Personal Finance

My Moment of FIRE

While I do not really consider myself in the category of bloggers who are aiming for Financial Independence and Retiring Early (FIRE), I definitely admire those who are. A few months back, I read a great post on how FIRE means very different things to different people. (I wish I could remember the post or I would link it here. Anyone else remember?) My payoff the mortgage goal is motivated mostly by the fact that I would like to pay the least amount of interest on my home loan as possible. Why pay $90K when I could pay $25K with some sacrifice?

Recently however, I have been going through some HR issues at work. Remember that blog post I wrote about potential increase in income? Talk about counting your chickens before they hatch! The situation came to a head on Friday and I was very disappointed and genuinely insulted by the proposed outcome. I thought about the situation all weekend long. My husband suggested that I go ahead and quit. I thought long and hard about my financial and family goals. Could I really just abandon my goal to pay off mortgage? The simple answer was yes. While it would have been more ideal for this situation to have occurred in say 5 years (November 1st, 2021 to be exact), we have set up our lives that we don’t need my job to survive. By keeping our debt minimal and expenses low-ish, we have reached financial flexibility. While not quite independence, it felt good to be able to make a decision about my career based on values and not bills. A comforting peace came over me and after short prayer, I emailed HR rendering my registration unless the issue was addressed in a different manner.

While my husband isn’t interested in early retirement, I really want him to also get to a place of financial flexibility. At some point in the future, I hope to have a deeper discussion with him regarding how we can both be in a place where we can tell our jobs where to shove it if need be. There is incredible power in being able to create your own destiny! In simple terms, this is what FIRE means to me. Maybe I am a FIRE blogger after all!

I am curious if you consider yourself reaching for FIRE? What does that mean to you?

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19 thoughts on “My Moment of FIRE

  1. often times, peace of mind is the best independence. I am sure you have made the right decision. Life is too short and some things cannot be sacrificed for money. Money can always come; loved ones, memories, health, and peace of mind may not. all the best with the new life – hope you will enjoy it dearly

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  2. Good for you! I’m so glad you have placed yourself in a position where you can demand to be properly valued!

    I don’t consider myself a FIRE person, though I want the FI part. My current goal is to be in your position, where a company can’t hold a paycheque over me, instead we’re in a more equal partnership.
    It’s the retire early bit that gets me every time :).

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    1. Equal partnership is the ideal! There’s a weird culture in my company that employees should be grateful they have a job no matter how crappy it is. I actually like my role so I hope everything works out. Fingers crossed.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. To me, FIRE means having the means to be financially secure where our family can survive if anything (knock on wood) happens. I grew up not well-off and when I was single (and after closing on my mortgage), the recession started and I was laid off. It was stressful. Thankfully, I have a few money saved up and I promised myself there and then that as soon as I get a job, I would set up a fund to make sure that if anything happens, I wouldn’t have to go thru the same stress. Sure, I won’t be able to predict everything that will go in life, but that situation made me aware of one thing that can go wrong and I have to learn from it to avoid if possible. Obviously, your situation is a little different, yes, money is important. But money’s role is to help alleviate your anxiety in life; it’s a tool and not a means. Being bothered by your work situation is a threat to your peace of mind and it should not be second to money. I think you made a right call.

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    1. Thank you for sharing your experience! It’s situations similar to what you describe that motivate me to aim for financial flexibility. I also grew up in a family that was constantly stressed over money and it was a driving factor for a lot of decisions. We have a long way to go before I really feel stress free about money but I think I’m heading in the right direction.

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  4. “…it felt good to be able to make a decision about my career based on values and not bills.” Love this line! That’s when you know you’re winning at personal finance! Keep it up!

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Good for you!! I retired early in 2010 when my job was eliminated and our area was hit hard by the recession. I made great money as a software developer and I’m thankful we were in great financial shape when the bottom fell out here. What shocked me is that our finances improved after I came home. It amazed me how much of the equation was having someone at home to organize shopping and cooking. I became the pool guy, the yard boy and the housekeeper. If you had told me all this would make us richer, I wouldn’t have believed it. I knew we would be happier (and we are). I just didn’t expect “richer”.

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    1. This comment was super encouraging to read. I still want to pay off my mortgage so I will have to get creative in ways we can spend less and save more. I was looking at our budget and started trying to find more money. In theory, I was able to find enough saving to replace my part-time salary. I didn’t really believe it to be true. But after reading your comment, maybe it is feasible.

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  6. Way to go!! I don’t think of myself as a FIRE person but I do love the term “financially flexible”. We’re not quite FI but we’re definitely flexible. Knowing that you decided to resign despite your goal to pay off the mortgage early is very inspiring to me. I find myself using my goals as a way to convince myself to stay in my job, where I have my own set of HR issues. Perhaps I need to rethink that position. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. It’s funny that my biggest concern was not my career trajectory but my mortgage repayment. I feel like I’m mourning the loss of an important goal, but I am still going to try to stick with my goal. It will just look a little different in the way I achieve it. HR issues are the worst. I’m sorry that you are also facing them. Boo.

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  7. I’m so sorry that you didn’t get the outcome you wanted originally with your compensation – I hope that things are resolved quickly! I’ll be waiting to hear whether they decided to offer you more or accept your resignation!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Its good that you have peace of mind in making this decision and that you were able to make this decision based on what’s good for you and your family. I hope it all works out well for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I second all the above comments re way to go, and looking forward to hearing the outcome! Even if you haven’t reached FIRE yet, I think it’s absolutely amazing that you have reached Financial Flexibility and could make this decision.

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