An Unfortunate Truth

OK.  Things were starting to go well.  I was making friends.  I even got some comments on my blog.  A few tweets.  A few retweets.  I was starting to fit in.  Maybe I could be one of those people.  You know, FIRE bloggers.  Those peeps who leap financial hurdles effortlessly, prance around in second-hand capes, and giggle in the face of insurmountable debt.

That could be me.  The real me.

Too bad I have to ruin it.  Because I’ll never fit in.  They will never let me wear a thrift store cape when they learn the truth.  It’s an ugly truth.  An unfortunate truth.  Shhh!  Come close and I’ll tell you.  Wait.  Can anyone hear?  Come closer.  Closer. 

I Spend Money!

A lot of it.  Wait, wait…don’t tell Mr. Tako (He’s been eyeing my cape!)

I mean, I spend three to four times what some of these FIRE bloggers spend.  Root of Good?  Forget about it.

Now don’t get me wrong.  I don’t spend frivolously.  In fact I prefer to see myself like the guys over at ChooseFi.  A valuist.  But I find value in many things.  In fact, I rarely spend money on myself (besides my stealth wealth fail).  Life just cost money.  I live in a relatively high cost of living area.  I have a mortgage.  We need extra childcare since both me and the missus have demanding jobs.  We broke the budget and sent my daughter to private school after a particularly bad year in public.

So lets look at just a few of my budget items:

Mortgage 22K

Private School 20K

Childcare 25k

Charitable 20K

Travel 15K

And this is just the tip of the stack of hundreds.  That’s a budget of like 3MM (Mr Money Mustache) already.

Do I sweat this?  No.  I have planned accordingly.  I have fired up FireCalc so often that I think sometimes the creators are messing with the numbers to get me to leave their damn site.

In other words, I don’t think frugality has such a specific definition.

I think it is in the eye of the wallet holder.

Doc G

A doctor who discovered the FI community but still struggling with RE.

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10 Responses

  1. I’m in your camp. Please let me in. MMM would punch me in the face.

  2. Gasem says:

    Everybody’s pushing a shtick anyway, narrative mixed with “truth”. Example: everybody is talking about “retiring early” but they all have 16 side gigs, including MMM. How does that constitute retirement? Seems like half the crowd isn’t retired they just no longer are employees and are willing to live on Ramen and the smell of daffodils. Whatever blows your skirt up, it’s all good!

  3. CashflowKat says:

    Private school tuition is a killer. We had our kids in both public and private in various locations and I can sympathize with you. But I do think you might get kicked out of the frugal blogger club for your $15K in travel expenses! Don’t you know about the National Park pass???? Just kidding 🙂

  4. Caroline says:

    Charitable donations $20K, congrats!
    I like it “in the eye of the wallet holder”:)
    I consider myself frugal ..but we did invest in our kids education (Private school), competitive sports and travel, it was a choice , it was OUR choice!
    As long as you are happy and you are not stuck doing something you don’t want to do (financially free)…then do whatever floats your boat!

  5. Good site, Doc G. Found yours through RF NW directory, which says you have $6.3 MM net worth. With this, you are clearly in a different league, so the rules of frugal FIRE bloggers don’t apply! Heck, you are being too frugal if you spend less than $150K a year because your assets are “too big to fail”! The numbers may be different, but the percentages and SWR always work the same. I am not in your NW league, but for a doctor of a different kind (Ph.D. in Engg), I am doing OK. I would welcome your comments on my articles. Look forward to reading more of your writing.

    • Doc G says:

      Thanks ten factorial! I actually spend more like 175k per year. Those were just some examples of expenses. I’ll check your blog out!

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