< DadBodfi >
Crack a Beer. Crack a Joke. Crack the code to Financial Independence.
Beer: Wild Range IPA (ALDI: $5.99/6-Pack)
6/10 - Great price (3 bucks less than the premium selections at the grocery store) Crisp taste to start, but lacks the depth of flavor of a more ambitious IPA. The maltiness described on the package seems to give it a slightly sour finish that trends in the opposite direction of a traditional IPA.
This article is inspired directly by Episode 81 from ChooseFI - The Year of Less with Cait Flanders. Find this amazing episode here and listen to it ASAP:
This was the first episode of ChooseFI that I listened to after the Travel Rewards Episode (009). The founder of DadBodFI pointed me to this podcast and I was instantly engaged with the CC episode but then I didn’t instantly follow up with the next episode in line. Instead I added ChooseFI to my growing list of Podcasts and got wrapped up listening to the same 3 podcasts as usual.
Then episode 81 popped up and began to play on my drive home and I was hooked. I sat listening in my garage for 10 minutes soaking in the message – stop consuming things that you think make you happy. When you do this; you will no longer have the constant pull of retail-therapy clouding your actions and instead you will naturally replace this activity with something that brings happiness and fulfillment. I was transfixed. This was totally me – I love buying new gadgets for my computer, finding new little things on Amazon was a hobby I needed to kick. Furthermore, my wife and I were getting fast food 2-3 times a week, going out to breakfast and dinner on the weekends, and generally not tracking how much we spent on those activates.
I made a statement – I wasn’t going to buy anything for myself, no fast food, no toys/gadgets, no tools – nothing for an entire month. The first two weeks were… interesting. I noticed something about myself. I craved Chick Fil-A. I watched YouTube videos about the newest computer equipment. I had to try very hard not to instinctively buy a 12 pack of beer during our Sunday runs to the store (@ 15.99 per box). I realized that to re-shape my behavior I had to first change how I spent my time. I wanted Chick Fil A because I was staying up late and running out the door too quickly. I wanted gadgets because I was watching YouTube videos titled “coolest tech under $50.00,” Beer – I was just drinking too much of it so I decided to cut down to 1 day a week and 1 on the weekend.
I made the change and it was empowering; I planned it and I did it. I think this must be one of the fastest Action/Result loops out there and it’s addicting when you get over the initial hill. I kept going and the next month was easier (July). Then into the next month (August)… I faltered – I spent $100.00 dollars online on something that I didn’t need. In fact, it wasn’t even something I could get value from. I got excited about Football season and I spent $100.00 so that I could gamble on an impulse. I felt so guilty and the worst part – I was holding my wife accountable to the same standards and I knew I had let her down.
So now I was a hypocrite. I could have kept it quiet; I manage the money and I have access to that account and she trusts me with this responsibility. But I wrestled with the idea and ultimately I just couldn’t betray that trust. Her reaction when I confessed is just one of the reasons I love her so much. She called me out on it and was righteously frustrated (hence my week-long wait before finally giving in). She had been making sacrifices to adhere to this rigorous routine that I implemented for us and I broke the code. BUT, here is the best part: she didn’t go out and spend money to get even. She made sure I stayed accountable moving forward – that teamwork and stubborn resolve to stick to our plan was amazing. I was surprised by how disappointed I was in myself but then blown away by how my wife totally decided not to give in and instead challenge me on staying the course.
That was 2 months ago and we are still going strong.