These parsimonious people are leading the F.I.R.E. (Financial Independence Retire Early) movement

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I spent some time reading the lean FIRE subreddit. There’s also a fat Fire group that has the basic goal but is aiming for a more affluent lifestyle.

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FIRE is cool and all, until you figure out all these people had the benefit of zero student loan debt and had $250k+ a year jobs for a decade. Early retirement has always been a thing for some of the affluent, giving it a name doesn’t make it special.


You’re going to need more money than you think you need. Learning that at age 60 has to suck really bad.


I’m still trying to find one of these movements that works if you were stuck on the wrong side of the Sam Vimes boots theory of economic injustice.

The Sam Vimes “Boots” Theory of Economic Injustice runs thus:

At the time of Men at Arms , Samuel Vimes earned thirty-eight dollars a month as a Captain of the Watch, plus allowances. A really good pair of leather boots, the sort that would last years and years, cost fifty dollars. This was beyond his pocket and the most he could hope for was an affordable pair of boots costing ten dollars, which might with luck last a year or so before he would need to resort to makeshift cardboard insoles so as to prolong the moment of shelling out another ten dollars.

Therefore over a period of ten years, he might have paid out a hundred dollars on boots, twice as much as the man who could afford fifty dollars up front ten years before. And he would still have wet feet.

Without any special rancour, Vimes stretched this theory to explain why Sybil Ramkin lived twice as comfortably as he did by spending about half as much every month.


Yeah but they worked hard for that and you can too just follow these five easy steps in my book available online now for just 149.95 and for an added bonus I’ll throw in my course How To Look Good While You Do It for just 99.95 Act Now Limited Supplies of My Digital Goods!


Even the ones who don’t come into FIRE with a lot of financial capital do have a tonne of social capital that allows them to live so frugally.


If anyone asks “how do I become an artist/musician/author/follow my non-lucrative passion”(which looks to me like a very similar quest), my advice is to learn how to sew, learn how to fix a car, learn carpentry, plumbing, and electrical. Then, if you still want to be an artist, go for it (but no student debt!). If not, well now you have a lot of skills that will help save you money no matter what you do.


Same truth as with gambling - the way to build a small fortune:
Start with a large fortune.




Hugs for Sam Vimes reference!



Yep; you have to HAVE money to be able to SAVE money.


And all of that is well and good … until you die early as my both my parents did (mid-fifties), with no chance to actually get to the retirement part.

Everything in moderation, even saving. Treat yourself now sometimes, because you may not live long enough to treat yourself later.


That’s a big lesson I’ve learned by watching my parents, aunts & uncles. They all retired at 64-70 and are now getting to do all the travel they wanted to do when younger… but when you’re in your 70s, with bad knees and back problems and hearing aids, it’s tough to travel and explore. I’m trying to do that now while I’m still in relative good shape!


Came here to see how many posts before the inevitable ignoring the message rebuttal. Was not disappointed.


It seems like most FIRE publications and communities are trying to sell the average 20-something on it - as if all it takes is to start meal prepping, drop cable, and buy a bike.

If you stop and actually crunch the numbers, it takes a VERY high salary or a significant windfall combined with little debt to retire at 35-50. This is not the story of the average twenty-something and it should not be something you sell as being super easy, yet many Millennials are aspiring to this because they think it’s possible.

The first step that’s actually attainable is to “just” get a high-paying job. That’s it. Yeah, it’s not easy, and yeah it might not be possible, but that’s the missing ingredient that all the FIRE publications seem to leave out. Ya need more money.


I have never not prepped most of my own meals, until I moved to a place where cable was a requirement to get Internet I didn’t have it, and I saved between 2-10% from all the jobs I ever worked at, plus my folks kindly made sure my (relatively) modest student loans were taken care of once I graduated. By FIRE’s lights, I ought to be retired and living the good life.

Where’s my jetpack and flying car??


This is so true it hurts. I wish I had the will to split an $80,000 mortgage with a partner in Nowhere, Missouri while working 60 hours a week, biking to work at consistently spending <$3 per meal, but hell, I actually want to enjoy my 20s, 30s, and 40s on my own terms.


So this house that he wired and plumbed himself? Hopefully it meets code.

I don’t know anything about this guy’s skill set but I feel like people foregoing licensed tradespeople for major work would be a bad trend. I suppose as long as he had it inspected…


Ultimately it’s a lifestyle choice, which is fine. The word “choice”, though, involves having one; most Americans don’t, and late-stage capitalism does its best to keep things that way.