5 Money-Saving Guides & Apps to be Financially Independent and Retire Early
How cool would it be if you could retire much before you reach your 60’s, and live a fulfilling lifestyle? That’s the goal of the FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) movement. And these apps, calculators, and guides can help you save money for early retirement.
The FIRE movement is a combination of living within your means, saving wisely, and managing your finances. Financial blogger Mr. Money Moustache, who managed to retire in his 30’s, spearheaded the movement and it has now even got a documentary.
You will also need to learn about lifestyle choices and changes, as well as the tools you need to be financially independent. That’s where these resources come in.
1. Financial Toolbelt’s FIRE Resources: Calculators, Guides, and Articles
Financial Toolbelt is one of the best new sites to learn how to save money and reduce spending . It has now added a new section dedicated to early retirement, that talks about many of the common terms you will hear when reading or discussing FIRE.
There’s a set of five calculators that tackle different aspects of financial independence, like calculating costs based on habits or how your investments will grow with compound interest. The more interesting part is the set of articles that explain FIRE.
Through a set of FAQs, Financial Toolbelt lays down the basics of financial independence in simple terms. Go through these first because understanding these is key to every further step in FIRE.
Then read the articles that give you an idea of what living with FIRE would be like. You’ll learn the difference between lean and fat FIRE, common jobs for financial freedom, and how to calculate and use your savings.
2. Our Rich Journey: 30 Day Money Challenge and Other Free Resources
Amon and Christina, parents of two daughters, are beacons of the FIRE movement. They retired at the age of 39, and through their website, show how they managed it and continue to live a full life.
It’s worth your time to browse through the portal to see everything they have on offer. But we’d particularly like to point out four great free resources:
- 30 Day Money Challenge: This free PDF puts you on the path to being financially independent by giving you one new task every day for 30 days. Through 30 tasks spread across budgeting, investing, saving, and so on, you will set up a healthy financial portfolio.
- Budget Template: Every financial journey starts with a sound budget. Amon and Christina’s budget template is a fantastic example of how to execute FIRE principles. They also have a helpful video to guide you through each part of how to set up a budget and live off it.
- Stock Tracker Spreadsheet: One of the principles of FIRE is to invest wisely and live off them. The Stock Tracker Spreadsheet guides you on how to diversify your investments and how much you can afford to spend.
- Travel Hacking Tracker: What’s the point of retiring if you don’t get to travel the world? Again, as long as you are following the principles of FIRE, you’ll be able to do it. Use Our Rich Journey’s travel hacking guide for pointers.
You have to sign up for the newsletter to download each of these free resources.
3. Nomad List’s FIRE Calculator: How Early Can You Retire If You Move?
Nomad List has become one of the favorite destinations for digital nomads to figure out how to live their lives, hosting a range of different tools. One of the newer tools is a FIRE calculator that shows how early you can retire if you are willing to move to a different city.
This is a piece of advice that you will often hear from FIRE enthusiasts. You will find it more difficult to retire early in a bustling first-world metropolis, due to the high cost of living. But Nomad List’s legions of users have helped create a database of the best cities to live and work in and added figures for true cost of living in recent times.
That’s where the FIRE calculator comes in. First, you pick your current city and add details about your finances, along with your age. You’ll need all the details of your salary, debt and returns, taxes, and so on. Key in those numbers to see at what age you can likely retire in your current city, and then scroll down to see other options.
You will find a long list of different cities sorted by how soon you can retire if you lived there while keeping your current financial circumstances. It also marks recommended cities in yellow for a better lifestyle choice.
4. The Financial Freedom Formula (Ebook): Monty Campbell’s Equation for FIRE
FIRE requires a change in your mindset. If you go by the old ideas of working till you’re in your 60s and retiring with a pension, you won’t be able to achieve financial freedom. For that radical shift, try millionaire Monty Campbell’s free ebook.
The Financial Freedom Formula is an 80-page ebook where he outlines how a combination of demand, conviction, and action will lead to financial independence. Campbell gleans lessons from a variety of sources, both from the world of finance and outside, to explain his formula. It might seem simple after you read the book, but that shift in mindset might not come easily otherwise.
The ebook is not just a treatise. It has practical advice too, including exercises on how to put what you read into action.
If you like Campbell’s approach to FIRE, you should also consider looking at his other guides. Among these, you’ll find crash courses on budgeting, saving money, investing wisely, all of which are key components to early retirement.
5. r/FinancialIndependence: Reddit’s Awesome Community for FIRE
It’s great to read from the experts and use calculators to figure out your own situation. But at some point or the other, you’re going to need to talk to other people who are in the same boat as you. Reddit’s r/FinancialIndependence community is an awesome resource of like-minded people trying to retire early.
Incorporating the principles of FIRE can feel difficult and overwhelming at times. It helps to have a forum of people who have gone through it or are currently going through it, who can give you tips and tricks, or just lend some encouragement.
Additionally, you can get more localized help depending on where you are trying to achieve financial freedom. Each region’s obstacles are unique, and you can learn to solve them accordingly. There are already dedicated subreddits for Australia, India, and Europe, and more seem to be popping up regularly.
The Best Calculators for FIRE
You’ll notice that we haven’t featured many of the popular and highly recommended FIRE calculators available online. For example, crowdsourced cFIREsim is the first tool that everyone will tell you to use.
The thing is, you need to check different calculators based on your approach towards financial freedom. It’s a bit more complex, so check our guide on the best calculators to see if you can retire early .