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(This article was originally published in NextIdea, our weekly newsletter on side hustles and pursuing financial independence. Sign up for it using the box below.)

Our financial independence coverage here at NextAdvisor can be summed up in nine words: reduce your expenses, make more money, invest the difference. 

The Financial Independence, Retire Early (FIRE) movement inspires many a personal finance enthusiast, but it can also quickly turn into a tornado of numbers. To help you master the basics, we have a new guide you’ll want to check out and bookmark. Send this to your loved ones who look at you like you’ve gone off the deep end whenever you start talking about FIRE.

What Is Financial Independence, Retire Early? A Beginner’s Guide

Here’s a bit more detail about the three strategies we cover. 

#1: Reduce Your Expenses

I know, I know — this is the not-so-fun category. But we know that lifestyle creep can sabotage many personal finance goals, and expenses tend to also increase whenever income increases. Finance bloggers lost their minds earlier this year when a report by PYMNTS.com and LendingClub revealed that one out of three consumers making $250,000 a year still live paycheck to paycheck. For many of us, money has a unique emotional charge, and brings up beliefs that may or may not be true.

More money isn’t always the answer if it leads to more expenses. Take a look at where your money is…

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