Who are you?
Gwen is a 27-year-old on the path to financial independence. She is the founder and blogger at Fiery Millennials. She also hosts the podcast “Fire Drill Podcast”, and she recently quit her job at a major company to explore how to live life without a typical career.
How did you get on the money path so early?
Gwen says that she found out about money at an early age. Her parents divorced when she was two years old, so she grew up extremely poor. After hearing “We don’t have money”, Gwen realized she had to figure out how to either make money or deal without. When her mom remarried, Gwen went from having nothing to living a pretty posh life. She even started receiving an allowance, but she learned how to make it last.
When she started babysitting, her mom and stepdad didn’t offer her an allowance anymore, so she started working more to earn more money. Anything she could do to earn extra money, she did, including babysitting, lifeguarding, and mowing lawns.
How did those money lessons extend into your adult life?
Gwen says that she knew what she needed to do to earn money when she became an adult. Since her parents didn’t pay for her college, and she didn’t want to get into debt to go, she instead decided to join the military instead. She decided to defer her training, but before she even shipped off, the college she applied to offered her a full ride scholarship. Gwen admits that it was a relief and she felt like a huge weight was off her shoulders because she didn’t have to worry about paying for college anymore.
While in college, Gwen wondered if there was more to life than just avoiding debt. So, she went poking around on the internet, and that’s when she found the Mr. Money Mustache blog. His blog inspired her to start working toward financial independence. Because of his blog, Gwen started her own financial independence journey at 22-years-old.
What is financial independence?
Gwen says that the financial independence, or FIRE, movement, basically means that you want to be financially free. FIRE stands for financial independence, retire early, and the major goal is to keep expenses super low so you can then invest heavily and save up money. That way, you can retire at an earlier age and enjoy life more.
Gwen also says that there is a difference between financial independence and retirement. Financial independence gives someone the option to do what they want before they’ve worked their 40 years and retired. Retirement is usually achieved at 65 after working for someone else for years. Financial independence is more about giving you the freedom to focus on what you want to do, like hobbies.
What do you say to those women looking to invest more?
Gwen says it’s all about asking yourself “What do I have to lose?”. Some women can’t invest every single dollar. However, Gwen does believe that every woman needs to have a safety net of some kind. Gwen says it’s about knowing what to do and what could happen if things don’t work out. For Gwen, she was comfortable with quitting her job because of her safety net. Plus, since she has a degree in IT, she’s comfortable with finding a job if need be. She believes every woman should feel that way.
What are you working on now that you’ve quit your job?
Gwen works on her Fiery Millennials blog and recently started a podcast after a friend asked her to. She also bought a triplex so she could live in one portion and rent out the others. She also pursues other hobbies such as creating stained glass and anything else that suits her fancy. Now that she has more free time, she fills it with hobbies and skills that could earn her more money, or at the very least, make her happy.
What’s one money tip you have for the listeners?
Gwen says that you shouldn’t be afraid to fail. It’s not about how many times you fail, it’s about how many times you succeed.
Where can listeners go to find out more about you?
Resources that are mentioned or add value to this episode: