Five Awesome Things You Can Do When You’re Financially Independent

As I continue to live well below my means so that I can save and invest gratuitously, I often picture what I’ll be doing when I no longer have to go to a job that I generally find a lack of satisfaction from. Let’s take a look at 5 amazing things you can do when you’re financially independent (but are hard to do when you’re employed full-time).

1. Just Say No To The Alarm Clock

Want to go to sleep and wake up whenever you want? Me too. I don’t know about you, but I absolutely despise waking up at 6 a.m. Nobody likes going to work when it’s dark outside and coming home when it’s still dark outside. It’s nice to know that one day I can choose to wake up at 10 a.m. or later if I want. I also enjoy the thought of staying up late on a work night browsing the internet or watching a good movie.

2. Be Your Own Boss

I think a lot of people have a fantasy of being their own boss. Catering to someone in some high-up office with every interest other than your own at heart is frustrating and can be emotionally disparaging. When you’re financially independent, however, you can do whatever you want. Once you no longer have to earn a paycheck to pay basic expenses, you can cater to yourself instead. Take opportunities that seem interesting, or don’t do anything at all. The only one giving you any orders will be you.

3. Long-term Travel

When you have to show up to a fixed location 5 days a week it makes it difficult to just up and travel the world. But, when you’re financially independent you could literally go on a long-term travel spree. You could stay in different cities throughout your own country, getting to know different geographical areas and filling your brain with wonderful memories of experiences that most people can only dream of. Or, you can travel to different countries. There are many ways to travel cheaply, and many countries out there that are likely cheaper than the one you currently live in. I know that compared to the U.S., there are countries like the Philippines, Thailand or Ecuador that can be 50% cheaper across the board.

4. Spend More Time With Family and/or Friends

With 40-hour+ workweeks filling your time, and filling the time of your loved ones, it’s hard for everyone to get together and catch up on what everyone has been doing in their individual lives. It can be difficult to maintain relationships with the people you care most about, or form new relationships with interesting people, when the large majority of your free time is filled earning a paycheck to keep the lights on or keep a roof over your head. When you no longer have to fill your time working paycheck to paycheck, you are much more free to explore some of the relationships that may have been slightly stressed as life gets in the way.

5. Cultivate Yourself Through Hobbies.

What do you like to do in your free time? Maybe you enjoy painting or photography. Or, perhaps, you love nothing more than playing video games. Maybe writing is your true passion in life. It’s difficult to fully explore, and enjoy, the hobbies that fill your heart with joy when you don’t have enough time. Unless you just happen to be the lucky 1% and work at a job where your paycheck and hobby are one and the same, you’re likely exchanging vast amounts of your time for money…and not for the love it, but for the ability to have shelter, food and life’s necessities.

Limited Only By Your Imagination

These are just five awesome things I thought of off the top of my head. The list can be as long as you want it, and limited only by your imagination. The main necessity for many of the things I listed above, and likely the things you’d like to do when financially independent, is not money. Rather, they require lots of time. Time is the most expensive commodity, as there is a limited amount of it and you have less of it every second that goes by. Would you rather keep exchanging it away for a fancy car, house and furniture? Or, would you rather save the money and invest it for the future so that you can let your imagination run wild and explore the relationships you always wanted to have, visit the places you have always wanted to see and do the things you have always wanted to do?

What is an awesome thing you’d like to do when financially independent?

Thanks for reading.

Photo Credit: hinnamsaisuy

Comments

  1. Marie says

    Exercise when the sunrises without looking at my watch. After 30 + years no more commuting on buses and trains. Planting basil and thyme. Planning and cooking a meal without a feeling of rush and pressure. Brushing my cats instead of having a groomer take care of them. Meditation. Walking to the supermarket instead of driving.

    And not dealing with toxic people at work.

    Essentially, time and peace in life. That’s FI.

    • says

      Marie,

      You and I share a similar dream. That all sounds very wonderful to me.

      I also agree that not dealing with toxic people at work is worth every penny it takes to reach FI.

      Thanks for adding that comment. I totally agree with what you’re saying.

      Best wishes!

  2. Anonymous says

    One of the best things about retirement is spending time with people you like not forced to spend time with “toxic” people at work.

    Bill from Williamsport

    • says

      Bill,

      Thanks for adding that. I totally agree with what you and Marie are saying. Not dealing with people at work who make you uncomfortable or stress you out is an amazing benefit of financial independence.

      Take care!

  3. Anonymous says

    I echo Bill’s comment. There are a lot of “toxic” people at my work, even the people that make alot of money

    • says

      MoneyCone,

      Thanks for stopping by.

      I like your vote. I’m with you 100%. Viable long-term travel is a dream for me. Nothing is without some type of drawback, and visas/passports/airports can be a drag, but I can imagine it’s still a wonderful lifestyle.

      Best wishes.

  4. Eric FG says

    Hi.
    I have a bit of out of an context question. For many years I participated in my employer’s stock, purchase-match program. That stock paid a monthly dividend. Every month, that dividend got me more stock, even if it meant fraction of the stock, but the whole dividend was re-invested. I also gathered mutual funds, that I could purchase with round dollar numbers, giving me fractions of stock if required. Their dividends were also reinvested in their entirety giving me also fraction of mutual shares up to the maximum of the dividend amount paid.

    But now I have changed my game and I am shifting all of that wealth into dividend investing, through a direct investing firm. But what I just found out as this is the first month I am receiving dividends since that decision, is that only whole shares are bought! So after receiving 75$ worth of dividends for instance, only 64$ is re-invested because the 11 remaining dollars don’t make a full share, and that money is simply deposited in cash in the account.

    From the dozens of companies that I wish to hold, if every month 10% of those dividends are not re-invested, over time, I is really goning to hurt my return! Especially if I have to wait to have enough cash to make a purshase, to afford the 10$ commission.

    So I spoke with the RBC (oops I said it!) and they say well, 95% of all direct investing houses can only purchase whole shares. That’s the way it is set up and we can’t change that. Computershare for instance, don’t offer brokerage accounts, but they are able to re-invest in partial shares?

    So my question is how is it for you? Are all your dividends re-invested in partial shares or only in whole shares and the rest in cash and if so what is your method for account for that loss of compounding in your budget?

    Your truly.

    • says

      Eric,

      Good questions there.

      I’ve discussed this a number of times on my blog, but what I do is wait for dividends to accumulate over the course of the month and I add my capital (in the form of savings from my paychecks). I take the two combined sources of funds and invest with that. Hope that helps.

      Best wishes!

    • Anonymous says

      ERIC FG,
      I use sharebuilder. They reinvest the entire dividend and purchase fractional shares. their transaction costs are less than the $10 you are paying as well.

  5. says

    I’m with Moneycone – Travel! Great post Mantra. Besides travel my mind goes to the hobbies I’d like to spend more time on in retirment.

    • says

      DSO,

      Thanks for stopping by.

      I’m with you and MoneyCone. I think long-term travel sounds really great, especially slow-travel where you’re able to live in locations for longer periods of time and really get to know the local culture.

      Best wishes!

  6. Ryan (Chicago) says

    Excellent post! Life can be so much more enjoyable when you don’t have to spend 50+ hours of every week on work-related activities (including working, getting ready for work, commuting to work, shopping for work attire, etc.) Financial independence equals the ultimate freedom in life. Freedom to do what ever you want to do, when ever you want to do it, without any regard for the time-table of an employer.

    I live a couple of blocks from a beach in Chicago, and I would love to spend many of the summer days near the beach or in the park under a tree, reading a book and enjoying a cool drink. I would also like to be able to go to the gym and work out every day, without feeling rushed because I have to leave to make it to work in time. Travel will be nice — but I will reserve that for the colder months in Chicago — and travel to areas that have warmer climates :)

    I’ve been following your blog for several months, and it is very inspiring to me. I am also trying to build up investments to allow for a great lifestyle which is paid for completely by passive income. At the age of 30, I think I am well on my way. I’m hoping that I can retire within the end of the current decade. I already own my condo free and clear without a mortgage. I also own another condo (for rental) free and clear without a mortgage, that is producing income. Additionally, I am working on building a dividend portfolio of quality companies (very similar to your strategy.) I am currently earning about $7200 per year in passive income — and that number is increasing every couple of weeks when I purchase more shares with my income. I can already see the compounding effect!

    I keep a spread sheet of all of my stock holdings, their current annual dividend amount, and the amount of income it can replace for me. I love the quarterly “earnings season” for publicly traded companies — because often I get the good news of some of my companies raising dividends :D

    • says

      Ryan,

      Wow! You’re in an awesome position there. You’re light years ahead of me. Congratulations for being in such a fantastic financial position at such a age. That’s phenomenal.

      I think Chicago is an awesome city, and if I wasn’t so averse to cold climates I’d probably be highly interested in living there. I don’t blame you for only seeking travel options when the weather turns cold, as when it’s warm there are few cities better than Chicago (in my opinion).

      Great job. Keep up the good work!

      Take care.

  7. says

    I’m looking forward to #1 – waking up without an alarm clock. That would be awesome. I’d also like to travel and spend more time on outdoor activities such as hiking, swimming, and camping.

    • says

      CI,

      I’m with you. I strongly dislike waking up early in the morning. I’m simply not a morning person. I much prefer the night.

      That would be awesome if you were able to spend more time on outdoor activities. Not only are they relatively cheap (or free), but they also get you in touch with nature and keep you in shape. Sounds like a pretty good combination to me.

      Best wishes!

  8. says

    When FI, just witnessing other’s commuting and going to work daily will make you ponder and smile, then also frown because of how this world operates on Greed and not the quality of Sharing.

    Also, when fully dependent on dividend investing for passive income, even if your annualy dividends earn up to $35,350 in capital gains, if your employer income is $0, Then you only have to pay Federal and State Capital Gains tax ( 0% or 15%? for long term). No more Social Security Tax, Medicare, Medicaid, Local, or unemployment taxes are taken unless you pick up some excess work of some kind for fun.

    • says

      FreeyourChains,

      Excellent commentary there. I completely agree!

      The reduced tax load when your income is derived primarily from investments is a benefit that is rarely discussed, but certainly a large amount of icing on the cake.

      Spending my time how I’d like, which does NOT involve 55 hours a week at work, is truly priceless.

      Keep in touch!

  9. Marie says

    DM,

    You have the talent and effort to be kind and gentle to all “callers” of your blog. I’m new to FI blogging (one year) but there is one thing I admire about folks like you (started out at ERE). You have to endure the ‘nasteys’. The people who email and sometimes post nasty messages. How hard that must be for you. You are putting yourself out there, emotionally and financially – full disclosure. And then someone swoops down with talons and strikes. I don’t see much on this website but I’m assuming its filtered or direct email. Several of your linked fellow bloggers have awful episodes (this is why I am motivated to do this comment). Perhaps you filter for us, but still you see it.

    I appreciate your hanging in there and being forthright, kind and informative.

    Good for you!

    Best wishes, marie

    • says

      Marie,

      Thank you for the very sweet and thoughtful comment. It’s much appreciated. I’m glad that my honesty and openness isn’t lost on readers.

      I have never actually deleted any comments from the site, so what you see is what you get. I do occasionally get emails that are somewhat discouraging, but luckily they are pretty few and far between. I don’t really get phased by them and try to use them as fuel for the fire.

      Thanks for being appreciative. The hardest thing about continuing the blog has not been negative comments or emails, but rather the time that’s required to be put into it. With a job that requires more than the standard 40-hour workweek, personal relationships, staying fit and monitoring investments, the blog becomes difficult to maintain at times. But, it does keep me motivated to keep going and I’m really glad to (hopefully) inspire others.

      Please keep in touch.

      Best wishes!

Join The Discussion!