Un-FI-Friendly, But Totally Necessary Purchase

[Editor’s Note: This is an independent post written by JJ. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure for more info.]

I’ve been all-in for the FI (Financial Independence) movement for two years.  We have achieved a lot in that time including paying off $50,000 in student loans in 1 year, which I hope to post our strategies this summer for you to read. We have moved our lifestyle towards minimalism and will be doing so even more in the near future (another post I hope to publish this summer). We have achieved a lot in these last two years and have even bigger goals and plans moving forward.

In addition, we fight hard for our lives to be simple even though we stretch ourselves too thin by saying yes to too many things at once.  In fact, my wife just started reading The Best Yes: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands. She has taken away so much great information, and she just started the book.

But here’s the thing, even though we track our expenses, aim for a high savings rate every month and live on one income, there are things that we really like to splurge on.  One of those items is tattoos!

Tattoos are expensive, but we absolutely love tattoos.  In March, my wife and I both got new tattoos and even though it is completely not FI-friendly because we could have used that money towards debt or investments, it’s completely necessary for our emotional happiness.

All of the tattoos I have are meaningful to me is some way. I never get a tattoo just to get a tattoo.  In fact, it often takes me months if not years to decide on a design idea. This tattoo happened that same way.  I’ve always wanted a sleeve, but I’ve never found the design I like enough to have it tattooed on my arm. I also have never felt like the timing was right for a sleeve.  While tattoos are becoming more and more popular, and accepted, there are still many people who do not want to see tattoos. The main place for that is employment and often I think people are judged based on their tattoo and for having a tattoo.  Oftentimes people are told to cover up their tattoos at work.

I feel like I’m at a place in my life and career where I am comfortable showing my tattoos; plus my current place of employment isn’t against tattoos which is helpful. In addition, it’s a great conversation starter with students.  Many students want tattoos and then they see my tattoo and ask about it. I’m able to talk with them about getting a tattoo and the things to consider. So, let’s discuss those considerations before I reveal my new sleeve, well phase 1 anyways (I have plans to add to this sleeve in the future!).  

If you’ve ever considered getting a tattoo, here are some things to consider based on my experience:

  1. Find a tattoo artist you trust.  You are making a decision that will be with you, literally, for the rest of your life.  It’s kind of important to get it right the first time. We found our forever tattoo artist and he has done all of our work.  My wife and I will go to him with our idea and he will take it to the next level, every time. Huge shoutout to Smooth! You’re the best!
    1. In addition to finding a tattoo artist you’re comfortable with, make sure the artist is qualified, studio is clean, and needles are new and sterile.  Smooth has a great guide for finding the right studio and artist on his site.
  2. Find a design that you will love for life.  Take your design to your tattoo artist and get their thoughts.  Smooth always takes our design ideas to the next level. He never forces his design on us, but it’s always better than what we come up with so we always go with his design.  Some studios will not allow you to customize or design your own tattoos which is another reason to find the right artist and studio.
  3. Are there any medical reasons that you cannot get a tattoo?  Each person’s body handles a tattoo a bit different so make sure you do your due diligence.
  4. Where on your body do you want your tattoo?  Some places hurt more than others. Related to this, how do you handle pain?  While everyone reacts differently to getting a tattoo, to me, it hurts! I literally almost cried getting my sleeve…and that’s after I almost passed out.   
  5. If you’re getting your tattoo in a place on your body that’s difficult to cover, is that ok?  What situations would you have to cover it. For example, you think your employer would be ok with you having a sleeve so you get one, but then find out that it’s against company policy. Are you ok wearing long sleeve shirts everyday at work?

So….the moment you’ve all been waiting for, let’s check out these beauties.

My newest tattoo which is phase 1 of my sleeve:

Image 1

Image 2

My wife’s newest tattoo:

Image 3

What un-FI-friendly purchases have you made?  

What splurges do you consider to be absolutely necessary to your happiness?

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