We believe the FIRE (financial independence, retire early) ideology has resonated with so many people because it rejects convention and redefines the more traditional expectations around work and play. It appeals to our inner desire to pursue something more meaningful, something that goes beyond our day job.
Most FIRE followers seem quite happy with the trade-off. If they tighten their purse strings, they get to shave time off of their punch card and enjoy a fuller life that goes beyond the corporate grind.
With that said, the movement surely isn’t for everyone. But even if you don’t subscribe to the way of life, we reckon you might find these FIRE tips helpful.
1. Practice financial minimalism
The FIRE movement is about keeping your finances lean. It’s not dissimilar to the philosophy of professional organiser Marie Kondo, who prompts us to rid ourselves of belongings that don't “spark joy.”
So, how do you practice financial minimalism?
- Pay down debt. Squashing debt is one of the first priorities for FIRE-goers and is likely sensible advice whether it comes to your credit card, mortgage or any outstanding university payments you might have.
- Live simply. The FIRE ethos endorses living within your means i.e. being unashamedly frugal. But if your comfort level is more caviar than tuna, perhaps try making a few small changes that can still make a difference to your bottom line.
- Save aggressively. The FIRE target of saving 50 per cent of your take-home pay is quite ambitious, but you could still consider committing to a regular savings plan.
2. Invest to create wealth
Faithful FIRE followers typically believe you should invest aggressively if you want to get closer to achieving financial independence and fast track your golden years.
Low-cost investment options such as share trading apps, managed funds, and exchange traded funds are often popular choices for FIRE devotees.
If you’re keen to start growing your assets, these may be worth exploring.
3. Identify what's important to you
Identifying what’s important to you is one of the biggest pulls for the horde of supporters who have thrown their weight behind FIRE.
For most FIRE followers, this means rejecting the 30-40 year “ball and chain” of a conventional career path in favour of something a little more meaningful.
By establishing your short and long-term goals, and why they're important to you, you might find it easier to commit to your plans and achieve your goals. Sometimes all it takes is something concrete you can work towards.
To FIRE or not to FIRE?
The FIRE movement is about being smart (and sometimes a bit strict) with your money, so you can pursue things that are important to you sooner.
It takes commitment to follow the FIRE movement, so it’s not for everyone. But hopefully these inspired tips can help you on the path to financial freedom. Even just some small changes and tweaks to your money habits might be worth it, especially if it means you can throw in the towel and live life on your terms, a little sooner — whether that’s spending your summer sailing in St Tropez, teaching English to students in Bangladesh, or building a wellness retreat in the rainforest.