A couple months back, after , we took our first steps . Since then, our focus has been more about . To briefly remind you, one of our main strategy has been to keep my taxable income just under the lower tax bracket upper limit.
Many details around the whole process, like the first transfers and withdrawals, made me realize my salary wasn’t essential anymore and that I could stop working whenever I wish from now on. It felt like I literally was at the doorstep of financial freedom.
Strangely, a completely different mindset quickly set in. I deeply felt like everything was now cool and okay. Furthermore, it seemed like it would always be alright. That freedom was a relief and a wonderful feeling. To some extent, the burden of many financial obligations was finally off my shoulders.
But there was another odd side to it. I felt invincible, almost indestructible and some kind of carelessness settled in. It’s tough to precisely describe it. You could call it detachment, nonchalance, disinterest, insouciance…with an added touch of selfishness. In short, I didn’t care about other people and what they thought of me. Having enough money kind of made me feel like I didn’t need others anymore. In that insouciant mindset I became somewhat negligent. With that financial security, I now felt like I could get away with anything.
A Dangerous Frame of Mind
As I now understand, the bold attitude of the financially free can be hazardous. Being confident about money is not a problem in itself. It becomes an issue when you stop caring about others and what’s going to happen. You neglect details. You forget and get away from the little things that got you in that enviable position in the first place.
In the last few months, I didn’t worry about how much we spent. I was still frugal yet didn’t really care anyone. My car broke down and it cost 800 bucks to repair it: no problem! Our monthly telecom bill rose up by more than 20$: who cares!
Short term, it’s not that serious but over time, that lame and lazy indifference could eventually get us into trouble…
Being thoughtless with money is not that dramatic but being rude with people can be much worse and generate significant repercussions. The new found financially free stud in me kind of has a miserable obnoxious temperament.
He can be bold and too honest about what he thinks. Likewise, he has a lot less patience with co-workers, especially incompetent ones. He can even be ruthless with some of them. He also doesn’t mind getting fired from the job is doesn’t really need anymore. This can lead to tense relations and potentially explosive situations.
Fueled by exasperation, my kind and gentle nature gradually fazed away. Many negative yet truthful sentiments were often emerging. Without my usual calmness and vigilance, these raw frustrations expressed without any filter could transform into disaster.
Rest assured, things are getting back under control now that I’ve realized the precarious and nasty mindset financial freedom was getting me into. Sometimes, it can be very difficult to deal with honest truth. With experience, I should learn to tame these pure emotions and appreciate them even more. To some extent, I also must accept that things are not exclusively in my power and it is a possibility that some of them may turn out half done despite my best implication and effort.
On the financial side, I already got back on my feet. As an example, I made a quick call to our telecom provider. Even though we know and previously talked about how it can be relatively simple to , I was still surprised by the result on this particular occasion. Our monthly recurrent cost was reduced by more than 40$ and ended up even lower than before all the last few increases.
This simple phone call means we will save around a thousand bucks over the next two years. Hence, you will note it can be a very good practice to call your telecom/cable/phone provider from time to time or as your needs change. A few minutes well invested that can produce huge savings. I certainly made a periodical entry in my task calendar to call them back every two years.