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Freshen Your View
in Motivation, Podcast

Hey, everyone! Sorry it has been so long since the last podcast. It has been almost a month since the last one. I can’t even believe that. When you’re getting married, time flies, I suppose! Lately I’ve been feeling a little demotivated when it comes to a lot of stuff, so I decided a pep-talk was in order. I believe it is a good point to discuss changing or working on our view when it comes to some things, and that it is important to not forget what is important.

Smart FI Sprint Episode 006: Freshen Your View


  • Hey, everyone! Sorry it has been so long since the last podcast. It has been almost a month since the last one. I can’t even believe that. When you’re getting married, time flies, I suppose
  • Oh, and if you didn’t know, I’m getting hitched June 25! It’s going to be awesome.
    • An awesome part about finally getting hitched, is that we should be able to cut out a lot of our excess spending
  • I’ll be sure to take some awesome pictures on the honeymoon!
  • So, I don’t know if you’ve read this May’s reports yet, but I hit 100 downloads in May of all my podcasting episodes (including my story podcasts).
    • I then nearly hit 150 in the same month
  • Now I’m up to 189 as of the recording of this report, and already have had 25 total downloads in June this month. Hopefully that is a good sign.
  • I also purchased Camtasia Studio. This will allow me to do screen captures, edit video, and more so I can create some great video content for all of you.
  • Now, let’s talk about FI and how you should freshen your view.


  • Alright, time for a motivational speech today!
  • May was the worst month for our budget so far. We went over in a lot of areas, and saved the lowest amount we have all year. As I stated above, our wedding is playing into this quite a bit. However, we aren’t innocent. We spent a lot more than we should have on fast food, eating out at restaurants, etc.
  • Because of this, I’ve been feeling a little demotivated, so I decided a nice pep-talk was would do all of me, and by extension, all of us, some good.
  • I want to talk about changing our view, in other words, I want us to freshen our view regarding money and purchases, being post-FIRE, and what everything really boils down to!
    • I know it sounds like a lot and kind of a big scary topic, but I’m going to do the best I can to compress it to under half an hour.

Main Content:

  • So, to start, I personally believe there is a certain way we should view FI, and life in general.
    • Money and Purchases
      • To start freshening our view, let’s talk about money and purchases.
      • No, I’m not trying to give a history lesson on money, or anything so long and tedious (although the history of money can be pretty interesting). I’m talking about how we view and decide to make a purchase
      • What do we do when we are considering whether to purchase a good or a service?
      • A lot of the time, we subconsciously ask ourselves, can I use this in some way? Could I use this? Etc.
      • However, this can be a slippery slope, i.e. you could find yourself saying, yeah, I would probably use this, or I might need this once a year, etc. It could get even worse, and you might find yourself buying things for no reason, or talking yourself into getting it.
      • This is where bad financial habits begin, and your brain begins to acquire fulfillment through purchasing things or services for no other reason than the act itself. This is why we have malls and shopping as an activity. When you’re going shopping for fun, that’s when you should realize you might be needing to launch an S.O.S.
      • This is what we want to mitigate, and mitigating this begins with changing how you view purchasing things.
      • Instead of saying things like “could I use this? I might need this. This could be useful, etc.” When you are contemplating a purchase, ask yourself, “Do I need this? Will I use this? Why do I need this? When will I use this, and on and on.
      • This automatically changes your mindset from already thinking about committing to buying something to being skeptical if it is something that you actually need.
      • This is infinitely useful when it comes to purchases of any kind.
      • Examples:
        • Do I need these frozen taquitos?
          • The answer is probably no, and if you ask yourself “Do I NEED them?” You can come up with lots of reasons why you don’t, e.g. They aren’t healthy, they’re overpriced, and more.
        • Do I need to eat out?
          • No, cooking at home is healthier, typically cheaper, and helps build a useful lifetime skill
          • Really, the only acceptable time to say yes should be a time crunch when your schedule won’t allow you to cook a meal
        • Why do I need a snow blower?
          • Eh, you probably don’t. If you’re in at least decent shape and you don’t live in Canada, a snow shovel would probably do you just fine.
        • See what I mean, if you ask questions first, it allows you a little bit of time – even if it is only a quick 5 or 6 seconds – to evaluate a decision prior to making an impulse buy.
        • Another way of thinking about a purchase or a service, is as an experience.
        • An example would probably be the best way to articulate what I mean by this:
          • So, back in January, I realized I needed to change my breaks. I got a quote from a car care chain in town. That quote? Approximately $750 for the front and back rotors, calipers, and labor.
          • I said no thanks.
          • So, I changed my front breaks (the back didn’t need it nearly as bad) with That Learning Gals dad and brother. It took us around an hour a tire, and I paid a little over $100 dollars for the parts. Yeah, it might have taken us a little longer, but the experience and the savings? Worth it.
          • Would changing my breaks with the car care chain have been worth the experience, and thus the $750? That would be a big ol’ no.
          • Another could be, “Will buying this tv be worth the experience?”
        • So, viewing purchases as experiences can be another tool in the arsenal of assessing them.
      • Post-FI
        • First of all, I don’t believe you should be trying to reach Financial Independence or Retire Early just for the sake of not having to work anymore.
        • Now, don’t think I’m saying I am okay with the 40 hour grind. Hell, I’m trying to reach FI as quickly as possible so I have the option of whether or not I want to work. However, If you are focusing on not having to work anymore, have you thought about what comes after that?
        • Obviously, whenever you do reach FI and you retire, your life isn’t over with. Yes, you won’t have to work anymore, but what are you going to do with all of your time?
          • If you haven’t thought about the post-FI lifestyle, you might want to think about it for a minute or two. Actually, think about it right now. Do you have any plans? Do you have any hobbies that will keep you busy? Do your plans involve staying within the budget you set for yourself in FI?
          • Take Mr. Money Mustache for example. The guy spends less than $30k a year, and has done so since he retired early at 30 years old. That is walking the walk right there. Would you be able/willing to do the same if you reached your FI?
        • My point with all of this is that FI isn’t just about not having to work anymore. It is about experiences and having the freedom to do as you please once you reach that point, but if your freedom involves just sitting in front of the tv watching Netflix all day, then was all of the hard work to reach FI really worth it? Some may say so, and if that is what they truly desire to do with their lives, they so be it, but if you’re an ambitious and motivated person, I have a feeling that isn’t you.
        • So, I encourage everyone to do a little exercise and think about what you would do if you could Retire Early right now. If you know, or have an idea, leave a comment about it!
        • For me, it would involve doing exactly what I’m doing right now; learning about personal finance and economics, blogging and podcasting on FIRE, writing fiction, perfecting those things, and learning lots of new stuff!
      • What Everything is Really About
        • Finally, I thought it would be fitting to end with what all of this is really about. Well, what everything is really about actually.
        • Learning and talking about all of this is a ton of fun! Learning how to be frugal and the thousands of different ways to save money, learning about my place in the whole economic picture, gathering assets, seeing my net worth grow, and honing my skills, and watching the fruits of my labor, etc., etc.
        • It’s all great fun and makes me grow as a person. Plus, it’s great to know that I have potentially affected a lot of lives and/or entertained people with my writing and my ramblings – kind of leaving my own little legacy, if you will.
        • However, what really matters is experiences, people, and relationships.
        • What I’m doing here is a great example, as I just stated, I know that I could potentially be having a relatively large impact on a lot of people’s lives with what I do, whether I am informing or entertaining in some fashion, and I think I am better for the experience (plus I sincerely enjoy it!)
        • Like I said when I was discussing being Post-FI, you can’t lose yourself completely in trying to reach Financial Independence/Early Retirement. If you do, you can miss all of the awesome and wonderful things that are rushing past you every day.
        • I exemplify this perfectly. I work to make money, then I come home and go to the gym, then I get back and I shower, eat, and then I begin working on all of my post-work work to try and help people realize their financial potential or to write fiction to provide entertainment.
        • My fiancée, That Learning Gal, keeps my head on straight. She keeps me from getting lost in everything I do. She helps keep me grounded, and sometimes forces me to go out and experience life, instead of sitting behind a desk and a computer all day.
        • This is the most important relationship to me, and I try to keep that in mind as much as possible:
        • Relationships are what matter most in life. Me trying to help people to make their lives better or easier, and entertaining them to whisk them away to a fictional place for a small piece of time.
        • So, please, don’t get lost in the things that draw your focus, like sprinting towards FIRE, losing sleep over debt, or watching tv all day. Altough some of those things are definitely important, and they can be quite stressful at times, remember the people around you, those who care about you, and all of the other people out in the world.
        • We should always be nurturing relationships, showing compassion, and trying to help others grow as people.
        • If I didn’t have that mindset, I wouldn’t be here, doing what I’m doing right now, and I probably wouldn’t be marrying one of the most awesome people in the world.


  • Alright, I’ll step down off of my soapbox now!
  • I hope you found some of what I discussed today motivational, and that it freshened your view on things, or that it at least resonated with you a little bit.
  • Taking a little time to evaluate your purchases and asking questions before you jump all in can make a huge difference in your satisfaction. You should *almost* never have to worry about buyer’s remorse again
  • Thinking about what we’re going to do after FIRE is a very good idea. You don’t want to reach FIRE and then all of a sudden realize you’re going to be bored out of your mind. That would not be a fun situation to be in!
  • I firmly believe that in helping others, we make the world a better place, and in turn help ourselves and those we care about.
  • Go ahead and reach out and text or call someone you haven’t in a while. Experience something new! Who knows? It might freshen your view a little bit.

As always, thanks to Simon Panrucker for allowing me to use his music in my podcasts!

-That Learning Guy

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