The FIRE movement is evolving. While it’s been around for a long time, the modern resurgence started with blogs like Early Retirement Extreme and Get Rich Slowly. Mr. Money Mustache came along in 2011 and took the scene to the next level. Even back then, the community was small and somewhat homogeneous (overrepresented by high paid engineer types).
Seven years after Mr. Money Mustache’s appearance on the scene, the FIRE movement is hitting critical mass. Now, there are folks from all walks of life achieving FIRE with unique strategies and on their own terms. Hell, there’s even a documentary coming out and yours truly may make an appearance: https://www.playingwithfire.co/the-cast/
Two recent derivations of the FIRE movement are leanFIRE and fatFIRE. To complicate matters, I’m going to introduce another version of FIRE today that I call:
Wait, don’t click away yet! fartFIRE has nothing to do with the expulsion of noxious gas.
LeanFIRE, FatFIRE and FartFIRE
If you haven’t heard of leanFIRE and fatFIRE the Physician on FIRE wrote a nice post on the topic. Here is what the FIREy Physician has to say about leanFIRE:
Some people, like Jacob Lund Fisker of Early Retirement Extreme fame, took spending to a new low and frugality to the next level. Achieving FIRE by virtue of a particularly lean budget became known as leanFIRE.
If leanFIRE is the term for spending quite a bit less than the average, what would a sensible person call the opposite thing — spending quite a bit more than the average early retiree? fatFIRE, of course. A subreddit was created and fatFIRE officially became a thing.
I started thinking about leanFIRE/fatFIRE and considered where I fit in. I lived a mostly frugal existence before I left my job and continue to do so to this day. Maybe I’m leanFIRE?
However, that’s not the whole story.
- I own a classic sports car that set me back $45,000.
- I still enjoy earning money. Looking at real estate deals is fun. I bought a trailer park and may buy another one or some other multi-family dwelling. I could stop all of these games and just invest in VTSAX, but I can do better, so I do.
And while I remain mostly frugal, if I had infinite money, I’d probably buy an Airbnb rental near a beach. So, maybe I’m fatFIRE.
Then, I started thinking about it all and decided that I don’t care about leanFIRE or fatFIRE. I’ll continue to live below my means and tweak along the way. If my money grows to an 8 figure net-worth, maybe I’ll loosen the belt and buy a house on Kauai or a ridiculous 4-wheeled contraption:
And if I never end up with a beach house or crazy-fast electric car, that’s fine too. Life is pretty great just how it is now.
More important than worrying about leanFIRE or fatFIRE is this: Get to a state of FIRE quickly so you can live and make decisions without worrying about money. If you think that you can live a minimal existence, great! If you need a new Tesla every 3 years, that’s great too! Just figure out how to get there and do it without sacrificing all of your time like I did. Embrace this!:
Because the most important thing is this:
Life is better when you can make decisions without the consideration of money!
- Would you work for free? You’ll find out when you reach FIRE and have the option to quit.
- What would you do if you didn’t have to work? You’ll find out when you reach FIRE.
Living without the distraction of having to earn money allows you to get closer to who you really are. A more authentic version of you.
Alas, the fastfire domain is taken. But all hope is not lost.
In Swedish, fart means fast. So, I give you:
I know; it currently just redirects back to my 1500 nonsense. Nothing to see. Yet. fartFIRE.com is coming and it will not stink.
How About You?
- What do you think of leanFIRE and fatFIRE?
- Are you on board with fartFIRE?
- Will you buy me a Tesla Roadster?
Join the 10s who have signed up already!
Subscribing will improve your life in incredible ways*.
*Only if your life is pretty bad to begin with.