FIRE & Your Life Priorities – Pick 5 out of 7

Let’s face it, we are always in some kind of a box or under some constraints. We all have 24 hours in a day. We all have so much in terms of money and current income. We all have only so much energy that cannot defy the laws of physics and biology. In such a state, we must choose priorities. If everything is the priority at all times then we will do nothing well and be a hot mess for ourselves and others. You have probably witnessed these people in life. Running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off trying to do it all. I rarely say anything because it is not my place, but if I could be honest with these people I would tell them to stop, slow down, and start a list of priorities and then calmly work on each one. The world will rarely end if we do not do something. Financial Independence must be made a priority if it is something we care about achieving early. But at what cost? What other priorities will have to take back seat? What sacrifices will we have to make along the way? Can we reframe these not in terms of sacrifices but in terms of choices. I believe the following are the basic 7 big areas that we can pour resources into. I believe we only get to choose 4-5 of them at full throttle. 3 must become secondary or be budgeted carefully: 1. Fancy Stuff fancy cars, designer clothes, toys, a boat, etc. If you want this stuff you can probably have it, and it can be very hard to resist. We are programmed to display social status and material crap helps us do this. 2. Vacations & Travel Travel is great, I love watching Rick Steves, but let’s be honest, it is usually very expensive. I know there are some places less expensive than others, but it will still cost to get there. 3. Owning A Home For some this is important and others not so much. If owning is a desired goal then we will need to allocate a large portion of our assets and budget to this. 4. Time & Financial Freedom The bottom line is that if we hope to reach FI, we will need to make it a priority. It will take many years of diligent saving, investing and avoiding toxic debt. Consumption today will need to be postponed for consumption in the far future. 5. Our “Ideal” Job We are told to “follow our dreams”. Yeah, kind of. But it’s also important to make a living and have an income. Not many people will pay you to sit in your garage and make a film. At times we may need to sacrifice the “ideal” dream for the practical. 6. Children Having children is an amazing life changing experience. Some consider it a key component of the human experience. But again it comes at a cost of time, money and your own immediate desires. 7. An Education Education is expensive. You may only be able to afford to go so far. Do you really need that extra Masters or PhD? Is there another way? Most of us can not afford to go to school forever! I would argue that we usually can only pick 5 out of 7. Not many people in this world get everything they want. So I challenge you to rank these in priority and make the best of what we have now.

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