Financial Independence

Whether you know what financial independence (FI) is or you just clicked your way to this page of the site, I’m glad you made it here. This is a look at what we think and what we write about in terms of financial independence. This will tell you why financial independence is a great thing to aim for as well as some down sides we have found over time. Scroll (or read) to the bottom to find articles we have written about FI and other bloggers you may like. 

What is FI?

Financial independence is the state of having sufficient personal wealth to live, without having to work actively for basic necessities. For financially independent people, their assets generate income and/or cash flow from dipping into the assets that is at least as great as their expenses.

~ Wikipedia (not the best of sources but it works)

In its basics, financially independent (FI) means not having to work for or worry about money. In short, the end goal is different for everyone. For us, it’s more than not needing to actively work, but rather, it’s a way to do the work we love.

FI For Us?

Young MadDogge
MadDogge learns that time at the dog park is better than sitting at home.

When we hit 35 we have a few goals in mind. First, we want to own an organic event farm that pays for (and mostly runs) itself. This farm will have goats, chickens, an event space, organic produce, and a nonprofit running out of it (but that’s a whole different post). Second, we want to have $800k divided between investments, savings, and retirement accounts. This is what we plan to live off for the rest of our lives and any extra we make from working will just add to this number but is not required. Lastly, when we hit 35, we want to make sure we truly love what we are doing. We only work at companies we love so this one shouldn’t be hard, but it’s still something we will be mindful about.

The road to financial independence

MadCat in a bag
After living in a bag for a week, MadCat realized that she was too frugal.

The road to financial independence is complicated and not easy for most. You have to learn to live on less with less. You must embrace being frugal and minimalist. Traditional rules like “only spend 30% of income on housing” aren’t strict enough to reach any goals.

That’s not to say that you can’t have fun while saving towards your FI. Check out this about why being to frugal can be bad for financial independence. You need to have fun to keep yourself motivated. Saving can be hard and when all you do is save, you don’t want to do it anymore.

While we save for our FI we are also taking trips, getting married, having children, and even in theory buying a house (we’ll see about that later). Our road to FI involves saving 60% of what we earn a year. Our road is minimalist but full of the outdoors. While we may have to wait on those trips to Bali, we make sure to travel to our close parks as much as often.

There are perks

There are perks to financial independence that we haven’t talked about. There are perks more than getting to do what you want and some of them even start before you reach FI. The previous reasons combined with there are why we truly go for FI.

  • Stress: when we became frugal, stepped away from consumerism, and embraced being minimalist less stress interred our life. We don’t feel the need to “keep up with the Jones’s” anymore. When we hit FI, this feeling will just get better.
  • Environment: the funny thing about being frugal and minimalist is that we have ended up helping the environment. With less items and less desire for them, we keep more from the landfill than before.
  • Education: As we have striven for our FI, we have inadvertently become more educated. We’ve learned more about money and the world we are aiming for. Since we’ve slowed down, we’ve learned more about our history and nature than ever. Just by taking the time to enjoy where we are.
  • Journey: going off the last statement, when we realized that live was more than buying new things or conversely saving all we could, we really began enjoying our journey to FI. While the destination might be better than the ride, the ride isn’t so bad either.

What are the down sides? Less Starbucks mainly. If you want to save, you must cut erroneous spending. It’s not to say you can’t have fun, but ask yourself: “Would I rather have enough money to live work free or drink a $5 coffee every weekday for the next year?” It’s not always the coffee. It may be more walking or less clothes shopping. Think about your budget. How can you cut back?

You’ve heard me say this a lot, but everyone’s journey is different. Our ending FI may be different than yours. If you want to save up enough to live on 100k a year you might need to save more than us. If you don’t want to run a farm, you might need less than we will. If you are not interested in travel, your end will look a lot different than ours. We hope you will still learn and get ideas from us and our writings. There are plenty of other resources out there too so don’t be afraid to look on the great interwebs!

Ready to retire? Begin with these helpful topics!

  • Five Things We’ve Done to Hit Our FI – Your starting list, a list of things we did in the first half of 2017 to set ourselves up for a future.
  • Bricks on a Path – This is the first in getting a real set plan to accomplish anything. From FIRE to getting a dog or having a child.
  • Goals to Steps – The second in the Bricks on a Path series. This will take the goals from the first step and turn them into multiple steps.

Want to see other sites for even more help?

Are you on a journey to financial independence?
What does your road look like?