Sometimes the simplest tools are the best


The world of FIRE has developed a wide array of analysis tools and software methods to optimize your finances, your schedules, your travel, and your lives. That is why reading the blogs is so fascinating, because there always seems to be something new to learn, to try out, to experiment with. It can be dizzying at times, the pace of change and new technology.

However, there is an old bit of wisdom that states “sometimes the simplest tools are the best.” I’ve heard a lot of financial experts say that picking the best stocks/mutual funds/bonds is secondary – the key is to start investing, as early as possible, and to continue with it. For budgeting purposes, many folks do fine without budgeting by just “paying themselves first” and then surviving on the rest. To avoid “lifestyle creep” a simple method is to set your lifestyle, and then every time you get a pay raise, you just take the lion’s share of it and automatically deduct it from your account and invest it.

All of these are very simple methods to achieve financial independence, and if you perform them, you are 90% of the way towards achieving your goals. Do them early in your life, and you can achieve FI early.

In the photo above, I was working on boxes for TKD woodworking. In order to reinforce the corners, I needed to cut 45-degree grooves in the box corners and glue in “splines” of wood. By making these splines of a contrasting wood (in this case Walnut) it enhances the look of the box. The simple “jig” used to do this on the tablesaw is literally four pieces of wood, glued and screwed together, running across the tablesaw. Simple tool, but very effective!

Look at the simple things first in your FI work, and you will be going a long way to getting to your goals!

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Mr. 39 Months

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