Welcome to Caught on FIRE!
I’m your host, “The Man on FIRE“. I strive to be like Denzel Washington in the movie, Man on Fire. Just kicking-ass and chewing bubble-gum!
In all seriousness, I’m in my early 30’s, and I have a serious itch to achieve financial independence while I still have a ‘3’ in front of my age.
I was the guy who didn’t care about retirement in the least for a majority of my 20’s. Saving was barely a thought in my mind. I loved to play casino games instead of investing that money at a safe bet.
Here is a guy who had a eureka moment and realized you don’t have to work forever if you stop buying into the latest and greatest gadgets and just prioritize a little.
Achieving financial freedom is do-able with much less than I originally thought and can happen much quicker than I ever expected if you stop spending like an idiot.
How much does someone need?
Personally, I can live roughly on $30,000 per year, but that’s just setting the bottom of my bar. Yes, I know with kids this is not as realistic, but you can still make it happen!
While it’s not what most people would consider enough, it covers all the basics plus a little extra for this primitive dude. It also assumes a paid off residence, which will happen by the time I hit financial freedom.
This is not a concrete number, but a good baseline. This is close to the minimum I would need to get by without a job and be sustainable. It’s also known as leanFIRE.
Related: What is LeanFIRE?
In order to make at least $30k per year off of general investments and going by the 25x rule, I would need $750k in order to give it all up.
Taking a roommate (my significant other) into account into this plan I can deduct around $6k from my $30k per year of spending to bring me down to roughly $24k. That takes my total down to $600k.
As of recently – I’ve also become a landlord so there’s a bit of additional income on that front too.
I’m now on the fast track!
So what am I doing? – It’s not magic… or is it…
- Saving HARD – I know this might sound boring to a lot of people. If you don’t do it all hope could be lost to retire before you’re dead! I don’t just save a few dollars – I save roughly 40-50% of my take home pay.
- Cutting the cable cord – I have a $5 indoor hdtv antenna I got from Five Below! It works great! I do splurge on Prime though!
- No more major upgrades – Who says you can’t have a cheap awesome phone!? Instead of buying the latest and best $800 phone, I have a Motorola Moto G6 I bought for $120 minus some rewards points. I figured I could splurge a little after saving on my phone carrier.
- No more big name phone carrier – I had a big name carrier for a long time that was more than double the price of my current $20 phone bill from Mint Mobile (endorsed and partly owned by Ryan Reynolds). Plus, I still get plenty of data (8gb). Saving doesn’t have to be so dramatic! I actually get the same big name towers for a fraction of the cost.
- Investing – It makes a huge difference when you let your money sit in an account that does nothing for you. At a minimum, everyone should have a high-yield savings! I’m making sure the 401k and IRA are getting stocked up.
- Researching – While investing in index funds is great over the long term, I’m also researching into other investments to help assist in my journey to financial independence.
None of this is overly dramatic, but it’s definitely a shift in focus. Once the focus has changed, getting Caught on FIRE is achievable for most people – and by most people, I mean the ones who are likely to read this. I’ve begun this financial journey to keep focused, motivated, hopefully teach something, and continue to learn a few lessons.
My favorite articles to kick-start the flames
- Is There An Ultra-LeanFIRE?
- Are You Fat Or Lean? Ready, Aim, FIRE!
- How I Reached $100k By 30 Years Old
- 5 Reasons Why Size Matters – When Buying A Home
- Are You FINE? – Financial Independence Near Extinction
- Friends Don’t Let Friends Borrow Money
I also track my passive income every quarter. Check out the passive income page for more details.
If you’ve made it this far and you’re even somewhat amused then the flame is growing!
Feel free to reach out and contact me if you have any comments, questions, thoughts, bad-ass stories, or are just plain bored out of your mind!
The Man on FIRE