Good Enough For Me

This is a guest post by Dave, who is also looking to retire no later than 45, but unlike Tim has no kids and doesn’t want any.  Dave is from Ontario and is working towards his CGA certification.

I skipped going to the gym today to work out.  I did it mostly because I am sore from an extremely hard couple of kettlebell workouts earlier in the week, and also because I just didn’t feel like it.  I’m not really sure what impact this will have to my long-term fitness goals, but I’m thinking that I will still be able to do (physically) the same type of things next week as I am able to right now (maybe more, since I may be able to lift my arms above my shoulders).  I will be back working out next week and maintain some sort of program.

Financially, for the next few days I will be skipping that plan as well.  I’m spending some time in Toronto this weekend, and flying out to Prince Edward Island to explore Charlottetown and visit a friend I haven’t seen in over a year (I’ve also never been to PEI either, which should be a fun experience).  These couple of trips are pretty expensive and the money I’m spending there could be put against my outstanding mortgage debt or invested.

In the past couple of years though, I have achieved a balance – I don’t worry too much about the significant amount of money I will spend in the next week because what I’m doing is “good enough” for me.   Similarly, I understand that instead of being at say 100% peak condition physically if I added an extra workout or two per week, I’m probably running somewhere around 80%.

The plan that I have set up (as long as there are no significant changes in income or expenses) will allow me to be financially independent in around 14 years.  I have no intention of changing my aggressive mortgage payment plan, or depleting my savings to do the things that I want to do (such as this super-expensive vacation).  I’m comfortable with the extra 6 months or a year or so that my working life will be extended because of these trips or other expenses that come up.

I generally have a “good enough” attitude with most things, I tend to think that being perfect all the time with everything leads to disappointment or discouragement when things don’t go as planned.  I think I would drive my wife crazy if I made her count every penny and stick to a strict budget exactly – it would drive me nuts as well.

Are you strict with your financial plan, or do you take a “good enough” attitude like myself?


2 thoughts on “Good Enough For Me”

  1. We save on average about 4k/month… this is our “good enough” level. If we went nuclear on our budget, cutting out restaurant meals, cable/internet and other “luxuries” etc we could probably approach 5k/month in savings.

    But we aren’t prepared to do that… we are definitely in that “good enough” zone.

    Once the mortgage is gone in less than a year, we will surpass the 5k/month savings anyway. The more I crunch the numbers, ER could well be acheivable well before 45… especially if my lovely wife wants to keep working just a little bit longer. 🙂

  2. You can’t be so strict that you don’t enjoy anything. I think what’s really important is that you have the automation out of the way so that you are saving every month and getting closer to that early retirement. Once your savings are in place, you should be able to have guilt-free spending money.

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