Money·4 min read

Skimm Money: FIRE, Layoffs, And Mansplaining

Kiersten and Julien Saunders with teal background
February 17, 2023

Free Advice

You’ve got questions, the pros have answers. To get intel on FIRE, we chatted with Julien and Kiersten Saunders, authors of “Cashing Out” and founders of Rich & Regular, about retiring early.

Break it down. What is FIRE?

Julien: FIRE is an acronym for ‘financial independence, retire early.’

Kiersten: Some approaches allow you to stop working before the traditional retirement age (hint: 67), and others allow you to scale back and work part-time before you get there.

What are the biggest challenges people face on their FIRE journey?

K: People tend to make long-term financial decisions — like taking out student loans or getting a mortgage — that they feel they have to climb out of before investing for retirement. There's a fix for that: Grow your income while you reduce your expenses, so you can accelerate your payments.

J: Some people double or triple down on cutting back their expenses, and they do it to the detriment of their health, quality of life, and relationships. Often, it leads to a spiral of unfulfillment where they discard the FIRE lifestyle and all the good things that can come with it.

What are your top tips for FIRE beginners?

K: Build up a cash cushion or an emergency fund. You want to be prepared if your income is disrupted. Also, take mental health days or use your PTO. You’ll get a taste of what it's like to wake up and choose what you want to do — the reward if you continue to save.

J: Create more than one source of income. Whether it's from an investment portfolio, real estate investment, or an online-based business bringing in revenue, it’ll make it a lot easier for you to stay on track if you have an income disruption.

Answers have been edited for length and clarity.

Money Win

“Bought my first ever new car! I had a 2002 Camry for 13 years and finally upgraded to an AWD plug-in hybrid.” 

— Courtnie C (MA). Congrats on the new ride. are some car-buying tips if you’re looking to upgrade, too.

For the Group Chat

Mansplaining isn’t just annoying.

It could also be hurting your career.  

Layoffs are spreading…

And it might not be just because of the economy

What’s the hottest new investment? 

Literal garbage.

It seems like new construction is everywhere…

So why are rent prices still so high?

Investment Piece

Image of Kat Collings, editor-in-chief of Who What Wear, in front of teal background

You work hard for your money, and we’re here to help you spend it wisely. Each week, we ask an influential woman to tell us about a purchase they consider a worthy investment. Ahead, Kat Collings, editor-in-chief of Who What Wear, shares something she splurged on.

Tell us about a purchase that felt like an investment.

Several years ago, I purchased my first piece of fine jewelry, the Tetra Hoops I by J. Hannah. They are made of recycled gold, and the brand is founded by a young woman I'm friendly with.

How much did you spend? 


Why do you consider them a worthy investment? 

I find fine jewelry to be the best investment in the apparel space, along with certain bags that appreciate in value, especially if it's a style that has longevity. It will never tarnish, unlike costume jewelry, and since you don't have to replace it frequently, it can actually be more cost savvy in the long run.

Answers have been edited for length and clarity.

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