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Michael Houghton – How to Achieve Financial Independence, Tracking Happiness, & Peer to Peer Lending! EP122

August 08, 2019

Michael Houghton is an Entrepreneur & Investor, originally from New Zealand and now living in Ireland. He is on a mission to become financially independent. Like many, he has grown tired of selling his time for money so started to look into ways at which he could work less, but still earn as much and enjoy more free time with his family.

After spending a lot of time planning how, he started to execute on his strategy and in 2018 he was able to cut down from full time to part time work as a freelance developer.

This was his first step towards freeing up my time and seeing a lifestyle change as a result of his decision to chase financial freedom. Since then he’s been continuing to work towards this goal and earlier this year set up his website – playingwithfire.ie where he transparently shares his investment portfolio and how much progress he is making. Michael also has started sharing his learnings and advice through his podcast and blog posts. All available from his site here

His ultimate goal is to build a portfolio that produces enough monthly income to cover my monthly expenses – at that point, he will be truly financially independent.

For me this was a very interesting conversation. I wanted to learn more about his approach and sacrifices he and his family need to make to realise this goal. I also was very interested in learning more about the Peer to Peer lending services he is using as well as other investments that he is making.

Here is a summary of the topics we covered during the interview. I hope you enjoy listening to this one and learn something new from it that might be of value.


  • Earning 12-15% interest with Peer to Peer lending with Minos.com
  • Investment in forestry & Christmas Trees!
  • Seeing an investment as an expense
  • Changing the Mindset on investment – Earning for now instead of for retirement
  • The Value of Compound Interest
  • Passive Income to replace Earned Income
  • Saving for the Future or your Pension!
  • Setting up a Happiness Index
  • Saving €3000 per month for 11 years to achieve the freedom he seeks
  • Monitoring expenses on a daily basis and the challenge of this
  • Changing the lifestyle now, not at 65
  • The day to day struggle of managing the budget to attain this
  • Tracking their expenses and knowing where their money goes.
  • Tricks to prevent themselves living pay cheque to pay cheque.
  • Reducing expenses that simply don’t bring them happiness.
  • Discussing the time VS money debate and focusing on giving ourselves more time
  • Challenging the “I hate Monday’s” attitude by working towards something bigger than just getting up and going to a 9-5 job.
  • As a freelancer, charge for output, not time
  • Getting people out of the “work / spend” cycle that leads us down the rat race.
  • Building cash flowing assets one day at a time!
  • Capital Growth Report — Asset Classes
  • Productivity and overcoming risk of burnout
  • Being efficient and delivering outcomes instead of working on time!
  • Setting up your own business in Ireland & how to manage Tax?
    • Keep money in the company and start a pension – huge upside to this
    • Invest the cash you have in the company
    • Only Pay Tax on your Profile in a Company – so deductions are less
  • Freedom and Control as two key words and values that come up!
  • Influenced by others?
  • Dan Lok – Business influencer – https://danlok.com/
  • Publishing Goals & holding yourself accountable
  • The House as an Asset? Or your Greatest Liability?
  • Aiming to have the passive income covering the mortgage
  • House Hacking!
  • Books – Robert Kiosaki – Rich Dad, Poor Dad – https://amzn.to/2MPMvTy

How to connect in with Michael?

Website – https://www.playingwithfire.ie/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/MyCoolHowTon

Check out Financial Independence Meetups in Dublin & Limerick on Google!


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