If you don’t know this about me yet, let me just tell you that I am NOT a patient person. I have zero patience. When I decided I wanted to have a baby, I wanted her to arrive yesterday!* When I apply for something or have to wait for results, the world ENDS until I find out. If none of this sounds like you, GOOD NEWS! You are already one giant step ahead of me on your journey to financial independence!
Patience is Needed on any Financial Journey
I, myself, am famous** for saying: “Financial Independence is not a marathon. It’s more like a sprint followed by a rest on a moving sidewalk.” We all know the power of compounding and the numbers behind how easy it is to become a millionaire when time is on your side, but sometimes it’s just plain hard to remember.
Time is a huge component in any financial journey… time to save the money and time for the money to grow into more money. But you can imagine (based on my aforementioned impatience) that when I made a plan for financial independence, I wanted to reach it yesterday! (So much so that I didn’t actually calculate real numbers needed until nearly a year later because even $500,000 seemed so out of reach.)
If you have patience, you’re good at not pulling out of the market when it tanks. You’re also good at waiting and not buying things on impulse. Patience helps you make so many good financial choices!
How to Handle Slow Times
Even with market tailwinds, I feel like we’re clawing our way to $500,000 and I’m losing patience. In these times, I have to remind myself of a few important things:
Don’t Make Drastic Changes –
When I feel like I’m clawing my way toward a goal and progress is slow, I get frustrated. Maybe it’s my lack of patience, but I also like change. I like figuring out what the new normal is going to be and moving forward from there. When nothing is changing and progress forward is slow, I need to remember that I’ve set us up for a good outcome. If I make drastic changes, I will derail that progress.
Celebrate Little Wins –
It’s no secret that I love celebrating. I celebrate lots and lots of things. Being able to celebrate makes me feel like I’m still moving in the right direction. And when progress is slow, having more metrics to celebrate means you can help make it feel like progress is going faster.
Look at How Far You’ve Come –
In just a year and a half, we have managed to more than DOUBLE our investments! Progress feels slow right now because we’re working on building up enough reserves to fully live on the previous month’s income. Once we manage to get to that point, progress will start pressing forward even more quickly! We really have come so far (and so have you!). When I take the time to look at our progress, I’m motivated to keep moving forward!
Keep Your Eye on Your Future –
Remember what I always say?: Future you is still you! And she will be darn mad at you if you derail yourself now because you’re frustrated and impatient! Actually reaching your goal will feel SO GREAT, so don’t rob yourself of being able to feel that as soon as possible. Times will be slow. Markets will tank. Savings will stall. Financial set-backs will happen. But if you keep moving forward, you’ll get there.
What do you do to help yourself move forward when progress feels slow?
*Maybe why she was born 2 weeks before finals during graduate school…
**Rockstar Finance famous