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In today’s episode, I chat with Diania Merriam, the founder of The EconoME Conference, also known as the “Ted talks of the FIRE Movement (Financial Independent Retire Early). She is also the host of the popular podcast, Optimal Finance Daily where she narrates articles from the best personal finance blogs on the planet. After getting out of $30k of debt in 11 months, she used her newfound financial freedom to negotiate a remote working arrangement with her employer, take a 2-month sabbatical to walk 500 miles across northern Spain on the Camino de Santiago, and launch her own business. Diania saves 60% of her income and is on track to be financially independent by the time she’s 40 years old.
Diania is such an inspiration for guiding all of us into learning how to be more mindful and grateful for the little things in life. During our discussion, she also gets candid on how clarity with our finances is optimal— and even understanding where we are mentally and emotionally in our relationship with money.
“Money is only as valuable as your clarity of how you’re going to use it and your comfort level of how much is enough.”Diania Merriam
In this conversation, we talk everything about what it takes to be as financially aware as possible.
What We Covered
- FIRE (Financial Independent Retire Early)
- Less is more
- Luxury is a weakness
- Paying off 30k in debt
- Where is your money going?
- Financial clarity
- Your mindset and emotions with money
“[FIRE] really helped me see how wasteful I was being— it helped me see how powerful money is, as a resource.” – Merriam; [1:12]
“Based on what I learned on changing my mindset with money, I enabled me to get out of 30,000 debt in 11 months.” – Merriam; [2:15]
“Happiness is not in seeking more but in the capacity to enjoy less… I wanted to learn to live below my means before it was imposed on me by external factors, like if I lost my income for instance. By choosing to reduce my expenses, I was learning these frugal skills, on my own terms!” – Merriam; [11:00]
“If you can’t manage $1,000, you can’t manage $1,000,000.” – Merriam; [24:56]
“If you save 10% of your income starting at 20, then that means you don’t have to save 40% o your income in your 40’s. The earlier you start, the less you have to save and the less painful you’re making it for yourself as you go along.” – Merriam; [25:30]
If you are renting a house, and you stood up one day and hit the ceiling, would you rip apart the house and take down the ceiling to make it higher? You’re renting that house. You don’t own that house. Or would you just go build another house? With a taller ceiling?” – Merriam; [37:40]
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