I’m Olivia, a 25 year old woman living in New York City.
I discovered the Financial Independence/Retire Early (FIRE) community in 2017 and realized that I could be spending way less and hustling much harder to retire early. Prior to learning about FIRE I assumed I would work all my life in front of a computer and then retire at 65. I started to read MMM and other FIRE blogs and learned a ton. I then started reading r/financialindependence for fun and saw this survey. 25 percent of the respondents on r/FI were women and 33 percent of finance blogs are written women. Though I’m not blogging specifically to women, I hope this convinces more women to decide to FIRE or even just to take charge of their finances. If you have a female partner, show her this blog! If other bloggers can FIRE in their 20s and early 30s, so can you — they’ve done all the hard lifting by paving the way. I like that this blog will allow me to use my rusty programming and spreadsheet skills and put them to good use.
I think a lot of people don’t realize how much daily vices are costing them in terms of savings. Myself included for a while too. Eating out all the time, buying coffee at Starbucks, clothing consumption, subway/car expenses all add up to years off of your early retirement date. If you hustle and save, I firmly believe you can retire in less than 10 years, even faster if you find a FI partner or can convince your partner to do the same. Expenses are cheaper with a couple. Simple things like maxing out your 401k and making sure you get that employer match and finding funds with low expense fees are critically important for basic personal finance.
Most people think retiring early means you have to give up everything that is awesome about life. I firmly believe the opposite. Travel hacking can get you business class flights and fancy hotels for free, Yelp Elite can get you fancy free food, resale websites can get you designer clothing at 80+% off with tags, and DIY/Recycle groups can get you amazing savings.
When I told my best friend what I wanted to do, she didn’t think I would actually retire, and I don’t think I will either. But I’ll be financially independent enough to do anything I want. I can join a startup that pays less than the market, work at or start a non-profit, or just spend time with my kids and travel around the world. I’ll be able to get those cheap last minute fares in the middle of the week. Maybe even one of those first class redemptions that Lufthansa seems to only open 9 days prior to departure. The point is that once you reach your FIRE number, you can do anything you want. You have the freedom and optionality to do anything. Sacrificing a few years of harder work and higher savings is worth it. It’s always better to flex your frugality muscle early on in case something in the market goes wrong.
Feel free to contact me with any questions. Please note, I am not a professional. Just happy to give my opinion.
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