Asked 3w ago
Read many articles about FIRE, but none talks about self employment + FIRE. Has anyone been down this path and able to give tips & insights on this?
Like what Chris said, your income confirm fluctuate a lot. So your emergency fund will have to be bigger.
Anyway not sure what kind of “self employment” you are (could be grab, could be FA or could be your own small business) so will need to know more.
Personally, I’m trying to start my own small business and this is how I would go about doing it if I do start it.
I would separate the finances of my “business” and “myself”.
For my business, I would try to create an emergency fund of 3-6 months. I would pay myself a set amount every month (so this is like my own salary). After expenses my own salary, anything else will be put into the emergency fund.
As for myself, from the “salary”, I would do the normal things if you’re an employee. Create own emergency fund of 3-6 months. In addition, I would do the voluntary top up for cpf as well since I feel the cpf interest rates is really good. At the same time also do my own investments using my “take home pay after cpf”.
There’s a lot of points probably missing but this is the gist of it. By doing this, I think it’s damn powerful where my business would still be able to run for another 3-6 months even if suddenly sales is $0. And I still am able to draw a “salary” for that period. And on top of that, I still have my own personal emergency fund. So all in all, I can still survive another 6 to 12 months. I can stretch this way more if I create a bigger emergency fund.
However, I believe this really requires the utmost discipline to be able to do this. Cos let’s put you into this scenario. Usually your business earns $4k per month. So you draw $2k per month. Then one day it suddenly earned $10k in one month. Don’t you think it’s tempting to take more salary since you worked harder? (However I won’t rule out a “bonus” for myself. At the end of the day money is not everything. It’s okay to give yourself a treat once in a while, not everyday tho haha).
Anyway, if you find something that doesn’t make sense, do let me know. I honestly haven’t tried this lah but when I’m in uni I gonna try it. At least if I fail I still can try to find a job after uni.
I'm a self employed and enroute to fire.
What i do is that i pull out the last one year bank account records, what's my inflow and outflow.
I can determine my expenses and income.
Next i set aside 6 months worth of expenses.
When i know this 6 months expenses amount, I'll set aside the rest for investment.
So e.g. 6 months worth of expenses is 18k.
And my bank account have 30k.
I'll set aside 12k to invest.
But I'll invest 12k over 6 months.
So that through out this 6 months, I'll have income coming in as well.
By the end of the 6th month, I'll see what's the remainder i have in my bank account and repeat the cycle again.
If by the 6th month, i only have 25k. I'll invest 7k over the next 6 months instead of 12k.
In this way, i factor in 6 months of lumpy incomes and expenses. And not overstretched myself
I would say largely the key principles of FIRE remain quite the same for self-employed persons: Work hard, Live below your means and Invest hard.
However, I do think perhaps for self-employed persons, a tweak you can make on your FIRE journey would probably be to increase your emergency fund from the usual 3-6 months of expenses since income tends to be more variable as a self-employed person.
To give further advice, I think more information would likely be required.