It is a true narrative, that people would do anything to live a peaceful life. Even if that meant trying to sift through hell right now, and live in heaven later. Just ask the 36-year-old Corporate Lawyer from New York- Daniel. He is a part of the FIRE community (Financial Independence, Retire Early), which aims at not being too bogged down by financial insecurities- thereby ensuring that one spent a lot less now to have a stable future.
This is a growing trend, and Daniel, who earns above $200k a year has almost saved $400k. He informed New York Post reporter Suzy Weiss that he cuts his savings by living in New Jersey where he can avoid the taxes of the city, lives on beans and rice, and wears a patchwork suit to work. He also wears pullovers, rather than turning up the heater- all because he plans to save nearly 70% of his income and be able to retire early. This is the main concept of the FIRE Community.
While this movement was out there in the world two decades back, when ‘Your Money or Your Life’ was published, Suzy Weiss noted that more and more people were following through. Other earners she spoke to maintain the same thing, indicating their devotion to the FIRE Community. They would rather wear torn shoes than spend more on new ones.
Simpler Living, Higher Thinking
The key to a successful life is earning more, spending less, and not giving in to the trends of the time. J.P. Livingston, who maintains the blog The Money Habit, was one of the first to follow through on the FIRE Community initiative. She retired at 28, after building for herself a fortune of $2 million. According to previous Business Insider interviews, she used to earn $100,000 from her first job in the finance industry in Manhattan.
She could have worked for a lot more, but she decided to be frugal now, to retire early. She mentioned how she bought furniture off Craigslist and got a flat with a roommate in New York- a rent of $1050 per month!
It would be wrong to assume that only high-end salaried careers could afford a FIRE lifestyle. For, public-school teachers Ali and Joe Olson gave up their careers after depositing $1 million in their bank accounts. They tried saving 75% of their salary by living in a 400 sq. ft house and bringing their annual income to nearly $20,000.
Frugality is Key To FIRE Community
Sarah S. Fallaw, the director of the Affluent Market Institute believes that it is frugality that turns normal people into millionaires. You don’t get rich overnight until you hit jackpot. For many, the FIRE initiative is a very slow-moving process. In her book, “The Next Millionaire Next Door: Enduring Strategies for Building Wealth”, she talks about the value of frugality as she analyses 600 American millionaires.
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Out of the six characteristics which she believes are paramount to a successful, wealthy life, frugality is one of them. She writes how spending above one’s pay would make one increasingly dependent on their paycheck- however high their income may be. And this is where the FIRE Community comes into play.