1. Waiting for things to happen with your money is SO BORING! I’m working on the elusive $100k (it’s the hardest, or so everyone says) and it’s going to take years. Updating my net worth spreadsheet every month is an exercise in frustration because while I’ve made progress it’s not nearly as much as I want! And I want things to happen NOW.

    But you’re totally right, staying afloat is absolutely progress. Thanks for the important reminder 🙂

  2. Lots of truth here. This past year was frustrating for me too because every time I thought we were getting ahead, something else came up that required money to fix. But staying afloat is crucial and we don’t give ourselves enough credit for that. I’m hoping/expecting this year to be somewhat better, but it’s hard to be patient. Guess I’m not a good grasshopper either.

  3. For so very long, I was frustrated with my progress that felt like a waltz, not a marathon. Well, a marathon waltz. It was constantly one or two steps back for every one step forward and it ground on my nerves over the many years it took to build a solid enough foundation that it was leaps forward and small tiny steps back instead of losing ground for every bit of progress.

    None of the blogs that I read at the time seemed to reflect that problem. It felt like everyone else had straight line progress, and I was the only loser who couldn’t go straight to her goals. In hindsight, I’m pretty sure I wasn’t the only one 🙂

    • It’s so frustrating when you only get a cursory acknowledgment of how long and hard the journey is! I much prefer when people share the journey and the struggles rather than just the success. Don’t get me wrong. I love throwing virtual confetti for people, but I get so much out of hearing how people are doing what they are doing!

  4. This is so timely! I was just thinking this after looking at our January numbers. We admittedly blew our budget in January. I felt down because, while we put a lot of money towards debt, it wasn’t the number I was hoping for. I chatted with my readers about it, and the consensus was to celebrate EVERY SINGLE milestone. It might not be the goal you aimed for, but you still did exceedingly well with slamming money onto debt.

    Slow progress is still progress. 🙂

    • That’s so great that you have the support of all of your readers (including me!). I’m glad that you came to that conclusion. Anytime we can destroy debt, it’s a good thing!

  5. This is partially why I blog my numbers weekly. To show other folks that it’s not linear and all sorts of good and bad occurrences can impact the bottom line. I try to remind myself that I didn’t even have an IRA recently.

  6. I think I got the most down about money right after we had kids (it was also when we were first climbing out of debt). You’re right, it’s so much harder to get ahead at that stage of life. But how awesome that you have the perspective that it’s brief. It is. It passes. Those #$%^ daycare costs go away eventually! And then there are piano lessons. And overnight camp. And… 🙂 Well at least our kids don’t really do sports. Patience isn’t a virtue I have either. But still, we’re doing it. We’re slowly building our net worth so our kiddos will have parents with good habits, be able to pay for college, and show them the benefits of early retirement. I think when I remind myself of the short game, and what we’ve accomplished from two years ago, it helps the overwhelm from when I think how far we still have to go! 🙂

    • It’s so tricky, isn’t it, Laurie? On one hand, I can’t wait for HP to be a little bit older. On the other hand, just typing that last sentence breaks my heart.

  7. IMO, all that you mentioned points towards patience. That’s a difficult thing to cultivate especially when writing in this community and reading everyone else’s stuff.

    But I clearly remember not too long ago how fearful you were of investing, my friend. To me, you’ve come a long way.

  8. This is the part of the journey that is so frustrating! In the beginning it’s easy to feel excited about your newfound goals and plans. You can even see your debts and expenses begin to shrink and that feels soooo good!

    I’d imagine (really hope) that as we get closer to the financial finish line our level of excitement builds and we’ll rediscover that original excitement.

    But this boring middle is excruciating for me. It’s like I can see the prize, but I can’t reach out and grab it.

  9. Girl YES! We are such bad grasshoppers… why does it seem to take forevvvvvvvvvvvvver to make any progress?? Step 1: Believe. Just believe. That these choices are the right ones, and will pay off many years from now. We got yo back! You good.

  10. You’ve got things going in the right direction. If you automate your finances, especially your retirement savings, then concentrate the rest of you attention on enjoying your life. On being happy. The whole point of FIRE is being happy as soon as you can be. It seems like most of the community’s sense of urgency is because most folks are not happy with their working lives, so they focus on getting away from that life into a life that, from the perspective of the worker, will be better. Sometimes maybe it is. Sometimes it is not.

    I get the sense that your life is, more or less, a happy one. You enjoy and find meaning in your work. You love your family and the life you are creating together. From where I sit (admittedly the cheap seats), it looks like your life is on track to keep being happy. Don’t sweat the little things in the mean time. Enjoy every moment of what you have created.

    I am very much in the same position. I wish I had known that earlier.

  11. What do I wish I would have known about making strides with money? That it’s exactly like getting a new car and being all excited at first and then enough time goes by and suddenly the car isn’t good enough anymore.

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