An Introduction to DIYtoFI

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Disclaimer-Captain DIY and highly recommend exercising extreme caution when attempting DIY projects. Not everybody can do everything, and some things should only be done by professionals. Keep your digits attached, and keep the insurance company off of your back. Do it right or call the right people!

We’ve had a good run these last couple of weeks. We’ve done some projects, we’ve checked out some tools, we’ve even made some beer! But I am remiss to think I have not yet done a proper introduction.

Here at the Headquarters, we have a quaint family with simple needs in a quiet part of a quiet town. We try to insource as much as possible, and we work hard toward our ultimate goal of Financial Freedom. As the Captain of this ship, I use my skills and training developed over a lifetime of carpentry projects under the tutelage of the General (my father) and my decade-long career as an electrician, along with some other jobs between, to do as much of the physical upgrading of our space as possible.

We bought a dilapidated “expandable Cape” from the family of a gentleman who had passed, and promptly tore out the entire kitchen and bathroom, put in new pine flooring throughout, tile in the bathroom, and built the kitchen up from scratch. From there, minor projects here and there have given me the opportunity to learn new skills and hone the skills I had.

Due to a disagreement with a patch of ice on a winter’s walk recently, Mrs Captain suffered a head injury that necessitated avoidance of screens or reading of any sort for some time, so she turned to podcasts to pass the time. She is a woman of great intellect and introspection, so it was no surprise to hear all about the deep-thought podcasts she found. What really piqued my interest, however, was her discovery of an ideal people were spreading about Financial Independence/Retiring Early, or FIRE.

These are not people who are looking to retire at thirty so they can spend the rest of their lives lounging on a golf cart and going to Denny’s for dinner at 3:30. Nor are they people who spend their lives in line at the convenience store to buy lottery tickets as their investment protocol. These are people with vision, intelligence, and a sense of community.

Once we were hooked into this idea of managing our expenses so as to be minimal and investing our savings so they could work for us, we began looking at our lives completely differently. We started learning new skills, such as how to optimize our taxes and how best to invest our money for long-term growth.

Eventually I came to realize the power of DIY toward furthering our life goals. This was solidified after hearing an interview with some folks on a podcast called Choose FI who would find the cheapest house they could find with problems that would rive away the hardiest contractor. They would then fix up the house themselves and make it their own, eventually finding themselves in the home of their dreams with little overhead.

I knew then what my skills were capable of, and so began DIYtoFI. As per the sense of community that I have found with the people who strive for financial independence (FI), I knew I needed to share not only what I knew but what the brilliant builders and plumbers and other tradespeople I had met in my life knew. There is a wealth of knowledge in the world, and to combine that with a strong money management skill set would greatly increase the rate at which we could find ourselves financially independent.

I decided to throw my voice into the mix because I wanted to help others learn what I knew to be helpful to my goal, so they could experience not only the monetary benefits but the satisfaction of Getting the Job Done. My neighbor, who works in an office, once spoke to me about the thrill he got using power tools on his home renovation projects. As a trades worker, I became numb to that thrill many years ago, but the thrill of seeing a project come to fruition after many months of planning and discussion has only increased.

Whether you are here for the thrill of getting a job done on your own, or the monetary benefit of maintaining your own house, my aim is to help you learn the skills needed and the joys experienced by a job well done so you can make your own place in the world. Hopefully you will be able to pass these skills and ideals on to those around you. In so doing you will experience perhaps the greatest thrill of all: seeing your positive impact on the world around you.

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