About “The Man On FIRE”

A somewhat self-motivated man on a quest for financial independence.  I’m stashing away those nuts for the Winter, until I have enough for every Winter, for the rest of my life.  I’ve been on my primitive journey toward financial freedom for several years and I’m still waiting to see the light.  I’m not looking to re-invent the wheel, I’m just taking two sticks, and by rubbing them together, making my own FIRE

No matter how we look at it, money matters in this current world we live in.  It’s the conversion of bartering power in the form of a currency.  We work to make money and then that money goes toward things.

Usually, first to the essentials:

  • A roof over our head
  • Food for our belly
  • Paying the essential bills
  • Water to drink
  • If you are fortunate to have left-overs then savings or splurges

Who the hell am I?

I’m a born and bred Chicagoan.  I was born into a family of hard workers.  I’ve definitely noticed a lot of fellow Chicagoan’s in the FIRE community.

A few years ago I stumbled upon the tiny house movement.  Here they were, this group of people breaking away from traditional white picket fence ideas.

The idea of financial independence didn’t really ‘click’ though.  I’m a slow learner, I guess.  All my life, I just thought retiring later in life was normal so why worry about it now?  YOLO, right?…

Then I learned more about minimalism.  The idea of living slim.  Not buying into the latest and greatest marketing schemes.  That’s when it clicked for me.  It’s not about the retiring, it’s about being free of the financial burdens!

Everyone has their eureka moment!  That happened to be mine.

What do I believe in? 

For the purposes of this blog, work ethic.

  • My brothers and I mowed the lawn, raked the leaves for hours, and did household chores. 
  • My friends and I used to shovel snow in the Winter and cut grass in the Summer by going door to door. 
  • I cut grass at a local cemetery and cleaned machinery before my first real job at 16 as a cart-pusher for a grocery store. 

I’ve come a long way from then, but it made me realize that a strong work ethic is one of the most important skill anyone can have if not the most important.  After all, it’s in our blood to do what it takes to survive!

What do I do?

I’m actually a Consultant now.  A few years into my career I realized I didn’t necessarily enjoy the lack of freedom that can come with consulting though.  While the change of pace from project to project can be great, I found myself traveling every week.  My life was dictated by a company and a paycheck.  Finding it hard to maintain a work life balance, I quit.

In the history of all mankind we have not had desk jobs until very very recently.  A blip in the Earths history map that would be considered a spec in time.  While it pays the bills, I still question the practicality of it all.  

I decided to try and find a compromise instead…

I went on a search to be an independent consultant.  The balance of still doing consulting as I had been doing, but sort of on my own terms.  I could seek out projects and decide whether they fit my current needs in life.  This has been a very fortunate conversion in the last few years.  I’m not oblivious to that.  I am grateful every day still, but also try to keep that motivation alive to be better.

This was a step in the right direction.  Although, this freedom still comes with the risk of no future work and potentially slowing my journey towards reaching financial freedom.

Where am I now?

A few years later I’m still an independent contractor doing consulting services.  With some time in between projects I decided to start this FIRE!  Honestly, I’m Caught on FIRE (Financial Independence & Retiring Early) and I don’t have any desire to put it out.  I wanted to share my journey, thoughts (and get your thoughts), and hope to keep learning (and maybe even teach something useful) as this crazy world keeps turning!

So what’s my goal?

Obviously to achieve FI as quick as possible and dance off into the sunset!  Each and every one of us needs to earn some sort of steady income that is greater than our spending in order to eventually achieve financial freedom.

I don’t mind what I do generally, but the stress at times really doesn’t seem worth it.   I’d much rather spend my time doing other things and/or limiting my work capacity drastically.  I still do have a ways to go as I sort of started late in the game due to my ignorance.  I wasn’t the savvy 20 something year old (like Mr. Money Mustache) that knew saving and investing was my key to early freedom.  I’m the 30 something year old instead!

A decade late maybe, but also super early compared to most.  Fortunately, I’m a changed man and have been saving hard and investing over the last few years.  I now know that when I spend frivolously I’m just eating away years of my life.  I constantly re-evaluate those decisions now.

My current goal just starting on this is to reach financial independence while still I still have a “3” in front of my age.

I don’t want to sit on the couch and lose my purpose in life.  I just hope to gain a different purpose!