I am going to start out right by saying Chloe Gilroy known as Frugal Mama Ireland on Instagram is someone I like to watch as her videos go up. We all certainly need positive and funny moments in our hectic days and Chloe steps up to keep us all entertained with a real message behind each post.
From the interview you will see how Chloe has embraced accountability and the importance of being part of a strong supportive and non-shaming community such as the debt freedom one and how finding your tribe is so crucial to staying on the right path.
Outside of Chloe’s amazing sense of humour it is pivotal to see such a strong emphasis on family and future planning whilst longing for the simple things in life and getting value with each decision and ultimately each spend.
It is 22.45 now and I’m drinking a hot lemongrass herbal tea with manuka before I go rest and perhaps invoke some lucid dreams about my own true path.
I am going to press the publish button now and make this interview post go live so more of you can enjoy this inspirational story..
Who are you, and how did you discover fire?
I’m Chloe from @frugal_mama_ireland. I am a mother of two boys and wife to George (my magpie husband). We are a family on a mission to buy a family home and escape our irritating neighbours. I am a stay-at-home parent and George is an electric car charger installer with a back ground in industrial electrical work.
We started our journey to debt freedom in January 2020 with give or take a euro or two, 40,000 euro in debt. I originally set up my page as a way to learn from others and to feel inspired by their wins. I had no intentions of discussing our own situation because I was mortally ashamed of the mess we had gotten ourselves into. After a few months someone started to follow me. I don’t know who that person was but I’m eternally grateful because over the last 12 plus months I have learned to become accountable and rely heavily on my page to keep me focused.
I share the ups and downs of our day-to-day life and how we are progressing towards debt freedom. I also share my thoughts and opinions on random things like children’s books, I discuss my struggle with anxiety and the difficulties of making and maintaining friendships as a parent/ adult. In 2020 we paid 23,802 euro to debt and I put a lot of that down to having found a group of people on the internet who cheer us on but also inspire and keep us accountable.
Dave Ramsey’s YouTube channel was the first I’d heard of FI/RE. He didn’t specifically use that term but looking back on it now I realise that’s what he is describing. Over my time on Instagram I have learned more about the fire movement and the more I learn the more eager I am to achieve it for our family. Truth be told I’m not simply interested in fire I’m also interested in creating generational wealth. These terms sound bonkers and utterly unattainable but really, they’re just intentionality and focused efforts to make life more comfortable in the long run.
Family life is extremely important to us and so we aren’t all about the hustle and grind lifestyle. Our approach towards debt payoff has been a consistent effort to live frugally and to simply buy less stuff. It sounds boring and awful but for us it’s not. Frugality is often thought of as miserly or cheap. I see it more as environmentally conscious and simply being less wasteful. We still buy nice things and have lovely days out but we try to get the best value for our money. This might mean paying more for something initially but having it last far longer than its cheaper counter parts. I really admire the Swedish model for living sustainably.
What is the backbone of your fire strategy?
We have decided on a simple plan to get us to fire. Our chosen path is to get rid of our debt once and for all and then once a home is bought to attack the mortgage with all our might while also starting to invest. With not a cent owed to anyone and starting to invest we hope to reach fire in our mid-fifties. It’s a long-term plan that allows us to life a quiet and fulfilling family life. Truth be told we wouldn’t be going after fire so hard if George wasn’t so tall. That sounds daft but because of his height he has always had back and knee problems and we don’t foresee those magically getting better. Our goal in life, our driving force that gets us up in the morning is our children and having a long and happy life with them. All that to say our fire strategy is to owe diddly squat and to invest as much as we can while having a modest but happy family life.
What do you plan to do once you reach Financial Independence (FI)?
Once we reach fire, we would like to have a small homestead with chickens and growing our own fruits and vegetables. It’s not a luxurious life we are after. Simply a quiet one. Fishing would be high on Hubby’s list of priorities. He desperately wants to get back into competition fishing when he has more time and money is more available.
“A fun fact about me in I love the regency period!”
What are some books, podcasts or YouTube channels you recommend?
Ahh this is an easy question with so many inspirational people putting great content out there for us all. The hard part is to only list a few!
Dave Ramsey Show on YouTube
The Budget Mom on YouTube
Planning and Finances on YouTube
The Caribbean Dub on YouTube
Claires Journey on Youtube
Panda Boss- Personal Finance & Bossing Life on YouTube
How To Be Good With Money by Eoin Mcgee
Mindful Money More Money, More Freedom, More Happiness by Kel Galavan