In January, I turned 31. To celebrate, I bought myself a birthday present.
I very rarely buy books anymore (preferring to visit the library) but for my birthday, I made an exception. I purchased Tanja Hester’s new book, Work Optional. For those who don’t know, Tanja is the author of Our Next Life, one of our favourite early retirement blogs.
This is not a book review post, but I do encourage you to get your hands on a copy- whether by purchasing or through your local library. I read a lot about early retirement but her book gave me plenty of new things to think about. Poopsie is currently reading it and I can’t wait to discuss it with him once he’s done!
Tanja has done a number of podcast interviews to promote the book, including this episode of Paula Pant’s Afford Anything podcast. While not a regular listener of the podcast, I really enjoyed this episode.
Toward the end of the episode, Paula and Tanja discuss going slower on the road to early retirement. They both mention it as a sentiment that The Mad FIentist expressed during his own interview with Paula. Tanja also wrote about this in a recent article on Business Insider:
Since hearing her podcast, Poopsie and I have discussed this very sentiment.
A little known fact about me: I can be a little crazy. Poor Poopsie has to deal with said craziness on a regular basis. It is not unusual for me, in the course of a single day to go from hard-core-we-must-save-every-cent to we-might-die-tomorrow-so-let’s-spend-at-will.
I literally bounce from one extreme to the next, constantly. My hard core wanting to save usually stems from a) a really crappy day at work or b) reading a blog post that inspires me. Since I really hate my new job and I read a lot of blog posts, this happens a lot.
On the flip side, Poopsie and I are not naturally frugal people and, if I am being honest, we’re kind of snobs and do like some of the finer things in life. We don’t like to waste money but we have no problem spending more for experiences or better quality items. So when we have been entrenched in my hard core frugality for a day or two (yes, I know that’s not very long), I can flip completely and not want us to miss out and ensure we enjoy our life now.
Listening to Tanja mention wishing they’d gone slower has actually helped me. She and Brandon from The Mad FIentist are two people whose journey I have enjoyed following and gotten some great inspiration from. Hearing their sentiments about wishing they’d gone slower has almost given me permission to calm my farm and not be in such a panic every few days or few weeks that we need to be more frugal.
As a result of this inspiration, we are drawing up some new FIRE plans. We recently decided we would probably abandon our six year timeline and the advice from Tanja and Brandon has helped me to lean into that and create a more sustainable plan for us.
Of course, poor Poopsie will probably be flipped into hard core frugality in the next few days, but he will now have this post to point to in order to reduce some of my craziness. We’ll keep you updated!
How fast is your early retirement plan? Have you ever thought about slowing it down?