057 - How I FI - The Starting Point
20 Feb, 2018
Let’s talk about financial independence!
Up until now I’ve shied away from talking about the FI side of this Start Over Coder project. I’ve made so many wrong moves with my own money that it’s like, who am I to talk about the subject with any kind of authority!? Not to mention the fact that I’m years away from seeing the outcomes of my actions…maybe I’m still doing it wrong. Plus it’s just a sensitive topic!
But I do think one of the main reasons why it can feel so sensitive is because people don’t really talk about it, and since FI is a big part of why I started learning to code, I definitely don’t want to hold anything back about that side of things.
So over the next few episodes I’ll share a bit about how I FI, what I’m doing to become financially independent.
But before getting into the specifics, it might be helpful to know a bit of my background to get a sense of what led me to do all of this in the first place. Here’s a quick recap from the podcast (listen for more context!):
- Pretty solid upbringing with all of the basic needs (safe home, food, education) covered.
- At the same time I was very aware that there wasn’t extra money available for the “wants.”
- My “money mindset” evolved as:
- There isn’t enough money for everything.
- Whatever money there is will run out.
- You have to work work work to earn money in order to survive. It’s the only way.
- As a result, when I earned more, it meant I could afford more, so I just spent more.
- There was no big picture: no savings goals, no retirement plans, no money plans in general.
I lived with this mindset for years and years, but eventually I realized that this outlook wasn’t working for me. In fact, I was working for it! Literally: working for the bi-weekly paycheck that I needed to keep up the lifestyle I built for myself (not exactly music to my ears).
I’ll share more about what changed, and what changes I made as a result in future episodes in this series. But the biggest change was finding some goals to work towards. Financial independence means having enough income to cover all of your expenses without having to work for that income. Instead, money comes in through savings interest, investment income, businesses that generate income without your personal hours of labor…all of this is often referred to as passive income.
Being financially independent gives you the freedom and flexibility to live life exactly how you want to. For me that involves a lot of travel…long-term travel ideally. And contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t necessarily mean not working! I actually really like working when it means having interesting projects, solving problems, and working with interesting, dynamic people. Reaching FI means having the freedom to work only when you find work that meets these criteria.
That’s the kind of life I want!
So with these goals in mind, how do you actually do it? I’ve found some ideas, and I’ll talk about them in the next few episodes. Stay tuned!