Goals

Why Financial Independence is Important to Me

If you haven’t heard about FIRE yet, read this post first.

So I’ve been thinking this past week about why I believe in and aspire to be financially independent. I guess the big attraction of financial independence for me, is having more choice. I can choose where to work, live, eat and travel, without having my choices constrained by my next paycheck. If I’m in a bad situation, I want the finances behind me to leave and not look back.

For me, the goal of FIRE is not necessarily about early retirement (although I may choose that), but the ability to make choices from a position of strength.

I think part of FIRE philosophy has been instilled in me by my mother, who, through her own hard work and smart investments, has been financially independent for most of her life. She made the decision to keep working because she wanted to, not because she had to. I believe financial independence is a worthwhile pursuit, because you buy back your time.

Yes, I may have to learn to live with less and find fulfilment in the simpler things in life, but I’ll be able to choose how my time is spent. In an ever-changing world full of chaos and uncertainty, the key truth is that it all comes to an end. We don’t know when or where or how, but we do know that it’s the only certainty in our lives.

So what am I going to do with my one chance at life?

I’m going to embrace change, step outside of the box, finish my studies, travel overseas, learn as much as I can at work and most importantly, start putting money aside in order to be financially independent within the next 20 years. Big goals with lots of planning — but there’s no second take, so why not!

To those out there who have told me that it’s a ridiculous goal to strive for and who have pointed out the many reasons why it’s not possible for XYZ reason — I’m quite aware that it’s a big goal. I understand that inflation may rise leaving me with less purchasing power, I understand that we may be in a bear market for an extended period of time and I also understand that if I have a family down the track the numbers will have to change. But even if I don’t reach financial independence by 40, I’m going to be in a much stronger position financially than I would without pursuing this path.

With this goal, evening failing to achieve the desired outcome will set me up in a much better position.

So what’s the worst case scenario if I don’t reach FIRE?

  • I have a solid understanding of my own approach to money and investing.

  • I know how to create and manage my budget.

  • I have enough saved up to ensure that I never run into financial difficulty if I get sick or lose my job.

  • I have learnt how to plan and work towards my financial goals.

  • I am comfortable speaking about money with friends and family.

  • I know how to invest and grow my money.

To me, the benefits of striving towards this ambitious goal are just as important as actually reaching it, so let’s catch FIRE! As I continue on my FIRE journey I plan to share what I learn and discover here, as a record of my discoveries and growth. Please feel free to share your FI questions or stories with me, I’d love to hear from you!

Until next time,

Kate

January 2018 Letter

January had been a month filled with beach walks, catching up with friends and heading back to work. I’ve also been busy setting my goals and intentions for 2018, which has given me a clear and purposeful start to the year.

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Setting goals and intentions is a really great way to evaluate where you currently are, where you strive to be and how you can get there. For goals to be achievable they need to be broken into achievable and manageable action steps, otherwise you’ll make it to January 2019 without making progress towards your goals.

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Some of my 2018 goals and intentions are as follows:

  • Walk more regularly in the mornings + attend self-defence classes
  • Complete half of my Business Management Degree
  • Start planning for my 2020 overseas travel adventure year
  • Build on the How To Money podcast and website and bring in guests, in order to share personal finance concepts with more young Australians  
  • Learn to cook some basic dishes

My main focus this year is on making it through the first half of my Business Management Degree, and working on building the How To Money site. Studying while working full-time is a challenge, but it has definitely improved my time-management and organisational skills. I have found the content really engaging, and enjoy the practical aspect of the assignments.

As part of planning for my 2020 travel adventure I have also started 2018 with the plan to spend less on material items, and instead put that money towards travel. It’s always hard to get out of the materialistic mindset, so that’s going to be a big challenge for me this year.

'Too many people spend money they earned...to buy things they don’t want...to impress people that they don’t like'. – Will Rogers

Interesting Reads from Around the Web

16 Big Myths about College and Success in Your Early 20’s

‘Your freedom and your definition of what’s valuable is too important to subjugate to the perceived value of others.’ - Isaac Morehouse

Seven Ways School Has Imprisoned Your Mind

Hierarchy of Financial Needs (and the Meaning of Life)

10 Steps to Becoming a Manager

101 Stories of People with Day Jobs Creating Side Hustles

Until next time,

Kate

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Vision Without Action is Worthless

Are you doing something every day that will lead you to achieve your goals and overarching vision?

I’ve been thinking a lot about organisational vision and mission lately, and the importance of having both along with clear company goals. I see many companies with these crazy big visions, which I am all for, but if they can’t back them up with clear strategic goals and relevant action, then they’re just impressive words. Companies with clear actionable items that are in line with their vision and mission are going to have much greater results than those with a vision that is just for show.

A vision defines the desired future state of an organisation, and what it wants to achieve over time, whereas a mission defines the current state of an organisation and why it exists (Evans, 2010). In terms of executing the vision, it is crucial that it is not imposed or sold to the company, rather an effective leader will be able to inspire employees to take on the work of making the vision a reality (Quijada, 2017).

It is important however to recognise that the vision is not the end goal in itself, rather a way for leaders and employees ‘to share a vision in order to facilitate common goals, perspectives, and outcomes’ (Berson, Waldman and Pearce, 2015).

Here are some questions to think about in relation to your vision and mission.

  • Is your vision and mission clear to everyone that sees your company?

  • Have you developed clear, actionable goals for your employees to strive towards your vision?

  • How is your company working towards achieving the vision?

  • Are you developing your employees with the skills necessary to maintain the mission, and achieve the vision?

‘Learning is a necessity for organizations to remain adaptive and competitive in today’s ever-changing business environment.’ (Chadwick and Raver, 2012)

Even if you don’t own a company, it is really good idea to think about your own vision. The principle that vision without action is worthless still applies here, so think about your own vision and how you are working to achieve that.

Best Wishes,

Kate


References        

Evans, J. (2010). Vision and Mission. [online] Psychology Today. Available at: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/smartwork/201004/vision-and-mission [Accessed 16 Sep. 2017].

Quijada, M. (2017). Ideas for Teaching Vision and Visioning. Management Teaching Review, pp.3-4.

Berson, Y., Waldman, D. and Pearce, C. (2015). Enhancing our understanding of vision in organizations. Organizational Psychology Review, 6(2), pp.171-173.        

Chadwick, I. and Raver, J. (2012). Motivating Organizations to Learn. Journal of Management, 41(3), p.958.