The start of the FIRE Saga

Fire: Is not the least I can do making my wildest dreams come true?

I decided to start working towards financial freedom and FIRE after a three-step-thought process that looked something like this:

1. Mental step –

I was contemplating how fortunate I was being in the position I was; a wonderful job, good savings, having had great (free!!) education, stable home life, amazing Mr Viking,  essentially feeling very grateful. This lead to contemplation about what I should do with this fortunate life I have been thrown into. What should I do? I have always been a goal-setter when it comes to life, but this time it was different.

This time I felt like I owed it to myself to really and fully think about what I wanted to do the most. I had to realize how fortunate I had been to be put down on earth in a position where I actually had leverage to make many things happen. How many other women in the world could say the same? Is not the least I can do then making my wildest, scariest dreams come true?

How few are the countries I would have had to be born in to being given even a realistic percentage of ending up with parents educating me enough to have me probabilistically set myself up for an economically good future?? And then have me coincidentally ending up being clear-headed enough to realize this advantage?

There are always amazing outliers, rising up agains the challenges their backgrounds have brought and winning, but the thing is, I am not one of these outliers. If anyone has had the opportunity to set themselves out to a good start, me and my fellow Scandinavians out there are definitely in that group . Given the poverty, inequality and suffering in the world, it would be a blind lie to say otherwise. 

My financial independence goal will be a real challenge given the heavy taxation in my country, but seriously, have I not been given all the tools I need to handle it? No, as I contemplated further, I owed it to the collective sum of all of these incredibly low probabilities to at least give my financial opportunities a serious thought.

Similar thoughts continued to spiral into an understanding of how important it is for me to feel like I have a choice. I thrive in multi-choice environments and never feel more alive than in the eye of a storm of possibilities. Freedom to have possibilities, and freedom to choose between these ended up being the only constant I could define for myself in the endless list of things I want to do and accomplish in this life. This freedom is what I want.

This is how I came down to the goal of financial independence.

2. Information-gathering step: What is FIRE?

Is this something anyone has done? I mean, don’t you have to be born into ridiculous wealth, or be lucky enough to invent Google to become financially independent?

In Scandinavia, being able to live off of your wealth is just not something you do. And the people that do have left the country a long time ago. So what do you do when you are fairly certain you are among the very few to have though of something few others have? You google it only to realize you are one hundred percent wrong. 

I started reading. And reading. Several weeks of me gathering information about people doing this crazy financial independence “FIRE”-thing. Mr Viking got equally excited. This wasn’t just a small boys club of little rich dudes from Switzerland as I first thought it would be (sorry for the horrific generalizations here). These were people everywhere. From all over. People just like me, who slowly but surely worked out a strategy for accumulated savings aka freedom and not letting anyone stopping them. I was amazed.  I wanted in.

3. If this is going to be a journey, why not invite the rest to come along? -step

I loved to write a few years ago. Now I write code all day, but due to lack of time (read bad prioritization) I barely ever write normal text. After having received so much FIRE-input for so many weeks (see step 2) I felt this big bold blurb of words inside of me. I had things I wanted to say about this. I wanted to share. If I was doing this for sure, trying to reach financial independence as soon as I could, why shouldn’t I let everyone that wanted read my story?

Looping back to step 1, it turned into this reasoning about how this was almost the least I could do. So I started. And my fingers started writing by themselves. Self conscious about writing in english I stopped and erased. And started over. And over. Until I realized that it wasn’t about the language, or about the stylesheets or the color themes. The writing had nothing to do with that and everything to do with how light I felt after each post. How happy it made me to write. How incredibly impressed by the thoughtful comments and feedback I have received from the FIRE community since starting.

This is still a tool for me to realize my FIRE goal. But independently of that, it has become a goal in itself, with an intrinsic purposefulness that really has nothing to do with the first goal.

Thank you for following me on this route.


How did it all start?

I will break up the story of how I ended up here in a few different parts.

How did I get here?

As I have mentioned earlier, I am a Scandinavian born and bred, and so is my boyfriend. Who luckily agreed to venture out on this adventure along with me. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to have the aligned partner priorities as you do if you are planning to become financially independent.

You are either with someone who agrees with you on the plan and is equally committed to it, or you should be single and do this alone. It will be very difficult otherwise. But I would love to hear from someone who tried this and succeeded with a partner that is was not fully committed to the cause, so feel free to challenge me on this if you hear from anyone that tells you the opposite.

Partner priorities is about caring

At a brief point in my early life before venturing into Software Engineering I wanted to work with investment management. The concept of financial markets intrigued me, and as I read up on the subject it continued to speak to me. It couldn’t just work, putting in money, and then just having it grow by itself without doing anything, and with no catch?. At this point in time I was still in high school and all of a sudden it was 2009 and the financial crisis happened. Without lingering on to this subject for too long (I just need to once again advocate for the champion country of Iceland who literally heaved themselves up from bankruptcy in the worst financial crisis we have seen in modern times!! So little credit is given to them for this and I have always found it so strange). Maybe that is why we named our pile of gold (money) more to that in The Leprechaun that will never die.

Sidenote over, – financial crisis happened, and I remember how I over and over told myself ( told myself and no one else because oddly there were no girls in my high school who shared this interest or cared the least bit about the subject. Clearly I was one of the cool kids when I grew up, if that is not blatantly obvious) how vicious it was taht this crisis happened now, when I was too young to have any money whatsoever to invest in, and it was so obvious that the market had completely tanked and it was the golden time for heaving in money.

Whether this would have been a good strategy or not, I recall this as evidence for how the subject of financial investments have always interested me.

I have continuously been investing money since I got my first post-uni-actually-paying job at the age of 24. And yes, in Scandi we are a bit later with university and all that. Time is taked to travel the world before we enroll and if for no other reason it intrigues us why not more people have a longing taste for the freedom associated with these past years. It might be tied to the nature of partner priorities, where the priorities might differ between relationships. Naturally, the next time I am able to roam freely like this it will be under a completely different context. It is nonetheless very interesting that this idea of a life independent of a time-consuming job has not grasped more peoples interest over here.

Oh well, it may as well start now.

The Viking journey has started – 7 years to Financial Independence

I am a 27-year old Scandinavian with a carefully crafted plan to become financially independent and retire before the age of 35, see the popular blog post The Leprechaun that will never die. As I am currently living in one of the heaviest taxed countries in the world (Sweden), I choose to see this as an additional challenge. After some research I have discovered that there is actually a name for us enthusiastic fools, FIRE. Financially Independent Retire Early, and therefore name myself as the Fire Viking. Disregarding the semi-pretentious sound of this I do find it successfully covering the goal of my plan, so I’ll stick with it.

fire viking

What am I doing on this blog?

I have found that there is a substantial lack of Scandinavians (Europeans even) out there with financial independence as a sound goal. Sure, the subject will be dabbled over a late night glass of wine, but never concretized and purposefully lived after as a set goal, the way I am aiming to do. Most blogs about the subject are Canadian or American. I believe my strategy to reach financial independence will not differ substantially from any North Americans, but perhaps the reasoning behind will and this is why I have decided to shed some light and insight to my journey.

In addition to above, Scandinavia is also home to the most coherent well-fare states in the world, and thus subject to some heavy taxation. This is not something that will have a major impact of my strategy, and I don’t see very much delay in the time it will take me to save up enough capital to retire, compared to if I would would be doing the same journey from North America. More on this subject to come. Feel free to ask any questions about being a Fire Viking!