|Photo by Benjamin DeYoung on Unsplash|
#1 Inventory Control - FIREwalkers treat pretty much all aspects of their personal lives and possessions like a business. It is impossible to operate a business successfully when you're throwing away your food and time.
- While I didn't expect members of this movement to own latex gloves and face masks before (and I still don't to this day) I cannot believe the amount of uneducated masses rushing to the grocery store and buying up all the toilet paper, bleach and for some reason the meat department?
- It is also incredibly inefficient to be heading to the department store every other day for more stuff. Who the heck has the desire or the time for that, especially when Costco/Wal-Mart lineups are THAT long!! So we instead bulk buy nearly everything possible - not only to save money but more importantly to save time. Fresh produce and dairy should the only exceptions to this rule.
#2 Simple Investments - There is nothing easier than buying VGRO (or your asset allocation equivalent) and leaving your investments at that.
- While there are certainly exceptions to this rule I believe it showcases one of the fundamental principles of FIRE: passive indexing with as few ETF's as possible.
- You'll get the cowboys and cowgirls touting a variety of expensive hedged ETF's with some more complicated words like "swap-based" and "hedged" but all of that is unnecessary for the average Joe/Jane. You just need to shove your money in the stock market and reduce or eliminate the 3 big wealth killers: taxes, fees and inflation (thanks Larry Bates!).
- By reducing the amount of complexity in your investments, you'll be much better prepared for the downturns that will happen regularly in the market. Then you get to buy the stock market on sale without worrying. Woo-hoo!
- If you're looking for a very simple and commission-free discount brokerage to place your trades with, you'll definitely want to check out my upcoming review of Wealthsimple Trade.
- If you're a new investor, check out my 7 Simple Steps to Investing. I'm pushy which is exactly what you need to get started!
#3 Easily Slashing Expenses - Firewalkers are keenly aware of their wants and needs and can further reduce spending on a whim.
- Due to honest conversations with yourself and your spouse, perhaps a few experiments in deprivation and even splurges, you are deeply in touch with your own values and what you and your family like to spend money on. You've cut everything else (or are chipping away at expenses you want to see gone in the foreseeable future). Right now is a fantastic time to really push that message: "Is this a want or a need?".
- If your money situation gets really tight (say you couldn't collect rent this month) you can always continue to slash a few of your wants (reluctantly so) and add them back next month or the one after. So you don't get your organic produce crate this month, big deal. We all have our splurges and it's our self-realization that we can cut these temporarily if we so choose.
#4 Seizing Opportunity - Now is the time to get it done.
- Thinking of upgrading your skills? Trying to figure out how to sell your boss on working from home? Wish you had more moments with your kids, even the small stuff? Now is the time. Most of us are hunkered down at home but FIREwalkers are under no financial stress as a result (or at least none that we can't handle!) and so we have the ability to calmly and gently nudge our own agendas in our lives. It's time to write out all the stuff you've been juggling in your head and put the plan into action!
- This is also a golden opportunity for those who have not lost their jobs but are feeling a bit of anxiety about the upcoming recession. Is your Emergency Plan adequate? Do you actually have enough in cash at Tangerine or are you now realising $0 emergency fund is NOT something you're comfortable with? Good news, you've been given a golden economic downturn that makes you panic without actually reducing your income. Seize the moment and emotions and put into place something you can live with. Be honest and get it done.
#5 Health is Wealth - Time for a wake-up call.
- Okay, I don't want to make people feel TOO bad about their new found hygiene rhythm but if you weren't pumping gas into your car with gloves on or washing your hands before Covid-19 what is wrong with you!?
- I'm not by any means a germaphobe but you surely must realise the flu is spreading on an annual basis by people who cough out into the air, pick their teeth with bare hands after fondling a shopping cart for 45 minutes. I hope that's all grossing you out and after all this is over that you commit to wearing gloves more often than not. Before heading in/out of a public washroom, grab a napkin or something!
- There is no point in amassing tonnes of wealth to simply get sick all the time or risk infecting others. Remember, without health, there is no point to wealth.
So there you have it. My 5 reasons to keep on-keepin' on! I hope you enjoyed my list. If you have some input for me or I have missed something so incredibly obvious and it needs to be rubbed in my face, simply post below or email me. See ya next time!
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