Whether you’re brand new to financial independence or well on your way, engaging with or learning from like-minded people can assist you in idea generation, finding advice, and building a network. One place to find a thriving financial independence community is on Reddit. Below are 10 of the best financial independence subreddits you can find on Reddit.
The Financial Independence/Retire Early community is for “people who are or want to become Financially Independent (FI), which means not having to work for money”. On the FAQ page, you’ll find helpful resources including a breakdown of financial independence basics, important first steps (such as reducing expenses, increasing your income, and investing), and even how to calculate fundamental FI equations such as your savings rate and your FI number. Additionally, you can discover advice on investing, including specific accounts, funds, and goals. This sub is an excellent place to dive head first into the world of financial independence.
A more specialized segment of financial independence is FIRE (financial independence retire early). Though not everyone who achieves financial freedom chooses to retire early, those who do are typically split into two categories: there are those whose choose to live extremely frugally and save as much as they can to retire early as quickly as possible (lean FIRE), and those who choose to maintain a more moderate and arguably more comfortable lifestyle and reach FIRE slower (fat fIRE). This sub is all about the former. Their page states that lean FIRE is “for those that want to approach the problem of financial independence from a minimalist, stoic, frugal, or anti-consumerist trajectory.” You’ll read information about the what, why, and how of lean FIRE, as well as be guided to a suggested reading list and other online resources. Though this community isn’t as large as other financial subs (with around 200,000 members), you can participate in a weekly discussion about lean FIRE progress, questions, setbacks, or even rant a little if you’d like!
This sub is made up of a community of people who choose the opposite approach to lean FIRE: this group opts for fat FIRE, which is defined as “pursuit of financial independence and/or early retirement on at least an upper-middle class lifestyle”. With 3.8 million page views in a single month alone, the fat FIRE sub has its own index page and separate FAQ, which you can use to identify if either the fat or lean approach to retiring early is right for you. Additionally, you can participate in Mentor Monday threads where readers discuss early-stage topics including rate-my-plan posts, numbers-based (can I afford X) posts, and career advice posts.
If you’re new to not only the financial independence movement but personal finance in general, or you just have a few money questions you’d like answered, the personal finance sub is a practical place to start. It is the most robust financial independence reddit thread on this list with 14.6 million members, and its breadth includes a dedicated wiki page where you can find basic financial advice. The wiki also covers specific financial advice based on your age or category of question (i.e. cars, credit, side income, donating to charity, or student loans). You’ll also find a collection of 30 Day Challenges which incorporate tasks such as tracking all of your spending or preparing your tax returns early. If you’re new to the personal finance sub, check out their dedicated new user orientation to better understand just how comprehensive this community and its information is. If you’re on your way to financial independence outside of the US, check out these other location based subs:
Ironically, the investing sub started in March 2008 just prior to the stock market crash. Its page on getting started discusses topics such as what you need to do to invest, how to invest certain amounts of money, investing when you need your money back in the short term, and how much time investing takes. They have a dedicated FAQ section covering more specific investing questions like how to get involved with pre-IPO companies and what a wash sale is. Investing is a critical element to reaching financial independence successfully, and when you read this sub you’ll find resources on how to construct a portfolio. And if you want a more personalized approach, you can participate in a daily advice thread where you post basic information about yourself and your goals and solicit individualized advice.
Another popular investing sub is the Bogleheads subreddit. The name that sounds suspiciously like a board game is a play (pun intended) on the name of the man who started Vanguard — Jack Bogle. On the sub, you’ll learn that “Bogleheads are passive investors and diehard fans of Jack Bogle’s simple but powerful message to diversify and let compounding grow your wealth.” The unique Boglehead approach to investing follows a passive investing methodology focused on “low-cost, tax-efficient, broadly diversified, long-term simplicity.” If this resonates with you, a more thorough breakdown of this investing approach can be found on their wiki here. You can also find resources for both US-based and non-US-based investors, a start-up kit comprising of lessons about sound financial lifestyle principles, understanding how to track expenses, assessing your insurance, ridding yourself of bad debt, building an emergency fund, and taking advantage of your employer’s 401k or other investment matches. Many fundamental financial independence topics are covered such as creating an investment plan, maintaining and building a portfolio, and how to become a more educated investor. The Bogleheads wiki also offers interesting facts about what happened this week in financial history and highlights the featured article of the day.
If lean FIRE resonates with you, head over to the Frugal sub. This community defines frugality as “ the mental approach we each take when considering our resource allocations. It is about understanding the resources that we have, and spending them wisely and deliberately.” In addition to general discussions and advice about frugality, you’ll find more subs about being frugal in different areas of life such as lifestyle and home and purchases and even more niche topics like weddings under $10,000 or eating cheap while vegan. And if you’re on the financial independence journey outside of the US, you can sleep at night (and find more applicable advice) knowing there are separate frugal subs for Australia, Canada, and the UK.
One of the subs to r/frugal is called Buy It For Life, which focuses on product recommendations for high-quality, durable, and often portable products worth buying — for life! Whether you approach FIRE the fat way or the lean way, or don’t want to retire early at all after reaching financial independence, buying well made products is important to your wallet and to avoid over consumption. But if you are looking to ride the lean train, and maybe even the nomadic one, you’ll find recommendations about lightweight products made for transient lifestyles. And instead of reading thousands of Amazon reviews before making your next purchasing decision, you can just check out their other subreddit on BIFL fails, which covers purchases made by members they now regret.
Financial independence is for everyone, but because not everyone begins in the same financial situation, not everyone can take the exact same steps to reach financial freedom. The Poverty Finance subreddit is dedicated to financial advice for anyone struggling financially, and they explicitly outline that this isn’t a community for judgment — just advice. You’ll find information about how to define the most important places to spend your money, advice on everyday and household purchases, and other free resources, including linking out to McGill University’s financial literacy course. taught by world-class researchers and professors. This sub focuses on life planning and where to start if you are in poverty, with critical information about progressing out of poverty as you go from survival to security and build self-esteem and purpose. Many assistance programs are also suggested.
Unlike the Personal Finance subreddit mentioned above, the Side Hustle sub is a very small , unmoderated community of around 50,000 members. It has a lovely sunny yellow background color and is for anyone looking to make money on top of their full-time commitments. Side hustles range from Uber driving to handmade pottery to dog walking and everything in between, and this sub is a place to tell others about yourself and your ideas or work. There’s even a weekly self-promotion thread where members can network and ask questions. If you’re contemplating starting a side hustle as a catalyst to financial independence, consider checking out this sub to get ideas, ask questions, and peruse advice.
Whether you’re looking for ideas, have a question, or want to connect with people on the financial independence journey across the globe, there is a financial independence subreddit for you. So next time you’re stuck at home with gloomy weather, grab something to drink, cozy up on the couch, and dive into the 10 best financial independence subreddits.
Climb on, FinBase.