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The Journey to Financial Independence is a Game

I have to think of this journey to FI as a game.  Or, I would probably give up, get disinterested, too overwhelmed, or worse and go back to living like most people. I do not want to judge others and their lifestyles but I can’t allow myself to spend frivolously and put off what is important to me and my wife.  So, I make it a game.

How much can I contribute to my 401k? Hell, lets just max it out and see what happens.  Less taxes here we come!

How much can I contribute to our ETF?  Screw it, lets start with $200 a week and see what happens.  I don’t miss it and I get to see our ultimate goal grow and grow.

You get the point.  I also do this with my rental property savings and personal savings.

It reminds me of working out.  I hate trying to set aside 30 minutes to an hour everyday to work out.  The idea that I have to set aside time when there are so many other things that I would rather be doing like time with my wife and kids, painting, web surfing, diy projects makes me not even want to start at all.  However, I discovered if I made working out a game by seeing how many pushups I can do without stopping (which started at about 30 and now is 70), it doesn’t feel like one more chore.  It only takes a minute to do that little exercise,  Then, I decided, I will do this several times throughout the day, whenever it crossed my mind or I was bored.  At my cubicle and restless, bam do some pushups.  Ate a meal I shouldn’t have, get down and gave myself 60.  I started seeing results in my arms and chest and a little in my stomach.  I figured why stop there, lets start incorporating planks.  Hell, lets start incorporating variations of planks.  One minute to 3 minutes here and there throughout the day and no dreaded gym!  I can still do all the other crap I want.  Woohoo! Now, I may never get the beach body I never had but it wont hurt.

Just like my exercise game, I start seeing positive results.  I get excited seeing our retirement accounts grow which only makes me want to continue the game.  I figure out how to invest more.  My retirement daydreams get more vivid and clearer with every deposit.  I like what I see because it can be a reality if we continue.

What do you want out of life?  My goal is to be free and  there is a number associated with that.  Can it be painful getting there? Yes.  Is it more painful than being 65, 70, or older and working just to survive?  I don’t think so.   I am motivated by the image in my mind of having to work until death, just to survive.  F@$% thaaaaaat!

Will my game work?  Will my investments pay off in 10 years?   Who knows… All I do know is that if it doesn’t work, I shouldn’t be worse off than if I hadn’t started at all.  Even if I don’t make our ultimate goal of retiring in 10 years, we are still closer than we would have been if we didn’t start saving more of our income.   I want to be responsible for our own path and how we got there.  That means stop buying everything we want, don’t live beyond what we make, and don’ just live for today.  Making this journey to FI a game helps me to not fall back and keeps me on track.

Anybody out there want to share some tricks to their finances?  Any thoughts on the subject matter?  Does anyone else make their FI a game?  Would love to hear from any of my 4 subscribers:)

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