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Forever In Blue Jeans? Done!

I love music, and I have since I can remember. It can give me chills, make me smile, make me cry, it’s the one thing I truly love in so many of its forms. My dad also loved music, stuff I can now appreciate musically, but most of which I still consider “crap” (sorry dad, but a lot of it is bad). Mom was more Motown, R&B, and “oldies” centric, but R&B when it meant rhythm and blues, The Temptations, The Supremes, Marvin Gaye, The Four Tops, Ray Charles, man, I’m giddy just remembering those guys, and yep, just started a good Motown playlist in the background. Aaahhh…

One musician dad was a huge fan of that stuck with me though is Neil Diamond. Man, I love me some Neil! Cheesy as it can be, those lyrics cut to my soul so much, because I just get it. Although, as Mrs. SSC put it, “Neil Diamond, Neil Young, same diff, right?” Oh, Mrs. SSC…

Neil D

I don’t know that he ever wore blue jeans…

But one of his songs in particular lately has struck a chord with me, “Forever in blue jeans.” What a song! It resonates with most of what I read on your blogs most every week, which is mainly that acquiring loads of money doesn’t matter, but as long as you have each other or what you deem your priority in life, you’re good. It’s about getting your life to a point where you call the shots and where you’re happy. Who doesn’t want that?

My whole life I’ve been money centric.

Money, money, money!! This was one of my first purchases as an intern in New Orleans.

Growing up broke as can be with parents that have zero good financial sense, I’ve tried to work towards making as much money as possible so that money is never a worry. Worrying about money, is the worst feeling in my life. It ranks up there with finding out someone you care about has died. I really hate worrying about money. This was my hangup with ER. Why the hell would I walk away from a nice comfortable setup to go back to scrounging just to not work?! No way! But then my focus changed.

For me, it was my kids. After having them I realized 2 things: 1. I’d do anything in the world for them. Yes, this really most exclusively means trading my life for theirs if God forbid that was ever an option, 2. I want to spend as much time with those guys as possible while I can.

One day, they’re going to go make their own lives and it is coming way sooner than I want. I already know this, and they just turned 2 and 4. I only have 16 years before they’re gone and off to college or career or who knows what, but it’s coming.

How does this affect me or my lifestyle or even our FFLC? Man, has my priority switched, because, since then and now, we’ve found our number that we’ve been living off of and can live off of and we have a date when we should reach that number. That date is in about 3 years and then we’ll be leaving our jobs.

Coming back to the Neil Diamond song, I realized my focus was echoed by these lyrics.

“Money talks,
But it don’t sing and dance
And it don’t walk.
And long as I can have you
Here with me, I’d much rather be
Forever in blue jeans”
….”And if you pardon me
I’d like to say
We’ll do okay
Forever in blue jeans, babe
And long as I can have you
Here with me I’d much rather be
Forever in blue jeans, babe”

Let’s see. Our “comfy life” as it is now, involves an almost 1 hr. commute each way, 9’ish hr’s at the office 4-5 days a week, to see the kids an hr or two a day before bed, and then get to hang with them while catching up on other errands/chores and what not over the weekends… Yeah, we’ve made it!! Versus taking a chance that our ER plans go as planned, but maybe we’ll be forever in blue jeans? I’ll take it.

I get really freaked out by this sometimes, and I try to put on a brave face, but I still get worried. Worried that we’ll try and fail. Worried that we’ll leave our “nice” jobs and end up in a horrid life of scrounging, scrimping, and worrying about money constantly. Kill me now, please. The knot and 20 lb weight in my stomach just writing about it makes me SO risk averse, part of me just wants to keep working until I’m really, really, sure I’ll always be good. And this is probably what drives most people to work for SO much of there lives. But that “horrid” life of watching our funds and scrounging for money, if it came to that still sounds like it’s a way better quality one than I’m living now.

I realized I’d rather be doing my life on my terms and forever in blue jeans, than in an office answering, “Yes, sir! Of course sir! Tomorrow sir, you’ll have those reports!” and if sh!t hits the fan, well, I’d rather try and fail than sit by in quiet fear and trepidation wondering what if. You know what I won’t get back ever? Time with my family. I also know that between me and Mrs. SSC, we can be making half the money my family was raised on and we’ll make it work comfortably. So, yeah, I’ll take that chance on spending as much time with family as possible while also maybe making my life way less comfortable than it is now. I have to say, the “comfort” I’m giving up versus the comfort I’m working towards I’ll take any day. And if we’re forever in blue jeans, I don’t count that as a fail either.

What made you want to get to FIRE/FFLC/Not working for the man and doing thing on your terms?


Neil Diamond Picture from

12 thoughts on “Forever In Blue Jeans? Done!

  1. Abigail

    My parents played a fair amount of Neil Diamond when I was growing up, but I don’t think I ever caught those lyrics. They sound similar to my own worldview…. but I’d be okay getting a nice fat retirement account too. Yea know, if I get to choose.

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      Yep, I’d take either or both, lol. He does have a lot of songs and I never caught the lyrics until way later in life.

  2. Laurie @thefrugalfarmer

    ROFL right now!! My mom used to be a HUGE Neil Diamond fan, Think: (if you can handle it) a bunch of 40, then 50, then 60 year old ladies primping in front of the mirror in order to look “hot” for their front row Neil Diamond tickets. ๐Ÿ™‚ As such, his songs bring me fond memories too, even if I don’t care all that much for them. Mom doesn’t listen to Neil much anymore, but I have forever ingrained in my memory her and the gals getting ready for those concerts. As for us, debt free is all about the kids. We too grew up poor and want SO much more for them, you know? Can’t wait till we reach the goal of debt freedom and have a choice about what we do for our jobs instead of feeling tied to them.

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      That’s a great memory, they sound like a hoot! It’s amazing how much kids can shape your priorities overnight it seems. I too can’t wait to get to choose what I want to do for work. So exciting!

  3. Amber Tree

    The story you tell is a story I feel strong connections with. My children are the most important thing in life and I only want the best for them. The best is not the most toys, the most flashy cloths and gadgets. The best is raising them to be responsible, independent kids that can take care of their own happiness. They need to know there are choices needed in life.

    Travel is important for me. I started working on a budget for that and rolled into personal finance blogs. FIRE is than nor far away…

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      I agree. I think letting the kids know that they control their own future and it CAN be whatever they want to make of it whether its financial independence, happiness in work, or just happiness in life, it isn’t all related to who has the most toys, as kids or adults.

      We also want to travel more, and by relocating to the East Coast there are so many great driving destinations that we’re looking forward to visiting.

  4. Stockbeard

    Totally one the same page as you regarding kids. I realized there’s not enough time in a day for the things I need/want to do in my life. One thing has to go, and I don’t want it to be my personal projects, my sleep, or my time with my family or kids. The obvious answer is: work time needs to go away.

    So bottom line is, I went through the same process as you to decide to FIRE

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      If anything is going, yep, work would be it. ๐Ÿ™‚ Sometimes, it’s just that easy to figure out.

  5. Hannah

    Kids change everything. I like to work, and I want a big career, but I’m willing to let those wait for a decade and a half while I focus on raising kids. Kids are only young once, and I want as much time with mine as possible.

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      Yeah I totally agree. It’s amazing how much they affect things you wouldn’t have even thought about “pre-kids”. The more time I get with them the better.

  6. Our Next Life

    Ah, we love us some Neil, too! ๐Ÿ™‚ We saw him a few years ago when he toured, and that old guy still has serious moves!

    This is a beautiful post, and such a good reminder of what it’s all about. There’s gotta be a Zen koan in there somewhere — those of us who are the best with money have figured out that money doesn’t matter. It’s about the freedom, and making the most of limited time with loved ones. Money is just a tool.

    Like you, we wonder if money will become a worry once we quit our jobs. We’ve been used to having more than we need for a while now, which lets us sock it away quickly, but that certainly won’t be the case once we switch to our just-barely-enough ER budget. But also like you, we believe that it’s worth it, and believer in our own ability to figure things out. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Mr SSC Post author

      Yeah I bet he still puts on a rocking show!
      I hope its not a worry once we quit, and go to our ER budget. Yes, we’re technically living on it now, but the worry isn’t there because there are paychecks still showing up every week.

      I agree though, win lose or draw I’m willing to bet on our planning and pull the trigger when the time comes and believe we can figure out whatever gets thrown our way.

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