** DISCLAIMER ** This blog highlights the personal experiences in my family and should not take the place of the advice of a professional.
Have you been accustomed to believe that you are destined to work your whole life until finally retirement begins when you turn 65?
That each day you work, you are getting closer to the day you no longer have to…??
I’m curious.. Has it ever crossed your mind that retirement could be so much sooner than 65??
When my husband and I got married, we had a lot of similar goals in mind. And one goal we shared, was that we both felt strongly about NOT wanting to be dependent on jobs…we wanted FINANCIAL FREEDOM!!
We did not want money or expenses to control our lives, we wanted to be the ones in control.
Together from the start of our marriage, we made the decision to live a life designed to get us to retirement at 40.
I know…that seems like a big goal. To some, it might even seem impossible…
I am here to tell you it is very much POSSIBLE!!… if you are willing to put in the effort that is..
Let’s get something clear right from the start, this is not about making a few good choices or having a good job…
It’s about changing your lifestyle to achieve your dreams.
Get ready to dive into how we are making it happen!!…
Start Off With The Budget
You need to know budget basics (your budget will not balance itself..).
Spending more than you make, you will get into debt.
Spend exactly what you make, you are staying stable.
Spend less than what you make, NOW you are heading in the right direction!!
But before you can reach your goals, FIRST you need to get clear on WHAT that goal really is…
How much are you going to need to reach “financial independence”?
This is the part where you need to start tracking what you spend..(I told you there was work involved..)
You need to get clear on WHERE your money is going and what areas of your lifestyle you are not able or willing to sacrifice on.
Track your payments, your utilities, medical costs, food costs, basic clothing needs and other incidentals…
This is the time to take a good hard look at how your money is being used.
The added bonus of this part??…Tracking where all the money goes lets you know what changes can be made to start saving EVEN MORE.
Time To Adjust Your Lifestyle
Now it’s time to narrow in on lifestyle.. Being able to “retire” early means you are going to need to commit to a simpler lifestyle..
You cannot get caught up with having the newest IPhone, biggest house or the fanciest car…
All those things take away from your goal. They feel good at first, but they will not eliminate your financial stresses or bring deep and lasting happiness.
And let us have an honest moment here >>> This one is HARD!! We live in an instant gratification world. We live lives that encourage always having the newest and best.
This societal norm makes it easy to lose track of your spending…AND even easier to get caught up in the rush of buying new things.
Living simple does not mean being boring or going without. It means adjusting priorities and getting clear on what truly brings happiness.
Moments with your children last longer than objects.
A smaller television still shows the same channels.
Living within your means and choosing making memories over accumulating things is a direct path to financial independence.
Make Your Money Work For You
Time to give your money a job. Yes, money is great to have, and necessary to pay your bills, but it should also needs to be working FOR you!!
So how do you do this??
You are going to need to invest your money wisely.
You could pay someone to handle it for you…or you could get educated, take control, and learn to do it yourself.
The GOAL is to create passive income. That is income that comes monthly without having to do work.
And how do you do that??
We chose to invest our money in ETF index funds and stocks that pay high dividends.
Every month these funds pay us. (Currently we reinvest all that money back into more funds). But once we retire, that money will be our income.
The goal is to accumulate enough passive income to cover ALL your living expenses…
And Here Is The Best Part..
Once you reach your goal, you get to-walk away from work!! (that is.. if you want to) You are now in a position of CONTROL!
You could walk away entirely or perhaps you still want to work part time.
Either way, you will have the financial freedom which gives you the ability to CHOOSE what you do each day.
It may seem BASIC, but that is because IT IS!!
Spend less than what you make and invest the rest.
There has never been a better time to take control of your finances and start your path to financial freedom.