As I get close to the end of “Your Money or Your Life”, I alternate between feelings of inspiration and depression, for lack of a better adjective. Chapter 8 of YMOYL focuses on the cross-over point, when you reach financial independence and reap the rewards. There are many success stories which are inspiring. Some people quit their jobs to volunteer, spend time with family and friends, and/or travel. Those are the kinds of stories that I expected to read. However, many people take a sabbatical and then go back to work. The point is that choosing to work is very different than having to work.
At the same time, I get somewhat depressed, or deflated, when I think of taking that next step and the consequences. The big “What ifs” pop in my head. I’m ready to move on to the next phase of my life but I can’t imagine feeling so free mentally in regards to finances. I am used to a steady paycheck with paid vacations; I imagine that financial worries would seep into my muddled head. We’ll see how this plays out….
Financial independence is harder to achieve when your spouse is not onboard. My husband is just not interested in reading or discussing finances. I have told him about my readings but I doubt he’ll ever read the book himself.
Like it or not, our financial lives are intertwined. I don’t believe in separate finances, other than some fun spend money, because it all comes out of the same pot in the end. When we don’t jointly focus on our household spending now, we both end up spending more. Luckily he has adjusted to my frugal tendencies over the years even though he thinks I’m a bit obsessed. Our backgrounds are so different that it’s hard for him to imagine a life where you can’t fall back on your parents as a last resort. Even when he worries about money, I feel that he believes things will work out. I don’t think like that. I imagine worse-case scenarios.
I guess I really need to pay attention to Chapter 9, which talks about managing your finances. I also lined up another finance/lifestyle book for reinforcement and ideas. Next up: All The Money In The World.. I really hope that I can reach a place where I view money as a tool and not be so paranoid.
Have you crossed over to true financial independence? If so, what’s your story?