Starting your F.I.R.E journey in Africa

If you’re my close friend, I have definitely told you about my dream of retiring by 30. There is only 1 problem, it has been a dream for around 8 years now. I have been living in la-la land and I had not noticed until someone challenged me to rethink this at the end of May 2021.

What is FIRE and how it fits in my story?

FIRE stands for Financial Independence, Retire Early. According to Investopedia:

Financial Independence, Retire Early (FIRE) is a movement dedicated to a program of extreme savings and investment that allows proponents to retire far earlier than traditional budgets and retirement plans would allow.

Before stumbling upon videos of people in the FIRE movement on YouTube I did not know that what I was aspiring to achieve had a name or that there was an entire group of people who were actively working towards it.

The current challenge that I’m facing is how to think about FIRE in the African context. Most content creators are speaking about 401k, Roth IRA among other things that are in the USA and Europe, and frankly, I just can’t relate with them. I am writing this article hoping to find a group of African’s who are in this movement or who wish to be part of the movement.

The plan ahead

I am going to highlight things that I’m currently doing as well as my future plans. FIRE is an individual’s own journey but at the beginning, you might feel lost and the starting point will be uncertain, this is how I felt 😄. Feel free to adapt my steps in a way that best suits your needs.

The steps that helped me start my FIRE journey are outlined below:

  1. A personal finance class: I have been auditing the Centonomy 101 that I plan to take in September. You can access it here.
  2. Net worth tracker: I have created my personal balance sheet to know my net worth, boy-oh-boy this was a shocking awakening. It has made me re-evaluate my plans for the rest of the year.
  3. Monthly budget/spending plan and financial goals: I have a spending plan in place for this month, and I will be creating one every month. I have also identified some goals that I’ll be working towards and those are guiding my spending.
  4. Spending tracker: I also have a spending tracker to see what I’m using my money for and to assess whether I’m sticking to my spending plan.
  5. Multiple income sources: Currently, I am exploring investment opportunities in Kenya and passive income opportunities to supplement active employment.

Tracking tool for your FIRE journey

For now, I’m using Google Sheets to track everything that I have listed above. I will share articles on how I created them and the rationale behind everything that I am doing.

Some important tidbits in your FIRE journey

There are various things that you need to have in place as you embark on your FIRE journey. These are:

  • Calculating your FIRE number
  • Evaluate the various FIRE types to see which best works for you
  • Learn about the time value of money and the power of compounding
  • Explore the various investment vehicles at your disposal

Conclusion

My hope is that this article will help you to start your FIRE journey.

For those on the FIRE journey please do share your experience and lessons learned. I would also like to hear from you if you’re planning to start this journey, do share your driving force and what the FIRE journey means to you.

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