“Everybody uses the FIRE acronym (Financial-Independence-Retire-Early) because it is catchy and “Early Retirement” sounds desirable. But for most people who get there, Financial Independence does not mean the end of your working career. Instead it means, “Complete freedom to be the best, most powerful, energetic, happiest and most generous version of You that you can possibly be.”Does this mean you will quit commuting through traffic into a lame corporate office to sit in meetings about products you don’t really care about? Yes. But does it mean you won’t work hard at things that are important to you, for the rest of your life? NO”. Mr Money Mustache
I’ve recently joined a cult. One which involves embracing simplicity and self-sufficiency to optimise happiness and freedom. Yes, I’m a convert to Mustacheism. The lifestyle philosophy of FIRE preached and embodied by Mr Money Mustache, Peter Adeney, the Canadian Colorado-based blogger who retired from engineering at age 31 by frugal spending, active saving and wise investing. This appeals to me as a lover of minimalism, mindfulness and sustainability. MMM says that once people have shelter, food, company and purpose, their happiness is not improved by having a more luxurious shelter, fancier food or a bigger car to commute to a job to maintain these things but by the freedom to pursue their passions, be more active and spend quality time with loved ones (he enjoys cycling, carpentry and has a young son).
It’s true that we seem to have it a bit backwards by overspending on material goods that we’re too busy working to afford to enjoy. “The stuff you own ends up owning you” as Tyler Durden says in “Fight Club”. Before buying anything, MMM says to ask yourself, “is this eliminating a negative for me?” Some things will and a lot of things won’t. He suggests using a bike/walking instead of a car when possible (health and environment benefits as well as financial ones), making your own coffee and food at home and simplifying by unsubscribing to streaming services and using that time and money more effectively.
I’m enjoying shopping at Aldi/ the market and experimenting with a bargain milk frother to make a coconut cappuccino Chez Moi. I realised I was very oversubscribed and didn’t really need multiple music and TV streaming services so have cancelled/ suspended most of them. I feel like a lot of open tabs in my brain have now closed and hopefully thought-optimisation and the mind-expansion of watching SBS World Movies can begin and I can use the chunks of change saved to move towards Financial Independence.
Another tip I heard from a guest on “This Abundant Life” podcast was to waitlist items you want to buy to see if you still want them later-like in 72 hours or a few days. I’m trying this in my i-phone notes with a date. Some things-like books I wanted to buy-I’ve ended up reserving at the library instead and other things- like loafers I almost impulse bought after seeing PWB wearing them in “Fleabag Live”- lost their shine and I almost couldn’t remember wanting them after a little while. PWB looks wonderful in everything but I don’t think the loafers would increase my intelligence and sass as I hoped when I was fresh from the cinema.
Are you onto this FIRE caper dear reader? I’m looking forward to finding new and fun ways to increase simplicity and savings and sharing them.
Love and light and join the cult of Mustacheism xxx Yvette
Pete Adeney (Mr. Money Mustache) – 28 Minute Talk at WDS 2016 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8BDWih309wc
This Abundant Life (Podcast episode 6) https://thisabundant.wordpress.com/
Phoebe Waller-Bridge (PWB) “Fleabag Live”-25 second trailer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ygWAY44SKYQ