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Nine Tips for Pursuing Financial Independence & Retiring Early (F.I.R.E.)

Amon and I started pursuing financial independence almost nine years ago. I remember how it all began. Amon came home from work one day and told me he wanted to retire before he turned 40.

Wait, what?!

At the time, we didn’t know anyone that had retired early and we had never heard of the FIRE movement. In fact, when Amon first brought up the idea of retiring early, he didn’t tell me he wanted to reach “financial independence.” He didn’t say he wanted to reach “FIRE.” Instead, Amon’s exact words were, “I want to retire before I’m forty.” My response: “Why not? What’ve we got to lose?”

After that, we got started.

When we started pursuing “FIRE,” we didn’t have the luxury of researching a FIRE strategy on podcasts, Youtube channels, or blogs. In fact, the FIRE resources available in 2011 were very slim - with the FIRE movement being more of a whisper at the time. Flashback to 2011, when we started our FIRE journey . . . Fun facts:

  1. Podcasts (as we know them today) were invented in 2004 by a former MTV video jockey. They weren’t widely popular back in 2011. Today, however, more than 51% of the United States population has now listened to at least one podcast.

  2. Youtube was founded in 2005. In 2011, Youtube was attracting 490 million users worldwide per month. Youtube has since quadrupled it’s numbers - with more than 2 billion users worldwide visiting Youtube each month in 2020.

  3. The first blog was created in 1994. By 2011, there were roughly 170 million blogs in existence worldwide. Compare that to 2020, where there are more than 500 million blogs worldwide.

Fast forward to 2020, where more FIRE resources are now available and where Amon and I have since reached financial independence, quit our federal government jobs, and retired before forty.

Interested in how we achieved FIRE? It’s as simple as one, two, three (four, five, six, seven, eight, nine).

1. Get your mindset right

If you want to pursue FIRE, you have to adopt the mindset that you will be successful in pursuing FIRE. No Debbie Downers allowed. If you hit a bump along the journey, get back up and keep pushing. Believe in yourself and think positive.

2. Create a budget

To reach FIRE, you must create a budget. You have to track your budget and you have to record your monthly expenses. This will help you in two ways. First, it will help you identify areas that you’re overspending. Second, it will help you calculate your FIRE number.

3. Calculate your FIRE number