Barista FI

The freedom of having enough saved to pick what you do

Barista FI
Photo by Fahmi Fakhrudin / Unsplash

The freedom of having enough saved to pick what you do

Everyone who starts the journey towards financial independence has different reasons or seasons for why they start. Maybe it is because they don’t like the job they are currently in, or they are getting closer to retirement, or a significant event happens, and they realize they need the freedom that some form of FI can give them.

There is a pervasive thought in the FI community that you either reach FI or you don’t. And for me, it isn’t either, or it’s a journey. I have 7 phases of FI, and they are as follows.

  1. Know Your Financial Score FI — Telling and tracking where your money goes
  2. Buffer FI — Having an emergency fund of at least three months
  3. Barista FI — You could live off of a part-time job like at a coffee shop, or if you are dual income, you could live off one person’s income.
  4. Retirement FI — You can, with your investments, live off social security when you retire.
  5. Peace Out FI — Your side hustle plus your investments can pay for your expenses
  6. Lean FI — Your investments can pay your expenses
  7. Fat FI — Your investments can pay for your quality of life well above your expenses.

Whatever your reason, most of the time, it can be drilled down to two things. Freedom to choose the life you want and security. Each person has varying degrees of riskiness or protection. Obtaining even one level of FI will help you feel more in control.

Today we are going to talk about Barista FI. Once you start getting to this FI phase, things begin to open for you. The freedom most people seek or want can be achieved as soon as this step.

What defines Barista FI? If you can live off a job that pays very little, like a barista, you’ve obtained Barista FI.

How do you get there? As anything, there are a lot of ways to get there. Some folks can achieve it fast by drastically reducing their expenses to where they can live from a small income. Some folks get there by having enough investments to live off of those plus a small payment. Some have freelance or side hustle money combined with a small w2 income that gets them there. You can even do all three.

What this level of FI truly gets you is the ability to choose where you work. I can’t describe how freeing it is when you get to this level of FI. The ability to not have to need a job reduces a ton of stress. I know this firsthand. When I attained this phase, I could take chances on a real estate flipping business (that failed) without the stress because of this level of FI. It ultimately allowed me to work in ministry for less money because of this. Knowing that if push came to shove, you could get a part-time job to make ends meet is a big help and means you don’t have to stay in a position you hate!

I know anecdotally, many people don’t like the job they are in, and it is usually the catalyst for them trying to figure out how to achieve FI. In phase 3 (sometimes even phase 2), they have the ability and freedom to leave with less stress.

My mission is to give people hope and show that they can do this too! I offer coaching, so dm me on medium or Twitter if you are interested.

If anyone wants to reach out please Contact Me!

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This article is informational; it should not be considered Health, Financial, or Legal Advice. Not all information will be accurate. Consult health, financial, or legal professional before making any significant decisions

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Updated on 11/1/23