FI or FIRE?

Earlier, I was in the group for FIRE which is Financially Independent, Retire Early. I genuinely thought I wanted to FIRE and would spend at least 15 mins a day going through various FIRE communities. The most prolific ones you’ll find on reddit.

I’ve been following these forums for a long time now and noticed that most people who are able to achieve FIRE are from high income group. I am not from high income group and earn moderate income in the range of 5-10L. In that income it would be very difficult to achieve FIRE as much as I tried. There’s a limited amount of money one can save on such moderate income.

I save and invest 30% of my income as I fall into category 2 from this blog post “How much should I save“.

With 30% savings, I can definitely achieve Financial Independence. Financial Independence for me is

the ability to not working 50-60 hours a week
to have weekends to myself
to not worry about the thought “if I lose my job”
to be able to afford leisure travel at least thrice a year
to be able to afford a staycation for #metime once a year
to consume myself in pursuing other activities

While I understand FIRE doesn’t mean I don’t get to pursue other activities, in fact I’d have the time in the world to do so. In the last few years I’ve realized I function better with a mission and with a schedule. If I don’t have a mission or a schedule I’ll just end up consuming myself in time-wasters such as watching TV series. And I have done this – I have once binged for 4 straight days and consumed more than 40 hours of TV.

Financial Independence on the other hand suits me well – I  get to have a mission, schedule and I still get to leave behind worries of a maniac life.

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