Fill the piggy back and wield the hammer

Industry and frugality were two of Benjamin Franklin’s guiding principles. On the face of it, this is a rather uninspiring reflection of a fascinating figure – but they were the foundations of his success and the bedrock of an exuberant and eccentric character.

Working hard and saving money is sound advice. It’s what you could imagine being told by parents and grandparents.

Sound advice, but no excitement. Or are you missing something?

Linear careers and life paths no longer need to be the norm. Rather than working and saving until retirement, more flexibility – and enjoyment – can be found.

It is not something you need to ask for – more something you need to action and practise.

Working hard and saving money can be done in intermittent bursts, punctuated by periods of leisure, rest and reflection.

Why save all of your retirement for your older years?

Why not splice some of it into earlier stages of life, allowing you to experience it in different ways?

Fill the piggy bank and be willing to wield the hammer when the right moment comes.

A bit more than industry and frugality is required at this point, to take the plunge and roll the dice – this is where the exuberance and eccentricity would help.

It’s a risk, but a calculated one – an investment in your future self. It certainly isn’t easy, but it can unlock a liberating state of being: there will always be a way out, a light at the end of a tunnel, a reset switch.

These conscious retreats from the grind force you to assess your priorities and aspirations more regularly. This puts you in better shape to excel at what you choose to do during the the bursts of industry.

And the enjoyment of mini-retirements makes the frugality more bearable.

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