You are sick of the 9-5. You start looking for a way out of the rat race. You finally stumble upon Mr. Money Mustache and all the other wonderful FIRE blogs out there. You get excited. You learn about the 4% rule, index funds and frugality. You make a plan. You cut expenses. You start investing. You’ve found a way out!

But after a while, you realise: Financial Independence is exactly what you want, but it will take years to get there. Years of your life that you will have to spend behind a desk, years you will never get back. You wish you had started earlier. You get impatient. You start looking for a shortcut.

Congratulations, you have come to the right place. Welcome to Money Flamingo!

Hi there! I’m Tina aka Mrs Flamingo. The passage you just read describes the exact situation my husband and I found ourselves in a while back. At that point, we had been on the path to Financial Independence for a couple of years. Our projected FIRE date was sometime in our mid-40s. While this sounded amazing when we first embarked on this journey (and had previously assumed we’d work well into our 60s), we started to question if sacrificing another decade of our lives to reach FIRE was worth it. For a number of reasons we decided that it just wasn’t an acceptable option for us anymore.

We got creative and came up with a plan that still gives us the freedom we want without the having to sacrifice all of those years to get there. We hope to inspire others to start thinking outside the FIRE box so they can reach their goals sooner as well. Remember, life is short and should be enjoyed, not endured!

So who are we?

We are a married couple in our 30s and currently live in Sydney, Australia. Before moving back to Australia three years ago, we lived in several different countries (mainly in Europe) for over a decade. We love the outdoors, spend a lot of time in nature and on the water and just enjoy life in general. We have a lot of different interests and a long list of projects we’d like to get stuck into as soon we leave our corporate careers. We both work for large international companies and don’t mind our jobs (for now). But we can’t wait to leave the 9-5 and do more of what we enjoy most – exploring, learning, building, travelling, aaaand – fulfilling work! (Yes, you read that correctly and yes, this is a FI blog – just keep reading!)

Flamingo FI

We found out about FIRE around 2012, but didn’t do much about it for several years. When we finally got serious about reaching FI, like most people, we started out with a 10-15 year plan. However, we soon realised that we didn’t want to spend the best years of your lives chasing the freedom carrot. We would have hit FI in our 40s – way too late for our liking!

Long story short: We will retire from our corporate jobs in early 2021 – just before Mr F turns 40. At this stage, we won’t have reached FI in the traditional sense. But we will have reached what we like to call “Flamingo FI”. It is not our goal to “retire” from work completely. We want to retire from having to work in jobs we hate and with people we can’t stand – we want to retire from working with wankers!

Flamingo FI is the ultimate shortcut for us: It cuts several years of our full-time careers. Our plan only takes 5 years in total. We get our 40s back. And as an additional bonus we will be able to enjoy a higher standard of living later on in life than we would otherwise. For us, this is the perfect solution!

Why am I writing this blog?

  1. Encouragement: We hope to inspire others who are looking for a quicker way out of the rat race. Maybe you also also started getting serious about FI later than you would have liked and now wish you could turn back time. There are options. All it takes is a little creativity and flexibility!
  2. Sharing our story: Over the years, we have benefited tremendously from the information provided on some of the great classic FIRE blogs out there (MMM, ERE, jlcollins, just to name a few). Now that we are only 1000 days away from reaching our goal, we would like to pay it forward and share what we’ve learned. After all, each FI story is different and hopefully someone out there will benefit from reading ours.
  3. An Australian perspective: There are tons of FIRE blogs out there, but most are US-based. While the general FIRE principles and ideas are universal, certain aspects just don’t apply to folks in other parts of the world. When we started out a few years ago, we were unable to find any blogs that described the Australian way to FI. Fortunately, there is a growing FI community in Australia now and we want to help spread the word. This blog is a 401k-free zone! Here, we will discuss Super, investing on the ASX, the Australian real estate market and the strategies we are using to reach FI in Australia.
  4. A bit of fun: I’ve never published anything online (not even on an internet forum) and we are both not big social media users. I thought it might be a fun project to figure out how to make a blog and see if I enjoy writing.
  5. Accountability: We want to make the most of the next 1000 days and think writing down our progress will be beneficial. I also think it will be fun looking back in a few years to see what we’ve accomplished.

We hope you’ll join us for the journey! We’d love to connect with like-minded people, so please don’t be shy and get in touch with us! ?