So if I’m to follow in the footsteps of my heroes Mr Money Mustache and The Escape Artist I’ll need to come up with a catchy name for myself. Having called the site Rat Race Rejection, I don’t think Rat Race Rejector is going to cut it. So I’ll go with Irish Saver, which will have to do.
MMM and TEA talk about the path towards Financial Independence and how you need to lead a simple life and focus on self improvement to achieve this. I can freely acknowledge that I suck as MMM says, but I’ll outline here a flavour of the steps I’ve taken of self improvement and towards FI.
The low point in my life was the 2 periods I was in psychiatric hospitals with schizoprenia in Feb 2003 and Dec 2003-Jan 2004. I was still in 3rd year of college at that point and starting on work experience in a place that I hated. got through it though and finished college with a 1st class honours degree after arguing the psychiatrists down to a low enough dose of medication that I could function almost normally. It took me 12 interviews to get a job at the height of Celtic Tiger Ireland as my confidence was shattered.
However I did get a job and kept at it, and moved out from home at age 23 in 2007. At this point in my life I was convinced that what I should do was to try effectively save the world in an environmental sense (this had contributed to my illness), and I focused a lot of my mental energy on this. My thinking was I don’t care what happens in my own life, I want to make a difference to the world. This of course was obviously backwards and had the predictable result that I achieved nothing towards either goal and slowly gained weight (my vanity prevented me from going beyond a stone and a half overweight). I’d have loved nothing more than to have a relationship but was convinced no girl would touch me with a barge pole given my condition, which was sort of self-fulfilling. I had not heard of financial independence, but the one thing I was doing was focusing on saving for a house and in 2011 together with some money from my parents and fortunate timing I bought a house.
Owning a house seemed to give me the confidence boost I needed to start having some relationships, all through dating sites of some description – currently in one now which makes me happy. Most people probably wouldn’t need this kick but I guess the point is that I kept trying to improve my situation and eventually got some success. Now, onto the next step – FI!
I’d always wondered to myself, what will I do in work all the way to 65, I don’t particularly ever want to be a manager. So for about 3 years I sort of drifted – I was spending most of my money. A decent salary plus I have 2 tenants practically covering the mortgage. Then a friend introduced me to MMM. I was immediately hooked (August 2014) and it has become one of my 2 life goals (you can probably guess the other one from the above paragraphs). I was already tracking my spending, but I really focused on where I could save. So far I’ve cut out unneccessary insurances for starters. However, I’ve a long way to go, spending is still well above what I’d like for various reasons, some of which are tenant related. There are lots of people I’m sure who are much better than me at it. However I intend to improve little by little towards my goal of FI by year end 2023. I’ll upload my spending for 2014 soon so you can see how badly I was doing at the start.