Interview with F2P @ Free to Pursue

Over the next few weeks I will be interviewing a series of personal finance bloggers.  I hope you find each of their unique stories as insightful and revealing as I did. Most importantly, I hope we can all learn from their experiences with money.

This week I have had the pleasure of interviewing F2P @ Free to Pursue. She brings a fresh perspective on viewing retirement planning and addresses other notable topics in the area of personal finance and personal development. Check our her website  at Free to Pursue and follow her on Twitter.

Intro:

Over three years ago, I chose to “retire” from corporate life in my mid-thirties because it wasn’t in line with what I wanted anymore. Now, I pursue what excites me both at work and at play. By slowing down a bit and thinking about what I want out of life, I’ve been able to pursue more amazing opportunities in a few years than most experience in a decade or more. My goals include working to help others find their way toward living their best life, because it rocks!

 

Tell us about your ‘money story’. Has this story changed how you manage your money today and how?

Mr. F2P and I have been savers since our early twenties. We’ve had some tumbles along the way, but for the most part, we’ve squirreled away enough to be able to do just about whatever we want to do. Managing money is pretty straightforward for us: buy what really matters and ignore the rest. We spend in line with our values and we REALLY value our freedom.Now, we work on what we want to work on, whether it creates income or not. When a job, a busyness or a project no longer feels right, we move on. Knowing we have a solid financial foundation makes it is easy to listen to our gut and make better choices for ourselves.

If you could give 3 personal finance tips to anyone, what would those be?

  • Save for how it feels now as opposed to just saving for a future self you can’t relate to yet. Having a nest egg fundamentally changes the way you think about money.
  • Have as few bosses to answer to as possible. Every debt is another boss.
  • Make a decision early on: your money or your life.

What is the smartest thing you did with money and why? 

We ignored the mainstream media message of saving for “retirement”. We started saving in the double digits in our twenties and it just got easier every year after that. In 2014 & 2015, we managed to save 50%+ of our gross income and it didn’t hurt a bit. It’s just a habit now.

What is the dumbest thing you did with money and why?


Mr. F2P and I were just talking about that two days ago while walking our dog. We think it’s two things: buying an SUV and refinancing our home for a longer term when we didn’t need to. The former cost us way too much and we ended up selling it and not replacing this second vehicle and the latter was just giving us an excuse to ignore the push to be more aggressive in paying down the mortgage because it wasn’t annoying enough anymore. Know better, do better I guess.

If money was not an object, how would you spend your time? 

I’m pretty much there. I love reading, writing, coaching, speaking, traveling, spending time with friends and family. We take on the projects and work we want to and leave the rest. I also find that because nothing feels like an obligation, everything feels more fun. One word of caution is that when you don’t have a regular job with set hours: others start expecting that you can drop whatever you’re up to tend to their needs. I’ve found that setting boundaries is very important to help address that.

What is your blog theme and why did you choose to start blogging?

Free to Pursue is about living life on your terms. I help people do this in all aspect of life, and money is definitely a big part of feeling it’s possible. I started writing posts over 2 ½ years ago as a way to pay it forward and try to help more people live this way.  It’s been a rewarding experience and I know I’ll keep going for quite a while.

If you could recommend a book to someone, what would it be and why?

Having read over 200 books, I developed a Top 12 list to help address that question. At the very top of it is Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl. It’s an absolute must read because it gets to the essence of successfully navigating the human condition. Work to give your life meaning for yourself and others and you will have a successful life. We need to feel that what we do has purpose and this book reinforces why it matters and gets us to stop looking “out there” and start looking inward for the answers to what it is that we want out of our one precious life.

 If you were given the opportunity to have a one-hour lunch with anyone in the world, whom would it be and why?

Noam Chomsky. I see a man who’s been doing what he loves for decades. He’s driven by the need to explore, learn and write. Well into the winter of his life, he is still as productive and passionate as ever. He’s a remarkable individual. I want what he’s been able to create for himself and any words of wisdom to help me get there faster would be absolute gold.

If you could have a ‘do-over’ in any area of your life, what would that be and why?

I wish I could take back the years I spent putting my career first at the expense of relationships, including my marriage. Chasing money, status, power skews our values because any time spent that doesn’t get us more of any of those three feels like a waste of time. Unfortunately, that’s not what really matters in life. The sooner we can be true to ourselves and live our values, the sooner we can live the good life.

Is there anything else you would like to share with everyone?

Life is short. Buying less = living more. The size of your home will never make you happy. It’s the people you share your life with being true to yourself that does. The sooner we “get” that, the sooner we can get busy really living.

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4 replies

  1. Wow! A 50% savings rate is huge. I definitely agree – life is too short. Live it the way you want to for as long as you can.

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    • We hit 55% of gross in 2015. And it’s not a life of deprivation we’re living. We invest a lot of time and attention towards personal growth (my addiction is books and low-cost travel) and Mr. F2P’s is tinkering with old recreational vehicles, plus we both like health and fitness pursuits…and our pet(s). As long as we build ourselves from the inside, our need for stuff remains low. I would love to know that everyone pursues intrinsic experiences. They are what happiness is really made of! Thanks for the comment MMD!

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  2. F2P you seem so happy – I envy you! Follow our heart is such a scary thought when we know bills are waiting, but as I see in your genuine happiness, it is a cause worth pursuing.I really enjoyed your interview with Pamela. Thank you for showing us that life is beautiful. I remain hopeful.

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    • I’m glad it came through. Debt and other financial obligations can sap us of our resolve. The sooner we got rid of these and started building momentum in the opposite direction, the sooner life started to feel different. Freer. Ours.

      Thanks for the comment A.

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