Since I’m not an anonymous blogger anymore, I have wondered if I may get recognized in public spaces. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t need and not asking for recognition, but I figured, if I get recognized in public, that would mean the Financial Independence Retire Early (FIRE) movement is getting more popular in Canada. That is a good thing!

Last week I was travelling in the US for business. This meant I was getting up super early (3 AM one day, 4:30 AM the other day), and hopping in and out of different US cities. While waiting for my flight in Denver International, I noticed someone was looking at me constantly. At first, I thought I had something in my face but shortly later, the person walked up to me and said hi.

“Hey, you’re Bob from tawcan.com right? I recognized you from your pic. You look exactly like the picture on the blog.” This person said.

“Yes I am, I’m surprised to run into someone who knows my blog.” At the back of my mind, I was like “I sure hope I look exactly like my picture, isn’t that the whole point of a picture?”

“Yea I came across your story on Money Sense and checked out your blog. Very interesting story you got.”

“Thank you.”

We chatted for a few minutes, what came next took me by storm and completely surprised me.

“Don’t you think budgeting, investing and FIRE are boring? I get bored reading about them. Sex, drugs, and Rock’n’Roll are way sexier.”

Since it was super early in the morning, I wasn’t sure how to reply to this question. Before I had more time to think and answer, my flight to Salt Lake was boarding and I had to say goodbye to this person.

While on my flight to Salt Lake, this person’s question kept popping up in my head.

SEX… yes, that’s a way sexier and an activity more fun than budgeting. Who doesn’t like sex?

Drugs… some people say drugs are fun to do.

Rock’n’Roll… talk to any rock musicians and you’ll get the feedback that rock and roll are awesome and can lead to the two other things mentioned above.

Are budgeting, investing, and FIRE really that boring?

Do people fall asleep thinking and reading about these three money-related topics? Do I put people to sleep when I talk and write about these things?

Well J$ certainly doesn’t think so. After all, he has a website called Budgets Are Sexy. But I don’t see anyone’s website called Investing Is Sexy, or FIRE is Sexy. Hmm, perhaps I should consider buying these domains?

The reality is, maybe budgeting, investing, and FIRE aren’t the sexiest things to talk and write about, but they sure are an important part of our lives. Isn’t it far better to have financial security than having to worry about whether you have money to put food on your table the next day? And if you have no money, how are you going to continue buying drugs and keep your rock and roll lifestyle? You might have to borrow money, steal, and do worse things to maintain that lifestyle.

Having financial security puts your mind in a better place. You are less worried about life in general. You are less worried about having the money to pay for things, how to deal with emergencies, and you feel more content and at peace with your own life.

I’m not saying there won’t be any struggles. Heck, I have had my own personal struggles, even though we are doing well financially. Despite these personal struggles, at end of the day, I know we will have food on the table, we have a roof over our head, we can go out and enjoy the finer things of life, and we will be OK financially for a while if all of a sudden I am no longer employed.

Budgeting and knowing how much you make and spend is step number one. You need to learn to how to spend less than you earn. Without this, you will never get ahead. The key is to grow the gap between incomes and expenses. Some people called this savings rate.

Next step is learning how to invest, so your money is working hard for you, so you don’t have to. Without investing your savings, your net worth is not going to grow significantly. Can you imagine hiding all your money under your mattress then finding out 30 years later that you have significantly less purchasing power? Or finding that majority the money has been eaten by bugs (certainly a possibility with US paper-based bills, maybe not so much with Canadian bills, as many of them are plastic now). Putting money in the bank and have it grow at 2 or 3% is great but that is not a long-term solution. It is far better to invest your money in equities and have an average annual return of about 10%. Depending on your age and risk level, you will want to have a certain percentage of your portfolio allocated to bonds. Bonds, as you may know, are safer than equities during volatile times.

Financial independence may sound like a fantasy to some people, but what we need to realize is that if you spend less than you earn and have your money work hard for you, you will reach financial independence eventually. It’s simply a matter of time. Whether you retire early or not is entirely up to you. And the term early retirement is so loosely defined. Say the “typical” retirement age is 65, if you retire at 64 years old and 364 days, technically you have retired early!

At their core, budgeting and investing are simple concepts. Keep things simple and don’t make them complicated. I suppose because they are simple concepts to understand, maybe that’s why this person I talked to believe they are boring?

Just like starting a fire, Financial independence retire early is also a simple concept.

How do you start a fire? Well, you need fuel like paper and branches, and you need heat. Once you get enough heat and the fuel catches sparks, you have a fire. You then need to keep adding branches or logs to maintain the fire. Similarly, to reach FIRE you need to save money and grow your appreciating assets, so one day your passive income exceeds your expenses. You can say that having a budget and invest money is like the initial step of starting a fire. Once a fire is lit, you need to maintain the fire by investing more money and growing your appreciating assets.

However, unlike a traditional fire where eventually the fire will die out if there’s not enough fuel, with FIRE, once you have enough appreciating assets, your passive income should last for your entire lifetime.

If I had the chance to talk to this person face to face again, I will tell this person that budgeting, investing, and FIRE are indeed sexy. It’s simply a different kind of sexiness than sex, drugs, and Rock’n’Roll.

I mean, some people find fishing super fun but I have never enjoyed fishing.

It all comes down your personal perspective, right?

I’ll end this post with another funny encounter I had on this business trip…

Dear readers, do you think budgeting, investing, and FIRE are boring? Would you rather take sex, drugs, and rock and roll over financial security?

PS. Don’t get me wrong, I am not ripping this person at all. I just thought it was a very interesting question. And if you do ever spot me in public, certainly come by to say hi! 🙂

Written by Tawcan
Hi I’m Bob from Vancouver Canada, I am working toward joyful life and financial independence through frugal living, dividend investing, passive income generation, life balance, and self-improvement. This blog is my way to chronicle my journey and share my stories and thoughts along the way. Stay in touch on Facebook and Twitter. Or sign up via Newsletter