Originally Posted On January 29, 2016
It's true that I lost all my money, but that's because today I did spent more money than I have COMBINED over the course of my whole life and EVERYTHING that I've saved since the age of 17 has disappeared. In fact, I spent so much that I owe a debt of $68,000 to someone else! But my big-impact, slightly misleading title wasn't for nothing. For everything lost, something is gained. In this case, I lost my money (and the money I'll make in the future) to become a homeowner!
Having made the biggest purchase of my life (as well as the biggest purchase I'll be making in the foreseeable future), I would have thought at the very least I'd be a little freaked, but actually the exact opposite is true!
Why I'm Glad
Upon successfully closing on the house I've been in the process of buying for the past month and a half, I immediately felt a weight lifted from my shoulders (which was almost instantly replaced with the weight of amps, guitars, boxes, furniture, and everything else I never realized I'd have to one day drag around with me!) All that's emotionally left of the experience is a warm feeling, knowing that I now have my own place to go where I can relax, recover, and scheme up financial game plans!
In order to cover the cost of my 20% down payment and closing costs, I sacrificed the large majority of the money I had been saving since high school, through college, and working ever since, but when I received that huge cashier's check from the bank and heard the attorney tell me I'd be $68,000 in debt, I didn't feel any remorse letting it go.
In the past, I might have felt sick to my stomach, questioning myself all through closing and probably for the next week after moving in, continually hoping that I made the right decision and finding every reason to doubt myself. But I think my apathetic response to letting so much money go is something to be proud of! This stems from my self-confidence in believing that this amount of money won't be difficult to return. That down payment was chump change compared to what I'll be earning throughout my life! It gives me proof that I really have come a long way in this short period of time!
While I've spoken boldly on claims of early retirement, there have been times when even I've doubted myself. "How do I know what the future will bring?" "Will I actually feel confident enough when I reach my goal to retire early?" "When that day comes, will I be able to leave knowing that if I keep my job, I can amass even more wealth?"
My questions are now answered! No one knows what the future will bring, but every day gets better as I get better. Regardless of what happens, no longer am I attached to the dollar sign in my bank account. I've completely normalized the underlying philosophy that I've been preaching - that money has no intrinsic value! By watching my bank account drop back to where I started at 5 years ago at 17 and not feeling an ounce of regret or loss, I showed myself that I truly understand enough is enough - once you have enough money to buy your freedom, you don't need any more!
You don't need copious amounts of money to flourish - you just need spirit, health, and a can-do attitude! None of which money can buy. Money won't buy me the joy of completing an awesome DIY project or the Zen-like feeling of cleaning up the past 3 year's worth of yard debris while relating the organization of leave to my own thoughts. Anything spent outside of living expenses when I'm not yet retired comes with a steep price - a portion of my life. And how many material things are worth sacrificing my most valued resource for?
This doesn't mean I won't pursue a greater net worth when I get to retirement - it just means I'll be doing it by my own terms! I know I'll never stop striving for a better tomorrow, that's just who I am.
Today I've taken one more step in my path of independence and, with it, is likely to come another journey. There's a lot of work to be done and a lot of possibilities! But by taking on more responsibility, I truly believe that the universe will throw more challenges and opportunities towards me in the near-future. And in preparation, I'm already on my toes waiting for them to rear their heads! Bring it on, Universe, I'm ready to take you head-on!