Valentine’s Day vs. FIRE

It’s Valentine’s Day again, woo! (WARNING: upcoming rant alert)

 

Now, I’m going to come right out and say that I don’t think that many people (single or otherwise) actually like Valentine’s Day.

 

If you’re currently single, then every shop you walk into is festooned with love hearts, teddy bears and balloons reminding you that you are single and that that isn’t right.

 

If you are currently in a relationship, then regardless of how and when you would normally show affection to your partner you have all this advertising trying to cajole you into buying roses, dinner, and even greetings cards to prove you love them. I feel, however, that it is probably the WORST day of the year to show your affection, because nothing says “I love you” like a heart-shaped greetings card bought in a petrol station at societal gun-point.

 

It is also probably the most expensive day of the year to display your affection if you want to do anything like go out for a meal, which reminds me of this sketch from Man Stroke Woman (wedding rather than Valentine’s day, but you get the idea):

What does this have to do with Financial Independence?

Good question, as I’m not just here to rant as a lonely singleton. Those seeking financial independence or early retirement are known for eschewing social norms and doing things differently, because our modern consumerist society isn’t made with FIRE in mind.

 

Paying money for something you wouldn’t normally do, or paying extra for something you would do, just because companies tell you “today is the day you should be doing this!” is nonsensical and counterproductive for those heading for FIRE. The only reason companies advertise as much as they do is because it’s in their financial interest, not yours.

 

I’m not saying don’t do nice things with your loved one. But do things together that you both value, and do it on your own schedule. Go for a walk, make their favourite meal, do whatever!

 

Just don’t buy a glittery greetings card with a teddy bear on.

 

TFE

Living Well, Living Consciously

Good day folks!

 

This post is written at the beginning of February, as the western world limps out of the Season of Consumption. By that I mean Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas, and Christmas sales, which are enough to give most people a financial hangover to start the new year with! The world has spent billions in the last couple of months as a result of these few events. By now, we’ve had time to get used to the new purchases and presents. They’ve become part of our everyday lives. And for those that sparked joy and excitement the moment you got them; do they still make you feel anything like that now?

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Modifying your FIRE Engine Pt 2 – Reducing Drag

If you haven’t seen my earlier post, modifying the FIRE engine part 1, I’d recommend trying there first. In the first post, I talked the importance of increasing the amount of money coming in each month, giving your FIRE engine more power. The more money in, the more you have to save and invest, and the faster you’ll become financially independent.

 

The second key aspect of overhauling your FIRE engine for maximum efficiency? Reducing drag.

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2017 Goals Review, and New Resolutions

It’s that time of year! The nights are cold and dark, there are lights up everywhere, and we’re almost at the end of another year. Despite the cold and darkness it’s one of my favourite periods, not simply because of the festivities and presents, but because it is a time of reflection for me. I love looking back at everything that has happened in the last twelve months; how my life has changed, the fun experiences and interesting relationships I’ve had, and progress made towards my various goals in life. It also offers an opportunity to look forwards to another year, another three hundred and sixty five days of opportunities!

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The Art of Tracking Spending

Tracking spending is a cornerstone of progression towards financial independence

How much do you spend in a given week? or month? Do you know, or are you just guesstimating? In any given month I could have dozens of separate expenses, ranging from buying a cup of coffee (Latte Factor evangelists relax, it’s a rare occurrence) to my mortgage payments. With the number and variability in size of all these expenses, it’s hard to have a sense of what you’re actually spending if you’re not actually recording any of it.

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Choosing Not to Afford Things

My Pet Hate

Please excuse me while I have a short rant about a regular occurrence that really grates on me, and I imagine a good few of you too. It’s a small thing, really only four words, but it’s a concept that lies at the heart of why most people will never become financially independent. Those words?

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Imagining Day Zero

Day Zero

I’m likely not alone in often trying to imagine how I will spend the first day after becoming financially independent. If you haven’t, try it. I contemplate reaching a goal that I will have been working towards for a considerable number of years. Will I book an around-the-world trip? Or should I hire a barbershop quartet to come into work and announce my resignation? Continue reading “Imagining Day Zero”