So, you’ve been pouring over your personal finances for months – reorganizing, optimizing, investing, and budgeting. But now, you’ve automated everything and hit a plateau of boredom. What’s next? What do you do now that the Financial Independence, Retire Early (FIRE) has died down? In this article, we’ll talk about five things you can do if you’re bored with your FIRE journey.
I know, it can be weird to go from spending all your free time perfecting your FIRE methods to having nothing left to adjust. But the whole point of FIRE is to work towards a life where you don’t really need to worry or think about money all the time, right? Well, congratulations! You’re getting your first taste of that lifestyle.
Once you’ve done all the research, created the budget, broken bad spending habits, decided on long-term investments, and automated contributions, there’s hardly anything left to worry about… and that’s how it’s supposed to be.
We simply weren’t made to walk around all day thinking about our money. When you reach a point of boredom, it’s really a point of peace and comfort with your financial situation, and that’s something to celebrate.
One thing you can do to add a little anticipation back into your FIRE journey after you’ve reached a place where your money sort of manages itself is to start keeping a net worth spreadsheet.
Create a list of all your streams of income, your retirement accounts, your other investment accounts, your emergency fund, your savings, your assets… then update it at a frequency that works for you.
Updating and getting eyes on your overall net worth can be a good way to keep your eyes on the prize – not to mention you’ll probably get a little rush of dopamine each time you see the net number rise. I personally update mine each payday! Seeing the investments snowball is rewarding, plus I feel like I’m doing something to further my financial journey.
When all the money your making is managing itself, you have time to figure out how to make more! Spend the time you used to use for budgeting, cost reviewing, and optimizing to instead read books about real estate, learn about freelancing, research stock trading, or scour the internet for a side hustle that piques your interest!
Consider creating a new revenue stream goal for yourself. If you have 2 or 3 streams now, set a goal to have 4 six months from now. Additional streams of income don’t have to be thousands of dollars a month. They can be small and intermittent tasks.
For example, I visit local thrift stores once a week or so to look for cheap wood furniture. If I find a piece I like, I take it home and give it some TLC and flip it for profit online! I only flip a piece or two each month, which makes me a couple hundred bucks (maybe). It’s nothing to brag about, but I enjoy the sanding and painting, and it’s more money to throw at my FIRE journey!
Since your FIRE has died down a little, spend some time lighting someone else’s! We don’t get taught in school that it’s possible to ditch full-time employment after less than a decade if we save and invest well. Think about how many people in your area have no clue that FIRE is even an option.
Money can certainly be scary to talk about. But imagine if you’d never had that first exposure to financial wellness and literacy. You may be your friends’ and family’s only chance at changing how they view money! Let people borrow your books, send links to podcasts, hell, start a blog to share all the knowledge you’ve built! Just get your foot in the door. Then, when you’re ready, strike up a conversation about how financial independence means freedom.
So, you have no optimization left to do with your finances. It’s time to start focusing on optimizing yourself! Let your automated contributions keep rolling in while you take the time to assess your current self for areas of improvement.
Aside from always striving to be better financially, it’s important to strive to be better, period. Look into all the habits you’d like to fire from your life. Want to wake up earlier? You’ll need to fire the person that hits the snooze button six times each morning. Want to be more productive? Fire the you who can’t turn off the TV. Want to start meditating? Fire the you who can’t bear to put the phone away for 30 minutes. Want to take up kickboxing? Run a marathon? You’ll have to first figure out how to fire the version of you that’s previously been too busy or too lazy to make the training commitment!
See? Having good and healthy habits in your life starts with identifying and kicking the bad ones. Take all that time you were spending on crunching the numbers of your income and investments and crackdown on areas of yourself you’d like to grow!
In summary, don’t let boredom with your FIRE journey get you down. Sit back and reflect on everything you’ve learned and how much you’ve grown. Appreciate all the time and effort that went into creating such a low-maintenance, compound-interest-generating financial life, and then let it do its thing while you shift your focus to other areas of yourself while always remembering, Life’s Short, Love The Life You Live!!