I love when people is hitting the head on the nail.
FIREdanmark is a facebook group started by the danish blog Frinans.
That forum is a group of danish people who all have that in common that we would like to live our life to fullest. And claim our freedom from the rat race as fast as possible.
Jacob Lund Fisker is often answering questions in there, but this answer is really worth a blog post for it self.
People is asking a ton of different question, and the other day this question got posted in the group:
My wife doesn’t like the FIRE philosophy. How do I get her onboard with this idea??
And this is here Jacob Lund Fisker came with this awesome answer:
In general FIRE is about changing the mindset about being poor, which the middle class is borned and raised with. Where you income equals what you will be spending. Where social status is equal with how much money you make, and then connects consuming with happiness. Said in a different way, the middle class connects money with limitations. That’s why people is getting panic attacks/emotional whenever you talk about cutting back on spending, because they don’t see what things you are going to get by doing so.
It is a transition that can take many years before you resonate with it, because “You don’t know what you don’t know” when you only have the mindset of limitations. Especially when you are limited in thinking of freedom with what you can afford to buy and what you not can afford.
An example. I once walked by a car dealer and pointed out that I could buy the entire row of cars in cash. Most consumers buy their car on installment, so it was something that made an impression. That I had created an opportunity to buy a car in cash. A car bought with cash is more specific than the account number. Only few can imagine what a million is without having to translate it into something tangible such as 3-4 cars or 15 years without worrying about rent.
The example of the car works because it builds a bridge between poverty mentality and wealth mentality because one still connects a large savings into something that is consumption.
If you have come so far, then the next thing is to “install” a wealth mentality, where it is no longer about which plastic dimes or pleasures one can buy. But much larger “things” such as freedom from stress, freedom to stay where you want, freedom to work or leave, … a really good night’s sleep, time to make healthy food, etc. It is a whole different category than a larger TV or a house with three locks. It is a “mindset” where money is no longer a limitation. Instead, one’s limitation is what one simply has time and personal abilities to. And so it goes far beyond on what one can buy in a store, unless you are absolutely unimaginative. (Which most people are basically … but it can be changed …)
An example. Make one of the spreadsheets with lots of graphs showing how much your consumption is, how much you have saved, and how large your passive income is projected many months into the future from month to month. Highlight the dates when you can stop stressing over bills, downtime, start your own business, go down to zero time, travel constantly or just when you want (without waiting for vacation), stay at a beach hotel in Spain, volunteer in your union, buy houses in cash, change “career” to football judge or motorcycle mechanic, or take care of your children yourself instead of outsourcing. Do what you want with your life now.
Try to create it with different savings rates.
When you have talked enthusiastically about it for a few months … Then do the same for your partner with their numbers and some scenarios: if they save 10%, 50%, …
It is much more convincing to have a specific date in the head (their head) and a dream of traveling around the world or becoming the first Dan in Go … If they take it with poverty mentality, then they hear the limitations of how much / little they must shop, etc. instead of the enormous opportunities that open up in after April 2026.
The only way to “convert” people is simply “show, don’t tell” because otherwise you talk past each other, because of the difference in mentality. And do it quietly.
The biggest challenge is that people who are educated as consumers is not used to dream big enough. That’s what you can try to help them learn.
But remember that they have to dream their own dreams … not just take over.
Thank you Jacob Lund Fisker for such an AWESOME answer.