Now That’s What I Call Financial Independence! 14

When you grow up in the ‘hood, you do what it takes to stay alive.

And when you grow up in East Anglia you do what it takes not to get bored.

So back in the day, The Escape Artist was sometimes a bit of a naughty schoolboy and would then find himself doing “lines” at school.

“Lines” was where you have to write something like “I must not set off the fire alarm” a thousand times.

This was the school’s way of trying to drum a message into your head by force of repetition.  I’m not sure how effective lines were, but they were VERY repetitive.

Although not as repetitive as the long-running Now That’s What I call Financial Independence! series.

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.

Driftwood (Travis)

Humans are creatures of the herd (or troop). We’re a bunch of emotional monkeys who tend to do what the other monkeys around us are doing. And think what the other monkeys around us are thinking.

Unfortunately, most people are drifting through life. That’s fine, but to get to financial independence you need to take ownership of your life, your investments and your spending decisions.

Welcome to The Pleasuredome (Frankie Goes To Hollywood)

The “Can anyone to retire in their 30’s?” angle often taken by the media can sometimes lead to people thinking that it’s all about doing nothing all day.

Don’t get me wrong…its great to be financially independent. But its not some utopian pleasuredome where the sun shines everyday, and nothing bad ever happens.

You’ll still need something to do. You’ll still need challenge. You’ll still need purpose. This is why I talk about financial freedom rather than early retirement.

Part Time Lover (Stevie Wonder)

You get much (most?) of the benefits of financial independence by being debt-free with a few year’s spending in savings. That’s enough to fund a career change or start a business.

Remember, its not binary. Every extra pound you earn and save is a win. Each pound you invest gives you greater options in the future.

By working a part time job you can either make the stash required much smaller. Or you could just work part time RIGHT NOW. If you’re out of debt, living low cost and working part-time, then you have most of the benefits of full financial independence.

It’s the end of the world as we know it (R.E.M.)

We are prone to catastrophising.  This is where you respond to minor setbacks imagining a death spiral where everything goes to shit.

Our thoughts are not always true or helpful. Our emotions come and go like clouds on a breezy spring day. Maybe this year it really will be the end of the world but we’ve been saying that for a 100,000 years now.

Monster (Automatic)

With a bit of calm and perspective, you realise that many (most?) of the crises promoted reported by The News are either non-issues (only publicised because they are so rare) or problems that could be solved, often quite easily.

Not everything that seems scary at first is actually a monster.

I should be So Lucky (Kylie)

One source of angry comments on FI blogs is people dismissing others as lucky and therefore unrepresentative. This is partly true. Luck does play a big part in investing, careers and life generally.

But it’s a good working assumption that the harder and smarter you work, the luckier you’ll get. Here’s a tip for the trollz: you probably won’t get lucky tapping out grumpy comments on the internet.

Get ’em up (Nickelback) 

I love the story of the bank robber who, when asked why he robbed banks, answered:

Because that’s where the money is

Some say The Escape Artist was lucky to work in a high paying field like finance. But I didn’t choose a career in finance first, then later discover that it was well paid.

No, it was the other way round. I chose to work in finance because that was where the money was.

Whatever It Takes (Imagine Dragons)

One of my favourite case studies on the blog was Can You Become a Millionaire on a Firemans Salary?

And one of the best bits was this:

A fireman has the awesome legal power in an emergency to do “anything they consider necessary”. We have to think ‘outside the box’, e.g. speeding, driving on the wrong side of the road, forcing entry into peoples private property without their permission. I think the same lateral thinking also helps you get to FI. You have to do whatever it takes.

If you want to get to FI, you have to do whatever it takes.

Warriors of Genghis Khan (Bad News)

Is there anything funnier than Keyboard Warriors on the internet?

Don’t get me wrong, I welcome all constructive comments and feedback on this site. I also believe in free speech. This includes the right of Keyboard Warriors to run their mouths off elsewhere on the internet about anything they want.

But, for the avoidance of doubt, the comments section of my website is not a democracy…it’s a military dictatorship where coups, rebellions and insurrections are ruthlessly and brutally put down.


  1. Parts of this post brought back memories of some words of wisdom a few years back from my gran, then aged 92….

    “You make your own luck in life”, she announced with conviction. It turned out she was referring to what I used to call the “it’s alright for you” brigade. She and my grandad had been the first in their peer group to save hard, take the plunge, and buy their own house. The first to save up and get a small car, go on a foreign holiday etc etc. “It’s alright for you” came the comments a few years later…. Erm no, I thought, listening to her tale. That’ll have been my grandad’s exceptional organisational skills at work combined with a bit of raw courage.

    To “be lucky”, sometimes you have to come up with a (potentially risky) plan then execute it wisely….

Leave a Reply to Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: