I’ve written this article to explain how you can set yourself on FIRE. No, I don’t mean actually setting yourself on fire. Do you see the different spelling between FIRE and fire? If you don’t, read this article first. If you do, continue here!
Start Your FIRE Within
You will need to have some intrinsic motivation to begin starting your FIRE. Nobody can tell you to begin this journey, only you can.
Reasons to become FIRE can be many. For me, they are twofold.
For one, I don’t want to work until someone decides to give me a pension, a while getting older and older, and worse at my job.
The second reason is to keep the maximum amount of control over my life. I don’t want people bossing me around. I don’t want to be ruined by a setback such as getting fired. I want to be the one doing the firing. I want to fire the boss!
Your why is what’s important here. If you don’t have a clear why you will likely not be motivated enough to set yourself on FIRE.
Begin to Set Yourself on FIRE
Just as with a real fire, you need a couple of things to start a FIRE. Only then you can truly set yourself on FIRE.
An actual fire needs fuel, oxygen, and heat. FIRE needs the same three things. Think of your motivation as the heat. The monthly savings you put into your FIRE fund is like blowing oxygen into the flames, and the investments are the fuel.
So you have to be motivated to start the FIRE, but then you’re not there yet. You will have to build up some savings. Depending on where you are in your journey you can start putting 5% of your salary into the FIRE every month, or maybe 75%. It doesn’t matter. As long as you take action, even with just 5% (and everyone can do 5%) you will slowly get there.
Growing your FIRE
A fire grows by consuming more fuel around it, as long as there is sufficient heat and oxygen. Think of a forest fire. With one tree catching fire, the others around it might also catch fire. Then the third ring around those, etc.
The fire consuming fuel around it is a metaphor for compound interest on your investments. A small fire increases slowly. A massive, raging fire will consume everything around it very quickly. The same happens with your investments. When you just started, the interest might not be great. It will grow over time, and at an ever faster rate. That’s the beauty of compound interest right there!
You can grow a fire even faster by putting more oxygen into it. If you blow some air onto a fire, it will burn hotter and consume more fuel. The same is true for your investments. If you just invest an amount and let it grow by itself, that will take a long time. By putting your monthly savings into it, your FIRE will grow much faster.
Keep Adding Fuel and Oxygen
You can put out a fire by taking away its fuel or oxygen (or heat for that matter). So if you want it to keep burning, you keep adding fuel and oxygen to it.
If you want your FIRE fund to grow and grow, you have to continue. This race is a marathon, not a sprint, and that’s something to keep in mind.
You will have to make a plan then stick to it, and keep executing on it every single month. Don’t hop on the bus and then jump off at the first bump in the road. Start your fire, and keep adding to it by saving more money every month.
Is your FIRE burning hot?