A Whole New Look for Financial Fives in 2023!
Updated: Jan 1
Can you guess where this nature-kissed view is? That, my friends, is Mount Rainer, on a rare sunny and warm day in September. I had the opportunity to visit there this year and it was a better-than-expected experience.
What does that have to do with Financial Fives and the goal for next year? Well, we are changing the way we do things around here. A quiet moment in nature like the above, where I got to enjoy pure silence for several minutes, is where one does deep thinking.
And it's thinking that gets us to determine what we want our life to look like, and how we can continue to provide value to our amazing community of readers.
Time for a Joke!
When are most rent/mortgage payments due? Once a month! Well, I guess that was more of a question, not a joke. I need to come up with better jokes.
Ok, how about this? What fits in your pocket, brings you happiness, and is also a dangerous weapon? No, it's not a gun, it's a credit card!
How does it bring you happiness? Well, it buys you avocado toast, a shaken espresso, a new pair of running shoes, and a plane ticket to see your old college friends.
How is it a dangerous weapon? Well, if you think because you can cut someone's skin with it, get your mind out of the gutter. They are dangerous because if you're not disciplined, you could run up debt that you don't have the money in your bank to pay it off!
And how often should you pay off your credit cards? Once per month, at the least! Setting up automatic payments for the full balance is the way to go.
So all this "once a month" theme has to do with an announcement for Financial Fives in 2023:
We're going monthly!
This will be a fun experiment, and I'm excited to go into more detail about the journey to FIRE with you all, once a month instead of churning out posts every week.
I can hear you all moaning in disappointed sadness, but fret not! You can always grab a copy of Financial Fives and dive into the goldmine that this blog was created around. And you don't have any excuses around time anymore, because we launched an audiobook version a few weeks ago!
Posting each week takes a lot of work, and although I love diving into deep thought with all of you, as we know if you stretch yourself too thin, everything suffers.
So to put my money where my mouth is, and actually practice conscious consumerism, mindfulness, and minimalism, I decided that putting more effort into engaging and thoroughly valuable content in 2023 is the right decision.
Some bloggers post monthly net worth updates, actually many do, so I don't want to just add to another one of those.
We'll pick a theme each month, based on what is trending or what time of year it is, to provide useful and at times unpopular opinions on relevant topics to help you save money, make money, start an actually enjoyable side gig, or reframe your thoughts so you don't beat yourself up just because the next guy is over the $1MM mark.
Time to Leave the Party?
The FI community, in my opinion, has become overrun with an obsession to focus on retiring early to travel the world, live in an RV, or relocate to an overseas island. I find this new breed of FI enthusiasts peculiar, partially because it's just not aligned with my thought process or what I feel FI was meant to be for.
For example, one of the founding fathers of the FIRE movement, Mr. Money Mustache, is a revered and fine individual who is humble and balanced in his thoughts.
Although he gets a lot of attention and doesn't need to work, he continues to invest in things like his blog, co-working space, advocating for minimalism and bike culture, as well as building useful things that people need (bathroom renovation anyone?)
When we think of the purpose of FI, we should think of the purpose of life. Time is a finite resource we have, and our account balance dwindles each and every day, with no one having the ability to add to it. Even worse, you never know when that account will be depleted!
So when we think of the purpose of life, is it really to not work at all at the age of 40 and beyond? What is the real reason people fight tooth and nail to spend as little as possible, go to frugal extremism, and move their family overseas all so they can become "full-time travelers" or something like that?
There is nothing wrong with enjoying one's self, but I don't see how not being a contributing member of society will lead to a balanced society.
I wrote a post a while back about how so many in the FI community work so hard to achieve their FIRE number, orchestrating the exact time they can quit their job and where their income will come from, only to wake up on their first day of early retirement and think, well what now?
Purpose, fulfillment, and self-actualization are what make our lives worth living, and also what makes life great.
As entertaining as I think my posts are, are they truly adding value to the world, or just there for thought-provoking entertainment that isn't all that actionable?
My goal is to use some of the time back from scaling back to monthly to enjoy the moment and be in the present (I still work a full-time job and have a side business) as well as to learn about ways to create additional value to my community, and a create a plan to get there.
I think it's important to ask ourselves if we weren't born, would the world be any different? Even on the smallest scale?
We're not all going to be superstars or politicians, but even using our time in small ways like attending a city council meeting, or painting park benches, I would say yes the world is better because I am in it.
Happy Holidays Financial Fives fam, see you in 2023!