Financially Independent or Addicted to Money?
Addicted to Money?
I have searched far and wide. Read countless blogs and had many, many conversations. I’ve chatted with individuals who have a net worth of six figures, seven figures, and even eight. We use titles like financial independence and retire early for various reasons. But no matter how well-off we are, almost everyone is still bringing in an income, even after they have reached their number. What gives? Are we all lying to ourselves. Are we truly addicted to money?
Many argue that the value of money is the time it gives us. The argument goes that when we reach financial independence, we can stop doing things to build our bank accounts. We can start living our lives with purpose and meaning without the ulterior motive of material wealth.
So if we aren’t addicted to money, why monetize the blog? Why charge consulting fees? Shouldn’t we be volunteering our time? How many people who have already reached FIRE are hunting for new income properties or starting their own online course? And furthermore, why are we still frugal?
I can think of a few basic reasons.
The achievement orientation
We, as a whole, are highly motivated achievers. We came to financial independence by maximizing our wages, building businesses, and hustle. Somewhere during those very productive years, we developed the taste for succeeding. We like to create empires.
How does the highly motivated business mogul measure success of their new endeavor? Profits, of course. We don’t feel that rush of pleasure if the money is not coming in.
Sure we like to help people. Of course we want to change the world. But most of the time we don’t offer these services for free.
It’s not that we are addicted to money. Not that we need the extra cash flow. The simple answer is success. We measure success by how much we make on a new business.
Retiring early is a daunting task. We can quote the trinity study ad nauseam, but the fact remains that previous performance is not an indicator of future performance. The biggest fear is that the money will run dry. So what is a FIRE enthusiast to do?
Maybe instead of saving 25X, we will shoot for 30X. But look at the Shiller-Cape Ratio! We better settle on 40X before the well of easy cash dries up.
We are ultra conservative and therefore ultra-careful. Why not make a little extra money on the side? Just to be sure.
Don’t hate the player
We love the game. Need I say more? We are not addicted to money. What’s separates us from the rest of the world is our veracity.
A win isn’t a win if it doesn’t come with a windfall.
I spend ridiculous amounts of time on side hustles. I blog for free in the hopes that one day I will be able to monetize.
Why? Why, do I do this?
It’s just who I am.
The guys at ChooseFi call themselves valuists and I think this holds for most our community. Even if we have the money, we don’t like to pay more for something than it’s worth. We know that money is time. Time is a limited resource.
We don’t believer in waste.
So are we addicted to money?
No, we are not. We are very careful, achievement oriented people who are in love with the game. We value some material possessions or services and thus are willing to spend on them, but we do not waste.
This was the formula that delivered us to financial independence, and I suspect most are going to stick to it.
What do you think?