FIRE is hot! We were fans of the FIRE movement early on. FIRE stands for financially independent and retire early. A movement that started in the US (by this book) and is slowly gaining prominence across other countries as well. A movement that advocates a different way of dealing with money (spending less, investing a lot to build up wealth, helping you to retire early and live off your accumulated wealth) which is in line with the current zeitgeist (looking for a meaningful life). But what exactly does FIRE mean? What is the FIRE movement all about?
The interpretation of fire is subject to many interpretations, because financial independence has a different meaning for everyone. In the fire movement we notice the same as in the world of diets and fitness: so many people, so many situations, so many opinions, so many visions. The basis of the movement is to use your money differently (invest a lot, spend less, bring a bit of minimalism into your life, and build up wealth to be able to stop working earlier).
But as with a movement, there are often many branches, such as FIRO (financially independent & retire often – or the old-fashioned sabbatical) and HOT (Happy, Opportunity Rich, Time Rich). The common denominator is that people are going to use money as a means to fully enjoy what we never get more of: time, because time is all we have.
We at ELFIN have financial independence, and the route to get there, divided into 4 pillars.
- Spend your money mindfully. We believe in abundance, don’t skimp on cups of coffee or stress about tight budgets. But if you do spend your money, do so consciously, and spend sustainably.
- Earn more. Abundance ladies 😉 Earning more can be accomplished in several ways. For example, more salary, more sources of income (side hustles) or creating passive income.
- Investing. Invest your money in order to benefit financially from this in the future. In addition of this being something smart, investing is also a lot of fun.
- Mindset. Transformation does not start with knowledge and practice, but with a desire in your belly and in your heart. By actively working on the right mindset, practical actions follow automatically.
So instead of buying new clothes every month, invest every month.
Instead of dining out every week: you are able to save a little extra every week.
We are not saints, we are also human. We argue that FIRE, or hot or firo, is a good aim or starting point.
Having the freedom to devote your precious time and attention to what makes you happy? That is what financial independence means to us!
We know that there are people who think they are stuck, and have to maintain their high income, because of ego, habituation, mindset. We hope with ELFIN to inspire you and let you know that the choice is yours. You are not a slave to your current lifestyle, every day you have the choice to make a different decision, to live a different life, and to choose what really makes you happy.
Financial independence helps you make choices with your heart, because some money in your pockets makes big decisions a lot easier.
Our ultimate tip
How can you determine for yourself what makes you happy, and what your goal ( which your finances should match) should be? What helps us is the following:
Sit down, close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and ask yourself, “What if I wake up tomorrow and my life is perfect, what will my life be like?” Let your heart speak here, and you have your answer.