Playing with FIRE | Scott Rieckens

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Today’s episode features the star of the Playing With Fire documentary, Scott Rieckens.

Scott found himself saving 8% an heading towards a lifestyle that seemed unsustainable.

The FIRE movement showed him that his value/happiness was not aligned with his spending.

Scott and his wife made an amazing transformation and shared it with the world.

Listen, learn, and let us know what you think about Scott’s amazing journey.

Episode Summary

Scott’s Background

  • His Dad was in the Navy so he picked up and move many times.
  • His Mom would always try to pick up a job at the new location
  • She also handled the bills and investing outside the pension
  • At a certain point, Scott realized his lifestyle wasn’t sustainable
  • He was trying to take on more and his spending was also increasing
  • Then he found the FIRE community
  • That took his focus just from income streams to also include responsible spending

Entrepreneur Focus

  • Scott found himself laid off three years after college
  • He and a friend spent three months to put together a business plan
  • They raised a couple hundred thousand dollars to build an indoor golf center
  • But as they worked the projections, they ended up scrapping the idea
  • Then he goes back to the drawing board and back to the small business center for help
  • When Scott goes there for advice, the advisor realizes Scott has social media experience
  • In 2009, very few people had this experience and the advisor encouraged him to pursue that route
  • From then on, he’s been an entrepreneur
  • Scott recommends the book The War of Art for entrepreneurs

Embracing FIRE

  • Scott recalls the Chautauqua trip in Ecuador with people from the FIRE movement
  • There he learned that if this didn’t work, he’d just be going back to work like everyone else
  • That realization made him feel much more comfortable with the attempt at hitting FIRE
  • Scott then breaks down why everyone doesn’t embrace a journey of financial independence
  • Not being in the right place in life or being afraid of what they could uncover
  • We also talk about the taboo around money

Playing With Fire

  • Scott’s original idea was to go around interviewing people about the movement
  • Then it swapped to him actually going through the journey and transformation
  • He talks about how difficult and invasive the documentary
  • Scott also the moments the camera missed
  • Now Scott is taking the Playing With FIRE brand into a Podcast


Key Takeaways

  1. Awakening: It’s so cool to listen to someone explain the process of totally shifting your outlook on life as Scott did with his spending
  2. Strong Minds: We love all the parallels Jed draws between his mindset and process in the NFL to be successful on the outside

Call to Action

Make a list of the 5 things that you value the most and that brings you the most happiness. Then reflect on what percentage of your budget is spent on items from this list.

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Scott’s Information

His Website: Playing With Fire

His Book: Playing With Fire

Their Podcast: Playing With Fire


Learn More About Your Hosts

Fly to FI (Cody’s Blog)

Saving-Sherpa (Justin’s blog)