I’m still procrastinating on my 2022 goals so may as well use the time in a somewhat constructive way and support SavingNinja with one of his famous thought experiments!
Here’s his latest one:
“You’ve decided that you no longer want to save any of your income toward FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) each month. Instead, you’re going to spend it. How would you use your new disposable income?”
Here goes off the top of my head:
1 – My House
This could be one of my shortest posts ever as the answer would easily be that I would spend my all new disposable income on my house and my garden!
However, I wouldn’t just be ‘spending it all’, the money would instead be put aside to fund big projects such as:
- (in the garden) blockpaving my driveway, resetting paving in back garden, new shed/storage, garden decking in the patio, raised beds;
- and (in the house) new bathroom and new kitchen.
These are things I hope to sort out in any event at some point, but no longer aiming for FIRE means I might get these things done in the near(er) future, as opposed to the far future.
2 – Travel
At some point, the world will learn to live with COVID and travel will be more straight forward again. Although I plan to put money aside for future travel in any case, I would be able to have more trips if I wasn’t investing all my spare money.
When I’m allowed to, I’d like to travel to see my family in Hong Kong so that’s funding for at least two trips every year, including a trip to Singapore to see other family there.
Maybe a couple of cheeky jaunts or weekends to somewhere in Europe with friends – I do love a cheerful beach holiday!
3 – New PC
I’d probably finally buy a new PC – the one I have is my original gaming machine which I bought back in 2009!
I don’t have a lot of time for gaming these days, so it’s been ok for the few games that I do play on the odd occasion, but it’s slow, often struggles and I’ve not really been getting the benefits of my swanky curved monitor!
Will I have time for gaming?
Why yes, I’m sure I will as I won’t be busy monitoring my investments, updating FIRE spreadsheets, thinking about/doing side hustles or how I can eke out an extra quid here and there to add to my FIRE pot!
Another reason for more time for gaming? Not aiming for FIRE means I’d probably not be maintaining this blog or really be part of the FIRE community any more.
I mean, what would I write about?
4 – ‘Things’
Not aiming for FIRE, I could lapse into carefree ignorance and not worry about where my money was going.
Ignorance is bliss and I would be in the same boat as everyone else (outside of the FIRE community), except that I would be in a better position as I would still have the Future Fund I have already accumulated.
My money would just merrily disappear from my bank account each month without me even trying, being spent on ‘things’ and as long as I didn’t spend more than I earned, that would be fine, right?
5 – Erm and that’s it really!
I struggled to think of anything else I would want to do if I was no longer focused on FIRE and racked my brains to think of what it was that I didn’t do or spend money on now, that I had sacrificed or scrimped on. I couldn’t come up with anything else.
I was going to add ‘eat out more’ to the list but it’s not as if I’m turning down social events with my friends – I go to every one and don’t scrimp on food or drink (the hangovers testify to that!) – aiming for FIRE isn’t impeding my social life.
I don’t yearn for a new car (mine’s now 10 years old, bought from new) or more clothes/shoes (having just ditched 50% of my wardrobe, I don’t need to fill it up again!).
I think I’ve changed my life (and mindset) so much over the years that I don’t believe there is anything that I’m missing out on due to my pursuit of FIRE.
It’s not more disposable income I want, to enjoy and do more in my life, although of course, I wouldn’t say no to a pay rise or a work bonus.
It’s more time that I want, and FIRE is more likely to give me that.
Other bloggers with their personal takes on this Thought Experiment include: