Giving up a yearly goal can be good

Sometimes, it can be a good idea to let go of certain goal in order to reach another objective. This is what we have done in November.

In the last monthly update post, I was quite optimistic about reaching our 2015 savings rate. Now, I am less certain to hit that goal. I am not even worried about it.

In November we decided to book a ski trip with the girls and some friends in the upcoming ski season. This was some sort of a split second decision. The opportunity was there, so we took it. We only reflected some minutes after seeing all the details and the costs.

For us, it has been 7 years that we did not take a ski holiday, or even a real holiday outside of Belgium. Travelling with the kids and exposing them to different adventures is one of our goals. It therefore is a perfect fit with the kind of life we want to live. As going to ski does not comes for free, we will need to find the cash. We will use our year end bonus for this. As a result, we will most likely miss our 2015 savings rate goal.

A few days later, this made me think: is than an issue? What is the impact of missing a 2015 goal. I did not take long to realise that there are more important things in life.

Getting to spent some quality time with friends and family is always good. In the end, this is what we life for. Living experiences and having good memories that is what makes life successful. Taking our kids to a ski holiday sooner that anticipated and budgeted is worth it.

Missing a year goal is not bad. It is the result of a decision that adds other value to life. It is not the result of a sudden useless splurge on a new car or other item. We should not miss the goal by a lot. The net worth goal should still stand by year end. In the long run, I hope it will be  glitch on the graph, nothing more

A plan and goals should not be written in stone. They should not tie you. I have always believed that a good plan is a flexible plan. Goals and priorities change over time. It is the plan that should adjust, not the life. In the long run, I prefer to have lived the life I want, and not a life that is focused solely on FIRE by a certain date. I think both are equally important. To reach FIRE, we live below our means and invest the rest. That sounds like a good plan.

Being able to go on a family holiday is a real gift. There are many people out there that can not enjoy this luxury. We are aware of this and thankful for that.

Do you sometimes miss a goal on purpose?



14 thoughts on “Giving up a yearly goal can be good

  1. Ciao ATL,

    In one of my first posts I also wondered into the “there is more than returns/numbers” story. I totally agree, there is no point to be the richest man in the graveyard, if we study and work in order to make our savings more profitable I guess that we need to use that money to be happy with the people that we love too. I haven’t got kids, so I do not know what it means to spend quality time with them, but I think I can understand what you mean if I look at my sister with her two kids and the things that they do together… After all the memories of your family later in life aren’t they worth more than that 7%/8% “less savings”? To me looks like the best investment ever! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Life is about balance. A client said something yesterday that really resonated with me. She said, “you know I have less days in front of me than I’ve lived”.

    Enjoy your family.


  3. Couldn’t agree with you more Amber Tree, and it sounds like an awesome opportunity that you’ll value much more than a blip in your savings rate chart. Goals like the savings rate are great to get you pointed in the right direction, but especially when you have a target as high as yours, it doesn’t really matter if you hit it or not – you’re already well and truly on your way to FIRE!

    The key is knowing what you truly value vs making rash splurges and decisions, and you’ve clearly got a good handle on that here.

    I’ve only skied twice in my life (both relatively recent) and absolutely loved it – I’m sure you’ll have a wonderful time after your 7 year break!


  4. Say the purpose of a plan is to do 10 things over a period of time in the future. One cannot predict how the future will look like when it arrives i.e. flexibility has to be built into the plan. If you finish 8/10 planned items and deviate on 2/10 items, it is still 80% progress on the goals. The reverse idea of completing only 2/10 items is not a good idea. Giving up two for the sake of family is a very noble goal….go for it. Enjoy family time whenever you can…one has to build foundations in the present for a good future.

    I have done it a couple times as well. It need not be a vacation…it can be as simple as buying something for my family OR going to dinner someplace special, etc etc. After a couple of such misses, I have added a plan item to my goals for unplanned expenses. if I do not use it, I fold it into one of my other goals. This has helped me narrow down the number of instances I deliberately miss on a goal.

    Enjoy your vacation!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thx for your words. Reaching 8/10 is not bad at all… In the original plan, there was budget for this as from 2016… I just have put it one week earlier, to the last week of 2015 🙂



  5. We struggle a lot with this question. We used to travel a lot more and do more fun things, but as we have gotten more serious about our FI goal, we have cut out a lot of the discretionary spending. (That said, we had already moved to the mountains, so many of the things we can now do for free or cheap — like skiing! — are things that others must pay a great deal to do. That helps a lot!) I’m not sure that we’ll have it figured out, how to have a proper balance, before we actually reach our retirement date. Have a wonderful time on your ski trip!


    1. Being able to go to ski for cheap is a great thing. Especially if it gives you a lot of energy.
      I do not know how our travel will evolve in the future, but I think I am willing to add a few more working years to have more travel here and now…

      Liked by 1 person

  6. As mentioned above, travelling with your kids to show them the world and the various activities that the world has to offer is worth some money. Giving up your goal to make that happen is not a bad thing, certainly not because you are probably not going to way out of making your goal. It is all about balance.

    Enjoy the holiday!


    1. You are right… I do not think we will miss our goal by much. And seeing their reaction and (hopefully) joy when skiing, will be worth so much more. There are also some friends joining us, so I do consider it money well spend, even in line with our goals



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