Being Financially independent means that you don’t have to worry about money and you can do whatever you like to do. Do you want to keep your job, start a business or travel the world? Go for it!
Financial Independence, Retire Early (FIRE) is a movement I didn’t know about until 2018. Now that the FIRE virus hit me and I really understand what it means, I live much more consciously.
I always thought: “Okay, so we have to attend school for about 20 years, then work our asses off for decades and then we might enjoy a couple of years of freedom before we eventually die”.
Well, that’s not really something to look forward to right? But yet most people live like this and I did too. Most people don’t know any better, they never learned that there are other options out there.
And then I found out about FIRE.
My husband learned about FIRE earlier than I did. He tried to get me on board, but I didn’t really understand him back then. He worked hard, earned good money, but was hesitant to spend his money. I just thought, why not enjoy all the hard earned money? That’s what all the people around me did, I never had someone in my life handling money differently.
Then my husband had me read a blog post from MrMoneyMustache and it started to click. Can we actually reach financial independence and live a happy life full of options? Is it possible to travel all school holidays with an RV without getting into trouble with the boss or stress about money?
Changing the mindset
When I started to dive into this whole FIRE thing, I learned it all came down to 3 simple steps:
- Earn as much money as you can
- Spend less, live frugally (but happy!)
- Invest the difference
While simple, they do take a lot of time of course, don’t get me wrong. But working towards a happy life, full of options is in itself a great motivator.
1. Earn as much money as you can
There are a number of ways to make more money. Maybe you can ask for a pay-raise at your current job. Or look for another job that pays more, or maybe work more hours?
You can also look for a side hustle, like babysitting, filling out surveys or walk your neighbors dogs.
2. Spend less, live frugal
My view on money is this: “Money you don’t spend, is money you don’t have to earn”. So spending less already gives you more freedom. But while I try to attain a frugal lifestyle to become financially independent sooner, I still want to enjoy life.
The journey is just as important as the destination! This means that we still to go out to eat once in a while and we go on holidays. But the thing is, you can also enjoy life without paying tons of money. It’s about making choices and finding a balance.
3. Invest the difference
Sidenote: If you have debt, it’s always good to pay off your debt first. And you should have an emergency fund of at least € 1000 before you start investing.
You can invest your money in all sorts of things, like peer-to-peer lending, stocks, bonds, real estate or cryptocurrency. If you spread out your portfolio, the risks involved in investing are also spread out.
The best part about investing is compound interest:
“Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it… he who doesn’t… pays it.“
Compound interest is basically interest on interest. If you invest money, you will receive interest. The interest you received, can be invested again. This means you’ll receive interest over the reinvested money as well. This way, your investments will keep growing if you reinvest the principal and received interest.
Becoming financially independent will give me options. Options to do whatever I want, without worrying about money.
Reasons that motivate me to pursue financial independence:
- The feeling of freedom
- It allows me to use my time and resources to things that matter to me
- Staying home with my kids or, by that time, help my kids with their kids
- Not having to depend on others for money
- Don’t have to work for a boss
- Not having to do a job I don’t like
- No commute
- Time and resources to help other people
- More time to travel the world
- Doing charity work
- More time for my family
- Become a foster parent (temporary care for babies) when the boys are older
- Design my own house and build it (or have it build actually)
I started this blog next to my job to write about my own journey to financial independence. When I found out that so many people struggle with money, most of my colleagues actually, I wanted to help others as well to find this path and to work towards a happy, stress-free life.
While diving into this whole blogging thing, I found out that I really enjoy this. This feels like the best job I’ve ever had, although it doesn’t pay anything yet. Even without getting paid, I work on this day and night.
In the meantime I already did quit my job, but that wasn’t because I wanted to blog full-time. But while thinking about a possible new job, I decided to give blogging a chance and blog full-time this year to see what it brings me.
I love to learn all about blogging, FIRE, investing and general finance. As I gain more knowledge and experience every day, I will be better able to help other people achieve the life they dream about.
While this doesn’t really comply with the first rule (earn as much as you can) as it doesn’t pay anything yet, I want to give this a try because I love doing this and I want this journey to be a great one.
Don’t focus on the destination, enjoy the whole journey!