think… maybe they enjoy being the extreme and they view it as a challenge and that’s what makes them happy? Lol *shrugs*

    Overall great post!

    1. That is a great point FSP! Maybe I am looking at it wrong. Some people most likely to just enjoy pilling it up and never using any of it like a game.

      Nothing wrong with that. My whole goal is to make my life better with my investing. Not necessarily with materialistic items but just being able to fully take advantage of life.

      There are so many amazing things to do. Money is just a tool to buy our time back and then experience these things.

  6. Btw, as an INFJ, I think I over analyze every situation. For example, I always try to think about why the overly frugal people who amass so much are still so frugal and don’t let loose a little bit. It boggles my mind but I think what I wrote above is one of the reasons why.

    1. My goal is to not end up like this. For some people it might work but I just don’t think it is the healthiest way to live. If you are a multi millionaire and still have trouble taking your family out to dinner because you want to save you are missing the point! Just my 2 cents but I really will do whatever it takes to avoid that group!

  7. I had some regrets in the past but I think the best way to handle it is to learn from it so next time you will not have as many regrets.
    In terms of finding that balance financially, you should make the choices you feel that is good with you and won’t hurt your wallet especially for your ‘wants’. Just yesterday, I had a burger and fries from a local burger chain for $12 and that’s expensive for fast food. But knowing that I really wanted to try it and probably won’t go there numerous times, I enjoyed the burger very much but don’t want to comeback for at least another six months.

    1. Important to understand needs vs wants. Once you establish a system that works I think it becomes pretty easy to distinguish between the two.

      I am a very conscious spender and only am going to fork over the cash if it brings utility into my life. Some people never grasp that concept and end up turning into misers not allowing themselves to spend anything.

      To me everyone has to figure out what brings them that happiness and then allocate their dollars towards it. For some it is as simple as a good burger!

    2. Since you guys are talking about burger, I had to add to this comment!

      So, my fiance and I were craving for an awesome burger just this past weekend. We both ordered burgers with soda at the restaurant. Don’t get me wrong… it was good. But, when our bill came, we ended up spending about $58 after tips and tax. Hm.. just for two burger combos. Not to mention, one was a veggie burger, which was replaced with a large mushroom instead of beef.

      We were thinking… “hmm… I think we would’ve been just as satisfied with a $11 per combo (about $25 after tax for two combos) from Hero Burger or something alike.”

      It would’ve been a better experience if we were out with a group of friends, rather than just the two of us eating burgers at a restaurant and paying that. Or, the other option is to spend a bit more and have an amazing meal than a “good” meal LOL! I was expecting some mouth-watering burger at this restaurant!!

      Looks like we won’t be going back to that same restaurant anytime soon hah!

      1. I totally feel you here! Nothing worse then an average meal and a large bill.

        If the food is great I have no problem paying up. Always disappointing though when it is just middle of the road. There is a big food scene in Denver.

        What I have recognized is a lot of the “hip” spots over charge just because. We always end up heading to amazing low key joints that serve great food. Crazy part is these places prices are usually way more reasonable.

  8. Awesome photos man! You live in a beautiful part of the country. As the others have said, life is about balance. Sometimes I have to remind myself to live a little when I over analyze the finances. Life goes by fast. Have to enjoy yourself sometimes. Even if it means spending a little extra money here and there.

    1. Thank you I do love Colorado.

      It is hard when everyone is aggressively pursuing big goals to think about spending. Yet I think it is so important to find a balance.

      To many people end up at the finish line a miser with no life experience. A lot of the time money isn’t even the issue! It is just breaking up the normal routine and getting out of the turtle shell that would help a lot of people.

  9. Hey DM,

    I agree, and think it’s all about balance (while maintaining healthy finances, of course). My main strategy is pretty much to have monthly automatic withdrawals to my investment accounts, so it’s not really up to me to move the money and invest. I also keep an eye on the checking account (emergency fund) and cut back on expenses if the balance starts getting low.

    Other than that, I try to get the most value out of every dollar by doing things like using points-and-miles credit cards, online shopping portals, buying some stuff used, etc.

    1. I am right there with you Miguel. Trying to travel hack and save cash wherever possible is very important.

      Once your investing/savings goals are met it is important to enjoy the ride.

  10. Great topic. I have a guest post awaiting publishing on exactly what I’m not giving up for FI. The list is lengthy. Life is about more than not having to work and while I make some choices to save, I make plenty of others to live for today.

    1. Agreed Jason. I have a list of things that I will not give up along the way as well.

      Everyone’s list is different. I am a big believer in having experiences along the way.

  11. Nice post! I think finding a balance is always a difficult thing to do. Personally, I try to work on side hustles to get ahead during the week and take the weekends off. I’m also like to travel 4 -5 times a year to remind myself that it’s okay to enjoy life–I’ve earned it after all!

  12. The balance that you speak about is oh-so-elusive. Day in and day out we are bombarded by messages to both extremes – be extremely frugal to build a beautiful tomorrow or hey YOLO! Go out there and splurge on what you heart wants.

    Striking that balance is an individual perspective and to each his/her own. In some ways, it’s also about making you peace with the present and just breathing in – not always running after the latest flashy item or the dream of a golden future.

    If I think of balance, the one thing I know I don’t compromise on is spending on travel while being frugal in other aspects of life. For now, that is my idea of balance 🙂

    1. It is extremely elusive! Everyone has their own personal list of whats most important.

      I am with you on travel. I am grateful to be focused on FI and it is rewarding in itself. With that being said I have also been to many amazing places and would never trade those experiences for money! It is a fine line that we all have to determine for ourselves.

  13. Dude! Did you shave?!?

    I’m a bit envious that you get to live in Colorado. Maybe I need to poke at that a bit with Mrs. Cubert again. We toyed with the idea a few years back and it hasn’t left me. The mountains are signing to me from afar, man.

    1. Haha I wish I looked as awesome as my icon!

      Colorado is a beautiful place to live on my FI journey. Just was lucky to be born here.

      There is something about being in nature that is always an amazing “reset”.

  14. Great advice! Financial independence is worth nothing if it doesn’t bring happiness. Financial independence is just one way to bring happiness into your life.

    1. Absoulutly so many great aspects of life to take in along the way. Would hate to waste away waiting on “FI”.

  15. Great post. That is you on the last picture? Could you please contact me on my email? I want to discuss something privately and couldn’t find your email, thank you very much.

  16. Great article, it’s a choice I often wrestle with, I mainly live for today through travel, I find experiences a lot more meaningful that consuming materialistically!

    1. Completely with you there. I traveled to Australia right after I graduated high school and lived over there for 9 months. It was life changing.

      Most people will never experience something like that because they say “it’s to expensive”. When in reality it just took guts at the time. I didn’t go straight to school and instead was a broke traveler and learned a lot about myself and the world.

      Still love to travel and do it whenever I can based on my goals! Thanks for sharing.

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