#874 The Four FIs

Intelligence + Integrity + Independence + Interdependence

In our last few +1s, we’ve been chatting about the FIRE movement and (if you’ve felt so inspired!), we’ve started gathering some (little sticks) for our bonFIRE.

Today I want to chat about what Vicki Robin calls “The Four FIs.”

Tomorrow we’ll chat about the three central pillars of creating financial independence according to the leading thinkers of the movement.

But first, who are those leading thinkers that you might want to check out?

Well, we’ve already talked about a few of the books I recommend: Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin, A Simple Path to Wealth by JL Collins and Playing with FIRE by Scott Rieckens.

Vicki is an old school wise elder. JL is a tough-love, lovable Uncle, super-popular blogger who focuses on the nuts and bolts of simple, effective investing. And Scott is a young filmmaker who chronicles his own adventures in finance in his book and documentary.

They’re all worth checking out.

But you know who wrote the foreword to ALL THREE of their books?

A mystery man named Mr. Money Mustache.

(I literally just laughed out loud when I typed that.)

Yes, the man (his real name is Peter Adeney) goes by Mr. Money Mustache.

I’ve only read his brilliant forewords to those books above, but his blog is SUPER popular. (Cal Newport actually talks about him in Digital Minimalism.)

So, check him out as well. (Then, of course, there are a ton of other awesome bloggers/podcasters you can find when/if you decide to take a trip down that rabbit hole but that should get you started if you feel so inspired. 🤓)


Moving on to Today’s +1.

Let’s go back to Vicki Robin and her Your Money or Your Life.

Although she wrote her book way before the FIRE movement got going, Vicki kicks her book off by telling us that there are actually Four FIs that can make up the FI in FIRE.

Financial Intelligence.
Financial Integrity.
Financial Independence.
Financial Interdependence.

← I LOVE that.

Here’s the super quick take.

It all starts with Financial Intelligence. Obviously, if we want to win the (freedom) game of money that buys us a ticket to Realizing Eudaimonia, we need to get smart about it. And, invest the time (pun intended) to GET smart.

Then there’s Financial Integrity. As we get smarter about our finances, we start shining a brighter light on how we’re spending (and making) our money. If we looked at our expenses, would we see our values reflected in how we spend our money? If yes, we’re in integrity. If not, we’re dis-integrating.

Then we get to Financial Independence. When we’re Intelligent about and in Integrity with our finances, we INEXORABLY create Independence. I love that word. Vicki uses it often. It means: “Impossible to stop or prevent.” Just show up. Do what needs to get done. (Follow the three things we’ll discuss tomorrow.) Give it time. Boom.

Finally, we arrive at Financial Interdependence. At the end of the day, we’re not going after money so we can live in a hole filled with gold coins. We’re doing it so we can be even MORE deeply connected to our loved ones and our communities and our world—realizing eudaimonia in the area that matters most: LOVE.

There ya go.

The Four Financial I’s.

How are yours?

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