Some days (this one in particular), I feel like I am staring at the financial crossroads in my life.
I’m debt-free (including my mortgage), I have a 401K that is coming along nicely, a Roth that I haven’t contributed to yet this year, and a regular brokerage account. By most measures, I’m doing okay. I’m well past Get Rich Slowly’s First State of Personal Finance, but not even close to the stage where he quit his job, and I don’t know if I ever will be anytime soon, or perhaps not even before retirement age!
While it’s true that I am debt-free, I still have expenses that are like debt, so even though I’m debt-free, I don’t really feel like it. And to make matters worse, lately I’ve been getting the urge to say screw it, and start to spend some money on my kids and on more grande vacations. I would love to get my son a mini-bike, and schedule a trip for us to go to Paris or Hawaii someday soon (not to mention another Disney Trip).
I’ve also been tempted to go to some of the fancier restaurants… the ones that are a bit better than the popular food chains (like Olive Garden) that we typically frequent! I’ve been admiring this little dated steakhouse called Diamond Grille that everybody swears by. Yeah, the meals are over $100.00 for 2, but well worth it from what I’ve heard.
I’m kind of tired of living so frugally, and would like a new fancy car, then perhaps my friends would stop thinking that I am poor in comparison to them?
I could do all of the things above, and still be somewhat ahead of the curve, but I won’t. I know what got me here, and I know that staying the path will get me to the next level.
So, I’ll plod on, being the frugal guy that I am, with specific savings goals per year! If I meet those financial goals successfully, then the excess money will go toward enjoying life a bit more. That said, I’m sure if there is excess money, at least part of it would go towards investments too!
So yes, I’m still on the path to become financially independent, but I choose to do so while enjoying life just a little bit more!
How about you? What is your strategy?