This week, my efforts are focused on getting a handle on our expenses. Simply identifying them and following a budget to try to reduce discretionary spending. I felt like this was a priority to achieve FIRE.
My friend recently introduced me to a tool she was using called YNAB – WORST name ever, but it stands for “You Need A Budget”. Which we do. HA! Anyway, I decided to sign up for a trial account at YNAB.com. So far, I’ve been using YNAB religiously for 2+ weeks, and it’s going very well. I feel I have much better awareness of where our money is going (and where it’s being wasted on lower priority things).
Side note: if online subscriptions aren’t really your thing, and you’d rather do your budget “old school” on paper or in a spreadsheet, you can still learn and follow YNAB principles by reading the book “You Need a Budget“, written by the creator Jesse Mecham.
What’s FIRE you say? Not just hot stuff. Financial Independence, Retire Early. I initially heard about this philosophy from my neighbor who sold her big house in suburbia and moved to a small house in suburbia with a rental in the basement in order to achieve FIRE. In 7 years. This young woman is setting herself and her husband up to retire in 7 YEARS. She is in her 30s.
Needless to say, I was inspired. I’m dreaming of getting out of the rat race more and more. Why? I want more time for family and friends. More time to pursue artistic endeavors. More time to travel. More time to Netflix and Chill. And, probably some other things.
What I did to learn about Financial Independence, Retire Early
I began researching about principles of FIRE and what financial independence really means. fortunately there are lots of blogs and articles providing the details about various strategies you can use to achieve FIRE.
To give credit where credit is due, the FIRE-storm all started with the book “Your Money or Your Life,” by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez. The book was written in the 90s. It’s really not a new idea, but it seems to be catching on in recent years, and for good reason. There are plenty of FIRE success stories out there, and they are truly inspiring.
What do you need to do to work towards Financial Independence?
After a bit of research, I now realize there are 2 things I need to do to achieve the goal:
It probably seems like a no-brainer, but just doing these 2 things with fervor will eventually get you there! The earlier you start the better; unfortunately I learned about the FIRE movement in my early 40s. That said, starting at the age of 42 is much better than not starting at all. My favorite way of describing how to get to FIRE is:
Increasing the gap between Expenses and Income, and investing the difference.
This blog will be to document my journey to FIRE – the successes and the failures! I hope you will stick with me and hopefully pick up some small tip that will benefit your life in a positive way. I also look forward to you sharing your successes in the comments so that I may learn from you. Thanks!