If you know me and have been reading my blog for a while, you know exactly how I feel about these secret lives of rich millennial cheapskates article.
For those of you who are new to this – the story is I basically don’t see the point and I am in pretty much the same position they are, and I still save a lot of money, while enjoying myself.
Loosen up a little
What’s the point of money if you can’t enjoy it, and set what I consider to be a miserable $25/month as a fun budget?
I gave myself $200 and found that very difficult in a mid-sized city, so I upped it to $225, which I think is generous enough. This budget won’t include special things like my friends coming to visit, in which I will basically spare no expense to have a great time.
Maybe they’re ‘enjoying’ the massive savings they have now with great pride, but given the choice, if they had unlimited reserves they wouldn’t do it – it seemed to be a rough transition, frankly.
You gotta really hate your job to do this, and maybe I just don’t get it because I don’t hate my job. I generally wake up pretty excited to go to work and tackle something new.
WTF would I do if I were retired early, like now? Basically let my brain go to rot, blog WAY more than before, and over-analyze Little Bun’s life.
I am not condemning them for their choices – their money, their lives – but I’m curious what they get out of it, knowing they are “retired sooner than anyone else”, but have to live on a beans and rice budget, or move to Asia and live in a Third World country.
Freedom? But it doesn’t sound like freedom to me, it sounds like another kind of prison, where instead of going to work, you stay at home and try not to spend any money.
Why not find a job you love, instead? Work part-time? I can see the merits in that like what Tim has done. He retired early, then picked up a part-time job at the library which he loves, and brews beer on the side.
That sounds GREAT. I’d be on board with that.
What’s this obsession with the word “retired”?
Is it a status thing amongst the financially-minded now? To be able to say: I AM RETIRED*
Don’t get me wrong…
I’m all on board for getting free stuff, thrifting, secondhand, frugal activities, turning off all the appliances (I totally do all of this and see nothing wrong with it), and being cheap AF for those non-value added activities but I’m also not going to tell my friend who visits me for the first time, that we aren’t going to enjoy ourselves and we’ll just stay in and cook and do free things.
I WANT to experience a 3-star Michelin restaurant with her, and I am damn well going to do it because we will both enjoy it immensely.
The experience of being in a restaurant with her, enjoying each meal, picking it apart, having a great time — these are memories I’ll keep with me for a long time to come.
I still remember to this day, going to eat sushi in NYC at a (now) 1-star Michelin restaurant, paying $300, and having the most heavenly experience in my life, remembering everything I ate and how good it was.
You can pinch pennies if you want, fine, but is it going to be worth pinching all those pennies versus just working on ramping up your income instead, or finding other bigger ways to save like side hustling which can be just as fun (think: thrifting and reselling), which also uses up time / is a money-generating activity?
(Also, not all of your free time should go towards ‘side hustling’. I find that mentality extremely draining. Why can’t you read a book just for the pleasure of it, and not because it is a self-help book that will make you make more money? Christ.)
Real fears: Not allowing myself to enjoy my hard work
My real fear about doing this, other than not enjoying my money, is not enjoying my time and then one day be unable to use the money because I get sick, or we die, etc. I believe strongly in a balance.
No need to go crazy eating out nightly and partying it up in 3-star Michelin restaurants, but live a little.
Know who is going to enjoy your money when you’re gone?
‘specially your kids.
This is why I told myself – Buy that damn car.
Buy it, enjoy it, drive it, and thank your lucky stars every day you were fortunate enough to afford it, and pay for it in cash.
I am not in a bad financial position by any means, and if I am still meeting my goals more or less, and crushing savings compared to ‘average’ millennials and ‘high achieving’ ones, I don’t see anything wrong with it.
My goals are just not theirs, even though I do consider myself money-minded.
I want enough money to enjoy my free time
At the end of the day, I want to have enough money to enjoy my free time.
My partner is retired, but he is really not in my mind, because he is launching into a second career of maybe becoming a teacher.
This lifestyle we have now, is sustainable forever for him on what he has saved, but he has NO FREE MONEY for vacations (remember our nice vacation to Japan in 5-ish years? … Pending. Apparently.), and he is being pretty careful with his cash.
He still buys things here and there, and we NEVER begrudge Little Bun what he needs, even if it is “frivolous” like a new $50 beloved stuffed toy…. but he isn’t flush enough to really live the way he wants to, without worrying about money.
I don’t want to ‘retire’ like that. I want to retire being able to go on a fancy-ass vacation any time I want within reason, and to not have to think about money. THAT’S how I want to retire.
I just don’t see the point in having all this money to live until you’re 90, with NOTHING changing or going wrong. People get sick, die, have to move into assisted living (which gets expensive), and pay for all of that with… what exactly?
And you’re giving up all of your early healthy years where you could work with relatively little trouble, only to be forced back into work after “retirement” because s#*t hit the fan and you now need the money you didn’t save because you hadn’t planned on needing more than $30K a year?
I am not on board with that.