The idea sounds great: live well below your means, invest the difference and in about 15 years we will be Financially independent and could retire early.
Or, we could live now, travel the world and seven seas now. Not bad either
The ideal life for me has the following elements, that is why they are life goals
- Educate the children in finance
- Experience the world and other cultures via travel
- Live now
- Prepare FIRE
- Have a roof above our heads
The conflict is mainly between travel /live now and prepare FIRE. I will focus here on the travel alone.
The cause of the doubt
In order to experience the world you need time and money. In order to prepare FIRE, you need to work and save money. These two cleary conflict, as they use the same resources: Time and Money
Travel wants the time to see the world. Prepare FIRE needs the time to produce money.
Travel wants the money to see the world. Prepare FIRE needs the money to invest.
As I do not want to or plan to choose between the one or the other, the challenge is to find the right balance and explore alternatives.
The cost of travel can be reduced by traveling cheap. To me, this has limits. Today, we do not travel like kings – no 5 star hotels here or no first class flights. Our travel today is already cheap as we can use an almost free accommodation. Not that I complain, but after 5 years on the same spot, I would not mind some variation.
Travel hacking is unmastered area for me, and maybe even difficult in Belgium. I have no knowledge of good credit cards that earn you a lot of miles or hotel bonuses. I have found a few, but they did not look that interesting. Maybe my expectations are too high.
Possibilities are to travel more in Belgium, start to camp and return to the basics. This would for sure create a lot of experiences and good memories.
I could also work on the Money side and get a second job, or a side hustle. My current job is already filling up most of week days. The weekends are reserved for family and friends. Maybe old school or too restrictive? I understand that this is a serious limitation I give myself. What if I worked in a restaurant or a grocery store in the weekends and earn an extra 10 or 20 pct per year? This would clearly boost our savings rate.
One of the things that is important for me is the wife and kids. I want to have a good relationship with them. This means I need to be there for them, now, so we can bond. In a few years, they will start to live their own life, then it might be too late. In effect, this is a third goal that want to use the resource Time.
Unless I find a loop hole in the Time and Money constraint, I will have to settle with FI around the age of 53.
How do you manage life now vs save it all for later?