I’m Saving Toward Financial Independence And All It Took Was Sacrificing All Joy And Minor Luxuries From My Life

Dave Powers
Published in
4 min readNov 20, 2019

Person inserting coin into piggy bank
Photo by Sabine Peters on Unsplash

More often than ever before, people are making the choice to take their time into their own hands, refusing to let a job dictate their waking hours all the way up until the typical age of retirement. The path to unburdening yourself from your career isn’t easy, but trust me that the end result is worthwhile. All that it takes is simply committing to a standard of living that removes all minor occurrences of joy, happiness, and luxury from your life over the course of the next couple of decades (give or take).

First, I’d like to congratulate you on considering the path to FIRE, as it’s certainly not for everyone. The term “FIRE” stands for “financial independence, retire early.” It was chosen to make our modest lifestyle sound exciting and dangerous, as opposed to the conservative and dorky reality.

You could say that my journey to financial independence started early. I had a paper route as a child and later mowed lawns, which took up the majority of my free time. I had a dozen lawn clients, three dozen papers to deliver daily, and due to my absolute refusal to spend money recreationally, zero dozen friends.

In my college years, I majored in engineering at an in-state university. To cut down on living costs, I roomed at home with my parents and commuted. Sure, it was a two-hour drive each way, but was taking out loans just to hang out in the quad and socialize with my peers really worth it? I calculated the ROI on the “priceless bonds” I was allegedly missing out on forming, and the numbers did not look good.

Reducing your expenses is of paramount importance in order to reach financial independence. A lot of seemingly insignificant spending can add up. For example, that $3 cup of coffee you buy each morning? The one that allows you to remain conscious as you complete your assigned tasks at work with a modicum of proficiency? Skip it. Forego buying lunch as well. I brown bag it daily with a homemade sandwich consisting of thinly-sliced deli meat, processed cheese, and wilted, soggy spinach. All purchased in bulk, to ensure that I cannot use them before the “best by” date. This saves money and provides me with a nourishing meal that tastes absolutely disgusting.

Dave Powers

Writer of humor and code. Has multiple plaques (the ornamental kind). https://davepowers.me