The amazing Kel Galavan interviewed with me back in March of this year 2021, and we have been in touch since so I decided to check in with Kel again and see what she has been up to since. For anyone new Kel is founder and CEO of Mrs Smart Money, a money mentor and QFA on a mission to economically empower women through healthy focused financial habits and financial literacy.
In 2018 Kel Galavan stepped back from her 16-year career in pharmaceuticals as she felt her children’s childhood was passing her by and she wasn’t around to see it. She embarked on a No Spend Year in 2019 cutting the family’s outgoings by €27,500 and having the best year of their lives. Wow!
I personally find Kel to be one of the most genuine, easy going, cool and helpful people in the debt freedom and FIRE community.
As you will see from this unique FIRE interview; Kel is consistent and priorities balance and harmony whilst serving and helping others!
Looking back to our earlier conversations and specifically in the last interview, Kel said:
“The backbone of what I do is focused primarily on developing good money habits. A habit is something that is acted on without thinking, without a sense of deprivation. A well-embedded habit is made without even thinking, like having a morning coffee.”
We can all certainly take a leaf from this book and considering we all have the same 24 hours in a day, being intentional about how we construct good daily habits and use our time is critical in building our confidence levels and a healthy happy environment no matter what is going on around us.
Kel is a also a big advocate of patience and this adds to the authenticity of the message in her book Mindful Money which I have linked to at the bottom on the post.
I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I did and let me know if you have any questions or comments after..
Kel, How are you getting on with your FIRE journey now since the last interview?
When it comes to FIRE, my path is a slow and consistent one. But, in reality, nothing has changed as my end goal is not to retire but it is to have the flexibility and autonomy to do what I want with my time and to be able to work on side projects without financial stress.
The beauty of FI for me is that it is constantly humming away in the background. I have a system set up, mainly automated, that lets my money build up in the background. So I don’t think about it that much. Having a system suits me as it leaves me with most of my mental bandwidth to focus on what I love to do.
I suppose the true answer to this question is; my FIRE journey is right where it should be. And that is perfect for me.
Have you reflected anymore on what you will do once FI?
Oh definitely, I have. It is crucial to have many other things going on in our lives outside of what we do as a day job. Having hobbies, pet projects, and interests makes daily life fun, so it’s essential to plan after FI just as it is to get to FI.
I suppose I’m in the lucky position that nothing much will change once I’ve reached FI. I still plan on running my business as a QFA and money mentor and growing it. At the same time, having fun projects running concurrently.
Have you picked up any new ideas, strategies or tips?
The biggest thing that I’ve learned over the last few years is patience. It’s the small things done well that have the most significant impact over time. Grand gestures rarely cut it in my book, and the effort to get them across the line can be exhausting. So ultimately, the ROI is not always as good as one might think.
As Eddie Cantor said, “It takes 20 years to become an overnight success.”
I know to appreciate the power of small positive steps and celebrating all the milestones along the way, big and small. Life is more fun when done this way too.
Near future FIRE goals?
For me, FIRE is a lifelong journey. So I’m in no rush to reach it by a set date. Although I do have a rough age range, I won’t race for the sake of hitting a deadline and losing the quality of life.
However, part of my FIRE goals is to invest more in sustainable and renewable projects. I would love to own and grow stretches of native trees and be part of the rewilding projects popping up around the country.
This process has already begun with an electric car, solar panels (which have a solid return on investment so far due to the drop in monthly outgoings). The deeper I dig into the sustainable side of things more I realise sustainability and FI money go hand in hand. It’s such a win.
Do you share your story publicly?
For example, Mrs Smart Money and my book Mindful Money focuses on healthy money habits and helping people get better with their money from the ground up.
It scares me when I see the amount and level of debt that the average household in Ireland has.
However, helping people, particularly women, put a plan in place and get on top of it is the best feeling ever.
What are some books, podcasts or YouTube channels you recommend?
There are so many great books and resources out there; it never ceases to amaze me how many exciting and innovative ideas we access for free or, in the case of a book and minimal cost.
For example, Paddy Delaney has the Informed Decisions podcast; it’s an Irish based podcast that gives independent financial advice. It’s a great resource to help understand and navigate the financial industry and processes in Ireland.
Also, Chillprenuer by Denise Duffield Thomas, Art for Money by Michael Ardelean, Decoding Greatness by Ron Friedman. These are solid books for anyone wanting to grow a lucrative business and get paid well for it.
“If I’m not behind my desk working on what I love, I’m in my wetsuit diving off rocks with the kids!” 🙂