My wife has made the comment on how OC I am about our personal life and has compared it to how I work. I told her, if you cant take care of your own personal finances, how can you be responsible for other people? Which to me just makes sense. Before you even try to be responsible for others (hint to parents), please ensure you got your own shit sorted out). Hence all the planning I have devoted. I also plan for how I can increase my income yearly and plan out 5-15 years out where before I only do 2-3 years.
If you ask me, thats probably the one key thing that has helped me out these past 5 years. You reduce unplanned and unnecessary purchases. You plan for major expenses in advance and are able to allot money for it (such as vacations). You can also plan for emergencies without having to go into debt (hello hospital fund). And again, I have planned around increasing income as well and if i see myself falling short for the year, I do act to cover the shortfall (such as when I sold a condo to earn some side commission).
Planning allows me to not be a passive participant in life and financials. I see many comments from Pinoys complaining about increasing taxes on certain goods and complaining about "tingbits" (why not just dont buy that expensive sugary drink and bring a reusable bottle instead). I see that as poor planning PERIOD. (and before you judge me and say that I am lucky to have a big income now, note that I started off doing side gigs even before becoming employed with minimum wage to start). I used to eat bananas and peanuts for lunch since that was all i could afford (and I planned for that too so that I would have some leftover money). But I digress, planning allows me to actively take hold of my life, for good or bad. Reacting and proactively anticipating different circumstances in life. I actually have a list of things I can do, if I suddenly lose my job tomorrow (such as selling off a few things and cancelling subscriptions etc). Planning ensures I am accountable for my own actions and can at least steer the ship of life. There will be things I wouldnt have been able to plan for that will happen, but then there will be a huge percentage that I would hae and that makes all the difference.
So if you want to get to FI, what's your plan?