The “F-I-R-E” Movement

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It started with  this article my son sent me in September.

I had been on the frugal train for years, starting in the early 90’s with Amy Dacyczyn’s newsletter that was mailed to me every month. Yes, in the mail! Before the internet, children, we had to do something to get information from one place to another! I have mentioned her before in  some of my previous blogs. She was a super saver–the name of her newsletter was the Tightwad Gazette. Here are her newsletters gathered in one book.

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I didn’t want to do everything in her newsletter , but she taught me

that what I did at home to save money and budget, really mattered. She reinforced to me that you didn’t need a two income family in order to survive in America.

That was empowering. It changed my life.

It took us ten years to pay off Craig’s student loans from graduate school. Then in 2007 we woke up right before the financial crisis and buckled down to do Dave Ramsey’s baby steps, outlined here:

Still, we are in the marketing wonderland, and I slowly got sucked back into “stuff” buying and gathering. This spring, on a trip, we watched a

YouTube video of Mr. Money Mustache talk about

no more mandatory work.

We didn’t watch all of it–it’s over an hour long–but enough to think about the wonder of no more mandatory work.

I hadn’t heard of the “FIRE” movement—Financial Independence Retire Early—until the above article Ross sent me in September, so I was happy to see a younger generation ignited and working to save, save, save and get their houses paid off. Amy Dacyczyn had always called her motivation for saving, “FI”—for Financial Independence. Which is the same thing.

This article came out in the Wall Street Journal this week:

Some of the negative comments in  financial blogs and articles like this Wall Street Journal one is that there is no mention of children, and if you enjoy your job what are you going to do with your time? Also people write that being cheap robs people of enjoying life. I love the discussion on what constitutes cheap in the comments below this Wall Street Journal article. I think you can be frugal and still be very abundant. This video below, from PBS about penny pinchers, illustrates how these young retirees are

really enjoying their lives.

Their sacrifice and focus over 5 or 10 years has really paid off.  Halfway through this video, a young mother is playing with her children on the floor of her living room–a bare wooden floor which feels kind of spartanesque–and she said, “Retiring young will make sure I will be the one to raise my children.” I applaud her with all of my heart, “Yes! she gets what is essential.” It’s about having the time to serve your family and enjoy them.

Of course as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints we have our retirement lined up as temple workers and full-time missionaries. Am I right?

There are many financial blogs out there with their spin on how to be wise with your money. If you have any favorites, please leave them in the comments below.

I would feel better if he was wearing a helmet. The younger generation doesn’t have everything figured out! How about you? What are some of your financial goals?

3 thoughts on “The “F-I-R-E” Movement

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