Why I practice being financially independent despite not FI yet…and why you should too

On the days that I am not working at my 9-5 job, I like to practice being financially independent. Why? Because I think it’s very important to practice this lifestyle that we are trying to achieve.

Therefore, on weekends,  I am practicing being financially independent. This also means when I am taking personal time off from work, on holidays, or parental leave, I am practicing being financially independent.

How do I practice being financially independent?

  • I spend time with my kids and play with them
  • Mrs. T and I work on the yard & vegetable garden


  • I do any house upkeep work
  • I sit down with Mrs. T and talk about our lives and discuss our dreams
  • I spend quality time with Mrs. T when the kids are sleeping
  • I look at our travel map and dream about where to go next


(Where Mrs. T and I have been together…a work in progress)

  • We go swimming at the local aquatic centre
  • I look after the kids so Mrs. T can get some alone time
  • I work on my photography business

portrait 6





  • We go explore outside
  • I think about this blog and write articles
  • We travel to another country and explore the country

Manarola Italy

Hiroshima 2

  • We go for road trips
  • I wake up without an alarm and have no set schedule for the entire day (in reality, kids are our alarms these days…)
  • I read other personal finance/investing blogs
  • Mrs. T and I sit down for an extended coffee/tea & chocolate hygge
  • I work on our cookbook business
  • I play Duplo with Baby T1.0 without worrying what to do next
  • I read stories and sing songs to my kids
  • Mrs. T and I talk about where we want to travel and make travel plans
  • Not checking my phone
  • I go out and take pictures


  • I sit down and watch a movie with Mrs. T
  • We go for a long walk along the beach
  • I spend time with my parents and brother
  • Read books that I haven’t read

Basically I go through my non-working days as if I am already financially independent. I don’t think about how much money I need to make, I don’t think about how many more years I need to work to become financially independent, and I don’t talk about what financially independent would be like. I am already financially independent.

Why do I practice being financially independent on non-working days?

  • It keeps me motivated to work hard toward my goal of being financially free one day. I remind myself the reasons for saving and investing money.
  • I get a taste what being financially free is like. This only makes me wanting the real thing.
  • I get to decide my own schedule
  • The family understands the why’s of financial independence
  • Getting a deeper appreciation of how valuable time is
  • Learning what creates and brings happiness
  • Understand that we don’t have to be financially free to do things that we enjoy. Financially independence is no the end game.

Please excuse me as I go back to practice financially independent, it’s time for me to read Hop on Pop to Baby T1.0.

Dear readers, do you practice being financially independent?

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43 thoughts on “Why I practice being financially independent despite not FI yet…and why you should too”

  1. Nice piece. I like the simple elegance of the quality images and strong sentences mixed together. And I think that’s ultimately what makes a great life: quality images, and strong sentences of satisfaction. Peace.

  2. Great post! A lot of your post-FI goals resonate with me, as far as enjoying life and making the most out of personal development and happiness. I’m early in the FI/RE game with about 9 years left, but I spend my weekends tending to my garden, maximizing travel, and spending time with my family as well.

    I’m also starting to track and hit my travel goals, too — where did you find that great fillable map? Right now I’m just tracking it on my blog (http://tisbutamoment.com/goal-tracker/) but I’d love to have something tangible and visible in my real life.

  3. Bob, I just had a chance to read this blog and it’s a fantastic inspiration for the new year. You clearly have your priorities in order and you’re enjoying the journey vs only focusing on the destination. Practicing financial independence before you get there makes a great deal of sense. How can you expect to shoot a free throw if you’ve never practiced!?

  4. Very cool you have a photography business. It’s funny, b/c I have a friend who used photography as a way to pick up women. It was very effective!

    The biggest difference w/ being FI and not FI is choice of not having to deal w/ people you don’t like to deal with. That’s been the greatest point of happiness for me.


  5. Tawcan, that sounds like a wonderful life to me. That’s how i viewed things too – on the weekend I was living exactly how I wanted to, the other 5 days I was working on. I’d say it’s the same now, except there’s a lot of studying involved.


  6. Tawcan,

    Man, love this article. Would you say that you are basically doing the things in full that truly make you happy then on the weekends? No strings attached, right?

    When did you take time to find out what really makes you happy and how are you establishing your life to have more of that? Just curious! (Outside of normal financial freedom pursuit of increasing income > expenses; I mean more along the lines of – where you live, where you work/have worked, etc..) Any times would be great.

    Keep writing, love this stuff and your layout to your site, by the way, is clean & sharp. Thanks for this article.


  7. This is great (and I love all the awesome pictures!). If you can’t learn to disconnect while in your working years, you’ll have a hard time leaving work when it’s time!

  8. I echo the other statements about the beautiful photos. Stunning! I try to practice FI every chance I get! I’m a firm believer in that time is the most valuable thing we have. Have to make the most of it!

  9. I’ve never actually thought to practice being financially independent. That’s so true, if we don’t know what we’re expecting, we might actually end up very disappointed in the end if we do actually reach the coveted status. Great idea! This is on my list of to-do things for 2017 =)

  10. What a great post. I really enjoy your punch line that you wake up with no alarm and the reality hits with 2 little humans are doing their thang … hahah!

    Sure, I’m financially independence. I can retire for less, or continue to work for more. LOL 🙂 I can retire in Southeast Asia and continue to save off of my current income or continue to be here and travel 6 weeks/year, or taking many mini vacations over the weekends or 4 days weekends. … well at least until we have a baby, we’ll be more like the Tawcans. LOL 🙂

    I love the garden, but 1 advice though, don’t make the garden too close to the house, there will be tons of bugs. I’m having to remove my garden this year. Next year it will be as far away from my main house as possible to avoid the bugs.

    • Great garden tip. Unfortunately we don’t have that much land so can’t make it anywhere further from the house. We actually don’t have that many bugs, which we’re grateful.

  11. Yeah I definitely think it’s important to “practice” the lifestyle. It’s a massive shift from working full-time to having your entire life to yourself, and you honestly do need some practice at it.

    BTW last last pic, is that down Granville St? When was that taken?

    • Apparently quite a high percentage of people die a year or two after their retirement. The transition from working full time to full retirement is too harsh for some people because they are not used to it.

      Yes last picture is Granville Street downtown. I think it was probably taken like 7 or so years ago.

  12. Thanks for the article Tawcan. Being a family man with kids just like yourself, I totally get where youre going and what you want. Keep up the great work Tawcan, you got this game won bud. Enjoy the little ones and the other half. They make our journey special. Cheers bro.

  13. What jumped out to me right away is that you don’t fill weekends with “side gigs” just to speed up your journey to FI. I love how you have such clear priorities and find that balance in life! I envision a very happy family with kids who are not begging for your attention because you are buried in your work (or phone). Love it (and the pictures too!)

    • I could fill up my weekends with side gigs just to speed up my journey to FI but I’d be missing quality time with my family. Needed to find balance in life. 🙂

  14. Great post: that is how life should be: do things you want to do because you like them. We also try to be like that in weekends, we might just book them too full. Then again, that is what I would like my post FI days to look like: be busy with things I love.

    On your photography: Great pictures! It is a long outstanding to do of mine to go out again and make pictures with models. I have my eye set on a course (probably too much commitment right now) or a photography project with a friend of mine: fingers crossed.

    On the travel map: Love It: I got one for my 40th birthday… I will write something about it.

    Enjoy your T1.0 time

    • That’s the power of being FI – do things you like to do, not because someone/your employer tells you to.

      It’s fun taking pictures, courses are worth it if they can improve your photography skills.

  15. Agree with ONL that this is a dress rehearsal for FIRE. Weekends are what everyone looks forward too. I wish I could say that weekends are the 2 days that we practice being FI, but more likely than not, weekends include things we couldn’t do during the week because we aren’t FI! There are errands, visiting both sets of parents who want to see the grandkids, etc. Having the extra time from being FIRE would definitely help in not making the weekends feel so rushed.

    • I definitely looking forward to weekends… I think it’s a shame that we have to do 9-5 jobs to have free time to do things that we enjoy. It should be the other way around – get to do things we enjoy all the time and have the choice to work if you really want to. That’s the power of FI.

  16. This is a great outlook. I used to do the standard approach of working all day and then watching TV or playing games whenever I wasn’t at work. Once I got on the FI track I started spending more of my free time picking up hobbies and doing things that I would do if I were FI. Why wait to experience those things when we can get a head start now?

    • I guess I was like that when I was younger, before I figure out my goal of achieving FI. Now I do things that I enjoy instead of wasting my time doing activities that doesn’t improve me as a human being.

  17. I love this — it sounds a lot like what I call my “unstructured early retirement dress rehearsal” days! We used to overschedule our weekends just like the weekdays, but we’ve now switched entirely to letting the days be more self-directed, like our time in ER will be. It’s a wonderful taste, but like with you, it just makes us crave the real thing even more! 🙂

  18. Very nice. I love you photos.

    The wife and I do the same sort of thing when we have days off together. We look for free or cheap stuff going on and try to hit it up (like the free concerts at the PNE over the summer)

    I also like the idea of putting a travel map up in the house and Highlight the places we have been and the places we want to go.

    • Hi DivCents,

      Thank you for your kind words. Free concerts at the PNE is a really good way to enjoy your time and not spend any money (assuming you can avoid all the expensive food items). The travel map that we have is for places that both Mrs. T and I have been together. Would have been more crossed out if for me alone… but doing both of us to keep us inspired to travel more.


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