My Non-FI Life

A Non-FI Monday:

I wake up to the sound of the alarm on my iPhone 6+ buzzing next to my head. Groan­ing, I roll over and hit snooze. My pure­bred cats hear me stir and come jump­ing on the bed to greet me (and hint towards get­ting fed).  I stretch out all the knots from the night under my 1500 count Egypt­ian Cot­ton sheets, and then get up. I spend an inor­di­nate­ly long time get­ting ready- wash­ing my face, straight­en­ing my hair with smooth­ing and anti-frizz prod­ucts, and care­ful­ly apply­ing my Smash­box make­up. I wan­der into my over­flow­ing walk-in clos­et and attempt to pick out an out­fit for the day.

Hmm… should I wear the coör­di­nat­ed out­fit I bought last week at Express, or should I wear the out­fit that match­es my cute Sper­rys?”

I final­ly set­tle on the Sper­rys (com­fort­able is bet­ter) and walk out of my bed­room into the rest of my lux­u­ry apart­ment. On the 3rd floor, it’s got vault­ed ceil­ings, a fire­place and real gran­ite coun­ter­tops. I hear the cats’ water foun­tain sput­ter­ing, so I refill it with puri­fied water from the gro­cery store. They’re busy wind­ing around my legs, so I feed them their morn­ing meal of Fan­cy Feast wet food and top off their bowl of Ori­jin dry food. I dou­ble check the ther­mo­stat to make sure it’s set at 68. I don’t want the cats to get too hot while I’m gone.

It’s time for me to go to work, so I hop in my 2014 Sub­aru WRX and start dri­ving. Traf­fic out of Down­town this morn­ing is rel­a­tive­ly light, mean­ing I’ll get to the office in 25 min­utes instead of 35 this morn­ing. I stop by the near­est Star­bucks and pick up my usu­al Ven­ti Caffe Vanil­la Frap­pi­ci­no with an extra shot of espres­so. I’m more tired this morn­ing than usu­al.

I get to my desk at work and set up my com­put­er for the day. My cube mates stop by my desk for our morn­ing rit­u­al of get­ting break­fast from the cafe­te­ria down­stairs. Today I have an omelette with a donut on the side. (Choco­late cov­ered longjohn with sprin­kles, in case you were won­der­ing).

Back at my desk, I open my email. With the upcom­ing hol­i­day week­end, I’ve got about 5 dif­fer­ent emails from stores adver­tis­ing sales. The out­let mall is an hour down the road, so I make a men­tal note to find some time this week­end to go. Who doesn’t love shop­ping!? Anoth­er email catch­es my eye. “$50 tick­ets to Mia­mi! Get them before they’re gone!” YES! Mia­mi would be awe­some this time of year! And I’ve been long­ing to see my friend from col­lege. With a few clicks of a but­ton, I’m head­ed to Mia­mi in 2 weeks.

Before I know it, the morn­ing has sped by and it’s time for lunch. Today’s meal will be at the BBQ joint down the street from work. They have real­l­l­ly good brisket. It’s been almost 3 weeks since I’ve been there and I’m starv­ing.

I come back from lunch pleas­ant­ly full. The after­noon pass­es slow­ly, so I grab a Mt. Dew and Snick­ers to help me stay awake dur­ing my meet­ings.

Final­ly the day is over and I can go home. I get caught in rush hour traf­fic and sit for what seems like for­ev­er. Good thing I have this sweet ride to get me through my com­mute. I wasn’t sure ini­tial­ly, so I signed a one year lease. I like it though, so I think I’ll buy a 2016 when my lease is up.

I get home and change into my Under­Ar­mour work­out gear. I dri­ve to the gym (thank God it’s only 10 min­utes away so traf­fic isn’t ter­ri­ble) and jog on the tread­mill for 30 min­utes. Maybe tomor­row I should get a diet soda with lunch. While I’m on the tread­mill, I get a text that pops up on my Apple Watch. My friends are going to get Ital­ian food- did I want to join? Heck yes I do. I hur­ry to fin­ish up my work­out so I can go home, show­er, and get ready for the night.

Din­ner with friends is super fun. I bare­ly glance at the $50 bill as I tuck my cred­it card in. I guess those mar­ti­nis I had with din­ner were more than I thought. Oh well. Some­one sug­gests a movie after din­ner and I am in. I’ve been dying to see the lat­est Nicholas Sparks movie!!

The movie gets out at 11:45 and I’m exhaust­ed. Time to go to sleep and do it all over again.

Normal FI Monday:

My Android phone alarm starts buzzing. I hit snooze, and roll over into the cat. He woke me up at 4 this morn­ing before I man­aged to fall back asleep. He’s purring, so I can’t even be mad. I get up, splash some water on my face, brush my teeth and run a brush through my hair. I frown. I have a lot of split ends. Maybe Kathy would trim it for me, since I repaired that split seam in her shirt last week.

I throw on some old shorts and a t-shirt before pack­ing up my work clothes. I wear the same pants and a dif­fer­ent shirt, so it’s easy to get ready. I walk out into my apart­ment. It’s on the third floor, with vault­ed ceil­ings and a fire­place. It’s nicer than I want­ed, but at only 1.5 miles from work the price dif­fer­ence was jus­ti­fied. I grab my break­fast and lunch from the fridge that I read­ied last night and put it in my lunch bag.

The cat is being insis­tent about his break­fast, so I give him some Iams wet food and top off his dry food. I can’t wait until he’s on adult cat food so I can get him off the fan­cy food that came from the breed­er. This dis­tracts him enough that I can get my bike out the door.

It’s an easy 10 minute ride to work. The cool morn­ing air is invig­o­rat­ing and helps me wake up. I get to my desk right as my cowork­ers are leav­ing to get break­fast. I set­up my com­put­er and go warm up my oat­meal. Today I put raisins on it to add some dif­fer­ence to it.

I check my email and see I have 2 new arti­cles to read from my favorite FI blog­gers. I feel inspired by them and rearrange num­bers in my bud­get to see if I can swing max­ing out my HSA. It’ll be tight since I’m already max­ing my 401k and Roth IRA, but I think I can do it.

Over lunch, my friends and I talk about the mar­ket. If it goes any low­er, I’ll buy some extra shares with my cash cush­ion mon­ey and get in on the sale.

Dur­ing the after­noon, I need a pick me up, so I go refill my water bot­tle with ice cold water.

After work is done, I drop by the fit­ness cen­ter down­stairs and lift some weights for awhile. I’m almost done, but have to ride my bike home. My legs are shaky and trem­bly when I get home, but fix­ing some din­ner par­tial­ly solves that prob­lem. I clean up from din­ner before my friends come over to play board games. Hav­ing a nice cold cider to drink while play­ing Catan is a nice way to end the day.


The dif­fer­ences are clear. One sce­nario involves need­less waste and con­sump­tion, while the oth­er sce­nario opti­mizes almost every aspect of my life. Sure, some of the things are the same. I do live in a fan­cy apart­ment. I do have a pure­bred cat I got direct­ly from the breed­er. I have a fan­cy com­muter bike.

The biggest dif­fer­ence between the two sce­nar­ios is mind­ful­ness. In my FI-opti­mized sce­nario, my goal of retir­ing ear­ly guides my every action. I take care of future me first, and only after that do I take care of present me. I am for­tu­nate enough to earn a high enough salary to let me do so!

What did your life look like before embark­ing on your jour­ney to FI? What were some of the biggest changes you made?

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3 thoughts on “My Non-FI Life

  1. Haha so when I first read this post I felt like all of the peo­ple who were duped by MMM on April Fools Day! I was like WOA she puts time into get­ting ready in the morn­ing — I’m so lazy! Love the jux­ta­po­si­tion of real life ver­sus FI life.
    I don’t do the make­up and hair straight­en­ing in the morn­ing either. I some­times wear make­up on week­ends but then I just get annoyed about hav­ing to take it all off. It’s a process! I am fas­ci­nat­ed by this eye­brow trend right now though. There seems to be this whole even eye­brow cul­ture that I just don’t under­stand!

  2. I’m pret­ty mind­ful on the spend­ing, except when it comes to my eye­brows. Prob­a­bly the only thing I do in terms of mod­ern beau­ty. Oh and some eye­lin­er and hair prod­uct for my frizzy, curly hair. Great post!
    Savvy­Fi­nan­cial­Lati­na recent­ly post­ed…Sept 2016 UpdateMy Profile

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