Now that’s what I call Financial Independence! 18


Some on the internet say that The Escape Artist is running out of fresh material.

What nonsense!

If I was running out of fresh material, then how could I be coming up with original gems such as Now That’s What I Call Financial Independence! 18??

Answer me that.

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

Warrior (Hannah Kerr)

It’s no accident that I chose a military theme for this website.When you are fighting a war, the stakes are too high for waffle and wishful thinking.

The military mindset combines discipline and planning with creativity and the ability to flex and change as the circumstances require. The military teaches strategic thinking, resilience and stoicism.

The Enlightened Warrior combines offense (risk-taking and action) with defence (caution, economy and the ability to live on limited rations).

Erase & Rewind (The Cardigans)

To throw off consumerism, you must unlearn what you have learned.

They say that progress in academia occurs one funeral at a time. People often give up close their minds as they get older.Better to stay open-minded. As Keynes once said:

When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do?

Rock The Boat (Hues Corporation)

The Overton Window is the range of ideas currently considered acceptable for public discussion. The Overton Window is subjective and shifts over time and between places. Throughout history, much of the conventional wisdom has been wrong.

Money is perhaps the last taboo. There’s an unwritten rule that stuff about money has to be so blandly written that none of the children in the sandpit can take offence. So writers, journalists and bloggers self-censor. But what if we lose the the most powerful truths in the process?

Wipe Out (The Surfaris)

According to Warren Buffett, rule number of investing 1 is don’t lose money. Rule number 2 is don’t forget rule number 1.

He didn’t mean don’t invest in the stock market…nor that your investments should never go down in price. Price volatility is just numbers going up and down on a screen and, most of the time, that doesn’t mean anything.

No, real risk is the permanent loss of capital…its where something goes down and it ain’t going back up again. Like The Titanic or shares in Enron.

Freak (Re-con & Klubfiller)

Being normal is over-rated. It’s become normal to be in debt, unhealthily over-weight and to buy loads of shit that you don’t need.

So, as I may have mentioned before, if you are gonna get to financial independence you are gonna be doing things differently from the crowd.

Move on up (Curtis Mayfield)

Having been to a state comprehensive school in the middle of nowhere, The Escape Artist is interested in social mobility.

Money is a big part of this. That’s why this website shows anyone how to get better with money. It’s free for anyone who is willing to take action to improve their finances…and their life.

Small Town Boy (Bronski Beat)

One of the best things that you can do to improve your life is to move. Its not physically difficult to move from an area of unemployment to an area with better employment prospects. But it takes get up and go to get up and go.

There are places of deprivation and low aspirations where people are sabotaging themselves and the people around them. You are the average of the 5 people around you. Its a difficult truth that if you are surrounded by the wrong people, you move or you get pulled down.

Ain’t nothing going on but the rent (Gwen Guthrie)

Housing costs are the biggest expense in most people’s life.  In Living Low Cost in a High Cost City we talked about property guardianship as one solution to the problem of high rents.

But Gwen is unwilling to make lifestyle compromises and has another solution in mind. She’s looking for a mug someone to subsidise her. Gwen is remarkably open about her thought process:

Bill collectors at my door…what can you do for me?

I’m looking for a man to put some money in my hand

I don’t blame Gwen for trying it on…I just don’t think she’s quite the catch she thinks she is.

Good Life (Inner City)

Pursuing financial independence should be about living the good life and not all about sacrifice and deprivation. Giving up consumerism should make you happier almost immediately (as with any drug, there may be a withdrawal period).

Here’s what’s in it for you: the immediate benefits of pursuing financial independence are about getting a better life right now.


  1. Dude, you’re definitely not running out of ideas! Now I’ve heard Erase and Rewind many times but it never occurred to me that the song can mean something related to financial Independence. Indeed, there is lots of unlearning that needs to be done for progress to take place, be it financial or not. Thanks for making finance a fun topic!

  2. Ha. This Gwen doesn’t want/need someone else to pay her rent etc but I don’t want to pay someone else’s either. So once you reach FI how do you (male or female) keep the “opportunists”/gold-diggers/dead-beats away?

    Good to meet you at the FI meet-up in Brewdog Edinburgh BTW. Do come again!

    1. Yes, Edinburgh was brilliant…it was great to meet you all. Thanks!

  3. “Only the guy who isn’t rowing, has time to rock the boat.”

    Sartre (and his half-brother, The Escape Artist) are on to something (s?) here:

    (i). the need to rock the boat, if the rowers are going the wrong way; (TEA); and

    (ii). the need to row bloody hard and not be a back-biter, if we truly intend to live counter-culturally (Sartre).

    Blimey: existentialist musings on a Wednesday morning. But since it’s all about what it means to be human, to create meaning and values, I’ve always thought that FIRE’s philosophical underpinnings are more than just stoicism.

    Off to make toast and be banal (in a hugely “woke” kinda way).

  4. Small Town Boy (Bronski Beat)
    My era ! Resonated that you are the average of 5 people that around you – so move – you say physically move but it could be moving jobs or seeking out new groups of people eg FIRE networking events ! I am minimising my time around glass
    Half full people and seeking out like minds.

    Freak (Re-con & Klubfiller)
    What makes someone buck the trend, go against expectations, do things differently – A friend and I were discussing this just the other day as she is from a more conservative traditional Italian family where heterosexual marriage and children are the norm. And she had not gone down that path.

    You have to be able to see a vision of a different future and be able to relate it to yourself – a role model / someone that has done it before you ? maybe get a bit of a helping hand – useful online resources and blogs ? A bit of luck – a chance meeting with a like minded person, historic low mortgage interest rates…?

    But there is also something about personal resilience – how do you build this? We can all do it but so much easier if you are brought up with privilege.

    I have come to FIRE later than many but have realised how privileged I have been – not financially but health, family, education etc – and found myself in a good position later in life through some good decisions and much
    luck and the lack of some bad luck. So the path is easier to see.

    This is why I am so impressed with people who have the FIRE vision when they are working to get out of debt, they are on low income, shitty things have happened to them – and they have to be able to see and relate the vision to themselves –
    it requires such confidence and resilience – good on them.

    Take aways
    -encourage others / share experiences and challenge myself to do more
    – acknowledge the role of luck
    – Lever luck by making the most of your opportunities

  5. According to Warren Buffet, rule 3 is TWO Ts.

Leave a 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: