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Showing posts from October, 2019

My Library is ON FIRE!

Don't call the emergency department, it's the good kind of FIRE.
**Sorry about the awkward formatting, below, Blogger is a piece of shit**

One of Canadian FIRE's readers (Lauren) recently reached out to me on the ChooseFI Canada complimenting my blog post concerning the Vortex of FIRE Information. This is a post where I curated a list of Canadian and American blog and podcastssuitable for the FIREwalkers in Canada. Blogging has become such a popular medium in the FIRE space because it doubles as a diary and a potential side-gig with income to be made. While I respect other bloggers attempting to monetize at the get-go, I've chosen the path to serve my readers with as little clutter as possible. This means a simple user interface with no ads. As the site grows I will inevitably begin adding features and perhaps a ads to help cover the cost of operating the blog.
So while the blog space is as crowded as an Ikea on Boxing Day, the book department is actually quite simple, es…

FI and FIRE Are the Same Thing

Perhaps this will be my most unpopular opinion yet but here goes!
'Financial Freedom', 'Financial Independence' and 'Retire Early' are all the same thing people. While I respect your right to your informed opinion, I have noticed that vast majority people on the path to FI explicitly say they do not seek RE whereas those already at the finish line often use the two terms interchangeably. Why is this?

I have a few quotes that I'd like to put to the test. I hope I don't step on toes here.... just kidding. I'm actually hoping to break a few bones.

The Elevator Pitch to FIRE, Explained

I stole the title format from the Netflix show Explained. If you haven't tuned in yet, you should. Wonderful documentaries kept under 20 minutes discussing anything and everything.

If you have 30 seconds to explain FIRE to somebody next to you on the elevator, what would you say? Mine would go like this:


Increase your income Reduce your spending Invest the difference
Simple enough right? I think this is widely known as the ethos of FIRE. Focusing on just one or even two of the three will add unnecessary burden to your path to FIRE. Let's explain all three in the form of a checklist (who wants to read an essay..?) to evaluate the pitch and see if anything is missing...

The Thief, the Freeloader, the Cheapskate and the Valuist

Are they all that different?

Due to social norms and peer pressure things like price-matching at stores, bringing a coupon to dinner or googling referral codes are seen as unpleasant and even unethical for some reason. Heck I even wrestled with how to display affiliate links on my own blog WHERE PEOPLE ARE COMING TO USE MY REFERRAL LINKS TO SAVE MONEY!! All because of mainstream society's problem with frugality.
Let me drop a truth bomb onto all of you: Is is perfectly normal to get the most amount of "X" for the least amount of money. X being anything you damn well want. This is where our story comes in.

I Wish I Was At Camp Mustache

These guys are just fanatics, I used to think.
Perhaps there are a few readers out there who were like me back in early 2019. I didn't comment or talk to anybody, at least not really. Maybe once every now and then. I had joined the Facebook groups long-after I had heard about them, everything from Mustachians in Practice to ChooseFI Toronto. I didn't really see the in real-life (IRL) community being all that valuable at the time. I am a tad ashamed to admit I just thought I was better than everyone else. My expenses were pretty low around 35k, what did I have to gain by communicating? Sure, I might comment every now and then and throw a lifeline to all these poor souls creating their own financial problems!

Now I'm a blogger, podcaster, meetup organiser, and small-business owner - heck maybe even one day Canadians will see me as a thought-leader if I so deserve it. So what changed?

The Chess Pieces to FIRE

I thought it might be fun to showcase my army of actionable tips in the form of a Chess board. This should hopefully illustrate how useful some tips are for building wealth compared to others.

Without an philosophical rambling, here are my 16 Chess pieces that make up my side of the financial game in Canada. To keep the post moving along, I'll be explaining each piece with only one to two sentences. Feel free to ask me for more elaboration in the comments below :)

The Lucky Path to FIRE

And I'm not talking about penny stocks.
If life is a competition then money is the game. We all have to participate, some of us starting from $0.. This is incredibly unlucky and sadly very common, even in first-world countries as rich as Canada.
Every game, be it Chess, Hockey or Dota 2 (an online multiplayer game with a $34,000,000 prize pool this year) have a certain amount of luck to it. In hockey, it could be a chip in the ice that you trip over, losing your breakaway.. or in Dota 2, an observer ward collapses the moment the character you've been chasing ducks into the trees with 3 alternate paths, leaving you in the fog of war guessing which way to pursue (don't worry if you didn't understand that last part, I'm just being a nerd).

You could blame society for having to participate in the money-making bonanza that is capitalism.. about how unlucky you got because we had to take out student loans to buy your education or how housing prices have pushed Millennials l…

Financing Your FIRE Lifestyle

We'll assume these are happy FI/RE flames.

Forgive me for preaching to the choir here but of course what good FIRE blog doesn't at least once mention the rampant abuse of a consumer culture that revolves around borrowing for your wants in less than an hour.

I could go to town on how horrible a financial decision it is to walk into a "Easyhome" or how morally bankrupt the "Chip Home Income Plan" actually is but I digress it's all been said before by smarter people than me with actual research and relevant quotes from important people in society.

So instead, I'll talk about how FIREwalkers such as myself take advantage of cheap and easily affordable credit: Financing, the Responsible Way!