What FIRE is:

The acronym F.I.R.E. stands for Financial Independence Retire Early.  This school of thought has been gaining a lot of popularity in the last few years; especially among Millenials.  The “retire early” part sounded bizarre to me at first, but after reading articles on the subject and listening to people who are working towards FIRE-ing,  I’ve come to see that FIRE has a lot of good to offer.

FIRE: The Good Part

It seems everyone connects with the financial independence part because we all want that for ourselves. I describe financial independence as having enough money to live life, without having to worry about covering your living expenses. I’m also in favour of financial freedom which relates to being able to live your best life without money ever being an issue.  That is, you have enough money to take care of your expenses and pursue all your dreams.

FIRE: The Bad Part

To retire means to stop working and a lot of people are not in support of this. While I believe everyone has the power to make their own choices, I wouldn’t advise anyone to retire early. However, I think we all need to work towards earning a living doing the things we are passionate about. And this could also mean, working at your convenience which is great as well.

How to Achieve it;

There is no set rule to having financial independence, but the key principles are:

  1. Earning More
  2. Spending Less
  3. Investing like Crazy.
Decide what kind of life you want to live.

I recently learned that we all overestimate how much we actually need to live our lives fully. If you had asked me a few years ago, how much I needed to have as my account balance to live my best life, I would have said a billion Dollars. But now, I know that in reality, I need about three million dollars. Of course, that number is different for everyone but I think considering all the responsibilities associated with being rich, a lot of us will settle for quieter (but very comfortable) lives.

So the first step is to decide how much you need to live your best life; all things considered

Secondly, Evaluate your current financial position

Are you broke?

Are you in debt?

Do you have student loans to pay off?

Are you gainfully employed?

Are you able to save every month?

Are you married?

Evaluating your current financial position will help you decide which financial goals to set first.

Earn more money:

There are so many ways to go about this one but it all boils down to your value offering. The more valuable you are, the more money you are eligible for.

For people in the workplace, it means getting a better job. This entails increasing your level of expertise, keeping abreast of the latest trends and networking like crazy. Of course, you must also realize that getting a better job is a process that you need to understand and apply. It’s easier said than done, but it’s within your reach.

Furthermore, you should aim to sell something; whether an actual product or service. I don’t have a flair for selling so I ride on my passion to help with that. For example, I love blogging and I hope to be able to monetize this blog soon.

Again, the goal is to have multiple streams of income which would include ventures that generate passive income.

Some ideas for making extra income
  1. Dropshipping
  2. micro influencing on Instagram
  3. Affiliate marketing
  4. Blogging
  5. Vlogging on Youtube.
  6. Becoming a Youtube DJ
  7. Publishing an e-book.
  8. Becoming a virtual assistant.
  9. Becoming a digital freelancer.

Spend less than you earn:

This is the rule of thumb for handling your personal finance.  If you currently spend more than you earn, make a decision to downsize your life accordingly. You should have a monthly budget. Also, consider automating your savings.

Tips for spending less than you earn:
  1. Cook at home.
  2. Budget for everything including monthly entertainment.
  3. Reduce your electricity bill  (turn of the lights when not in use).
  4. Review automated subscriptions and take out those you don’t utilize fully.
  5. Buy fashion staples instead of trendy items.
  6. Don’t upgrade your mobile phone for at least 2 years.
  7. Don’t shop for new clothes every month.
  8. Avoid designer items

Invest like crazy:

I prefer having a diversified investment portfolio covering real estate, agriculture and stocks.

Real estate is huge everywhere, but particularly in the US and Canada.

Sadly, the requirements for owning property in many African countries differ from those in the US. Oftentimes, you have to pay in full unlike in the US where you have the option of taking a mortgage. The mortgage option is not mainstream in Nigeria even though it’s available (ish).

However, it doesn’t have to be real estate. my advice will be that you keep abreast of local investment options. In Nigeria, I rely on some fin-tech applications like Risevest, Agropartnership and Crowdyvest. I also save in my Stanbic Money Market fund account.

Support my hustle:  Use my referral code for Risevest (4K7NGNQ8), Agropartnership (AMO7442) and Crowdyvest (CV-88941072).

The keyword is “compounding”.  Just keep rolling your investments over and think long term.

Finally, I will advise that you don’t put undue pressure on yourself to be financially independent. I know for a fact that money will not make you happy. It’s a tool that could make life more meaningful.

It’s better to aspire to live a good life.


Olutobi

My superpower is creative engagement; whether working as regulatory affairs professional at a pharmaceutical company or as a fashion art director. Malcolm Gladwell calls people like me, "connectors".

I try to read at least a book a month, I have a green thumb (not literally) and my favourite quote ever is " remember to play after every storm".

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