Am I a Fraud?

Sometimes I feel like a fraud calling myself “Frugal RN.”  I struggle with guilt over my past purchases; I have rationalized unnecessary purchases and really can’t explain why.  The pit in my stomach makes me feel ashamed because I know that my decisions have only added to our debt sentence.

I created and added a header image to my blog, illustrating our journey through the flames to ultimate F.I.R.E., a goal that I so strongly and badly yearn to achieve.  However, I realize that without ongoing changes in my habits and gaining control over my compulsions to occasionally spend beyond what I know is “right”, I fear it may never happen…certainly not as quickly as I would like nor as quickly as possible.

I realize that others are far more frugal than we are.  That isn’t the problem; I’m more than okay with that.  We have made positive changes in our situation:  for example, we no longer have cable, we cook/eat 95+% of our meals at home, and we are on pace to reach my previously stated goal of paying off at least $20,000 of debt this year.

Wow, this is a really downer post…I’m just havng a blah moment and needed somewhere to vent.  What better place than to billions of potential readers? lol

I started writing this post a few days ago while feeling bummed and, until coming back to it right now, the above section is what I had written.   I was honestly just having a self-induced pity party that, now that I sit back and reflect on it, actually pisses me off.  My angst even triggered me to emotionally eat and indulge in a few small chocolate chip cookies at work that, while they were delicious and didn’t result in me going over my allotted Weight Watchers Points for the day, I had previously been abstaining from such processed sugars in order to save for TRULY enjoying my wife’s baked treats…so, likewise, that was infuriating!

Admittedly, I do feel guilty about making decisions that have only served to prolong my family from reaching our goals.  But the fact of the matter is, the past is the past and we have resolved to address the problem head-on and have a solid game-plan in place to eradicate the problem.

While I still have plenty of work to do, bettering myself mentally, in order to break old habits and overcome the rationalization of occasional overspending, from here on out, there will be no more self-loathing and cry-baby-bullshit coming from me.  Negativity does absolutely zero good and only wears me down both physically and mentally.

I spoke with my wife (who is absolutely amazing, by the way) the following morning about how I was feeling and she is, without a doubt, the most supportive and wonderful person I could ever hope to have by my side through our journey together.  Thank you Lovebug 😉

Writing this post has been extremely cathartic and I thank you, wholeheartedly, for hearing me out.  Don’t forget to follow along via WordPress or by entering your e-mail address over in the right-hand column to ensure that you receive future posts.

If you find yourself in a similar situation and need someone to talk to, don’t hesitate to reach out.  Talk to your significant other, friend, family member, or anyone else of your choosing; express your concerns and get it off your chest.  Also, I would love to hear from you!  Please comment below or, if you would prefer, shoot me an e-mail me at frugaltravelnurse@outlook.com.  Talk to you soon; have a good night!

-Brandon

30 Seconds, $5 million

Yesterday, Generation YRA posted about what she would show Super Bowl viewers (just shy of half the United States population!) if she could purchase a 30 second commercial during the game.  Since I was at work, and also since we don’t have cable, I didn’t watch the game.  Nor have I watched any of the commercials online.  I did, however, enjoy this post over at Becoming Minimalist about some empty promises found in a few of this year’s ads.  Anyway, all this got me thinking about what I would love to see as a commercial during the Super Bowl.  Here it is…

I envision a very long couch with the likes of Mr. Money Mustache, Jeremy from Go Curry Cracker, Justin at Root of Good, Mr. Fire Station (FI and nearly RE!), and countless other inspirational people who have achieved FIRE seated end-to-end.

Mr. Money Mustache would start out the commercial saying something along the lines of “stop buying all that shit those other people are selling!”

The camera then fades in on each early-retiree and they would share the greatest benefit that financial independence has had on their life, as well as their greatest piece of advice.

To bring the commercial to an end, a list of personal finance blogs, including mine of course :), would scroll across the screen, encouraging viewers to educate themselves on the matters of personal finance, frugality, and the benefits of debt freedom.


 

While the ROI for this commercial would be non-existent, as there is no product being sold, the potential financial benefit for our nation as a whole would be worth it in my opinion.  Mr. Money Mustache had an interesting article titled What if Everyone Became Frugal? back in April of 2012 touching on this topic; while the past four years obviously hasn’t seen everyone in the country turn towards frugality, maybe this commercial could push a few more toward the edge.  I feel like 30 seconds might be a bit of a time-crunch though; maybe 2 minutes would be better….anybody got $20 million I can borrow?

 

-Frugal RN

A New Class of Heroes

Dear Son,

Growing up in southern Illinois, in the world of Major League Baseball, you were either a die-hard fan of the Chicago Cubs or the St. Louis Cardinals.  I grew up bleeding red.  Born in the 80s and growing up in the 90s, I remember watching the likes of Ozzie “The Wizard” Smith, Mark McGwire, and countless others captivate me with their talents, all the while dreaming of being as great as they were at the sport I loved.

I think it’s perfectly natural as children, and even as adults, to look up to individuals in positions of prestige that so few reach.  Turning 30 later this year, I realize that my chance of making it to the pros is long gone…but it doesn’t mean I don’t dream.  My aspirations have simply shifted toward a new class of heroes.  Toward a group of individuals that are also in a position that so few in this country reach…individuals who are Financially Independent with the means to Retire Early.

When I was a child, I was overweight and lacked the understanding of the drive and work ethic that it took to make it to the pros.  Now, as an adult, I am working on shedding the pounds, both in the form of excess body weight and the crushing weight of debt.

Since beginning this journey toward financial independence, I have been inspired by “Hall of Famers” such as Mr. Money Mustache, jlcollinsnh, Go Curry Cracker1500 Days to Freedom, The Mad Fientist, and countless others.  As many of my fellow bloggers are on their own similar paths, I look forward to my future induction into “The Hall.”

As you continue to grow, I have no doubt that you will love the Cardinals, just like your dear old mom and dad.  In your first year alone, you have already been to two games, first in Denver and again in Houston.  Thankfully, your God-parents and best buddy, who we went to the game in Houston with, are Cards fans too!  While you were too young to truly enjoy the experience, more will come and your love of the game will grow.

However, the inspiration behind this post actually came from a different sport…football.  A recent Wall Street Journal article, Why the Redskins’ Players Are So Frugal, caught my attention and got me wondering…why don’t we hear more stories about professional athletes with a grasp on personal finance?  The average playing career in Major League Baseball is 5.6 years, the NFL’s average is a mere 3.5, and, according to Forbes, roughly 80% of retired NFL players go bankrupt!

If you develop a love for a particular sport and want to take a serious shot at going pro…and as your dad, of course I’m rooting for that…it is my sincere hope that you will follow in the footsteps of these frugal athletes who understand that money is finite and, in the world of sports where an injury can end a career, tomorrow is never a guarantee.  Living beyond your means, no matter how small or large the paycheck (and no matter in what career you ultimately choose), is a surefire path toward financial disaster.  A big house, fancy cars, and the like, will not fund your retirement.  So, again no matter what career you are in, pay yourself first, learn to live on less, decline to take on debt whenever possible…and join me in “The Hall” even earlier than I intend to get there.  Play ball!

 

Love,

Dad