Financial Minimalist is dedicated to those curious about FI (Financial Independence) and living a life where less is more.
Because managing our finances is one of life’s most important skills we can learn, I will use this site to provide the tools to aid you along the way. There will never be a better time to start learning, and the knowledge you carry will stay with you forever. Take care of future you and start now. You will thank yourself later.
What makes FinMin different
The number of financial independence and general finance sites (and books!) out there is staggering. Though there some truly great ones, my goal is not to be a daily blog or to provide an overwhelming amount of information. I want this to be a compendium that you feel comfortable accessing and using as a guide (in a step-by-step or category manner) to get started with managing your finances.
What financial independence means to me
Financial Independence is all about having options, and being intentional with these options. Within the community, FI is commonly associated with FIRE (Financial Independence and Retire Early). I think there is an important distinction between the FI and RE though as the latter is only one of the many options FI can give you. These options are only available if you control your finances, not the other way around.
This is why I think the concept of Minimalism / Essentialism is important to incorporate alongside this; whatever it means for you (define the boundaries that you are comfortable with). The point is to look at your life, cut out the parts that don’t spark joy, and enhance those that do. This leads to being intentional with every dollar in your pocket.
In doing so, you will also understand what potential path you want to go down. None of this means deprivation by saving every dollar, never doing anything fun, or giving up all of your worldly possessions. For example, in the extremes of the retiring early option there are those who opt for leanfire (retire and live on less) or even fatfire (retire and live lavishly). The point is, you decide based on your own goals.
For me, I just want a future that keeps me in charge of my destiny. I never want myself, or my family, to stress about our financial situation. Whatever speed-bumps happen along life’s journey, I want our finances to be the last thing we have to think about. This is true freedom. jlcollinsnh does a good job of summing it up…
This is why I feel a calling to what The Fioneers have termed Slow FI (which is a great read if you have the time). I have been living this long before I ever read the term but it is nice to read about others out there like me. For those who pursue this path, it is the old cliche about the journey along the way, not just the destination. Our health and circumstances are not set in stone years down the road so enjoy the little things along the way. Take some trips, enjoy time with friends and family, and don’t agonize over every little dollar spent.
Don’t sacrifice health and happiness. Be intentional. Find a balance. And most importantly, control your money so it doesn’t control you.
How it all began
My fascination with finance began after sustaining an eye-opening injury in 2014 that made me think, “what if this had been worse and I could never work again?” Before this, my budget consisted of a post-it note jotted with recurring monthly expenses. After the first surgery, I spent three days in the hospital researching and creating a real budget in Excel.
This was only the first step. Over the following months I worked tirelessly to pay off all of my debt, and learn more about how I could control my finances instead of feeling as though they control me. As time went on I was rewarded with a debt-free slate not long after leaving the service. By this point my Excel budget had evolved to look more like this:
While I no longer use Excel for daily budgeting, it can be a great resource to start with (and is something I still use for other personal finance tools).
Living with less is a philosophy I feel a strong pull towards as being constantly on the move in the Army taught me how little I actually need. Since moving to Colorado I have made quite a few donations, Craigslist sales, and trips to the dumpster.
It brings me to joy to know that instead of wasting space storing these items, someone else is out there using them (or hopefully passing them on if not).
Living with less also provides other benefits including:
- Easier cleaning which saves time and energy.
- Less clutter (and less space needed to store items).
- Ability to go mobile (move) much easier.
- More financial freedom (more cash on hand and less support of consumerism which also benefits the environment).
There are varying degrees of what this will mean for you. For me, it meant paring down to the bare essentials and going from there. If I discover I absolutely need something again I will acquire it, or better yet, borrow from a friend. It has been a couple years now and this hasn’t really happened.
Tying it together
I firmly believe that with enough commitment we can all get to a point where financial stress stops consuming our life. Hopefully, the information contained in this site will be beneficial as you pursue this goal. If you need more hands-on assistance I also offer coaching services.
A little more about me
I am 28, debt free, and a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces. After spending four years in the Army I obtained a degree in finance from the University of Colorado Boulder. Traveling and adventure sports are a big part of why I moved to Colorado and help fuel my desire for FI.
Connect with me
Thanks for stopping by! Please get in touch with any questions. I am always happy to help and appreciate all feedback.