How An Early FI Investor Thinks

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We early financial independence freedom fighters think very differently from the mainstream. For myself, I’m now on Year 4 of the journey, and everything I do now feels totally natural and normal. However, when I pause to think about it, I’m almost certain that if you teleported me back to my college years, my old self would be flabbergasted to hear such talk.

If you aren’t in the loop, it all sounds so strange and bizarre!

Some (or all) of the following may resonate with you… Here’s what separates us from the masses, who relate more with the conventional line of consumer thinking:

 

Life In Mainstream: “You only live once! We are going to max out the credit cards and go full baller status. First class flights and luxury suites at the finest hotel!

Early FI Enthusiast: “You only live once! We are going to max out the credit card miles and go full baller status. First class flights and luxury suites at the finest hotels for FREE!

 

Life In Mainstream: “When I go to Target/Walmart… I always find extra items that I need to buy.

Early FI Enthusiast: “When I go to Target/Walmart… I always go straight to customer service and ask them to please reload my Redcard/Bluebird card. I resist the urge to buy extra items that I know I don’t need.

 

Life In Mainstream: “I make it a routine (and big deal) to go Black Friday shopping every year! The deals are insane! I either don’t sleep that night, or wake up first thing in the morning to go bargain hunting.

Early FI Enthusiast: “I make it a routine (and big deal) to go Black Friday House Hunting every year! The deals are insane! I do sleep that entire night before, and do wake up first thing in the morning to go bargain hunting (open houses).”

 

Life In Mainstream:I’m saving up funds diligently so that I can splurge on that Vegas trip next month! Can’t wait, it’s going to be AWESOME!

Early FI Enthusiast:I’m saving up funds diligently because I have too many stocks on my watchlist and there are too many good deals. Can’t wait, it’s going to be AWESOME!

 

Life In Mainstream: “My savings account balance is always low… I buy too many toys!

Early FI Enthusiast: “My savings account balance is always low… I buy too many houses/stocks!

 

Life In Mainstream: “My goal is to purchase a single house in my lifetime.

Early FI Enthusiast: “My goal is to purchase a single house… every year.”

 

Life In Mainstream: “The terms: short-sales, foreclosures, REOs, etc. scare me. I’m going to avoid them!!!

Early FI Enthusiast: “The terms: short-sales, foreclosures, REOs, etc. delight me. Where can I find them?!?

 

Life In Mainstream: “I hate my job… I don’t know how many more years of this I can take!!!”

Early FI Enthusiast: “I hate my job… I’ve calculated and know EXACTLY how many more years of this I’ll have to take before I’m FREE!”

 

Life In Mainstream: “I have too much debt, it’s scary! Sometimes I worry I’ll have to borrow money from friends/family to pay my bills.

Early FI Enthusiast: “I have too much debt, it’s scary… but it’s good debt that will make me more wealthy in the future. Sometimes I contemplate I’ll have to borrow money from friends/family to fund more deals.

 

Life In Mainstream: “Debt is evil and must be eliminated to build wealth! Come hell or high water, I’m paying off all my debts ASAP! You want to give me a new loan? No thank you!

Early FI Enthusiast: “Debt (leverage) is a blessing (when interest rates are at an all-time low!) and must be utilized responsibly to build MASSIVE wealth. Come hell or high water, I’m going to attempt to get as many loans as I can ASAP! You want to give me a new loan? Yes please!

 

Life In Mainstream: “Watching stocks go down in value makes my stomach churn. It’s nerve-racking and makes me not want to invest!

Early FI Enthusiast: “Watching stocks go down in value makes me want to dance. It’s exhilarating and makes me want to back up the truck and invest more!

 

Life In Mainstream: “I love home renovations! I always splurge on the nicest items. I deserve the best! I’ll use my HELOC to fund the improvements.

Early FI Enthusiast: “I love home renovations! I always splurge on the nicest (but most affordable) items. My tenants deserve the best! I’ll let my tenants pay for the improvements (in the form of higher rents).

 

Life In Mainstream: “The more money I make, the more I spend. Lifestyle inflation, baby!

Early FI Enthusiast: “The more money I make, the less I spend (higher savings rate). Lifestyle deflation, baby!

 

Life In Mainstream: “The more money I make, the harder I need to work to justify it!

Early FI Enthusiast: “The more money I make, the lazier I become!” 🙂

 

Life In Mainstream: “Earning a high income is the key to becoming financially independent!

Early FI Enthusiast: “Earning a high passive income is the key to becoming financially independent!

 

Could we be any more worlds apart? 😉

Fin

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Happy FrugalerJamesFI FighterEven StevenAndrew@LivingRichCheaply Recent comment authors
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Dividend Diplomats
Guest

This is the best one:

Life In Mainstream: “The more money I make, the more I spend. Lifestyle inflation, baby!”

Early FI Enthusiast: “The more money I make, the less I spend (higher savings rate). Lifestyle deflation, baby!”

Great article, love it and makes me laugh at how many of these shows I’m an early FI enthusiast!

-Lanny

BeSmartRich
Guest

Excellent posting. Haha Put me in Early FI enthusiast bucket. I wish I could own all the companies that are on my watch list. I can’t wait to own all of them add more and more and more….. hold forever and ever and ever….

BSR

SavvyFinancialLatina
Guest

I feel the same way. I can’t wait for my next paycheck so I can put some away into savings that will later end up in my investment accounts.

Midwestern Landlord
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Midwestern Landlord

I really like this one:

“Debt (leverage) is a blessing (when interest rates are at an all-time low!) and must be utilized responsibly to build MASSIVE wealth. Come hell or high water, I’m going to attempt to get as many loans as I can ASAP! You want to give me a new loan? Yes please!”

There is nothing wrong with debt, as long as someone else is paying for it.

Andrew@LivingRichCheaply
Guest

So true! I get excited about investing my money and seeing it grow. Recently I’ve been excited about jumping in on investing in real estate. Didn’t think it was possible living in NYC, but thanks to you and a few others, I’ve learned that out-of-state investing is possible.

Even Steven
Guest

PREACH!!!

Early FI Enthusiast: “Earning a high passive income is the key to becoming financially independent!”

James
Guest

“Debt (leverage) is a blessing (when interest rates are at an all-time low!) and must be utilized responsibly to build MASSIVE wealth. Come hell or high water, I’m going to attempt to get as many loans as I can ASAP! You want to give me a new loan? Yes please!”

Yes! It’s nice to see this out there. Definitely what I’ve been thinking, but wasn’t sure how to articulate it. I’m relatively new to the FI mindset, after all.

Happy Frugaler
Guest

Great post, loved the comparisons of Mainstream to FI, particularly the leverage.

I’m new to the FI scene and already loving it!

The leverage is something I’m not used to seeing many FI people be as fond of; whereas, personally, I look at it like you.

My second blog post was actually on that specific topic:

https://happyfrugaler.wordpress.com/2015/03/16/leverage-is-it-always-bad/

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