Fire – Financially Independent Retire Early.
I love my work, so I want to give a disclaimer that I may not retire early. But what I want to do is to be financially independent. Now, what do I mean by that? It simply means that I want to work not because I have to but because I want to.
After my masters in Pune, my heart was set to come back to this city. So I moved to Pune leaving my very good jobs. Although I had a good pay before I moved to Pune I had only Rs.50000 as my savings. It was enough for me to start a life here. I rented a flat and started my journey as a freelancer. It was here that I truly understood the freedom of working as a freelancer. Till this point, I was working only because I wanted to and not because I had to.
The money I made was a product of the work I loved. I did not want to make money but I wanted to work. And in turn, I felt privileged to be paid for doing something I love. This balance was perfect. Soon I had many clients and I had to work many hours. The work was so good that I had to start hiring. So brought in my friend Lenin and we both worked on many projects that gave us 6 figure payments every month.
All this while I spent the money I earned without any second thoughts. This scale of balance tipped when I became a true entrepreneur and started my Makerspace here in Pune. The Makerspace was born out of my habit of buying a lot of powered tools to make DIY at my home. So a large portion of earnings went into buying machines. Soon it became that I started to earn because I wanted to spend. Needless to say that when I rented another flat to move my machines to start the Makerspace I brought in a liability to my life. Liabilities are something that takes money out of my pocket.
Over the years because of my passion for the Makerspace I brought in so many liabilities that my Cashflow started reducing. What is cashflow? It is the amount of money that comes as an income. The cashflow always needs to be greater than the amount that is being spent.
When the cashflow is lesser than the amount that is being spent that’s when you go into debt. In my case, I had to take money out of my savings to compensate for the extra money spent. This was bad for my bank balance. My reserve that made me not think of the next day and which helped me truly enjoy today was slowly being reduced. To expand my Makerspace I took few loans. This only increased the rate at which I was reducing my cash reserve. It was reduced because the amount of expense and paying loan was more than the amount I was earning or the cashflow.
Soon although I had the same passion to work, now I had to work. From wanting to work I had put myself in a situation where I had to work. I had to work to pay for the bills. I had to work to provide for myself and the Makerspace. This took away my freedom of experimenting at my work. The freedom because of which I switched from a normal job to a freelancer is now gone. The freedom which allowed me to start a Makerspace and learn new skills is now gone. Now I had to work to fill my stomach and pay for the Makerspace. The wallet that was once fat and made me proud to open in front of people now merely had a couple of notes. At the beginning of every month, I will wait for the paycheque from my employers and clients to fatten up my wallet only for it to become skinny within the first 10 days of the month.
For a year I did not feel this pinch. It did not bother me much. I felt that this was a passing phase and I would overcome it. I used to think of the good old days and waited for the days to come back. But it never did. One year became two and three but here I was still sitting in more debt and put more reasons for my money to run through my wallet faster.
I could have lived with this frustration but being the freedom seeker that I am I turned to people for advice. No-one had a practical answer. Everyone said I should not have started a company. Or I shouldn’t have taken a loan. Or I should have stuck to the same job for years. Or I should have taken a loan to buy a house and at least solved that problem. None of this made sense to me. So I turned to the next best thing. Books. I love reading books. I love gaining knowledge. But there was a problem. I sleep when I read books. Glancing my eyes through those tiny letters made my eyes dizzy. That’s when I started listening to audiobooks. Keeping my eyes open is still a problem but I manage not to do it.
It is here in the books that I learnt about saving before expense. Investing your savings. Long term investments. Cash flow needs to be more than the expense and so on. I soon was inclined to doing all this to get myself out of this situation. I don’t know how I am going to control myself from spending. I don’t know how this is going to turn out to be. But I am tired of being afraid of bills and payments. I am tired of seeing my wallet thin and my bank accounts thinner. I am tired of this entire not having money issue. I am tired of not having the freedom.
My search brought me across a video that explained about people following a FIRE movement. I was wondering if this is real. I researched more and found blogs about it. I felt good that I was not alone. And that there are many people like me who want to do this. I don’t know about RE (Retire Early). But I want to become FI (Financially Independent).
This blog is a commitment to myself and a reminder that I have to stay in this journey to become Financially Independent and some day Retire Early. As I write my journey everyday into becoming more financially stable I want to record and in term help others by telling if I really made it. Wish me luck!