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Achieving financial independence is a goal that many people aspire to. The concept of financial independence, retire early (FIRE) has gained significant popularity in recent years. However, it’s important to approach this goal with careful consideration and introspection. In this article, we will explore four essential questions that you should ask yourself before pursuing financial independence. By answering these questions honestly, you can set yourself on a path towards financial freedom and a fulfilling life.

1. How will money help me achieve my goals?

Money is often viewed as a means to an end, a tool that can provide us with the time and freedom to pursue our passions and live life on our own terms. When considering financial independence, it’s crucial to understand how money can help you achieve your goals. Grant Sabatier, a prominent figure in the FIRE movement, suggests viewing money as a potential energy that can expand your activities and bring you fulfillment.

Instead of fixating on a specific dollar figure to retire with, consider setting smaller milestones that will bring tangible benefits to your life. For example, if you have $10,000 saved, think about the freedom that amount of money provides. It may allow you to move out of your parent’s house or explore other career opportunities. By focusing on the impact that each level of savings has on your life, you can maintain motivation and a sense of progress.

2. What am I willing to sacrifice?

Saving prodigiously is a fundamental aspect of the FIRE movement. However, it’s essential to strike a balance between saving and enjoying the present moment. Grant Sabatier emphasizes the importance of identifying the things that truly bring you joy and allocating your resources accordingly. By making a list of activities and experiences that make you happiest, you can prioritize spending on those things while saving on other areas.

It’s crucial not to deprive yourself of simple pleasures that bring you joy. For example, if playing board games with friends or watching a basketball game brings you happiness, cutting back on these low-cost activities may not be worth the sacrifice. Instead, focus on reducing expenses in larger areas, such as housing and food, which can have a significant impact on your savings. By finding a balance between saving and enjoying life, you can maintain happiness while working towards financial independence.

“You may think you want a lot more money, but it’s important to ask yourself what you’re doing with the freedom you already have.” – Grant Sabatier

3. How can I maximize my investments?

Investing wisely is a crucial aspect of building wealth and achieving financial independence. Grant Sabatier recommends allocating a significant portion of your money to a total stock market index fund. This approach allows for diversification and has historically provided strong returns for investors.

While individual stocks can be an exciting addition to your portfolio, Sabatier advises caution and suggests treating them as a form of diversification rather than the core of your investment strategy. As you progress on your financial journey, it may also be beneficial to explore additional income streams, such as starting a small business or investing in real estate.

Real estate has been a popular avenue for achieving financial independence among younger investors. By owning multiple properties that generate cash flow, you can cover your living expenses and expedite your journey toward financial freedom. Diversifying your investments and exploring different opportunities can enhance your chances of reaching your financial goals.

4. How am I building my skills?

Skills and knowledge are invaluable assets on the path to financial independence. Grant Sabatier emphasizes the importance of continuously learning and acquiring new skills that can increase your earning potential. Building a diverse skill set makes you more adaptable and opens up a wider range of opportunities.

Formal education is not always necessary to acquire new skills. There are numerous free or low-cost resources available, such as online courses and tutorials, that can help you develop valuable skills. Sabatier suggests that everyone should learn basic skills like website building, running online ad campaigns, and understanding branding and design. These skills can be acquired through self-study using platforms like YouTube.

The earlier you start investing in your skills and knowledge, the greater advantage you will have in the long run. Saving money at a younger age allows for the power of compounding to work in your favor. By dedicating time and effort to building your skills, you increase your earning potential and create more opportunities for yourself.


Embarking on the journey towards financial independence requires careful planning and self-reflection. By asking yourself these four essential questions, you can gain clarity on your goals, make informed decisions about your spending and investments, and continuously develop your skills. Remember that the path to financial independence is unique for each individual, and it’s essential to find a balance between saving for the future and enjoying the present. With dedication, discipline, and a clear vision, you can achieve financial independence and create a life that aligns with your values and aspirations.

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