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F.I.R.E. Movement is Making Penny Pinching the New Cool

By Charles Kelly

When I was growing up, my mother was stingy by necessity and bought the cheapest food and clothes she could find. I was embarrassed by this, as in those days it was not cool to be frugal. Fast forward to the present and it has become fashionable and even cool to be stingy, frugal and penny pinching. Shops like Primark, money saving comparison sites and online stores like Amazon have all boomed in the last few years. In my book, Yes, money can buy happiness, and my Money Tips podcasts, I obviously promote saving and investment and earning more than you spend. However, a movement in America called F.I.R.E. takes stinginess to a whole new level. The seeds of the FIRE movement can be traced back to the 1992 best-selling book Your Money or Your Life written by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez, and the 2010 book Early Retirement Extreme by Jacob Lund Fisker. Followers of the F.I.R.E. or “financial independence” and “retire early”, movement, originating in the US, practice extreme forms of money saving to achieve their goal of early retirement and financial independence. Devotees target savings of up to 70% of their annual income, which they invest for the long term. Their aim is to build a savings pot of 30 years’ worth of living expenses which they typically keep invested in low-cost tracker funds, withdrawing a maximum 4% every year in the hope they will never spend their capital. There are a number of obvious flaws in the F.I.R.E. plan....listen for more.... In reality, scrimping and saving alone will not make you rich, and will probably leave you feeling stressed and miserable. Think of yourself as a business, a money-making machine. Like any business, you need to generate income, capital and investment returns, as well as keeping an eye on the purse strings. There are more examples and practical steps to getting rich and being happy in my book, Yes, money can buy happiness, I cover the 3 R’s of Money Management, the Money B.E.L.I.E.F System and much more. Check it out on Amazon

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