The Financial Independence, Retire Early (FIRE) movement promotes aggressively saving and investing in order to achieve retirement status early in life. This lifestyle movement became popular in the early 2000s and has built momentum through an online community.
While the end goal (financial independence) is the same, not every FIRE journey looks the same. Yet, many of the popular success stories follow a similar pattern that many of us just can’t relate to. Because we never worked on Wall Street or made it big in corporate America. And we don’t have extensive real estate investments or a padded stock portfolio to give us a jumpstart.
What most of us need are inspirational stories and resources developed by people who have struggled and come out the other end.
So, here’s a list of realistic FIRE bloggers that are living and breathing their financial journey while helping others.
Kiersten and Julien Saunders – rich & Regular
Kiersten and Julie co-founded rich & Regular to document their personal journey to financial independence. This couple shares a raw point of view that encourages others to overcome their own unique obstacles. Their goal is to “serve as an example of two regular a$$ people living good…on the low.”
Kumiko Ehrmentraut – The Budget Mom
Kumiko helps other families achieve financial freedom using easy-to-follow solutions and tools. She openly shares her failures and successes – including life changing a-ha moments like paying for her son’s ice cream cone with debt. She’s a single mom that has paid off over $77,000 in debt, but still struggles to responsibly use credit cards. Her daily journey is documented on her Instagram, which has over half a million followers.
Jamila Souffrant – Journey to Launch
Journey to Launch is a blog and podcast founded by Jamila. This mom of three strategically convinced her husband to up their savings game. And was able to save $85,00 in only one year. Her business focuses on teaching others how to eliminate debt, save more and increase their net worth. All while she is personally working toward retirement by the age of 40.
Reshawn and Rob Lee – Learn Hustle Grow
Both Reshawn and Rob are a power couple professionally and personally. Both are veterans who met in the workplace and created a thriving blended family. They began their journey using Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover and are now real estate investors who also use the stock market to their advantage. The Learn Hustle Grow YouTube Channel and blog provide resources for entrepreneurs and anyone looking to grow their wealth and create a legacy.
Kristy Shen and Bryce Leung – Millennial Revolution
Kristy and Bryce are former computer engineers who retired at age 31 to travel the world. They spend their time “working on projects that feed our souls rather than our wallets.” Including their blog that features “Reader Cases” where they provide detailed analysis of their reader’s unique financial situations.
Winnie Tseng and Jeremy Jacobson – Go Curry Cracker!
Jeremy and Winnie were able to retire in their 30s by saving a large portion of the income by choosing an unconventional lifestyle. Like living in a small apartment instead of buying a home in the suburbs and biking or walking instead of owning a car. They use their blog to share every penny they spend to encourage other young families to become financially and location independent.
Tanja Hester – Our Next Life
While it started as an anonymous blog, Our Next Life began in 2015 to document her and her husband’s journey to early retirement. Since then, she’s authored an award-winning book and podcast. She has built a judgement-free community that doesn’t promote frugal perfectionism. But rather a way to realistically forge a new financial path outside of the norm.
Joe Udo – Retire by 40
Joe retired from his engineering career to become a stay-at-home dad and blogger at the age of 38. After his mental and physical health deteriorated from his stressful job, he hatched a plan to retire early. And then began Retire by 40 as a way to keep tabs on that plan. His blog now serves as a resource for financial independence, focusing on creating passive income and wealth building strategies.
Jess and Corey – The Fioneers
The Fioneers was founded in 2018 by Jess and Corey as a way to track their own financial journey. While their goal is to reach financial independence, their bigger goal is to enjoy the journey along the way by living in the now. They’ve coined their approach as “Slow FI”. Their approach promotes incremental financial freedom instead of extreme frugality. That way you can enjoy each stage of the process.
Claudia and Garrett Pennington – Two Cup House/Camper
Claudia and Garrett downsized from a 1,500 square foot home to a travel trailer in order to live a location independent lifestyle. And they eliminated their debt by taking on side hustles while still working their 9-5 jobs. They now use their journey with tiny living and minimalism to inspire others seeking financial freedom.
Timika Downes – The Reluctant Frugalist
Timika has been part of the FIRE movement for a few years and documents her journey on her blog, The Reluctant Frugalist. Her journey led her to create the Black FIRE series where she breaks down financial barriers unique to the black community and highlights a number of fellow FIRE bloggers.
Michael Quan – Financially Alert
Michael is a stay-at-home dad, blogger and investor who was able to retire early at the age of 36. His blog offers complete transparency to his family’s financials to help inspire and encourage others to pursue an abundant life. He also hosts a podcast and provides financial coaching services.