nobody dependent on you? no kids, no employees, no sick parents?
you not dependent on anyone? no accidents, no clients not paying, no disease or disablement? living in a safe, rich, area of the world?
oh how awesome you are.
Growing up doesn't mean getting a job and saving money, but getting out there all by yourself and doing awesome shit. I wrote about that more in detail http://appreneur-diaries.com/its-time-to-grow-up-fuck-no
This most upsets me when I hear people apply it to themselves. They are being fun, thoughtful, creative and then say something like 'I wish I was being more mature...' NO! Don't! 'Mature' in that context means 'like everyone else who's been scared into compliance'
How come starting a family is a "short" term gratification?
If one has started a family and doesn't have one's own successful business yet, it's very likely to be forever stuck in the "job-limbo", because one does have responsibilities. Family is the most important thing.
Speaking for myself, I just couldn't start a family without having my own successful startup before, because otherwise I could never give myself and my children the freedom that I consider to be necessary to make a life worth living.
I am not sure about that, he explicitly said that he is not interested in starting a family.
From the article:
"I could have saved a bit less, and developed a taste for expensive shirts or exotic foreign holidays. Or I could have started a family. But I’m not interested in any of those things"
"Things aren't great between us are they?"
"No, what should we do?"
"I know let's try something that will leave us exhausted, financially worse off and with no time to ourselves, that will DEFINITELY help."
And who also have no reason to start families until they are settled in. That's a choice, had you not heard? And if you choose to do it early in life then, again, it's a choice, so, hope it was the right one for you. If not, plenty of time to not become a cog.
He's not the only one, he's not a hero, and he's not claiming to be. But there are a lot of people out there telling us the joys and genius of the 2.4 kids and the job at Google with fancy cars and vacations. We need more people talking about the joys of charting your own path. Less people need to feel like they are 'wrong' for not following the comfortable route, and more voices are needed.
Oh yeah, oops, I totally just did that.
It's something that none of my peers have managed; they all still spend their income on drinking, cigarettes, tattoos, holidays and so forth. I don't particularly look down on them for it as they're obviously happy in their world doing it. I just think there's more enjoyment to be had outside of a 9-to-5 job and alcohol.
Truth be told a lot of your peers feel the same way. They're confused as to why they need to go out and drink themselves stupid every night/weekend but it's what people do and they wanna be close to other people.
You quite clearly do:
I believe that there is something special about not needing to spend large amounts of money on fleeting entertainment.
"I don't particularly look down on regular humans."
"I believe that there is something special about Superman, who can travel faster than a speeding bullet and is a man of steel."
It seems clear to me that you can find someone who's different from a group special, without looking down on the group.
> You just need to spend less money on shit that you don’t need.
Frugrality would be spending basically no money on things you don't need.
When I finally saw the right bicycle, I spent about $450 on it, then rode 100 miles on it. It was a life-changing adventure.
When I finally saw the right sailboat, I spent about $2700 on it (less than many/most HN'ers paychecks), then sailed 100 miles on it with the wife. It was a life-changing adventure.
It isn't up to me to say which way of living is best. But I'd lay odds that I'm going to be pretty well satisfied with the one I've chosen, when my last day comes.
Incidentally, Alex doesn't appear to be 'hoarding' cash, he just seems to have saved up a couple months' glide path, something everyone is supposed to do, but according to the recent CNN article, almost nobody does. When interest rates go back up, this seems likely to change.
Currently reading Seth Godin's Icarus Deception, and to put it in his terms, I think the idea of having a job and spending >80% of your income on a rolling basis really plays into the industrial machine that wants to keep us as good little cogs.
When I'm old I'd rather say I'm broke because I lived my life to the fullest than I lived conservatively so I can afford to be a stressless elder with savings
(hopefully I wont be downvoted because I beg to differ)
I spend $1000 per month and live luxuriously in an emerging market. I save up $5000 per month and do more free fun stuff than most people I know. I am self-employed and move to a new country every few months. My daily life is an adventure in itself. Some of the best 'entertainment' you can experience in life does not have to cost a lot.
It's not about living beneath your means, it's about choosing your own path in life, instead of following society's pressure in getting a 9-to-5 and spending all your income on stuff that won't make you happy in the long run.
That's probably where people differ - how they understand what "living life to the fullest" means.
To the OP, it means spending less on what he does not need and working on the things he likes. To others, it's travel, meeting other people.
There's no shame spending your money the way you want. Just don't live beyond your means. Know your (financial) limits.
The OP saved up to live working on things he loved.
I mostly save up to travel and try new things.
Some people save up to buy a shiny new red sports car.
When you are old, you are going to decide if you have lived life to the fullest.
Then I expected a great story about an alternative lifestyle.
This just sounds boring as hell. To me this story sounded like "I live in a basement, almost never come out or buy things for myself, but I got time on my hand, so I'm living the life right here". It doesn't sound that good to me to be honest.
On the other hand, a story I liked to read was Mr. Money Moustache about how he managed to retire on the age of 30 with a NORMAL lifestyle.
I consider myself extremely fortunate to have had good health, no family obligations, and low student loan debt (payed off in within a few months of graduating). With that in mind, I can honestly say that there was a ton of pressure to spend money to "better my life". I would get strange looks and comments from friends and family because I drove a '93 Del Sol, and lived in the same apartment after graduating. The only big purchase I made recently was upgrading to a used car that is only 10 years old.
In the end I saved a lot of money. Enough to move back to California, in the Bay Area. I have been living off of savings for 7 months and honestly have about 7 more (conservative numbers). I live comfortably here and I get to work on my own projects on my own time until I make money or run out, in which case I will go find more contract work.
My point is that I decided early what I wanted to do and planned accordingly. I know that I'm in a very unique category with little responsibility. I have much respect for those who can't quite do what I do because of other obligations. This makes me happy and I wouldn't have it any other way. No need to feel sorry for me and think I'm not living life to the fullest, because in my mind I am.
I understand that people can be into nice and expensive cars , but that's gotta be one of the most expensive hobbies out there.
I'm exactly the same. I see so many people living paycheck to paycheck, and for me there is nothing more depressing.
I've only been working for around a year and a half and I already have the economic freedom to be unemployed for a year.
Also, I don't really feel like I live frugally. I go out as much as I want to, I go on holidays, I buy a few luxuries that I really want. I really don't understand how people manage to spend so much
Honestly it was some of the best times of my life, and I'm really glad a I took the chance when I had the chance. Looking back I can only say thank god these sorts of blog posts weren't popular when I was 20 or those years might have been much more dull.
Maybe they just earn less than you?
"You can enjoy your life right now. You just need to spend less money on shit that you don’t need."
True, I don't need a house or to go travelling but my life would be poorer had I not invested in that shit.
Walling yourself off from all dependencies (physical, financial, emotional) in order to grow your brain and Just Write Code might seem like a smart thing to do, and the purism of it will appeal to some. If the OP genuinely obtains no enjoyment at all from anything else, then that's fine - that's what it sounds like.
But it's the pay-off that stings, the 'shit you don't need' attitude, which is ultimately judging everyone else as inferior for not making the same choice, or having the (immensely privileged?) ability to 'make your work your life'. I love and value my family & my friends, and spending money to spend time with them enriches my life.
Not everyone wants to be an island.
I moan about work sometimes but I like work - I like the social interaction, social interaction needs people, people are sometimes dicks, dicks are something I moan about BUT overall I'm happier because I work despite occasional downsides.
What he's trying to say is that there's a huge difference between NEED and WANT that people often mis-perceive.
If you only buy shit you NEED, you can save up, then quit your job and do things that you WANT to do, without having to worry about job security, next paycheck et cetera.
But people feel entitled. They DESERVE the car, they NEED the house. The economy would die if everyone was frugal lol
That suggests that those who follow a more conventional route are in some way stumbling along dissatisfied with life and trying to fill the gaping void with gaudy trinkets and baubles only to find that it's not working.
Maybe it's just me but I enjoy the holidays, I enjoy working every day with smart people, I enjoy my family, I enjoy the security of owning my own home and so on.
There's definitely something in what he's doing - prioritising what's important to him and making that his goal rather than what might be more conventionally expect of him - but, there's something in the tone that, for me at least, doesn't make this point as well as it might.
I only buy second hand cars because I hate paying too much depreciation but someone, somewhere is buying the new ones, which I can then take advantage of.
I try and live as frugally as possible but my idea of frugality is probably way different to everyone elses, as is his.
However, when you've come to the point of finding someone you love and want to spend the rest of your life with, living the frugal student life isn't going to cut it. You'll want to move to a bigger place, have kids (trust me, they're expensive!), need a bigger car, etcetera. For us, this was a conscious choice. We choose to spend money on our house, our kids, holidays, hobbies. We do save quite a lot, but I think there is a nice middle ground between spending next to nothing and living from paycheck to paycheck.
My lifestyle today isn't much different than what it was when I was a student other than the addition of a mortgage I can easily afford.
I'm happy. I travel. I live. I just don't show off, nor do I get things for the sake of having them. By surrounding yourself with family and good friends, you can find happiness in so many other things than the material.
EDIT: I forgot to mention, when I spend to live I won't spend on things, but I will on experience. I'll happily forgo the latest iGadget and a car that matches my socio-economic status and opt for an experience that will enrich my life in some way.
That is the core message and there is a lot of truth behind it...
I followed it and have had a similar experience. Since my first job, I went and got an MBA, paid off the student loan, bought a house and at 31, I still have enough savings to last me 3-4 years at my family's current lifestyle.
Frugality is powerful.
You seek freedom to create thing with nothing except from your own neurons.
That's why you'll be a millionaire very soon, but you won't buy things from it, you'll just keep hacking. A true entrepreneur. :)
If everyone acted like that there wouldn't be an economy.
But you don't spend on cars or shit like that's just baggage. For every new item you own, you have to think of it, you have to worry about insurance, maintenance, cleaning cringe
But it's the shit I don't need that ads to the enjoyment of my life.
That's what I'm thinking, anyway.