I guess it’s one of these things guys like – motorcycles, battleships, machine guns, greasy burgers, and other gender stereotypes. Loud things and complete disregard for safety are very appealing to us – no wonder men don’t live as long as women.
When my wife asks me what I want for my birthday, I always say: “No need to get me anything, unless you want to buy me a motorcycle.” I’m kidding, of course. And she always says, “One day, when we have enough money, I’ll buy you a motorcycle for your birthday.”
And we laugh and go back to our daily lives.
However, for my birthday last week my wife gave me this:
You’re probably now wondering if Mrs. Financial Underdog has a somewhat cruel sense of humor. While she does tell me from time to time we’re having pie for dinner just to see me get excited for no reason, she’s generally a very kind non-cruel woman.
Then why would she give me a toy motorcycle?
As she quickly explained, while a real motorcycle is not exactly possible, it’s not always going to be this way.
And I completely agree with her.
You see, right now we’re not financially set. We still have to go to work, we have to make our own coffee because it’s cheaper this way, we have to choose slightly cheaper detergent just to save $0.99. Every month we have to plan our spending – because we don’t have stacks of money lying around - and we have to watch where our money goes.
At the same time, we’re doing everything we can to grow our investments in hopes that one day our money will be working for us harder than we have to work for our money (boy, that’s a bit wordy!). Every month we put a good chunk of our money away towards investments, throw some extra money towards the mortgage (more like bondage), and enjoy our simple lifestyle. No new cars for us, simple pleasures here and there, and a whole lot of dreams of things to come.
But one day it will change.
One day we’ll reach that financial independence everyone is talking about by following our plan. One day our investments will be producing a steady stream of income and work will become something we choose to do - not something we have to do. We will be able to take off and visit cool places once in a while. Maybe we’ll choose to buy ourselves some toys. And one day, I will choose to own that fancy motorcycle – and proudly ride around knowing that we did all the right things in the beginning of our journey, and now it’s time to enjoy the fruits.
We have to keep the future in mind – and stop focusing on today’s problems only. You can’t always look under your feet – once in a while you have to look up and see your destination getting closer and closer. Because this will give you energy and motivation to keep doing the mundane “left foot, right foot” routine every day and say, “Hey honey, we’re almost there. We’ll get there soon!”
So, for now this little toy motorcycle will sit on my desk and remind me of our destination. Think of it as a symbol of that future, or a small advance against it. To be completely honest, I’m not even sure I’ll want to buy a motorcycle when we get there – maybe by that time flying cars will be all the rage. But it will sit here for now and remind me to keep going.
Left foot, right foot, left foot, right foot…