Before I learned about (and actually understood) financial independence, my core philosophy in life was what I considered YOLO (i.e. you only live once).
I wanted to live my best life now. We definitely saved some money (since you are supposed to), but I wanted to be focused on today.
I thought this meant buying convenience, taking expensive vacations, and going to fancy restaurants.
I worked 50 hour weeks and commuted 45 minutes each way to work, so didn’t I deserve to enjoy the spoils of my labor?
When I was first introduced to financial independence, I originally understood it as deprivation.
It seemed to me that extreme frugality dominated the narrative. I read and heard stories of people who:
- Biked everywhere
- Lived in an RV or tiny house
- Never went out to eat
- Kept their house at an uncomfortable temperature in the summer or winter
- Subsisted off beans and rice
- Moved to a low cost of living area, even though they loved their previous location.
People would do all of this while trying to increase their income to as high as possible, and for some, they did this no matter what the cost to their health or happiness.
Some of these people were in stressful jobs that they didn’t enjoy. Others spent many of their waking hours outside of work side hustling to make even more money.
They were making, what was in my mind, extreme sacrifices now to be able to have complete freedom later.
This is why I originally thought Financial Independence Retire Early (FIRE) wasn’t for me. I didn’t want to live a life of extremes.
I was already miserable in my job. I couldn’t imagine continuing to work at that pace for another year. Doing it for another 10 years while also trying to decrease our expenses seemed impossible.
This misery led me to appreciate the best parts of FIRE and ultimately to come to a new understanding of the journey to financial independence. It has also informed the core philosophy of our blog (i.e. the journey should be as remarkable as the destination).
Over the past several months, I’ve even introduced the new term Slow FI into the FI lexicon, and it’s time to officially define it.
Embracing the Best Things that FIRE has to Offer
Even though FIRE did not resonate with me completely, there were a number of things that appealed to me.
1. Embracing Big Dreams
After I began to read more books and blogs about people pursuing financial independence, it struck me that people were living their lives in ways that I didn’t think was possible for me.
There were people choosing to be nomadic travelers, live on homesteads, or go live in other countries to help their kids become bilingual. Others were choosing to focus on creative passion projects or volunteer in their communities.
People were focusing on improving their health and well-being and not getting caught up in the culture of busyness all around us.
This was very appealing to me. I wasn’t happy within the traditional script of working a 40-50 hour/week job that I expected to work for 30-40 years.
When I was younger I had big dreams, but I felt like they weren’t possible to achieve.
2. Being More Intentional
One thing that struck me is that the vast majority of people pursuing financial independence were focusing on intentionality. Yes, some people took the frugality to an extreme, but that didn’t mean I needed to do the same.
I also realized that I was buying lots of stuff, and it wasn’t making me any happier.
This understanding of intentionality pushed me to become more mindful and reflective about what actually made me happy.
I didn’t want to take this intentionality to an extreme, but I did decide to be more intentional about how I spent my time and money.
3. Anti-Consumerism and Environmental Consciousness
I’ve always been socially minded. I’ve worked in nonprofit organizations and been conscious of the environmental impact of many of my decisions.
Another thing I loved about FIRE was that people were connecting this intentional anti-consumerism with environmentalism. I hadn’t thought about it this way before. I’ve always recycled, tried to turn lights off when I didn’t use them, walk or take public transportation when possible, etc.
On the flip side, I’d never really thought about the environmental impact of having so much stuff. Realizing this connection between our wallets and the environment is a strong motivation for me.
Balancing the Positive Aspects of FIRE with YOLO
There were many positive things that could come with a decision to pursue FIRE, but I still felt that some aspects of it were at odds with my desire to live my best life now (YOLO).
I’ve personally dealt with both mental and physical health issues. I know how quickly our lives can change. Our physical health is not guaranteed, and we could irreparably damage our mental health if we don’t attend to it.
Because we only have one life to live, I truly believe that we should search for happiness and meaning every day of our lives. I’m not willing to put that off until a day I can retire early.
The tradeoff isn’t worth it.
I wasn’t willing to continue in a high-paying, stressful job. I didn’t want to spend my precious free time hustling to make more money. Being more intentional with my money was important, but I didn’t want to go to an extreme that would impact my health and happiness.
Rethinking My Understanding of YOLO
I started to realize that I had a fundamental misunderstanding of YOLO.
I thought YOLO was about consumption. YOLO meant that I could buy and consume the things that I wanted when I wanted to.
When I realized that buying things to make my crazy life feel more bearable wasn’t actually making me happy, I decided I needed to rethink my understanding of YOLO. I sure hoped that this wasn’t the best that life had to offer.
My friend Kara Perez over at Bravely Go recently wrote a post about this fundamental misunderstanding of YOLO. Thinking that YOLO means putting all responsibility to the side just increases our financial insecurity and gives us fewer options in the future. YOLO as consumption makes it harder to live our best lives in the future.
With this new understanding of YOLO, I decided that I needed to take some time to reflect on what my best life would actually look like.
Unlike early retirement enthusiasts, I didn’t want to only focus on what my ideal life would look like in the future once I reached the magical day where I could stop working.
I also wanted to figure out what I could do now along the journey to focus on my happiness, health, and well-being.
Putting My New Understanding of YOLO into Action
Around this time, I was just getting more involved in the management of our finances. I was experiencing a health issue, and I wanted to understand how much time I could take off work if needed.
After doing the calculations, I realized that we could cover our expenses on Corey’s salary alone, and we had a pretty big pot of F-You Money. This meant that I had a runway where I could take time off, take my time finding a job I’d actually like, and even work fewer hours.
This was a great lesson for me on the impact that financial stability could have immediately.
During my time off, we were also able to cut our expenses significantly with little effort. Because we were less stressed and miserable as a result of being less busy, we found that we didn’t need to buy as much convenience or buy things to make our lives feel happier.
When we ended the year with a 60% savings rate, even with my lost income, it was a sign that we could immediately make some big life changes to make our lives better, happier, and healthier.
It took some time and reflection to figure out what changes to make.
Many people in the FIRE community like to ask, “What do you want to do once you retire?” or “What are you retiring to?” A friend of mine who blogs over at Modest Millionaires, instead, prefers to ask, “What would you do if you knew you could never retire?”
I focused on the latter question. If I could never retire, how would I structure my life differently now? If I needed to do the same thing forever, what could I do now to live the life I wanted?
This reflection helped me to move forward. I found a part-time job at a nonprofit, cut my commute time in half, and started focusing my free time on passion projects (like this blog) and my health and well-being.
Given the financial stability that I currently have, I feel like I’m living a pretty awesome life! I realized yesterday that I’m off work for the next 11 days, and I only need to take two PTO days to do it!
Slow FI is the Real YOLO
You may have seen a new term show up in the FI lexicon recently. I introduced the concept of Slow FI when I began the Slow FI interview series earlier this year.
Before we go any further, let’s define Slow FI.
Slow FI: When someone utilizes the incremental financial freedom they gain along the journey to financial independence to live happier and healthier lives, do better work, and build strong relationships.
People pursuing Slow FI could retire early or could retire at the traditional retirement age. The ultimate goal is full financial independence, but the focus is on making the journey as remarkable as the destination.
Like slow food and slow travel, Slow FI focuses on the process, connection to the world and people around us, and our experiences along the journey. Slow FI enables us to live our best lives along the way.
This is why I think Slow FI is the real YOLO.
Slow FI does not ascribe to a two-phase journey, where you work hard now for early retirement of eternal bliss later. With this approach, financial independence is a many stage journey where we make small shifts along the way to live better lives.
Slow FI Enables Unique Lifestyle Designs Long Before Reaching Full Financial Independence
There are so many early adopters (or should we say Fioneers?) of the Slow FI mindset.
These Fioneers are taking hold of the financial freedom that they already have to build lives they want to be living today.
Slow FI is not a one size fits all approach. We all value different things and will choose to focus our time and money in different ways.
There are many people who have decided to trade money for more time along the journey to FI. We have people like Angela from Tread Lightly Retire Early, David from Burrito Bowl Diaries, Mrs. Gov Worker from Government Worker FI, and of course me.
We’ve all decided that the tradeoff of less money for more time was worth it along our journey. And we all use our time in different ways, focusing on passion projects, health, and/or family.
Choosing Work You’ll Enjoy More Even if it Pays Less
Contrary to popular belief income isn’t everything. Once you get to a point where you are able to cover your expenses and save some money, there is little reason to continue working in a job you hate.
Like Chris from Money Stir or Gwen from Fiery Millennials, you can find a job that’s a better fit for your personality, background, and skills. You could also look for a role that provides you with the balance that you might be looking for.
You could also choose to step out of the corporate world entirely. My friend Zach who writes at Four Pillar Freedom recently quit his job to focus on his own online business. While his online income doesn’t fully cover his expenses yet, he is optimistic that it will continue to grow with more time.
My favorite example of someone who is semi-retired is Michelle from Frugality and Freedom. Because Michelle is already Coast FI (i.e. she has enough money saved that she could retire comfortably at a traditional age if she doesn’t touch her investments), she works for a portion of the year to cover her full year’s expenses and travels the rest of the time!
Taking Time Away from Work for a Period of Time
Even if you don’t want to make a long-term shift in your career, there are still options for you. If you are tired or burned out, you could decide to take a few months out of the workforce between jobs, like I did last year.
You could also decide to save up some money to quit your job and travel the world for a year like Wendy from Wanderlust Wendy or take several months to travel around South America like M from Radical FIRE.
Spending Some Money on Things that Will Make Your Life Better
When pursuing financial independence, it can get easy to get trapped into what I call ultra-frugality syndrome. We can get so addicted to saving money and expanding our options that we don’t want to spend it, even if it would make our lives better to do so. Sometimes it doesn’t make sense to just keep accumulating more options.
My friend David from City Frugal recently wrote a post about how he’s recently decided to use his hard-earned financial freedom to do things that he loves, even if they cost money. He recently decided to take a woodworking class. Because he enjoyed it so much, he decided to take another one. As a music lover, he also intentionally decided to spend more money on going to concerts to see his favorite bands.
We’ve also written about buying a new $800 wide-angle lens for our DSLR camera. That was very expensive, but the cost was worth it for the enjoyment that we’ll get from using it.
Embrace Slow FI Your Way Because YOLO
We each have a finite amount of time on this earth. We don’t know how long that is. We could live well into our 90s, or we could be diagnosed with cancer next week.
Living with this reality means that we need to balance planning for the future and making shifts along the way to improve our lives.
Your Slow FI journey will look different than mine or Gwen’s or David’s or Michelle’s. It should! This is your one precious life. Live it to the fullest along the way!
Thanks for the lovely insight to your path to FI. I’m still getting up to speed on all the variations of FI.
Thanks for reading. I would agree that all the terminology can be quite confusing. Honestly, I think it’s because just plain FIRE doesn’t actually resonate with that many people that we need to create our own variations of it.
I love everything of this post!! The definition for Slow FI is absolutely perfect and makes me really happy to have a way to define how I’ve been approaching the journey these last few years. While working from home full-time as added even more enjoyment to this journey, I know that other changes we have planned, such as taking leave without pay to spend the summer with our kids in the next few years, will bring even more value to our life right now.
I love this idea of opening up options and really taking time to be mindful about this journey. Thanks for this great post!
Thank you! I’m so happy to see more and more people defining their journey in this way! I’m excited to see the additional changes you make over the next few years. See you IRL tomorrow!
There is a book written by Jason Vitug about You Only Live Once very similar to what you’ve written in this post. He writes it’s misunderstood too. If we have just one life than we should do our best to live it well without the financial stress or constraints. I highly recommend the book.
Thanks, Mark for the comment. I will definitely need to check out the book. I haven’t heard of it.
You know I and ALL about this post. And the comment about not working a job you hate once you can cover the basics with a different one is something I find myself saying often.
Thanks Angela! Yes, that quote is definitely inspired by you! Thanks for being an inspiration to us!
Great post! You have so perfectly articulated what I have been struggling to define for myself since discovering the FIRE community. I will be adding your blog to my weekly reading.
Thank you so much for your comment. I’ve been struggling with this as well; I’m so happy that it resonated with you.
I find the definition you’ve created for SlowFI haphazard. SlowFI as a concept can make sense but you’ve attached unrelated meanings to it that are only pertinent to your life. “Do better work, Build strong relationships”. Might as well tack on eat healthy and sleep 8 hours per day. This article wasn’t well thought out, it’s just more of a stream of consciousness that needs focus. Also as a side note, as a third party observation it appears as though your partner is pulling all the weight to keep you afloat. Sometimes that’s fine in a relationship but it certainly makes you less financially independent on your own.
Thanks, William. I’m glad to hear that our attempts to make financial concepts personal are successful. We share a lot on this blog from our personal experiences. Thanks for helping to point this out for other readers.
I greatly appreciate the balanced insight. I have been somewhat frustrated due to lack of clarity around my future path. For context I’m 40 yrs old and in a high paying ($500k) but stressful 70 hr./week job. I have a 8yr old son. I am at the crossroads of leaving my job to get some time back but somehow unable to gather the courage to break out of these golden handcuffs. I have spent a lot of time reading articles and watching videos but not able to get clarity on how should I balance between reclaiming my time and not being reckless by leaving a well paying job like the one I have.
I understand it has to be my decision but any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
I can completely understand your predicament. I was in what I considered a very high paying job last year (more $ than I even though I’d make; certainly not as high as you), and I was miserable. Sadly, I didn’t make the decision to leave my job as much as the decision was made for me by mental health issues that cropped up. My job was so stressful that I started having frequent panic attacks every time I thought about work. I was really fortunate to have a level of financial freedom at the time to be able to take some time off of work to figure out what I wanted. Once I got the time off work, I was able to get more clarity on what I really wanted.
I wonder if you could take some extended time off? Like a sabbatical or mini-retirement or something to get more clarity? Also, decisions aren’t always permanent. You could make a decision to step back for a little bit and then get back on the high paced career track later, if you want to?
After working part-time for almost a year now, I honestly don’t think I’ll ever go back to full-time work. I had forgotten what it was like to feel balanced and not constantly frazzled and overwhelmed. I feel better now than I ever have.
I wish you luck figuring things out,
I liked reading your thoughts about FI and YOLO. It is so great that, unlike most people, you are taking steps to make sure you get to live the life you want. Most people can’t do this, and that’s because it’s not easy.
Thank you for your comment. It is definitely challenging to take this path, at least at first. I think the most important thing for me was to learn what was actually possible.
That’s pretty interesting about YOLO. I feel the same way. You don’t need to sacrifice the future to have a lot of fun now. Everyone has to find their own path. I think it’s great that you found the answer for yourself. Not everyone can live like MMM or other FIRE bloggers.
Slow FI is good because you can focus on living a balanced life now.
Thanks for the comment! Yes, I totally agree, everyone needs to find their own path. This is what I love about the YOLO concept because it is unique to everyone.
We didnt retire early. Didn’t even know about FI or FIRE until recently. But my husband who is an economic major taught me to save and about compound interest. So we became frugal but still have lived well. I have traveled but he’s a homebody. Thank you for this post.
Thank you for the comment. FI/FIRE are new words, but the ideas have always been the same. Spend less than you earn, save the rest, and invest it so it grows. Anyone who is doing that was pursuing FI all along. I also love to travel! It seems like you’ve used your financial freedom in ways that are exciting to you.
Thanks again for the comment,
I think William (above) missed the point. Jess has done a great job here clarifying her definition and providing a rich variety of examples of people who haven’t made financial stability all about the money. Pursuing financial independence through defining your own “enough” and making intentional financial decisions that prioritize your health, relationships, and happiness is a distinct theme that’s missing from the trendy personal finance blogs that usually focus on investing, debt payoff, or FI/RE. I appreciate your voice in this space and how you’ve made room for what matters in your life. Keep #SlowFI going.
Thank you for this uplifting comment. You made my day! I’m also so glad to hear that #SlowFI is impacting your journey! I’ll be interested in hear how it continues to evolve for you.
The disconnect between FIRE v. YOLO only exists when one focuses on the extreme frugality approach to FIRE. But I agree 100% with your point that there are multiple ways to achieve FIRE, some of which don’t require postponing your life dreams. In fact, unless you enjoy the frugal life (and some people do), you are better served to find another strategy towards FIRE — finding a money-making pursuit that doesn’t feel like work, creating additional sources of income that you can balance with a flexible lifestyle, etc. Money is renewable, but time is not — not for anyone. So if you want to hold onto any one resource tightly it’s time, not money.
Thanks for the comment. I totally agree with you assessment of FIRE and YOLO. There are many ways that don’t require people to sacrifice their dreams. I certainly mind some aspects of frugality and minimalism, but for me, it’s definitely about balance. Each person must figure out what works for them.
The way you’ve described it, it sounds like maybe we’re Slow FI? But then again, it seems like an obvious goal for so many people. Finding the right balance between the working+saving vs the family/fun/adventure+spending part of life is what I and most of my friends and family seem to be striving for.
I agree with you that the “extreme”/caricatures of FIRE (working a ton to make tons of money and/or avoiding expenses as much as possible) is VERY unappealing.
Glad you’ve figured out your path! I look forward to reading more about your Slow FI journey!
Thanks, Steph! I agree. I think that many people are already pursuing Slow FI and they maybe don’t have a “term” for it.
I love how you point out the way we need to be mindful of the process as well as the destination. Sometimes it can seem as if the journey to FIRE is filled with impatience, when you’re right that the only moment we’re guaranteed is right now. It’s great you were able to get away from a job that stressed you out and find an alternative. I also love the way you pointed out that YOLO, in our culture, sort of does imply immediate gratification/consumption, and you offer a nice way to think of it differently. Lots of good stuff to think about here.
You had me at SlowFI ?! Love this series. For me SlowFI means paying as much, or maybe more, attention to the value of time while in the accumulation phase. It’s not just about accumulating money and hitting a magic number.
The universe is telling me that I am on the right path. I’m so new to FI that I had never even knew about your blog until the Plutus awards. My brand new Twitter and Insta accounts (that I created yesterday at FINCON) is YOLOtoFIRE because I was not seeing anyone do what you have so eloquently described here. You are my spirit animal ? Is it ok to use #slowFI on my page? I don’t know the rules (cuz, you know, I’m new here).
Did we have a chance to meet at FinCon? I met so many people, so I’m not sure.
Yes, you can absolutely use #SlowFI on your page. Would you mind tagging us when you to do attribute its creation to us? At least until the term becomes mainstream. 🙂
I’ll look forward to connecting with you more over the coming months,
For me, FIRE is all about what I call the Down Shift. You described it here in terms of leaving the job you don’t love to work for less money but more joy. That is my future. When I first mentioned FIRE to my wife, she thought I was talking about watching TV and basically doing nothing. We both have family members that basically did that. That’s not me as I have too many interests, but I also don’t see myself doing these 45-55 hour weeks into my 60s. I don’t want to do it now, but I need to keep earning now, especially while our son is young. I do buy some things; replaced an 15 year old stereo for a new one so that we can enjoy our family movie nights with surround sound. Still, the point of all this for me is to get to the point where I can slow down and enjoy more of my day on a regular basis.
Hey GenX FIRE,
Thanks for sharing! I definitely agree about the downshifting.
One thing I’ve heard from people who retired early is that they wished they enjoyed their lives more along the journey. While it sounds like you still feel like you need to keep your earnings high for now, is there anything else you can do to make your life better now? Could be focusing on hobbies or setting boundaries at work? Or really anything? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
This is exactly what I want out of FIRE. Very well described. This is how I think about Fire with kids.
Thanks for the comment. I’m so happy to hear it. How are you focusing on the present moment?
This is my first time to your site and I’m pretty new to the blogging world. The layout is beautiful and I love the name Fioneers and meaning behind it. Great article and takeaways on Slow FI. I thoroughly enjoyed it and couldn’t agree more that the whole concept of FI is like a cafeteria – pick and choose what you like and leave the rest. I’m looking forward to following you guys and getting more acquainted with your material.
Thank you so much for your comment. I love the analogy that FI is like a cafeteria. Everyone’s journey is personal.
I just checked out your blog as well. I wish you the best of luck!
I’m really intrigued by your idea of slow FI, as a blogger myself I have had my sights set on reaching my number based on the 4% rule but you now have me thinking that I may want to leave work even sooner as it’s starting to make me miserable. One thing I would be interested in hearing is how you or other slowFi members are tackling healthcare? Are you looking for a part time job that provides it? Great post and I’m very interested to read all the others.
Thanks for the comment. Regarding health care, we haven’t determined the specifics of what we’d do in the future. Right now, Corey (Mr. Fioneer) works full time, so I get benefits through his job. This is great for now. In the future, if we both decide to quit our jobs and run our own business, my guess is that we’d get a plan through the exchange. We’d just need to make sure we budget appropriately for it. I tend to have a lot of health issues and use my health insurance frequently, so we’d need to get a good plan. Depending on how much money we make, we might be able to get a subsidy, but if we’re making good money, we’d be able to cover the cost ourselves, even if it’s high.
We also currently live in Massachusetts. Obamacare actually took a lot from the MA healthcare law – health insurance has been required in MA with a good state exchange for many years before the ACA. With the exchange being national, MA now doesn’t offer state-specific plans, but if it all went away, I feel reasonably confident that MA would bring its state platform back. I suppose that’s one benefit of living in a HCOL area.
Thanks again for your comment!
Seriously, this is something Hanna and I have been discussing for the past few years and I’m so glad to see the conversation getting picked up across the community. Let’s increase our enjoyment along the way instead of waiting for some magical payday when we hit FI!
Planning to do a video soon about this, definitely going to shout you guys out.
Awesome work my friends 🙂
Thank you so much for the comment! This is such an important concept; I’m so glad that it’s getting some traction. I’ll be excited to check out the video.
While I don’t agree with William’s overarching criticism of the article’s definition of slow FI, I do agree with his note that the author is actually financially dependent on her spouse. The couple as a unit might be on a path towards financial independence, but a lot of the freedom the author experiences is based on her spouse’s ability to provide for regular expenses, health insurance, etc. If she had to contribute equally to household finances, or was a single person paying for her own expenses, she could not do much of what she writes about. Slow FI (and making the shift from full-time to part-time work) is much easier when you don’t pay for your own expenses. It does not feel incredibly meaningful to read an article about financial independence written by someone who is financially dependent on a spouse.
I agree that having a partner to share life with provides significant financial privilege. To be clear though, I am not financially dependent on my spouse. Even though I work part-time, my wages would still provide me enough money to cover my expenses and save. If I wanted to, I could work 6 additional hours each week (my employer would love for me to work more) so that I could get health insurance through my own work. What other indication do you have that I am financially dependent on my spouse?
The statement “Slow FI is much easier when you don’t pay for your own expenses” – I’m not sure I understand it. I definitely contribute my full salary to the household and therefore pay for a lot of our expenses. My husband could also work part-time if he wanted to.
If I were single, my path to financial independence would look different and likely be slower. My goal isn’t actually to retire super early; it’s to grab hold of incremental financial freedom along the way, which is what I’m doing.
Thank you for your wonderful post which I was pointed towards via Nick True’s blog.
As a middle-aged low-to-average income worker who at age 47 is living in a dual income household for very first time in one of the UK’s most expensive cities, achieving FIRE is not an achievable goal for me and my fiance. However, there are many take-aways from the FI movement that I still find useful.
Your definition of ‘SlowFI’ is great. It aligns with many of my own thoughts and experiences and will help me work alongside my fiance over the next couple of years as we move towards our marriage and truly sharing our lives and finances.
Many thanks x
I’m so glad that this resonated with you! I think that FIRE doesn’t resonate with the vast majority of people, so I’m happy to provide another alternative. I think it’s important that we love our lives all the way through!
Best of luck,
A fellow camper recommended this blog to me this past weekend at a CampFI, and I love it! My wife and I are determining our path forward in work, FI, and life, for us and our 3 boys. Looking forward to following your story and determining how to apply Slow(er)FI in our lives.
Thank you for sharing! I’m so glad that you heard about our blog at Camp FI. I definitely like the slow(er) FI approach better, as it gives me a lot of freedom and flexibility to enjoy my life today!
Best of luck in determining the right path for you,
Hi! I came across your blog for the same reasons you have written it. I never want to retire but I want to have the option to if I want to. Want vs need. I’ve lived frugally my whole life not because I wanted to but because that was the only option. I decided to do a career change and go back to school, I already have a good paying job lined up with a company I loved but I owe 150,000 in student loans from my previous degree. I wanted to pay that ASAP, and I’m currently document my journey on YouTube (which has helped, too) but I’ve realized this year that even though I want to pay my debt, I also know how fragile my life is. My relative died a few weeks ago and was super young. It struck me that, that could happen to me, and I want to enjoy my life while paying off debt and investing. I don’t see myself paying off my debt and sacrificing every little thing. I’m on the slow fire movement 🙂
Side note: not sure if you’re on YouTube but if you are would love to connect over there. (@joshisonamission)
I’m so glad you found our site, and I’m glad to hear that Slow FI resonates with you. You can both build toward financial freedom and enjoy your life along the way.
This was really authentic. I’ve met people on all different FI paths. It’s cool that FI isn’t a “one-way only” mindset. While we aren’t doing Slow FI, we do slow down our journey sometimes as well as speed it up sometimes, too.
I’ve found that there are all sorts of ways to do or get what we want at lower than average prices. For example, we live close to a tourist destination. Many people here don’t know that many of the attractions offer highly discounted local days. Additionally, we can qualify for free things as veterans, such as free admission to some parks and even free fishing licenses.
I think finding ways to save on the things you want instead of paying retail price is a major player in helping to keep that balance between FIRE and YOLO.
I totally agree! Figuring out how to get what you want for less is definitely a way to help. It all works together.
Wow… I’m tearing up. This post verbalizes all my jumbled emotions and thoughts. I recently started my own blog about FI (it’s not ready yet) and started contemplating going down to part-time, but I’m nervous to take the leap. What helped you decide it was time to change up your job?
I’m so happy to hear that this post resonated with you. For me, I was experiencing pretty severe burnout and anxiety, and I don’t think I could have kept working full-time no matter how hard I tried. That being said, I SOOOOOOO much wish that I had made a decision to scale back before I got to that point. It wasn’t until this crisis that I really started understanding our finances though – that we had F-You money and had almost reached coast FI and already had a high savings rate – so this all helped me to realize that I could make the change at that point.
If you have any additional questions about working part-time, I’d definitely encourage you to reach out to me on social media or email!
Yes to this! Now that I’ve learned about FIRE and it rings true to my desires, I don’t want to wait any longer to do work that fills my cup. The work I do for my job is very impactful, but I also know I have the capacity to do more outside of the constraints of a job. I don’t want to wait until retirement to start my passion projects, so I’m starting them now! Even if they aren’t profitable, I’m doing work in areas I care about. I am so passionate about increasing financial literacy now in my community (the African American community) that I’ve completely changed my research focus for my doctoral dissertation and started a blog on the topic. I feel less resentment towards my job now because I know it’s not keeping me from doing the work I want to do anymore. I can have a job, travel, raise my baby, pursue FI, further my education, AND work on passion projects!
I’m so happy to hear this! I checked out your blog, and it sounds like you are doing awesome work!
Keep it up!