When I'm considering the FIRE, I think about the Why. And, after giving it careful thought, it turned out that I don't really have a good reason. Not yet. Maybe in two, three, five, ten years. I don't know, but the reason I'm pursuing Financial Independence (FI), is that I'd like to have my options open. Should I one day choose to get away, I'd like to have the freedom to do so.
WTF are Freedom Fridays?!
I invented these while trying to optimize my pandemic productivity. Working from home, I got even more productive, as there were no distractions and there were no travels to narrate my schedule. So I realized that I can batch-process most of the workload into the first four days of the workweek and keep Fridays open for whatever.
That's how I started to block my calendar on Fridays, and I'll typically spend them doing some focused deep work. Writing, pondering, publishing, networking, and yes —doing some work-related things that require more focus and deep work. But I don't do any calls, meetings, no obligations involving other business stakeholders.
Occasionally, I use two or three hours for wellness. Spa, sauna, massage, relaxation. There aren't many studios open these days, and those that are have tight restrictions on the number of customers. So mostly, there's nobody else in the spa. Just me and the receptionist serving me jasmine tea and apple chunks.
Every now and then, I'll take some time on a Freedom Friday to just ride around. Or walk. Listen to podcasts, sit on a park bench, maybe light a nice cigar. Dominican, sometimes Cuban. Bask in the sun.
These Freedom Fridays that I spend relaxing and not doing any work are basically mini-retirements. And while I enjoy having them once or twice a month, I can't do that every week. I don't feel like it. I don't need it. And that's a clear sign that the RE of FIRE isn't my cup of tea.
Test before jumping all-in
Mad Fientist podcast about the guy returning back to work and ...
Before we spend $9,99 on an app or service, we prefer to test it out. That's why there are free 14-day trials. So maybe you don't really need an early retirement. Maybe you don't even need to quit your job. Could it be that you just need a vacation? Here in the EU, we're fortunate enough to get 20 days of vacation as a minimum, and over the course of employment, most people accumulate more than 30 days per year. So take a week or 14 days off and have a pretend-retirement. Imagine you aren't going back to work anymore, consider what you're doing. Going for a long trip doesn't count, as you have to pretend that you're living off a passive income and trying to imagine regular retirement days. How does that look?
I have enough after a week. And that's why I'm going for FI vs. FIRE. Still, the basics are the same, and they involve maximizing income and savings, avoiding lifestyle inflation. These are the basics so that we can pursue investing and building passing income streams.
Right? What do you think? Hit me up on Twitter, or drop me a DM.