27 Comments

  1. The first one is two sided for me. I do really love working, and will always work in some form. But I am happier now that I don’t HAVE to work. Now that I get to pick the quantity and quality of work, I like it much more. It’s kind of the perfect balance for me.

    • I can totally see that, Ms. Montana. We all like to feel like we’re in control of our lives and our commitments.

  2. I think the key to work happiness is to do things you ACTUALLY love to do. I wouldn’t laze around the house all day after achieving FIRE; I’d just work on stuff that I love to work on.
    I also adore our credit card rewards points. There was definitely a time when we paid for everything in cash. We just eliminated our $14,000 credit card debt and said, “Never again.” But then we developed a healthier relationship with money and realized we could save our rewards points to pay for Christmas gifts. It’s made the holidays much easier on us. 🙂

  3. Way to tackle those sacred cows! And I’m definitely on board with Ms. Montana- work is good, but it’s the freedom to work when you want, where you want, and how much you want. And I like your point about credit cards keeping you accountable! You get a nice little paper trail at the end of every month. My wife has always said that she’s far more likely to stop for a latte if she has cash, since she knows that I won’t see the entry on the credit card statement!

    • I think you and Ms. Montana are both right. Humans like choice. I have to work right now (and for the foreseeable future), but I love what I do. And I choose to do it long outside the hours and days I’m contracted for. I know I’m fortunate to find so much happiness at my job. But I work at being really happy there, too!

  4. Girl – thank goodness our lives aren’t one size fits all! Those that preach sometimes have the right intent but the wrong delivery…I’m sure I’ve fallen victim to doing the same. That being said, without a crystal ball nobody really knows what lies ahead. It’s all a guessing game and your guess is as good as mine. I’ll be happier knowing I don’t HAVE to work, but as then others said, it will be nice to choose when and how I want to work.

    I love your students response in regards to #2. I’ve heard it said by adults but hearing it from a kid is refreshing. It’s true that money doesn’t buy happiness but it can buy security. Shelter, safe water to drink, food for every meal…money for some (or the lack thereof) is exactly that. I wish there could be a day when everyone knew their enough and spread the rest to those who don’t have it…until then, the kid is right!

    Thanks for speaking your mind…I’m guessing you’ll soon have A “5 Truths From Parents I Don’t Believe” post. You know everyone knows how to raise your kid better than you!!! 😉

    • Oh, I know I’ve done the same. I had to call myself out in a tone deafness post last month. Lately, I’ve realized how downright hurtful and unhelpful oversimplifications can be. So I’m trying to not spout off too many of them unchecked!

  5. I’m a frequent preacher of earning more and spending less, and yet as you’ve so rightfully pointed out, obstacles like poor health can get in the way, and I know that as well as anyone. I still try to earn more…I’m not up to working a regular job anymore, but I can do some side hustles and manage my credit card rewards. And I still attempt to spend less, even while as much as a third of our budget goes toward healthcare…there are other places to cut back to try to make it all balance. But overall I’m just fortunate that things still (more or less) balance for me. I realize it doesn’t work that way for everyone, and I appreciate your shining a light on that.

    • I think it’s a very helpful mantra, Gary! Truly, I do. I also love when I see people in the PF community advocating for change or support in other areas that can be factors for some but not all. 🙂

  6. I think credit cards can be both a blessing and a curse. I like that I can get points and cash back on credit cards, but I firmly believe I spend less when I hand over cash.

    • I think figuring out what works for you as an individual is key. I have 20 $1 in my purse. I will be SHOCKED if I have them all by Friday…or if I’m really positive on what I spent them on. Likely, it’ll go in my phone as “spending – Target” or “spending – Walgreens”. Oof. But that’s just me!

  7. A huge myth is that home ownership is always a good idea. I do like our home, but I have second thoughts every time something leaks. This week it was just the washer, which is much better than the walls/windows/plumbing that have leaked in the past.

  8. I loves me some good platitudes and cliches, Penny! I need to be careful when using them though. I tend to spout them off as a universal truth, but just because something is true for me doesn’t mean it will be true for anybody else.

    One that I don’t like, which can be related to finance, is “Winners never quit and quitters never win.”

    Baloney! Winners often know exactly when to abandon a project and course correct. Those that can “fail fast” and move on, at least in the business world, are the ones that finish best.

    • That’s SUCH a good one, Ty! Saying no is something that I’m terrible at. I’m trying to learn that skill and to also learn how to cut my losses and move on in certain situations.

  9. Great post! I couldn’t agree more.
    Using cash doesn’t work for me either as it’s so hard to keep track of expenses. I don’t like using credit cards either though despite the rewards as there are always surcharges involved. My preference is to use a debit card.

  10. I always feel sad for the folks who scrimp and save to attain FIRE because they don’t enjoy their work. I’m sure I’ll finish my career in the next few years, but I’m lucky I have other business interests that really excite me. I’ll definitely be “working”.

    Without good health and relationships, it’s all sort of worthless.

    Kudos for taking on the conventional wisdom and giving it a perspective!

    • Thanks, Ian. I worry about that, too. Especially when people are slogging it out for 10-15 years. That’s a long time to put your life on hold.

  11. Paying off your mortgage if you live in the US. Assuming you’re already taking advantage of a 401K, then it’s your next best bet for reducing your taxes.

    I’d rather keep my low-interest mortgage and increase my investments that provide twice as much in returns.

    I also don’t believe money can buy happiness. In some cases, it can do the reverse. What it does buy is time, independence, choice and better health. People with financial security can choose what situations they put themselves in. They can say “no” to things that don’t serve them. They can sleep more because they can hire help where they need it. THey can tell a waffle-turd boss to go stuff it. They can buy organic, spend more time in nature….. the list goes on.

    • I guess we define happiness differently. If I can do all those things that you listed, I’m going to be a pretty happy camper. It might not be a direct purchase off a shelf in a store, but money is the tool you leverage to get those things.

  12. I have to say work is SO MUCH MORE FUN when you don’t have to work. It was my hypothesis before negotiating a severance, and it is absolutely true after several corporate consulting stints.

    I have a feeling everything will be OK b/c our parents are the wealthiest generation on Earth. And that’s the truth!

    Sam

  13. Great comment by the 12 year old! It reminds me of maslows pyramid. If you don’t have a solid foundation in your life,you can never reach happiness. However even of you’re rich, but you can’t reach the top of they pyramid of purpose and fulfillment, you will never reach happiness either. It’s all about balance, awareness, and being purposeful with the direction You’re heading in. Thanks!

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