That’s the message former Financial Post columnist and MoneySense editor Jonathan Chevreau was trying to get across when he wrote the novel Findependence Day, first published in May 2008. An ebook and an American edition were released in 2013.
When I sat down to chat with Chevreau recently, he explained why financial independence trumps traditional “full-stop” retirement. “The media and the financial services industry tend not to distinguish between the two concepts,” he says. “However for super-frugal people, financial independence can often occur decades before traditional retirement.”
The book is both a love story and an engaging financial novel that follows Jamie and Sheena Morelli through the trials and tribulations of a 22-year marriage as they learn a lifetime of common-sense money lessons along the way.
In the opening chapter of the book, we meet Didi Quinlan, who hosts a reality TV show called Debt March that features young couples starting their married lives mired in debt. Guests who implement her recommendations for getting their finances in order get a few thousand dollars to help pay off their credit card bills.
The Morellis appear on her show and Quinlan tells them she’s going to drill two words into their skull: “guerrilla frugality.” This phrase is another Chevreau original. “What I meant by the term is guerrilla warfare on the economic consumption front” — so that people don’t live beyond their means.