Such a small percentage of the population is actively pursuing financial independence that it is unlikely that very many of your friends, family and co-workers are pursuing the same goals as you. So most of the time you are going to be surrounded by people who's behaviors and attitudes about money completely destroy any chance of financial independence or retiring early (or at all!).
Because of this it can be hard to maintain the frugal lifestyle that is necessary when everybody around you is spending money hand over fist and seem to be enjoying life just fine. So it becomes important to find a way to interact with others who are on the same mission, otherwise it can feel like its always you against the world.
One of the best ways to do this is online. There are a lot of great blogs and websites about financial independence, and a couple even have forums. Seeing how much progress other people are making on their quest for FI can give you a good kind of competitive fire. It's almost like a 'keeping up with the Joneses' attitude, except that THESE Joneses are worth keeping up with.
Skipping a month of saving may not seem like a big deal, until you find out that during that same month Dividend Mantra added $3,000 to his 'freedom fund'. You may feel like you are suffering by driving an old ugly car, until you read on the MMM Forums about the guy who bikes 15 miles to work each way.
It can is especially motivating to be able to see the real time progress of these people as they attain their dreams.
I started following "Mortgagefreeby30" A couple years ago, and was along for the ride the entire time he paid off $86k mortgage in about 2 years. He is now truly mortgage free by 30! What freedom!
I have been following dividend mantra for about the same time, and have seen his 'Freedom Fund" grow about 30k in a single year! I have no doubts he will reach his goal of FI by 40 years of age.
Find somebody that deserves to be imitated. If you can't find them in everday life, find them online. They are out there. Get inspired.
If you're constantly having to go against the flow, maybe you need to find a different river to swim in!
- The Money Monk