Tunnel Vision Towards FIRE

I’m coming at FIRE from a different perspective than most.  I’m already in a mini retirement, and have been for the last year or so.  I have some savings, and a internet business that brings in a decent amount each month.  This business is mostly passive.  I usually work at said business for 4-5 hours a week.  Of course, it wasn’t always this way.

I’m not going to lie, that last year or so has been nice.  It’s good to have control over your time.  I now realize, without a shadow of a doubt that TIME is your most valuable commodity.  I’ve had a little taste of what retirement can be, but I also know it’s not going to last.  This has been my main motivation towards FIRE.

  My pot of gold is quickly turning into pot of bronze.  My internet business is barely enough to live off, certainly not enough to amass a decent savings rate.  I will once again have to join the work force.

In the next the 10 years I will burn the candle at both ends.  I’m going to work hard while I still have the energy.  I’m 29 right now.  I keep myself in great shape, but I know that my energy levels will wane as near my mid thirties.  There is no sense in slacking off in a mini retirement when I still have the drive.  The plan is to retire young so I can work on my own terms.

I will also be extremely frugal.  No house.  No car payments.  No cable subscription.  No cell plan.  No designer clothes.  I’m going straight hermit.  I may even live in a van down by the river.

I will resist what people consider the “finer things in life,” and keep my eye on the prize – fuck you money.


What Is FIRE?

FIRE = Financially Independent Retire Early

If you haven’t heard this phrase don’t feel bad.  I just became familiar with it a few days ago.

I’ve been reading a lot of mrmoneymustache.com , jlcollinsnh.com, and earlyretirementextreme.com lately.  All blog based on becoming FIRE.

Mr. Money Mustache: You may have heard of him.  He is one of the leaders when it comes to early retirement.  He and his wife retired when they were only 30 through frugal living and smart investments.

JLCollinsNH:  Is more FI than he is RE.  He focuses more on investing and building Fuck You Money, and lots of it.  He isn’t retired per se, although he has gone through many “mini retirements.” He only still works because he enjoys his work.

Early Retirement Extreme:  Became FI in 5 years spending only $7,000 per year.

After reading these three blogs I’ve become determined to become FIRE or at least FI with the chance to work when I want.  The truth is, I’ve been on semi retirement for the last year and I’m getting bored as hell.  I also know my pot of money isn’t going to last forever.

The semi retirement has been nice, but I’m definitely not bringing in enough money to become FIRE.  I have also been spending a bit too much, a habit I would like to nip in the bud.  In the last year, I have strayed far from my frugal ways.  Not only did my old ways save me more money, but brought me more joy.

When I was living abroad for two and half years I had already fell into a life that some of these FIRE bloggers talk about. 

My housing cost were minimal.  I lived in hostels, couch surfed, camped, and stayed at my cousin’s for a while rent free.  When I finally did get an apartment of my own it only ended up costing me $250 per month (utilities included).

For two and half years I never owned a vehicle.  Which means I didn’t spend money on gas, car insurance, or repairs.  I used public transportation, biking, and hitchhiking.

I didn’t have health insurance. Didn’t matter.  One time I gashed my knee open in Australia and had to get stitches.  It cost me $60 and I got tetanus shot for free.  God bless socialized medicine.

My grocery bill didn’t put a dent in my wallet either.  I routinely ate chicken hearts with rice.  I had no TV, just an iPad.  All my clothes had to fit in my suitcase.  I even owned a shitty little burner phone that cost me all of $10 a month.

When I moved back to the U.S. I didn’t keep up with the frugal lifestyle.  I bought a car, and drove it even for small trips that I could have easily walked.  I bought and iPhone, and became, like so many others, addicted to it.  I started to eat out frequently instead of cooking for myself.  And of course, I couldn’t find rent anything close to $250 a month.

Reading so much about FIRE in the last two days has inspired me to become more cognizant of how I spend my money.  My new goal is to become FI by the age of 37.

Why 37?

This seems about the time that most males energy levels take a major hit.  I want to be FI by that age so I don’t have to work if I don’t want, but not necessarily retire.

I also want to start investing.  Index funds of course.

Buying a rental property or two is on the bucket list as well.

I will chronicle my journey to FI through this blog, with the hopes that stating my goal to the World will hold me accountable.