One in 4 of us are currently on the furlough scheme, a scheme designed by the government to help keep the masses in employment and keep the economy going. Under the scheme, employees are paid 80% of their wage up to £2,500 a month to simply stay home and not work. Yes that’s right, £2,500 a month for not going to work. Free money – a socialists dream.
When the scheme was first announced, there was genuine panic. People were too scared to enjoy this once in a lifetime opportunity. They were too scared to leave their house. And were too paranoid to enjoy even the littlest of things.
But over the past few weeks there has been a sudden realisation; my time is mine. I could choose to do with it as I please without having to worry about work or money.
I know many people under the furlough scheme, especially in my age cohort, that are having the time of their lives. They are doing what they want to do. They are baking. Honing they’re cooking skills. Playing video games. Streaming Netflix. All day. Everyday. They don’t have a worry in the world. All expenses are being met. Their salary still keeps being paid into their accounts. What’s not to like.
And they are looking forward to the next few weeks when the economy looks set to open up. They are looking forward to endless summer barbeques. And I even have a couple of friends who are talking about going on holiday. And why wouldn’t they spend their time as to how they please. The money is rolling in regardless of what they do.
And this is exactly what Financial Independence Retire Early – FIRE – is. It is not having to worry about money. It is not having to worry about alarm clocks. It is not having to worry about going to work every day. It is not being told how to dress, how to behave and what to do. It is having control of your own life.
Imagine being furloughed forever. That is what achieving financial freedom is like. So why would you not strive to achieve Financial Freedom.
The one major critique of FIRE over the years is boredom. What would someone who’s achieved FIRE do with all their new found free time. They would surely get bored.
If the Furlough scheme has taught us anything it is that boredom is an outdated concept. People pick up new skills. They do things they have always been interested in. I have a friend who’s never spent a day in the kitchen in his entire life and has now become a baking aficionado. Having free time allows you to become the best version of yourself. It allows you to follow your passions. It allows you to live your best life.
Over the next month or so, before the furloughs schemes starts drawing down, do things you’ve always wanted to do. Follow your passion. Do things you’ve always wanted to do but lacked the time. Live the life you always dreamt your retired self would live. Practice being FIREd. And if you enjoy it, create a plan to become Financially Free. That way, you can live the furloughed life everyday.