What comes to mind when you hear the word Minimalism? An all-white studio apartment furnished with a table, a chair, a bed on the floor and a potted plant in the corner. Our 2nd podcast guest explains to us that it is the other way around.
Ian was a typical kid fresh out of college who was eager to earn money to spend on things that he thought will make him happy. In 2020, when the world was turned upside down by Covid19, his life was changed by two movements. Minimalism and Financial Independence.
Minimalism content seemed to have found him somehow. He previously thought that this movement was all about deprivation, but when he read the book, Goodbye Things by Fumio Sasaki it opened his eyes that all along he had been “stuffocating.”
He realized that he’s buying stuff to cover insecurities and amplify his self-worth. That he doesn’t own things, but his things own him. These stuff used to be money that had more flexibility and worth for him in the present.
Beyond letting go of the things that “stuffocate” you, Minimalism lets you enjoy life rather than mindlessly consume stuff. When applied to your life, Minimalism clears spending clutter that leads to Financial Independence.
Minimalism is a mindset that curb your spending habits or better said point them in the right direction. You become an intentional and active writer in the story of your life. Life just doesn’t happen to you, but you make it happen.
His encounter with financial independence is like meeting an old friend. This is because his dad had been exposing him to personal finance since he was a kid. Even before the online hype his dad has been teaching him about money, budgets and investing in the Philippines.
Here are some principles that are always top of mind:
- Pay yourself first
- Plan now, regardless of your financial situation. You are the only one who can take you to your goals.
- Rethink that the traditional retirement model might be outdated.
- You can enjoy the best years of your life now.
- Think long term and practice patience.
- Take it slow by taking things out of your life one at a time.
- Stop acquiring more stuff and start investing on experiences.
- Give yourself the freedom to buy quality.
- Don’t be too hard on yourself.
- Let small but intentional habits take you there.
Financial Independence could be lonely. It will feel like you are swimming against the current if you cut your spending, save aggressively, or aspire to retire early. Know that you are not alone. There is a community out there that is willing to contribute their knowledge and support you, where money is not taboo but a tool to financial freedom.
Share your journey. You’ll never know that there might be “Closet FIREs” amongst your family and friends. This would make the journey less lonely and could strengthen the bonds you have with them. If not, your experiences might motivate them to join you and start their own FI journey. Plant the curiosity that can change people’s lives for the better.
We are a Pinoy Physical Therapist duo living somewhat unconventional but intentional lives. In this podcast we want to learn how Filipinos all over the world in different industries and walk of life earn, spend, save and invest money to achieve Financial Independence.
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We are NOT certified financial advisors, analysts, or CPAs. Investing strategies shared in this article and the website are not financial advice, but our own opinions that are for educational purposes only. We want you to treat our content as a preview to do your own research so you can make smart financial decisions.