I discovered the FIRE concept fairly recently, through my Barefoot Investor membership. It seems there are a few Aussie FIRE bloggers who are also Barefooters, and their comments in the community forum led me down quite the rabbit hole! The more of their sites I visit and start reading, the more FIRE bloggers I discover. One thing I do wish is that I’d known about it a hell of lot earlier in life. (Although I don’t know that I would’ve believed it was possible for me, so there is that.)
Speaking of the Barefoot Investor, I really have to thank Scott Pape for the work he’s done and the community he’s created. I’m two years into being Barefoot, and it has made a big difference already to my financial management and my thinking around money. I recently reached my first goal of having 3 months worth of expenses saved, so that was very exciting! A promotion at work has also made things a lot easier, as it has meant that I now have capacity to save money. My previous post-tax income was really only just enough to live on.
However, I guess what really got me started on properly taking control of my finances was when – having realised that when I did have money to spare, I had been spending a ridiculous amount of it on clothing (I discovered a brand that I love!) – I decided to take a ‘retail-free year’ in 2016. Essentially, this just meant that I committed to not making discretionary purchases of things that I didn’t actually need, unless something genuinely needed to be replaced. This didn’t involve only clothing; it also included household goods. It turned out to be a great way to break my spending habit! Since then, I’ve found that I no longer have much of an urge to buy things for the sake of buying – although I admit I’ve given in a few times – but boy, I’ve noticed that when I do buy something that isn’t really essential, I’m much more aware of what I’m doing. I think my reading around minimalism has probably helped with this.