Spark to Fire: How long till I reach FIRE?

“Time is the fire in which we burn” Gene Roddenberry

My most hated and beloved question! Everyone on the path to FI or even those just thinking about it always have this one question “How long till I get there?” I personally can often drive myself mad trying to shorten the time to FIRE or bring myself to the point of despair when it seems like our spending is moving us further away.


The traditional FIRE route uses two factors to determine the speed in reach you reach it:



  1. Your annual expenses
    This refers to the the amount of money you need to live on annually. Most people on the path to FIRE have a budget and/or financial plan.

This one is basically the least amount of money you need to live on annually means you will reach FIRE quicker. If you only need £1,000 a year to live on then you don’t need to save as much money as someone who needs £10,000 a year to live on.

This one ultimately boils down to how you see your future. If you want to live in a mansion and drive the best cars then you are going to need much more annually then someone who lives out of there car (odd contrasting example I know!)

The way to reduce this one is to set up a budget and work towards sticking to it.


2. Your annual savings rate.
Ah this one is not my friend! Mr Fire and I are not in a position to start saving yet and if you remember that last months savings rate was a shocking -34%!

As to how you calculate your savings rate, this one is a mythical creature! Mr Fire and I calculate ours by dividing our money left over at the end of the month by our income but there are many ways. I will hand you over to the wonderful Firestarter’s post all about debunking the myths since he sums it up perfectly!

The answer to when you can reach FIRE is simply how quickly you can save up the amount of money you need. There are other ways too though such as investing to create a passive income stream that you will receive like an income each year. The 4% rule is used in this strategy which I will be learning about next!


How do you calculate your savings rate? How do you plan to reach FIRE?


9 thoughts on “Spark to Fire: How long till I reach FIRE?

  1. tuppennysfireplace

    I’ll be honest – never did get a proper handle on our savings rate. I made sure we paid ourselves first and wacked what I thought was enough into our savings. (Enough usually meant as much as possible). We’ve been saving toward FIRE a lot longer than you and have usually had 2 incomes so we are now about 2 years out from our FIRE date. Not that we have an exact date just 2019 summer as the aim.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. tuppennysfireplace

    We are going to relocate to the Lake District, increase our veg and fruit growing, walk the all the Wainwrights we haven’t done and generally chill out – can’t wait!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Saveation

    Hi little miss fire, I work out my savings rate like this:

    Total Income = (add all Income revenue streams together)
    Outgoings = (add all Outgoings together)
    Surplus Cash = (Total Income – Outgoings)
    Savings Rate = (Surplus Cash / Total Income)

    This can be done on excel using a simple formula.

    Hope this helps.


    Check out my blog 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hello Little Miss 🙂 First time when I comment here (even I am reading for several weeks ) – so congratulations for the article.

    My initial calculation was quite basic: to buy aprt. after aprt. until the rents cover my lifestyle, to cover the mortgages and rent :))

    Now I am more “educated” and I have a budget and I know how much is our basic lifestyle, our comfort lifestyle, what are the saving (20-30%), how much are the investments (around 20-30%) and if I do nothing more but keep the actual rhythm we will retire in 10 years.
    But… if I do more?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Claudia,
      YAY first comment! I’m a reader of blogs too and never seem to get a comment together so thanks for taking the time. Your plan is really good thanks for sharing it. fingers crossed it all plays out how you would like~!


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