The First Rule of Rescue and Financial Independence

Basics Oct 30, 2020

"Don't become another victim" is the first rule of rescue. You need to ensure you are safe before you can render aid to someone else. I take this same approach to FIRE/Financial Independence. First you secure a position of strength, then you fulfil the duty to help others.

In your youth and relative deficiency of wealth, you spend your time amassing skills and money. Then as you grow more experienced you reach the tipping point that allows you to give back to the world freely: financial independence.

Along the way you should do what you can to help. Choose to work for an ethical business, volunteer your time and skills, learn from and serve others, donate money and supplies. These are all incredibly valid means of improving the world. So too is letting friends stay with you after evacuating fire zones, or building a community of friends who support each other. Large and small charities add up over time to become an immensity.

In contemporary times we're seeing the widespread adoption of grassroots movements and democratised philanthropy, where many individuals together create change in the world. This is great! It pressures people to step up and help be a part of that change, instead of simply trusting the big names (and deep pockets) to do it for them.

This is also a problem, because being pressured into premature philanthropic donating can risk your own well-being. Just recently I saw someone's profile stating that if you don't actively donate to GoFundMe cases and social movements, you shouldn't date them. They gave no consideration for a person's finances with their stance.

I believe that until you are wealthy enough to weather upsets, you should focus on saving. Just remember always that there is that duty hovering overhead to make the world better. That you must serve others, howsoever you best might – it need not be just giving money.

Charitable giving and philanthropy are also skills that need to be developed. Blindly tossing money around runs the risk of it being squandered. This leads to practical concerns such as finding effective charities and avoiding high-overhead ones.

You should consider donating only a token amount of your income to become familiar with the process. Even then, it should only be once you have secured your emergency stash and then a little extra. As an example, you may decide to donate only 1% of your income up until you reach your FIRE goal, at which point you donate everything in excess of your stash. This allows the amount you give to grow naturally with your income's growth.

Likewise you should spend a gradually growing portion of your time learning to serve others. Then once your reach your retirement and receive an abundance of free time with which to work, you can choose if you want to focus on volunteering or other forms of service.

Communities need champions to carry causes forward for the betterment of their members. The stronger the financial position those champions are in, the safer they are to focus their time and energies into service. It's something you should consider planning for with your own path to retirement and beyond.

The world needs more rescuers ready to step up and help.



Mistress of the Home, responsible for all matters financial. A loving Domme tempered with ambition and attention to detail.