My Thoughts On the Fire Movement

by Amanda Abella  - November 12, 2019

My Journey Into the Fire

What is the FIRE Movement?

The concept of the FIRE Movement is to gain Financial Independence and Retire Early (FIRE).

This community tends to be controversial for quite a few reasons.

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First, the stereotypes of the FIRE community:

The stereotypical FIRE Movement follower is very frugal, and they struggle as if the struggle were a badge of honor for them.

Another stereotype is that FIRE Movement people are software developers.

What I Didn’t Understand About the FIRE Movement

I know these stereotypes well because I believed them; therefore, I had a challenging time getting on board with the FIRE Movement.
I think another aspect I didn’t necessarily understand was the notion of retirement. When you run your own company, and you love what you do, the idea of retirement isn’t on your radar. It’s hard to imagine not doing what you love. Another reason I had a difficult time wrapping my head around this concept was that I had tried the living on the cheap and did not like this lifestyle. For many years this was a difficult way of life to understand. At this point, I started my money journey.

My Journey into the FIRE Community

In my journey, I was not starting at square one, and I was already past the basics. I was biting at the bit and couldn’t wait to make money. I noticed that many members of my community were in a similar place. I made a purposeful decision to be aligned with the Tony Robbins and Grant Cardones of the space.

At this time, I realized there are two different conversations about money going on simultaneously. One conversation is about struggle, and yet another conversation is about money being an infinite commodity. This does not mean you can make money without some sacrifice; however, making money doesn’t have to be a complete drag. I’ve already tried the struggle bus. What I didn’t realize it at the time, I was getting into financial independence and was moving toward a sector of the community, which is referred to as “Fat FIRE” after listening to “What’s Up Next” podcast.

My belief at this point was that frugality isn’t for me, and it doesn’t get you anywhere. “You’ve got to focus on how much you’re earning”. These thoughts triggered people into a conversation on Twitter. After being in several Twitter chats, I was invited onto the “What’s Up Next?” party cast on a panel of people who were members of the Fat FIRE community who were entrepreneurs. They wanted financial independence and the ability to retire early, but they were focused on the income side. They weren’t focused on cutting sponges in half or saving paper towels to be frugal.

They were focused on how they could make as much money as freaking possible, and how do I live a good life? At this point, I realized my life didn’t get more manageable when I was only saving. Saving was more comfortable when I was making good money, and saving half my income became more relaxed when I learned how to earn.

Where I’m Currently at on My FIRE Journey

I remember having a moment a few weeks ago when I was in Chicago for a speaking gig and realizing there was a time in my life where I would not have paid the $15 bucks for wifi in a hotel because paying $15 for wifi would have stressed me out.

Now, this same cost doesn’t cause me to undo stress. The reason is that I understand the value of paying $15 to check emails because I’m working and making money. To spend my energy stressing overpaying for wifi is counter-intuitive because of the benefit you receive from being able to make money working.

When I was interviewed on the podcast about the FIRE Movement was how many business owners on that panel outsource jobs in our personal lives. I started understanding the “why” behind how of the FIRE Movement.

I’m currently on the path of creating financial independence with big goals. Why don’t I go for 10 million? If I’m going to go for financial freedom, I want to enjoy the journey. I’ve already struggled, I’ve previously worked at a job I didn’t like, cut the coupons, and cut the sponge in half.

Realizing time is money, I now have a meal delivery service because I don’t have time to cook. Cooking meals isn’t the best use of my time.

However, many FIRE Movement people would workout with YouTube videos at home instead of paying for a gym membership. The fact is, I’m social, and I like working out at the gym. I love my fancy gym, and if my $120 a month fancy gym ensures that I get in a class and work out, then that’s money well spent.

Our panel had these conversations, and when we did, I realized I am FIRE. I may not be the traditional type of FIRE. I’m more into making as much money as I possibly can so I can enjoy the ride. I’m a believer that there are infinite amounts of money in the world, and life can be an amusing FIRE.

Although the reasons I’m doing this are different, I’m still living FIRE. I was thrilled to see that there were people within the FIRE community that is talking about income and an abundance mindset. Because these are topics that I didn’t see in the community as a whole, this is why I’m going to be Fat FIRE all the way. This is what makes the most mathematical sense at the end of the day to me.

Resources that are mentioned or add value to this episode:

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