Financial independence and me

Financial independence and me

In essence, the name of this blog is my goal. To be tortoise happy.

To me, it makes perfect sense… but then, I have spent several hours trying to create a blog name that would inspire me to reach financial independence. Allow me to explain…

I recently found a notebook of scribbles I used to write in when we first bought our house. Its full of things we wanted to do with the house, places we wanted to experience, and all sorts of mini business ideas for making money on top of our day jobs.

There was one thing we made really significant progress on. A goal that had been non-negotiable from the start and that we diligently set to achieve, month in and month out. That goal was paying off the mortgage. It was this that made me realise that all my ‘hare brained’ ideas, as I now refer to them, may well have seemed the more exciting and impressive options at the time, but the unrelenting plodding of our mortgage free journey was actually getting somewhere.

I’m hoping that this vision of being ‘tortoise happy’ will lead to more than just financial independence. It will lead to a life where I don’t feel that there is a void without employment. There’s a surprising number of people who achieve mortgage freedom and even financial independence, but sometimes the focus is so intense that they’re left feeling ‘now what?’ when they achieve their goal.

Breaking down my goal, being tortoise happy means:

Being healthy

Believe it or not, this was the last part of the goal that sprung to mind. That just shows that I really do take my health for granted. I’ve put it at the top of this list because it’s the foundation of being happy and being able to achieve my other goals.

Being generous

This was second to the last thing that sprung to mind, and it doesn’t make me feel happy to say that. It feels good to be generous with your time, money and knowledge. Its good to live in a place that has community spirit. If everyone only looked out for themselves, it would be a pretty miserable world. The pursuit of mortgage freedom and financial independence can sometimes distract you from the important things in life but being generous leads to happiness.

Consuming less, experiencing more

Stuff costs money, fills your home, needs to be looked after, makes it harder to keep tidy, and sets a standard that costs more money to maintain.  And that’s without getting started on the environmental impact.

Though I know these things to be true, letting go of things that might come in useful is difficult. I have a lot that my parents didn’t have, because they simply didn’t have the money. But that makes it difficult to  get rid of things, because I worry that I’ll have to spend money to replace it in future, if I do found out I need it after all.

I try to minimise new purchases that come  into the house but I’ve reached a point where I don’t ever tidy properly. I just move things from place to place. There are still some things that I buy that I don’t really get use out of.

The less stuff you consume, the less money you need to earn (and/ or the more you have to enrich your life with experiences).

Achieving financial independence

This means achieving a state whereby we don’t need to work to earn and income because we have enough money to live off.

When I achieve all these things, I will be definitely be tortoise happy. But life’s too short to wait for a speck on the horizon. Being tortoise happy starts now.

I was going to add ‘spend less time cleaning’ to the list too. I decided not to for a couple of reasons. The first reason is that I wanted each goal to be positive, rather than being about avoiding something. The second reason is that consuming less and experiencing more will make it easier to keep everywhere feel neat and tidy with less effort. That’s what I’m hoping anyway!

What are your financial goals and how do you set about achieving them?

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