I think everyone I’ve ever mentioned financial independence too has been sceptical about the whole idea.
I understand why, it’s a concept that seems far too good to be true so it’s a lot easier to dismiss it than to believe it’s something you can actually achieve.
Well, it’s far simpler and easier than you might think and it starts with getting on board and deciding it’s right for you.
And I’m going to start at the other end and look at what financial independence isn’t.
So Flint, isn’t financial independence eating nothing but lentils and not being allowed to have any fun?
No, inquisitive reader, it isn’t! That’s a miss-translation of Jacobs blog Early Retirement Extreme where he said he ate Lentils to save money in college and people started to believe that’s all he ate. When in fact, he just really likes lentil dal because it’s delicious with the added bonus of being inexpensive.
Saving for Financial Independence isn’t about being cheap and pinching every single penny. It’s about optimising your life so you can get the absolute maximum enjoyment while spending the least amount of money.
And if you make your spending decisions with happiness at the core then you won’t miss out on anything. In fact, you get entirely the opposite, a hell of a lot more fun!
But Flint isn’t retiring sitting around watching Come Dine With Me re-runs?
Once you’re financially independent in your 20s or 30s (or any age really) you don’t want to spend your days on the sofa watching daytime TV and letting your brain melt out your ear.
You want to get outside, meet with friends, live life, all that and more free from a cubicle and the 9-5 knowing you don’t have to be anywhere.
You have the complete freedom to choose how you spend every minute of your day.
I like my job though! I’m at the start of an exciting career! I don’t want to quit
Being financially independent just gives you the choice, if the job turns out not to be as fun as you thought you can quit, you can find another job but most importantly you can show up every day because you love the work. You’re not just there for a paycheck.
Another great but less delicate way I’ve heard it put is having Fuck You Money.
So when your boss is telling you to work the third weekend in a row you can tell them no. And you can do this with full knowledge that if it causes any real problems you can walk away. You find another job where you are better appreciated and have more fun.
It just creates this safety net that you can rely on no matter what happens. And it doesn’t take much to get it started, all it boils down to is spending less, saving more and then knowing what to do with those savings. All of which I’ll get to, just stay tuned.
Wait, one more thing Flint, are all your posts going to have these weird questions where you talk to yourself?
I do love them but definitely won’t be using them in every post. Just when there are doubters here that need to be convinced of the awesomeness of FIRE. Eventually, I’ll put together and F.A.Q of all these things where I can talk to myself to my heart’s content.