Barney White, an Englishman, said that his parents bought a house when he was in middle school in 1981.
“They are typical British style, big houses with big mortgages,” he said.
Not long after that, the economy fell into a severe recession and interest rates soared to 17%.
Under heavy mortgage pressure, his parents were forced to cut spending: holidays were canceled and newspapers were not ordered. Mr. white’s father stopped buying beer and made it himself. This changed Mr. white’s attitude towards money.
“I knew it was a terrible thing to owe a lot of money to the bank,” he said.
He received a degree in economics and training in chartered accountants and then worked in the financial industry for 20 years. He is engaged in this occupation just to master the language of money. When he graduated, his salary was 1.25 million pounds ( $16,000), and then he went up all the way, but his lifestyle remained the same.
For the past 20 years or so, White has made sure that at least half of his salary is saved every month for his old age, and all his bonuses are saved immediately. He rides a bike to work instead of taking the subway, and reduces drinking.
White, 48, saved enough money to retire at 43. But it was not until a year before he retired that he came across Mr Money Mustache. Mr. White found himself inadvertently involved in an increasingly popular campaign among young employees around the world: FIRE（financial independence/retire early).
The basic pattern is that adherents of the movement will live as frugally as possible and save half or more of their income at the age of twenty or thirty. The goal is to retire at the age of thirty or forty.
The “early retirement” part of the campaign may be a bit of a misnomer. Many of the adherents aren’t going to spend 50 years playing bridge or on cruise ships. On the contrary, the focus is on financial freedom: the goal is to save enough money and live simply enough so that other things can be done over the next few decades, instead of pursuing a raise in a white-collar job or worrying about big loans to banks.
Dedicated to freedom
Although “RE” (retire early) is part of the name “FIRE”, Mertz and White did not aim to quit their jobs at the age of 27 or 43 and then do nothing until death. Mozi said:”We’re not talking about sitting around drinking Mai Tai cocktails all day. People have their own work to do. We need to feel like we’re an important member of society. This won’t change because you have a sum of money in the bank.”
But (the bank has a sum of money) they can be flexible in doing what they want to do. Some people choose to travel, of course, within the budget, and others choose to do what they want to do, rather than the feeling of being stuck on a hamster wheel running around.
“I was grateful for the system,” White said. “I felt like I was locked in a detention camp and kept working to maintain a lifestyle I didn’t really want.”
He is free.
“A lot of these things are emotional and psychological,” he said. “You have to experience them to understand how powerful they are.”