How We’re Achieving FIRE/FIOR Through Selective Frugality

As many of you already know, Mr. MMM and I are on FIOR. We’re starting out subscribing to the FIRE movement, then realized we didn’t quite fit the mold. So, naturally, we invented our own movement – F.I.O.R. FIOR stands for Financial Independence Optional Retirement. I even wrote an entire post about it! Basically, both Mr. MMM and I enjoy our jobs and enjoy earning money. We’re not interested in retiring early to live a meager life. Instead, we want to continue to earn money on our own terms and build legacy wealth for our family. Just how are we doing it? Read on my fellow frugal friends!

FIRE vs FIOR

FIRE | FIOR | Financial Independence Retire Early | Financial Independence Optional Retirement | Financial Freedom | Selective Frugality | Frugal Living | Investing via @MadMoneyMonsterI’m assuming most of my readers are familiar with the FIRE movement. FIRE stands for Financial Independence Retire Early. When I first found this community a few years back, I was all about ditching my current 9 – 5 for the freedom to do whatever I wanted to do every single day.

As soon as I caught the FIRE, I started this blog and started writing about my family’s adoption of selective frugality in an attempt to quit our day jobs decades ahead of schedule. But the more time that passed, the more I realized that Mr. MMM and I didn’t quite fit into the standard FIRE mold.

For instance, Mr. MMM will never retire. In fact, he would do his job even if he wasn’t getting paid. Let’s just say, it’s his passion.

Me, on the other hand, I mostly enjoy my job and I do get satisfaction from my work and like my office setting and co-workers. On top of that, I’m fortunate enough to make a nice salary with excellent benefits. I’m not so sure I’m willing to walk away from that the moment we hit financial independence. At first, I thought it would be a no-brainer. But now, I’m not so sure.

So, in light of this discovery, I launched a new little financial movement I like to call FIOR – Financial Independence Optional Retirement. Even if I do decide to throw in the towel on my W2 job, I’m still going to be making money in some fashion. To me, that’s optional retirement. And that’s what I’m calling it. 🙂 Read all about it in this original FIOR post!

Our Definition Of Selective Frugality

We’re all about frugality, but we do spend money on things we truly value. Because of this, we have adopted a selective frugality mindset. When we say selective we mean that not every purchase is a frugal one.

We’re all about saving money and increasing the gap between our income and expenses, but we’re also all about enjoying our lives and being okay with occasionally splurging on stuff we desire or will enjoy. So just when do we tighten our frugal belts and when do we splurge? Read on to find out!

What We Spend Money On

  • fireplace - selective frugality

    Our gas fireplace splurge. #noregrets

    Our Home – Not only did we embark on a renovation last year, a lot of our upgrades were high-end or custom.

  • Heating and A/CLife is too short to be hot …or cold.
  • Hotel Stays – When we’re traveling, we sometimes splurge on a really nice hotel.
  • Haircuts – Aside from Mr. MMM (he shaves his head), Mini and Mommy opt for nice salon haircuts every few months. I have had plenty of cheap haircuts in my life – those days are behind me.
  • Clothes – This one falls into both categories. It’s rare that we buy clothes, but when we do we often go for high quality.

Other articles you might enjoy:

When We Choose Frugality

  • Our House Is Small – Despite our high-end finishes, our home is only 2,000 SF, including our finished basement.
  • Our Vehicles – We currently own one everyday car and one Van Halen. What? Yeah, we sold our second car and bought an inexpensive conversion van to travel the country for fun! Read all about it.
  • We Eat At Home – And when we don’t, we plan for our meal excursions and optimize our menu selections. BUT, we never skimp on a tip.
  • Gym Memberships – I canceled my gym membership about a year ago. Mr. MMM has a $10/mo Planet Fitness membership.
  • Drinks – We don’t buy anything except milk for our everyday drinking purposes. Water comes out of the faucet and alcohol is only purchased for special occasions/holidays.
  • Clothes – This one falls into both categories. It’s rare that we buy clothes, but when we do we often go for high quality.
  • Investments – We opt for low-cost index funds.

What We Plan To Do After Reaching FIRE/FIOR 

Mad Money Cat - selective frugality

Mad Money Cat already reached FI. #optedforFIRE

After we reach FIOR, we’re planning to do things pretty much the way we do them now. Our Mini still has quite a few years left in school which means we’re not relocating anytime soon.

And, as I said before, Mr. MMM loves his career and won’t be turning in his figurative badge after we become financially independent.

As for me, I’m going to enjoy having the option to stay in my current role or bag it for something else. I might even become a full-time blogger.

After Mini heads off to college, Mr. MMM and I also want to have the option of moving – or at least moving around. We might try full-time #VanLife or maybe even sell our house and downsize to a trailer or tiny house. The options are endless. Just the way I like it!

What about you? Are you on FIRE or FIOR? What are you planning to do after you reach FI?

14 comments… add one
  • Angela @ Tread Lightly Retire Early Jan 15, 2018, 8:55 pm

    FIOR all the way – I even wrote a blog post about it right before you thought up an awesome acronym for it 😉

    We’re in a similar boat, where neither of us want to retire, our son won’t graduate high school for another 15ish years – heck he hasn’t even started school – and our families are both right in this area. Even if we did want to quit our jobs to go live somewhere awesome, we wouldn’t because that would mean taking our son from his grandmas, grandpas, great grandma, and all his aunts and uncles. Family is too important for us to leave, even if we might want to sometimes.

  • Anonymous Jan 15, 2018, 8:53 pm

    FIOR all the way – I even wrote a blog post about it right before you thought up an awesome acronym for it 😉

    We’re in a similar boat, where neither of us want to retire, our son won’t graduate high school for another 15ish years – heck he hasn’t even started school – and our families are both right in this area. Even if we did want to quit our jobs to go live somewhere awesome, we wouldn’t because that would mean taking our son from his grandmas, grandpas, great grandma, and all his aunts and uncles. Family is too important for us to leave, even if we might want to sometimes.

  • Solitary Diner Jan 13, 2018, 10:47 am

    I love the concept of FIOR. I don’t know whether I’ll FIRE or FIOR once I hit financial independence, but it is nice to be reminded of the positive sides of work and that financial independence can be valuable even if you don’t quit the day you achieve it.

    I’m very glad you mentioned not skimping on a tip!

    And your cat is gorgeous.

    • Mad Money Monster Jan 13, 2018, 12:04 pm

      Thanks for the kind words! Yeah, not sure if I’ll quit either when I hit FI, but it’s nice to have the option. 🙂

  • Mr. Groovy Jan 10, 2018, 10:42 pm

    I thought FIOR was genius the moment I heard you explain it on Choose FI. Mrs. G and I are FIRE because she hated her job and I tolerated mine. And, believe me, that was a big improvement over my previous job (it’s was hard to get pumped about a job that included picking up dead animals). Anyway, if we had jobs we loved, we would be doing exactly what you are doing. Hail FIOR!

    • Mad Money Monster Jan 12, 2018, 4:34 pm

      Thanks for the kind words, Mr. Groovy! 🙂

  • Sarah | Smile & Conquer Jan 9, 2018, 11:52 pm

    I’ve never heard the term FIOR before but I love it! I sometimes have a hard time connecting with FIRE bloggers because I don’t have a goal of retiring significantly early, but making work optional is a perfect compromise.

    My spending lines up pretty closely with your selective frugality categories and it’s great that you included low-cost investments, that’s not something you hear talked about in terms of frugality.

    • Mad Money Monster Jan 10, 2018, 6:46 am

      Yeah, FIRE didn’t exactly resonate with us, either. I’m glad you like our concept of FIOR!

      I started making work optimal this year by negotiating working from home 2 days/week. It’s a sweet gig that I won’t be in a hurry to give up anytime soon. 🙂

  • Jason Jan 9, 2018, 5:57 pm

    I remember when your FIOR article came out and it was instantly a concept I resonated with. We are in the same boat. Part of the reason we will have to work for at least another decade is because of public service loan forgiveness, but we will be FI before that. However, I don’t plan on retiring anytime soon because I like my work. My goal is to get to a point where I could take a job teaching anywhere and not worry about the money aspect.

    • Mad Money Monster Jan 9, 2018, 6:21 pm

      Yeah, there’s a catch at my current employer, too. It’s called lifetime health benefits for the rest of my life and my husband’s life. If I can stick it out another 11 years, And since I work for a global corp, the bennies are really good. Thankfully, I also enjoy the work (most days), so we’ll see how it goes.

  • Steve Poling Jan 9, 2018, 12:18 pm

    For several months last year I told folks that I was “one unpleasant conversation away” from retirement. The unpleasant conversation never occurred, but the solar eclipse did and I made it a priority. Because I could.

    • Mad Money Monster Jan 9, 2018, 2:53 pm

      Love it!

  • Tonya@Budget and the Beach Jan 9, 2018, 8:44 am

    I love it! I love seeing that people are inventing their own version of FIRE and that there doesn’t have to be just one way. I’m totally with you on hair cuts!

    • Mad Money Monster Jan 9, 2018, 2:59 pm

      Haha. I knew you would be! I have a hair appt. this coming Saturday and I am sooo looking forward to it. 🙂

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