Our latest interview is with Arthur, frugalfire.com.au blogger and FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) enthusiast. Arthur’s blog can help us all reach financial independence and build wealth, but avoid the challenges faced while being “mindless”.
Tell us a little about yourself, kids/family? How did you first become interested in frugal living?
- I work as a business analyst in tech
- I am married with 2 daughters
- Addicted to coffee
- Love my e-bike
I have always been frugal as I grew up poor. But if I had to say when I started taking it very seriously – probably 5 years ago. I was working as a contractor in tech and was starting to “burn out”. I told myself that I needed to slow down the pace a bit, which meant I had to tighten the purse strings so that I could move into a less demanding role (pay reduction). More recently I really started to focus on my life satisfaction, which is why my blog Frugal Fire was born. I wanted to write about things that interested me and give back to the community.
How has frugality affected you financially, do you save a lot more than before you became more frugal?
I’ve never budgeted so it’s hard to say if I am saving more or not. But the mere act paying down my debts meant that I had more income left over to invest.
Being more knowledgeable in frugal living, has this improved your lifestyle?
Frugality and minimalism really go hand in hand. You want less and need less, so the life admin and maintenance is low as a result. I feel my life is less cluttered. Both physically in the home and spiritually in the mind and soul.
What’s your best frugal living tip?
Learn to do a bit of DIY. You can watch a YouTube video and learn to do anything these days. Fix your smartphone, computers, TVs, build something for the garden or the kids. Repair anything at all.
What is a recent purchase or decision you made that saved you money and how did you do it?
It’s not specifically a recent purchase, but a general rule. Always search for quality and pay the premium. It will pay off in the long run. A reputable retailer selling a reliable product will always win out with me. It’s not worth the stress of dealing with a product that keeps breaking or needs repairs, or a retailer that won’t honor warranty or returns. Plus think about the impact on the environment when you are constantly throwing out low quality cheaply made goods.
What are some resources and/or strategies you use to help you better your skills? Do you have any favourite tools or resources you recommend (books, podcasts, apps etc)?
I have subscribed to Money magazine for many years. Although there are not many personal finance tips in it that I don’t know already, the investment articles around shares and property are always interesting. They also write about lesser known investment options like peer to peer lending and other global trends. Do yourself a favour and subscribe.
Do you have any advice for someone just beginning their financial independence journey?
Don’t get too hung up on the small stuff. Make sure your mortgage is the best deal, pay a car in cash and get the best deals on your ongoing costs like utilities. Then you can enjoy your $4 latte knowing you deserve a treat occasionally.
How can people find you?
I’m working on a few other passion projects which are non profit and just me giving back to the community as part of my search for life satisfaction. I’ll keep you guys posted on those when I release it.
Check out our other interviews with frugal influencers!