Saving Ninja Thought Experiment #6

Thought Experiments are a bi-monthly event set by Saving Ninja. Anyone can take part and you will see the others who have contributed listed at the end of this post.

Here’s the question for this month:

A different opinion is somewhat frowned upon in our clique-based society, but some of the greatest minds of all time were outliers. They weren’t scared to go against the grain and stand up for what they believed in. So, for this Thought Experiment, I’d like you to reveal yourself: What opinion do you have that most of your peers do not share?

Just not my thing.

When I was a teenager and in my early twenties I followed the crowd in respect of alcohol consumption – out on a Saturday night and spent Sunday recovering, sometimes with my head down the toilet.

But that was a phase, a period of my life that I was passing through. The trouble is that most of the people I know have been stuck in this phase for the past thirty years. The ‘group think’ is that in order to enjoy yourself you have to get very drunk when you go out, spend the next day on the sofa telling your kids that ‘mummy isn’t well’ and then laughing and joking about all the stupid things you did when you were drunk with your friends/colleagues, etc. on Monday morning.

The day after!

Sorry, I know that I sound like a grumpy old woman, but I just cannot see the attraction anymore. It’s a waste of money and a waste of a day if you have to spend 24 hours recovering. I think my colleagues are used to me bowing out of social events if they are going to involve a lot of alcohol and have no expectation that I will attend. At our annual Christmas party I will have a couple of glasses of wine and that’s it. And I’m happy with that. But people think that you can’t be having a good time if you aren’t drinking. I would say, if you need to have a drink to enjoy something, then you probably aren’t having fun.

My theory is that people struggle to challenge peer pressure to conform to the unwritten rules of society. If you want to achieve financial independence (FI) and perhaps retire early (RE) you’ve got to learn not to follow the crowd. You’ve got to be prepared to say no, be different and be proud of it. If you’re constantly worried about keeping up with the Joneses and doing things you don’t want to do for fear of upsetting others, then you’ve got a few lessons to learn before you are going to be equipped to face those challenges that you will most definitely meet along the way.

That’s what being part of the FI/RE community can help with. Reading all those blogs can give you ideas e.g. check out Radical Fire who publishes lots of great posts every week and realise that you’re not doing this on your own. There are others out there treading the same difficult path, challenging the norm and saying no to choices which don’t fit with their goals.

I would urge you to think about each of the choices that you make in life. Are you doing this because others expect it of you or is it because you truly enjoy it? Does it get you closer to where you want to be? This takes strength and faith in what you are doing, but it is achievable.

How about a picnic instead?

So next time your friends suggest a night out, how about thinking twice before accepting the invitation? Perhaps think of a cheaper alternative – a movie night at home, a dinner party where everyone brings one course or a picnic with food for sharing. You and your friends might just enjoy themselves more and won’t have the spend the next day recovering. You’ll also have saved a few pounds as well.

Other Participants

Please have a look at them all and tell them what you think:

Saving Ninja


Caveman @ Ditch the Cave

Mr A Way to Less

Miss A Way to Less

Merely Curious

Marc @ Finance Your Fire

Money for the Modern Girl

19 Replies to “Saving Ninja Thought Experiment #6”

  1. Definitely agree with this one.

    Miss Way doesn’t drink at all and I only drink small amounts. People seem to think you can’t have a good time without it, but we actually tend to have more of a laugh than those drinking! And we’re definitely the ones laughing the next morning when they’re hungover!!

    1. Thanks for stopping by. That’s true – I don’t lose whole days because I am too ill to do move from the sofa. It seems that this view is popular amongst the FI/RE population – maybe because alcohol is so expensive.

    1. Nice to see you Wendi. I think this is true for so many parts of the FI/RE movement or even just wanting to save money and be more thoughtful in your spending – finding the courage to be different.

  2. We’ve never had friends that invited us to anything that involved extreme drinking. We go to dinner parties and cookouts that have alcohol but nobody ever gets drunk. I didn’t even think that was a thing for anyone past college age.

  3. Definitely agree Sam!

    The temporary ‘buzz’ of alcohol isn’t worth the sickness that is generally attached to it. It also normally leads to arguments and other bad times. Much better without, or with a small amount.

    I love how you tied it in with FI/RE 🙂

    Thanks for taking part!

    1. I must admit I was quite proud of how I managed to link it to FI/RE – not sure how that happened, but I think that it worked out okay.

  4. Much like the other comments here, I agree! My girlfriend and I almost never drink when it’s just the two of us, and when we’re out with friends will just stick to 2-3 drinks. Any more than that and I will have a pretty bad hangover the next day, and it’s just not worth it!

    1. The FI/RE movement seems to be full of moderate drinkers. Maybe it’s that we are just able to control our alcohol intake like we control our spending.

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