One of the topics I picked up during the BE-NL meetup was this: having a system in stead of goals. When I think about it, this could be doable. It is maybe what we are doing already.
Our approach is to have a high level budget. This budget lists all the major expenses we have in a given month. Think electricity, mortgage, car, insurance, our life happens funds,… These expenses and transfers , are tracked in detail despite their predictable nature.
The only reason is to be able to see in my spreadsheet what amount of money we have for the bigger undefined buckets: kids expenses, groceries (or shopping in general) and our fun money. These are the items we think we need to control in a given month and that need to stay within the boundaries.
This indeed means I have no idea how much we have spend in a month on alcohol, fresh organic food, drinks,… And we do not care.
Over time, we found peace in a certain amount of spending in these categories all together. It is a good balance between having the life we want and the bigger goals we have in life. This does not allow us to drink champagne all night or to eat lobster and oyster every single Saturday.
We adopted the life style we want for ever
We do the same with the extra money we get from bonuses, tax refunds, vacation allowance,… We define what we want to spend on travel. Everything else is for investing purposes. (I am sure when the kids are older, the nest egg will reduce a little to make my travel dreams a reality)
With this system in place, we will one day become financially free. Before my job switch, this date used to be 2029. Now, I have no idea, no incentive to calculate the current new date based on my current salary. Let’s say I trust the system.
This actually removes a lot of pressure. We know we do not compromise too much the now for a future of Financial Freedom. We actually live now a life close to what we want. My wife works 4 days out of 5. I used the nest egg we have as a reassurance for my career switch, we do get a fair amount of travel and experiences with the kids. I my ideal life, there is always room for project work. The more I listen to podcasts with interviews of early retirees, the more I hear they somehow get back to work, because they want.