Chief Sparky’s Blog

Since this is the FIRST post of this new blog, I thought it would only make sense to outline a little of my life-view and financial philosophies.  We are what we believe and you can’t understand someone’s behavior if you don’t understand how they view the world.  Judging from other people’s actions, the value that I place on financial independence & retiring early (FIRE) isn’t widely held.  But it has for me shaped almost every day of my working life.

To start with, I feel SO blessed.  So blessed to have been given the life opportunities that have resulted from where I was born (USA!), the care & encouragement of my parents, the educational experiences I’ve benefited from, and the love & trust of my Dear Wife (DW) and Son (DS).  I have also had a good deal of blessings in my career –  good mentors, managers & coworkers that have set me up for success and broadened my opportunities in life.

I’ve strategized & planned a life of FIRE within the context of these blessings I’ve received.  I get very frustrated with the way so many people whine & gripe about their situation without thought for all of the advantages they’ve had.  Just living in the United States – where the average household lives in the relative lap of the world’s luxury – is an incredible thing to celebrate each day.

Here are the overarching themes to my life philosophy – how I’ve framed my steps to play with FIRE the rest of my life …


  • Spend Less Than You Make – Effectively gives you a “tax free raise” and you can always spend it tomorrow.
  • Reach Debt Freedom – If you buy it on credit, you can’t really afford it.  Think of all DEBT as a four-letter word.
  • Invest Simply & Practically – There are many great ways to compound up your savings;  There are no secrets.


  • Plan Your Lifestyle – Think about what you have, truly need, and want now & in the future.  Don’t confuse need & want.
  • Know Your Number – You can’t achieve what you can’t see.  Do the math on what’s needed so you can save toward it.
  • Have A Useful Purpose – Don’t FIRE.  FIRE-UP.  With the UP standing for the useful purpose that gives your life energy.

Appreciate your thoughts and hearing about your world view – why are you taking the steps you are to reach FIRE?


3 thoughts on “Chief Sparky’s Blog

  1. Love this! You should make one of those printable lists for your Steps to FIRE so people can print out your steps and put them in their wallet, on their computer or heck, in a frame on their wall so they don’t lose sight of their goal. Your steps are short and easy to understand – well done (p.s. In the case that you’ve already made such list, I apologize)! I especially like your “Have A Useful Purpose” Step. I think that is the biggest component for giving one insight into what their priorities are and determining whether striving for FIRE is the right path (as you mentioned, it’s not for everyone). We’re following similar steps to reach FIRE but are focusing on the FI part more than the RE. While it would be nice for us to reach ER in our timeline, we aren’t counting on it. Again, stellar first post and officially excited to read more about your journey!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow… Great ideas! I hadn’t thought about a printable download for something like that, but now you’ve got me thinking. I think “Useful Purpose” is probably the most important one. We need to retire to something, not from something. Thanks for your enthusiasm!


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