I was perusing Facebook last week and checked out the BiggerPockets Money group. There was a post that amused me:
Predictably the comments were all over the spectrum. Many did not appreciate the well-worn piece of furniture:
Others were more supportive:
This one cracked me up:
Finally, this one provided some food for thought:
Crappy Couch Cacophony
I have some thoughts on this situation. Choose your adventure:
Situation 1: You aren’t Financially Independent (FI) yet
FI has a load of value. Once you’re FI, life changes:
My new boss is a jerk!
I discovered a new passion for basket weaving and I don’t have time for it with my job.
My father is sick and I need to take care of him.
Yo quiero estudiar Espanol y la Ciudad de Mexico es muy bonita y barata!
Quit. Then move to Mexico City.
The value of FI is that if gives you options. FI allows for life pivots. You don’t like your life? Great, choose a new adventure!
There is infinite value in freedom and if you aren’t FI yet, I strongly encourage you to live with <insert one: your sh*tty couches, your sh*tty cars, your sh*tty phones>.
Situation #2: You are Financially Independent
The situation gets a little trickier here, but the first rule is easy:
Don’t do anything that would jeopardize your FI status.
This isn’t difficult to understand. If your annual spend is $40,000 and you plan to live by the 4 percent rule, if you have $1,000,000 saved up, don’t buy a helicopter.
After you accumulate more money, it’s OK to let loose a little. I did this when I bought a fancy car. But, you have to be careful here too. I thought the NSX would bring me happiness and it didn’t, at least not the car itself. I did find that it was fun to hang out with other owners:
And I can hang out with fellow car people even if I don’t happen to be driving a fancy car, so that’s my outlet. I get the fun of talking to like-minded humans without the hassle of the car. The NSX went to a new owner.
After basic needs are taken care of, no matter how much money you have, it’s still a valid exercise to practice mindful spending and restraint. A recent trip reminded me of the importance of the latter point.
Being in a hotel, we ate at restaurants every day. This quickly gets old and the appreciation for the experience goes out the window. The first time, it feels pretty great. By the 5th meal, you feel bad.
So, what should Mr. Crap Couch do?
My thought is that he should do whatever the hell he wants. If I was in his situation, I’d probably keep the duct-taped monstrosity too. As long as the thing is comfortable, who cares? If people judge him based on the state of the furniture, those people can go find friends with nicer couches.
But, I wouldn’t judge someone with nice furniture either. If your FI house is in order and a $5,000 couch gives you joy, go buy it!
Perhaps my main takeaway from this exercise is not to be judgmental. I’ve been guilty of this in the past and my thought now is this:
Who am I to judge another human’s choices? Their choices are a culmination of decades of experience that I have no knowledge of.
What do you think?
Leave a comment with your thoughts!
More 1500 Days!!!
You can also find me (and the dinosaurs) at:
Mile High FI podcast:
- EconoMe: Hey look, I’m speaking at EconoMe later this year!
- Facebook: Facebook group and page
- YouTube: My channel is mostly devoted to home improvement, but I have some other material coming up soon too.
- Instagram: Pretty pictures of dinosaurs, sunsets, and nail guns!
- Twitter: Spontaneous, often insane, ramblings
- Coworking space: On the surface, MMM HQ is a coworking space. Look a little deeper and you’ll see that we’re really building community. The members of MMM HQ are some of the finest people I know.
Other resources I like:
- Camp FIs are amazingly fun! I hope to attend Rocky Mountain and Joshua Tree this year. See you there?
- Need to learn how to invest? The Simple Path to Wealth is all you need.
- New to FIRE? Need some FIREy guidance? Check out Fiology and the accompanying workbook!
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