Since I started this blog with a goal to become financially independent, I’ve noticed a significant shift in the way I think about money. And, being that I decided to take my financial future into my own hands, I was expecting this change.
But, there have been a couple times when I did a bit of “soul searching”, and asked myself: have I become obsessed with money?
As cheesy as this might sound, the ultimate goal of becoming financially independent is to reach happiness. Financial independence can be seen either as one way, or one of the components to reaching this happiness, but it is not the goal itself.
Well maybe except for this guy
Yet, the more I think and talk about my finances, the more they take their toll on me. When I read other bloggers’ articles about handling their finances, some of them sound as if they can easily disconnect their “financial” self from their real self. They are able to focus on their job, their families, their hobbies, and it’s almost as if finance is just one tiny bit of this whole process. They constantly are able to keep in mind that money is a vector, not the goal itself. MrMoneyMustache is a prime example of that.
But I have become slightly obsessed. The guy who checks his brokerage account every hour or so, every day, even sometimes when the markets are closed? That’s me. Is it healthy, or helping in any way? No. Is it taking time away from my hobbies, my day job, my family? Totally. And yet, I can’t seem to stop looking at these numbers, recalculate if the latest increase in the S&P500 changed my early retirement date by a few microseconds, etc… hint: daily changes are totally irrelevant. My Cartesian self knows about this, yet I still do it, as if calculating my ER dates will make them materialize faster.
But as I think about it, I’m recalled that I’m not obsessed with money. I don’t accumulate money for the pleasure of having more of it, this would be nonsensical. What I’m obsessed with, however, is my dependency, as human, to money.
It bothers me a lot that my free time, my happiness, are deeply connected to something so meaningless as money. As such, I’m trying to push it out of the equation. And this means focusing all my energy on this variable first, until I can get it out of the system.
Are you obsessed with money? Your lack of it? Your optimization of it? I’d love in particular some feedback from fellow bloggers in the financial independence blogosphere. You guys talk about money all the time on your blogs. How does that influence your day to day approach/obsession with money?