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Minimalist Lifestyle and Financial Independence Retire Early (FIRE) – Gabe Bult, Imi Lo

  • by Imi Lo

 Minimalist Lifestyle and Financial Independence Retire Early (FIRE) for Families— Living an Unconventional Life. 

— Based on the podcast conversation between Gabe Bult and Imi Lo

In this podcast episode, I interviewed Gabe Bult, a Youtuber known for his unique approach to the minimalist lifestyle and FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) for families. 

We discuss topics such as financial freedom, escaping from the bind of capitalism, the minimalist lifestyle, FIRE for families, and personal freedom. Gabe shares his unique approach to finance and personal freedom, and the concept of “barista fire.”  He also talks about how minimalism and essentialism overlap and how they can help optimize one’s minimalist lifestyle. 

In the later part of our discussion, Gabe offers tips and strategies for overcoming procrastination, finding joy without spending money, and surrounding oneself with like-minded individuals. He emphasizes the importance of setting goals, practicing self-discipline, and being true to oneself, even if it means going against societal norms. 

Gabe also shares his favorite productivity and mental strategies, such as setting time constraints and using constraints to foster creativity. 

Overall, the conversation highlights the benefits of living a non-conventional and authentic life.

Key Takeaways from this episode:

1. Gabe’s journey to financial freedom and FIRE for Families: Gabe shares his personal experience of quitting his day job at the age of 24 after pursuing financial independence and early retirement. He explains how he achieved this through real estate investments, living frugally, and building multiple streams of income.

2. The concept of Barista Fire: Gabe defines financial freedom as having enough money invested to live off the returns indefinitely. He also introduces the concept of “barista fire,” where one can work a few days a week and make enough money to sustain their desired lifestyle.

3. Overcoming challenges and finding your tribe: Gabe shares his strategies for overcoming challenges such as instant gratification and procrastination. He emphasizes the importance of setting time constraints, using accountability partners, and finding creative ways to trick yourself into starting tasks. He also discusses the importance of finding like-minded individuals who share similar values and goals, whether it’s through online communities or in-person events.  

Gabe’s Channel

The book Essentialism


Minimalist Lifestyle, FIRE for Families


Minimalist Lifestyle and Financial Independence Retire Early (FIRE) for Families— Living an Unconventional Life. 

Embarking on the journey toward a life of simplicity, commonly known as a ‘minimalist lifestyle,’ unfolds a weaving together of insights, seamlessly weaving together the principles of financial independence and principles of essentialism. 

The path to early retirement blend the ideas of having enough money to stop working and simplifying life. Imagine carefully cutting out unnecessary spending, not just to save money, but to embrace a life focused on what truly matters. That would be the essence of a minimalist lifestyle. 

FIRE stands for Financial Independence, Retire Early. It’s a lifestyle movement and financial strategy aimed at achieving financial independence and the freedom to retire early, allowing individuals to pursue their passions and live life on their own terms. The goal is to save and invest efficiently to build a sufficient financial nest egg, enabling early retirement and the pursuit of personal interests rather than being tied to traditional employment for an extended period.

Financial Independence, Retire Early (FIRE) encourages us to look closely at our money habits. It’s about examining where our money goes and getting rid of things we don’t really need. This idea fits perfectly with minimalism, a way of living that says we should concentrate on what brings us real happiness and let go of the rest.

Cutting back on things we don’t really need is not just a money trick; it’s a commitment to live without unnecessary burdens. As we let go of what we don’t need, we feel lighter and more in control, creating space for a more intentional and satisfying life.

Financial independence, in this case, becomes a tool to shape the life we want. By breaking free from the constant need for more stuff, we open ourselves up to a deeper connection with what truly makes us happy.

Barista FIRE and Aligning Passion with Work

Imagine a new way of thinking about financial independence, one that does not see it as the end of work but as the beginning of a life filled with things you love. That is the idea behind “Barista FIRE.” It’s a perspective that challenges the traditional view of financial independence. It is not about quitting work entirely; it’s about having the freedom to do work that truly excites you.

“Barista FIRE” is a term that combines elements of financial independence and early retirement. In traditional FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early), we aim to accumulate enough savings and investments to retire from traditional employment at an early age, typically in our 40s or 50s. 

However, “Barista FIRE” suggests a modified approach where, instead of fully retiring, we can transition to part-time or less stressful work, even in jobs like being a barista, which allows us to maintain a source of income while enjoying a more flexible and fulfilling lifestyle. This approach provides financial independence while still engaging in work that aligns with personal passions or interests.

“Barista FIRE” is like having the best of both worlds. It’s about having enough money saved up so you don’t have to work a regular job all the time, but instead of fully retiring, you choose to work part-time or in a job you really enjoy, like being a barista. So, you still have some income coming in, but you have more freedom to do things you love and have a less stressful life. It’s a way to enjoy financial independence while still doing work that makes you happy.

So, “barista FIRE” isn’t just a catchy phrase; it’s a mindset shift. It’s about breaking free from the idea that financial independence means leaving work behind. Instead, it invites us to imagine a life where work is a source of joy and fulfillment, a life that beautifully aligns with the principles of minimalism. In this way, “barista FIRE” becomes a symbol of a life where work and passion dance together, creating a harmony that adds meaning and satisfaction to each day.

Challenging Conventional Norms by Choosing the Minimalist Lifestyle

Choosing early retirement and embracing a simpler, frugal lifestyle is taking a bold stand against what society expects. It’s a powerful decision that goes against the usual path of climbing the career ladder or following the traditional parenting script. 

Deciding to embark on the path of a minimalist lifestyle can be our wakeup call, urging everyone to rethink their choices based on what they truly value instead of just doing what society says is normal. 

So, opting for early retirement and choosing a frugal, minimalist lifestyle isn’t just about money; it’s about reclaiming your life. It’s about saying no to societal pressures and yes to what truly matters to you. It’s a brave choice that challenges the norms and opens the door to a more fulfilling and authentic way of living.

Being a Non-conformist

No-Spend Practice and Consumerism Reflection

When you decide to go for a ‘no-spend month’ (spending nothing apart from the absolute essentials) , it shines a light on how much consumerism affects our idea of happiness. It’s a deliberate choice to be more aware of how we spend our money, showing that having a lot of stuff doesn’t automatically make for a fulfilling minimalist lifestyle. 

When we shift our focus away from constantly wanting more stuff, our overall well-being gets a boost. Plus, it can be very empowering to know you are not bullied by the materialistic, capitalist system.

Implementing the 90/10 Rule for a Purposeful, Minimalist Lifestyle

The 90/10 Rule, as suggested by the book Essentialism, is a principle that encourages focusing on the most valuable and joyful aspects of life. It suggests that if something doesn’t rate a 90 or above on a scale of significance and joy, it might not be worth pursuing or acquiring. The idea is to prioritize and retain only those things, experiences, or commitments that bring substantial joy and value, eliminating the unnecessary and less fulfilling aspects. It’s a strategy to concentrate on what truly matters and contributes positively to one’s life.

Embracing the 90/10 rule isn’t just about having a clean and tidy space; it’s a powerful way to live a minimalist life with purpose and intention. This rule, which means keeping only the things that bring you significant joy or value, goes beyond just your physical belongings. It’s a philosophy that guides intentional decision-making in all areas of life.

So, it’s not just about getting rid of things; it’s about taking control of your life and making choices that align with your values and bring you joy. The 90/10 rule is like a compass guiding you toward a more intentional and fulfilling minimalist life.

Financial Independence, Retire Early (FIRE) for Families

Financial Independence, Retire Early (FIRE) for families is not just a possibility but a transformative approach to familial life and financial well-being. FIRE movement advocates for a strategic and intentional approach to personal finance, focusing on saving, investing, and mindful spending to achieve financial freedom at an early age.

The core idea behind FIRE is to break free from the traditional career trajectory, where individuals work for decades before retiring in their 60s. Instead, families embracing FIRE for families aim to accumulate enough savings and investments to retire much earlier, often in their 40s or even earlier.

One of the pillars of FIRE for families is frugality. It involves conscious decision-making about spending and prioritizing needs over wants. By adopting a frugal lifestyle, families can save a significant portion of their income, accelerating their journey toward financial independence. This doesn’t necessarily mean sacrificing happiness but rather redefining what brings true joy and fulfillment.

Investing also plays a crucial role in the FIRE for families journey. Families focus on building a diversified investment portfolio that generates passive income, such as dividends and interest, to cover their living expenses. This passive income becomes a key component in sustaining their lifestyle without relying on traditional employment.

The concept of geographic arbitrage is another aspect families consider in their FIRE strategy. By choosing to live in areas with a lower cost of living while maintaining a high quality of life, families can stretch their savings further, expediting their path to financial independence.

FIRE for families as a minimalist lifestyle is not only about early retirement but also about flexibility and autonomy. It provides the opportunity for parents to spend more time with their children, pursue personal interests, and contribute to their communities in meaningful ways. This lifestyle shift allows families to align their values with their daily lives, fostering a sense of purpose and contentment.

While achieving FIRE for families requires discipline and commitment, the rewards are substantial. It’s a path that encourages mindful financial habits, intentional living, and the pursuit of a life rich in experiences rather than possessions. With careful planning and a dedication to financial independence, families can indeed make the dream of early retirement a reality.

Breaking free from conventional norms, it advocates for a minimalist approach to raising children, emphasizing the beauty of simplicity.

Forging the path of FIRE for your family means to courageously challenges the status quo, promoting the idea that quality time should take precedence over a frenzy of overly scheduled activities. By prioritizing these meaningful moments,  we get to attain joy derived from uncomplicated, cost-free experiences within a minimalist family life.

Research further supports this perspective. As per a 2011 research publication (Froh et al., 2011), young people who attach significant value to their possessions often encounter elevated levels of stress and depression. This correlation is not solely linked to the quantity of possessions but rather stems from the importance these items hold in their lives.

In simple terms, the minimalist lifestyle is a journey threaded with thoughtful decisions, smart money choices, and the search for true happiness through simplicity. 



Froh, J. J., Emmons, R. A., Card, N. A., Bono, G., & Wilson, J. A. (2011). Gratitude and the reduced costs of materialism in adolescents. Journal of Happiness Studies, 12, 289-302.

Hook, J. N., Hodge, A. S., Zhang, H., Van Tongeren, D. R., & Davis, D. E. (2023). Minimalism, voluntary simplicity, and well-being: A systematic review of the empirical literature. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 18(1), 130-141.

Consultant and Author at Eggshell Therapy and Coaching | Website

Imi Lo is a consultant and published author with extensive experience in mental health and psychotherapy across diverse international settings. She specializes in working with highly sensitive, intense and gifted adults. Her books, 'Emotional Sensitivity and Intensity' and 'The Gift of Intensity,' are internationally acclaimed and available in multiple languages. She integrates psychological understanding with both Eastern and Western philosophies, such as Buddhism and Stoicism.

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