Mr Zombie’s three steps to getting started on the righteous path to FI

So you have been exploring the ever expanding web of the internet.

Just exploring the ‘net

Perhaps completely by random, or perhaps you are actively looking to spruce up your retirement savings, you stumble across the concepts of Financial Independence and Financial Freedom.

That once concrete ideology of working until you are 65 and then retiring is in jeopardy, it is creaking at the hinges.  
But whoa there, conventional wisdom tells us that retirement is just too expensive and should be delayed as long as possible.  Conventional wisdom tells us to save 5-10% of our salary.  Conventional wisdom would also tell us that going out without a jacket when it’s raining will render us with a cold. 
But all of your coworkers and friends can’t be wrong, surely.  They are all struggling to save, they’ve told you as much over by the water cooler.  Afterall, there’s not much left for saving at the end of the month after the mortgage and car payments.
You stumble across websites with people who claim to have retired in their 30’s.  “Bullshit” you decree, it must be some kind of cheap trick, it’s all on the internet.  But it’s more convincing the more you read.  And it’s certainly enticing.
Then you find blogs of people on the journey to FI, claiming to save in excess of 50% of their income.  They must all be in it together.  Lying to you.   
But what if it is all real?  How do you get started?
(Step 0 – Start as soon as possible)

Step 1 – Stop and take check
Finding the next super investment isn’t easy and not very likely.   Every time you start to look into investing the sheer volume of information and underlying complexity can batter your enthusiasm.  Far better to start with what you think you know… you.  And with what you can start to control.

Chances are you will be spooging money all over the place like some cheap pornstar and uttering phrases like “It’s so hard to save” whilst eating an organic cookie in your SuperDry jumper and playing your Xbox One.  Life sure is tough.

Take a couple of minutes to think about your expenditure.  If you don’t sort understand where your hard earned cash is actually going, you’ll never be able to save enough.

Step 2 – Understand your habits and re-wire your tiny brain
We need to make decisions that are good for our financial health on auto-pilot.

We shouldn’t feel constrained by some dictatorial budget every month.  But by re-wiring your neurons you can start to make good decisions on auto pilot.  Pretty soon you’ll be crying with laughter at super markets pathetic attempt to strip you of your cash as you have become a Thrift Warrior.

Remember.  Convenience is over rated and so is following the herd.

With our old habits obliterated and new habits that cause us to automatically question expenditure we can start to save a substantial sum each and every month, without it feeling like a chore, and start to gain some momentum.
This way we spend less and so need to accumulate less so that income covers our expenses.
Step 3 – Learn, read, learn, read
With financial decisions starting run on autopilot you should start generating a nice pile of cash savings.  The problem with this is you are missing out on the sexiness of compounding.

But a few months aren’t going to hurt.  Jumping into action before you are ready and then rotating through 10 different strategies before you settle on one that works for you will hurt.  It’s tempting to do some research one evening and then fire all you money off to some actively managed fund because it has a graph that is trending upwards and Keith from says its going to triple in the next 3 hours.  Relax.  It’s just noise.

Read finance blogs, borrow a few books from a library (or buy books from an affiliate link on a helpful blog that you have read a lot, e.g. Monevator or RIT, to help support them) and listen to podcasts.  Don’t take peoples word for things, research them yourself.

Do you want to actively manage you own individual stock holdings or employ a more passive strategy?  What’s your risk profile and your expected asset allocation?  What’s your expected investment horizon?  Sort out the answers to these questions, and more, before you start investing and you will save yourself hassle and dealing fees in the long run.

Oh, and for Christ’s sake, develop yourself a slogan that you can mutter to yourself.  Something like “Don’t be shit at life” or…

Spend Less, Save More and Escape the Horde

Mr Z

6 thoughts on “Mr Zombie’s three steps to getting started on the righteous path to FI

  1. Mr Zombie

    Thanks Weenie! Would be cool to get a load of PF bloggers, go to a university and do a presentation. Even if 1 in 20 listened that would be ace.

    Hmmmm, a slogan workshop is required!

    Mr Z


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