Now that’s what I call Financial Independence! 12

According to Wikipedia, a “mantra” is a sacred sound or group of words believed to have spiritual powers when repeated over and over again. 

The earliest mantras were composed by Hindus in India and are at least 3,000 years old.

Apparently, the continual repetition of mantras can induce an altered state of consciousness.

There are ancient temples in which the same mantras have been repeated by monks over and over: day after day, week after week, month after month for thousands of years.

Yet even these ancient mantras are said by critics of The Escape Artist to be less repetitive than the long-running series Now That’s What I call Financial Independence!

Yes, The Escape Artist is back once again in the guise of a music critic from the NME…armed with earnest prose, tortuous metaphors and psycho-babble to review more classic songs about financial independence.

Living in a Box (Living in a Box)

People who grow up with a fear of poverty are often strongly motivated to accumulate wealth.  They dig a well before they are thirsty.  I grew up with a fear of being homeless. This encouraged me to pay off my mortgage in 6 years. I’ve been mortgage free since I was 32.

I did sleep rough a few times in the 1980s but, to be fair to Margaret Thatcher, I can’t really blame her economic policy…it was more the result of excess alcohol combined with a limited night bus service in provincial Britain.

Loaded (Primal Scream)

One of the old chestnuts of financial independence debates is whether the aim is traditional early retirement or not. Is it cheating if you continue to earn some income after quitting the day job?  I say not.

The way I see it, it’s more about financial independence (FI) than retiring early (RE).  In other words, it’s about getting to the point where you can do what you want. To the point where work either becomes optional…or it’s not really work any more because you enjoy it so much.

A change would do you good (Sheryl Crow)

Humans are incredibly adaptable. Hunter gatherers live and thrive in the rainforest, in the arctic and in the desert.  And, in our natural state, we’d have had to cultivate a wide range of skills to catch food, building a shelter, make tools, find clean water, trade, negotiate etc etc.

In modern society, specialisation is the route to earning more. It can lead to people doing the same job for 10, 20, 30 or 40+ years. Problem is, its unnatural, boring and ultimately soul-destroying.

Free-range living is for people, not just for chickens.

Sitting on the Dock of The Bay (Otis Redding)

Its funny how people engineer constant busyness into their life.  I sometimes wonder whether all this activity is a way of avoiding introspection. Blaise Pascal put it this way:

All of humanity’s problems come from mans inability to sit still quietly in a room alone

In this soul classic from 1967, Otis Redding extols the virtues of just chilling out on a summers day. Apparently, Redding wrote the lyrics while sitting on a rented houseboat in California.

To quit a full time job and reclaim your freedom requires you to be fine with some quiet time.

Fools Gold (Stone Roses)

Few people are wholly immune from the temptation to gamble.  Guys in their 20s and 30s are particularly prone to this sort of irrational behaviour.

Did these guys not read Day Trading : Frankie Goes to Vegas???

I Won’t Back Down (Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers)

It would be wonderful if everyone could get to financial independence just by being nice, normal and agreeable…and if all the children could play nicely in The Sandpit together.

I regret to have to inform you that it doesn’t always work that way. The world is full of pressures to conform. Other people will try to control or influence you (and your spending). You can’t please all of the people all of the time and you shouldn’t even try. Sometimes you have to stand your ground.

All That She Wants (Ace of Base)

One of the biggest life decisions you will ever make is whether to have children and if so, how many.

I have three children. So it’s fair to say that I am in favour of parenthood. But I can’t deny that its stressful and expensive. Life and financial independence is easier without children.

It’s not that I’m against motherhood or apple pie. But you don’t have to have children.

Murder On The Dancefloor (Sophie Ellis Bextor)

Talking of love and war, Sophie Ellis Bextor here hands out a lesson in what it takes to get to the top of a competitive field.

The people that make it at board level or partner in professional services firms or as entrepreneurs are driven, competitive and incredibly hard-working.  And far more skilled in strategy than the average Joe.  This is why I often give my coaching clients the book The 48 Laws of Power to read.

You have to watch the video carefully a few times to see the full range of tricks deployed by Sophie. She looks like a princess but she fights like an alley cat.

Loving Each Day (Ronan Keating)

One thing that puts some people off saving is the idea that this will mean deprivation and penny pinching.

People attracted to living with joy, passion and mojo don’t want to spend their life penny-pinching and they want to have some fun. That’s fine…you can get to financial independence whilst enjoying the process.

You have to enjoy the journey for it to be sustainable.


  1. Another great Now! post TEA. I’m finding everything changes with a full time job when a FI situation is reached. You can bend the job situation to your will, wring the last bit juice out of it then hang it out to dry..well quit the thing at your leisure. I’m just lining my escape tunnel with some comforts on the way out 🙂

    1. David Andrews · · Reply

      Agree with your statements. Having acheved FI a couple of years ago but not quite having the confidence to quit yet I’m enjoying dictating my terms of employment to my current manager. I just advised them I was reducing my hours so I could walk my son back from school each day. He starts primary school in September. Armed with a thorough understanding of the flexible work policy and a spreadsheet which indicated that my passive investments would meet the loss of employment income it was an easy decision to make.

  2. Great blog post. Thanks. I found that since reaching FI almost two years ago I have been keeping busy with all sorts of things. Initially I was worried to get bored and wanting to return to my corporate work. It has been quite the opposite however – I have to prioritise what I spent my time on – thankfully all things I love to do.

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