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?