Search the internet, and you see countless stories of people in their 30s, 40s, and in some extreme cases, their 20s, retiring early to live life on their own terms. It’s all part of the FIRE movement, which seems to grow increasingly popular by the day.
Are you tired of paying so many bills that you can’t save enough fast enough to retire early?
When you want to have that freedom of options, you have to get rid of what is holding you back and that’s debt.
Once I paid off my debt, I had so many options in my life that I didn’t have before. I was able to quit my stressful job that had a pension and good benefits.
If I still had a ton of debt, I wouldn’t have had that option. I would have stuck it out in a job that I was burned out in just to pay bills.
With a lot of focus and motivation, we were able to pay off $45,000, in just 17 months.
There is no law requiring you work until retirement age. Technically, there is no law requiring you work at all. But, I will assume you have bills to pay and you work to live (or live to work). In the United States, the average retirement age is 65 for men and 63 for women.
The FI/RE Movement or Financial Independence / Retire Early Movement is for individuals who decide to pursue financial independence as early as possible. In this post, I will cover one way to define financial independence, how to calculate your own FI/RE Number, and how to accelerate your roadmap to FI/RE.
I have a confession to make. Ever since my first paycheck I have been thinking about retiring early.
I remember the conversation clearly with my dad as I was glowing from getting my first paycheck. He turned to me and said, ”You’re going to want to start saving for retirement. The sooner you do it the better you’ll be.”
Retirement has always felt like a Cloud 9 dream. Eventually I’ll have enough money and I will be able to sit on a beach, drink margaritas, and let the troubles of the world disappear as quickly as the waves hitting the sandy beach.
But recently things have changed. As the years tick on I’m starting to see that the beach life will only be a moment or two before I feel like there needs to be something more. Because beaches are only great because they are the exception, not the rule. Which means my FIRE dream is out of whack.
It’s time to rethink FIRE.
For most of us FIRE is an escape. It’s a means to an end for jobs we don’t like and transition to a life we’ve dreamed of. Or if nothing else, a life where we don’t have to answer to anyone else like a boss or manager. We read the tales of people saving up for FIRE on the internet and raise our hopes of a better life. It’s great.
But the one thing and nobody ever talks about is the day after FIRE. What then?
Sure they’ll be the celebratory night out and holiday to acknowledge the arrival of this big goal. Maybe a few weeks or months in a special location where we can relax and celebrate the end of what is likely a very long FIRE journey.
But what do you do after that?
Travel these days isn’t as much of a given as it used to be. It’s likely that you’ve watched enough Netflix this past year to know there is more to life than waiting for your latest season to launch.
So this begs the question what do you do after FIRE?
This isn’t meant to provide direction, more of an open-ended question for you to think about.
Let’s pretend right now that I’ve waved a magic wand and you are FIRE (yes I have a magic wand, no you can’t see it… but it’s totally real).
Poof! Magically your bank account is where it needs to be your income streams are bringing in enough money.
What are you going to do now?
Most of us are so focussed on FIRE that we don’t think about what happens afterwards. Yes there’s the ideal beach scenario, or a small cabin in the woods. Maybe just days filled with idle time. But idle time is the issue. What are you going to do to fill your time when you don’t have work to go to?
Because that’s the big question. What comes after FIRE?
FIRE isn’t just about freedom, it’s about how you’re going to spend the rest of your life once you don’t have to do the job you dislike. If you don’t have an answer to that don’t be afraid thinking about it now is better than thinking about it later.
I’ve been giving this a lot of thought the past two years and I realize that it’s important to find things that I enjoy doing. The things that don’t matter if I get paid but do it because I enjoy it.
There is no right way to spend FIRE
I have a friend who worked hard and hit his FIRE goal. He spends his days going to scrap yards nearby, buying different pieces of scrap and turning them into passion repair projects.
When I asked him why he does it, he said “I spent my whole life working to be at a point where I could be a struggling artist without the struggle. This is great. I’m living my dream. It’s not anyone else’s but it’s mine and I love it.”
Now the thought of scavenging for things to fix, or turn into art, likely isn’t your post FIRE strategy. It isn’t mine. But my friend wakes up every day excited for what will come and what he gets to pursue. Right now he’s fixing up an old motorcycle and he loves the hunt.
That is what you should be thinking about. How will you spend your perfect day? There is no wrong answer, only the one that motivates you to move towards your FIRE goal.
As for me, I realize that my post FIRE life isn’t the dream I have in my head. Mostly because the last time I was on a beach I was done after 20 minutes, so was the margarita. I need to be busy. I need to create. So here’s what I’ve done to self correct my FIRE course.
Think about what you truly love doing
Take some time to write out the things you love to do. Not the things you like to do, but LOVE to do. For me it’s playing games, guitar, writing, solving puzzles, and being outdoors.
Next, start to find ways to put these things into your day. It doesn’t have to be a lot, but a quick shot of dopamine from something you love doing will strengthen your drive to FIRE and serve as a nice daily reward along the way.
I used to delay my rewards, now I try to incorporate them as much as possible. I’m happier for it and actively look forward to every day because I know that there will be some little treat that I love.
Lastly, once a year take a day off and live it like it’s your first day of FIRE. This will help put your ideas to the test and see if they are truly what you want to do.
Once you do that FIRE will start to feel more real, and you might remove the barrier that is keeping you from achieving FIRE because you will start to know more about what.
Start FIRE now
The truth is you can start living your FIRE days now, in small increments. The thing I forget is that life is a journey, and I know it’s been written a thousand times before, but when you focus on a goal as large as FIRE you tend to forget that.
So take the moments in the day to find what you enjoy and do more of that. Whether it’s a walk in the woods, or spending some time with a friend. Explore new hobbies and old ones you’ve forgotten. Don’t wait for FIRE to do everything you’ve wanted.
Enjoy things now and it will make the journey more enjoyable. After I switched to enjoying the journey it’s made all of the difference in my happiness. Because after all, aren’t we all just wanting more happiness?
Andrew Daniels is the Co-Founder of Millennial Homeowner, a site dedicated to helping make homeownership easy. You can download their free household essentials list here. It has everything in it you will need for your next place.
If you are searching for ways to supplement your income, then you will have seen many adverts promising high returns for little effort. Are these adverts genuine? In most cases, no, they may either be unrealistic with the earning potential advertised or an outright scam that should be avoided.
Can you legitimately earn money online?
Great news, yes! There are lots of legitimate ways to earn money online. The extra money you earn online can help pay off debts, build savings or investments, or be used as fun money. Whatever you want to use it for it is handy to have ways to make extra money.
In some cases, people can be so successful with their online ventures that it replaces their main employment altogether!
This guide will walk you through 5 legit online money-making ventures. Making $1000 a month isn’t an unrealistic amount provided you are prepared to put the work in.
Blogging is an established way of making money online. This report by Glassdoor shows that the average blogger in the US earns $33,128 per year. If you have a reasonable level of writing ability and knowledge of a subject, then blogging could be for you.
Starting a blog has never been easier. There are many websites offering information and courses to help get you started. To start with decide what topic or niche you want to write about. You can do a blog about anything but try to keep the subject broad enough that you always have plenty to write about. Ideas for blogs could include parenting, travel, or how to live frugally.
Once you have picked your niche, then you need to build your blog and get writing! The internet is a wealth of information when it comes to learning about blogging – find someone you connect with and research, test, rinse and repeat!
Now that you have started your blog, the next step is to make money from it. There are lots of ways to make money blogging, here are the main ones:
- Affiliate marketing. A common way to earn money from a blog is through affiliate marketing. This works by adding affiliate links to the blog post. When a reader clicks the affiliate link, they are taken to a 3rd party website to make a purchase. As a reward for making a purchase following the affiliate link on your blog post, the 3rd party pays you a commission. Easy!
- Ads. On many websites you visit, you will have noticed adverts are common. Putting ads on your blog is a good way to make money from it.
- Sponsored posts. A brand or individual may pay you to write a blog post. The goal is usually to advertise a product and the more popular your blog the more you can earn from sponsored posts.
- Selling merchandise. Another way to earn money from your blog is to sell either digital or physical products. For example, if you are blogging about how to live frugally, then you could sell a digital copy of a book discussing frugal living in more detail.
These are 4 of the main ways to earn money from blogging. They are not the only ways though and as your blog becomes established you could use it as source material to write a book, to become an authoritative speaker on the topic, or to create courses teaching others how to write a successful blog.
Whatever route you follow please remember this won’t make you rich overnight. Most blogs take at least 12 months to start earning a decent amount of money. However, work hard enough and you could easily be earning $1000 a month or more in no time at all!
If you don’t know what dropshipping is, here is a quick overview. Dropshipping is a business that involves you selling a product to a customer, but you use a supplier to handle storage, packaging, and shipping to the customer.
Dropshipping follows these simple steps:
- The customer places an order on your online store for $500
- You forward the order to your supplier paying the wholesale price of $300
- The supplier sends the product to the customer
- You make a $200 profit
That’s it! Once you have set up your online store, then you can get started. There are a variety of ways to market your site such as running Facebook ads, using influencers to promote products, or contacting potential customers directly through Social Media.
To get started try a course on Udemy to learn the basics.
Freelancing is a broad term that encompasses a wide range of jobs. This includes things such as teaching, writing, transcribing, or any skill that people are willing to pay for.
Thanks to technology it has never been easier to start freelancing. All you need is a computer and an internet connection to get started.
If you have a specific skill such as writing, then concentrate on looking for work on dedicated writing job boards. If you are interested in a broader range of opportunities, there are many freelance websites to find work on. For example, Fiverr allows you to offer your skills for a nearly limitless number of categories.
When starting out as a freelancer, you may find that you don’t earn a lot. This is totally normal, so don’t worry! Like many jobs, you must start small, but once you have built a strong portfolio of work, then you can advance to higher-paying work. Before you know it, you could easily be earning $1000 a month.
Here are 10 freelancing ideas:
- Graphic designer
- Technical writer
- Data entry
- Content writing
- Video editors
- Social media managers
These are just 10 of the many things you could do as a freelancer. To get more ideas have a browse through the freelance websites and see what work is available. Have a think about your qualifications and transferable skills. It may be that there is something you can already easily do to earn money as a freelancer.
Buying and selling items on eBay can be profitable. There are plenty of stories online of people making 6-figure incomes. How does eBay flipping work?
First, you need to find second-hand items to buy with the goal of reselling for a profit. The good news is that many people don’t realize the true value of an item they are selling. This means you can buy low and sell for a profit.
You could easily make $200 fast by finding a cheap item and reselling it quickly for a higher price. To find items for sale you can ask friends or family, check local auctions, or Facebook groups, and even sell your own unwanted clutter.
Once you have built your eBay store you can easily make a decent supplemental income. If you work hard, then it could become your main job!
Most of us spend several hours a day on our smartphones using a variety of apps. Did you know that there are plenty of apps that pay you! That’s right, you can earn money from apps on your phone. Here is a selection of apps that pay to get started:
- Ibotta. Earn cashback in a variety of ways using the Ibotta app. You can earn by making purchases through the app, uploading receipts, and using linked store loyalty cards. Once you have earned enough simply cash out to your account. Easy!
- Acorns. For as little as $1 a month you can use the Acorns app to start an investment account. There is no minimum deposit needed to get started but like all investments, there is a risk of losing money.
- Sweatcoin. How would you like to get paid for simply walking around! Well, with Sweatcoin you can now earn for every step you take. Using your phone’s GPS and other sensors it can track your movements when you are outside. You are then paid in Sweatcoins that can be redeemed for rewards.
- Shopkick. Once you have downloaded the Shopkick app, then you can start making money in a variety of ways. Watch videos, scan the barcodes of selected products, walk into a partner store, purchase items using your card that is linked to Shopkick, buy items and upload the receipt, visit stores online or view specific products online, and make an online purchase through a Shopkick partner. Lots of ways to earn using Shopkick just for having the app on your phone.
- Foap. Do you take lots of photos and videos? If so, then Foap is worth downloading. On the Foap app, you can upload your photos and videos for brands or other users to purchase. You get paid 50% of the sale price. To earn more lookout for specific photo requests and complete those activities to increase your earnings.
When deciding which money-making app to use check how they pay you (such as cash or gift card) and how often, read online reviews of the app, and find out how easy to use the app is. Ultimately, you don’t want to waste time on an app that isn’t right for your circumstances.
You should now know some legit money making ideas. In no time at all, you could be earning $1000 a month to supplement your income.
In the long run, one of these ideas could replace your 9-5 day job and you can leave the office behind!