The following post is a guest contribution from Early Financial Freedom.
Giving the state of the economy, can you really achieve early financial independence? Is it a mirage that you can only imagine? My wife and I would like to assure you that it is real and attainable if you are serious about it. The bottom line is that you need to desire financial freedom in order to achieve it. The desire is the driving force for making early scarifies for later pleasures.
How We Got There:
Let me introduce myself. I am an engineer from New York and am happily married with a wonderful 7-year-old son. After working 10+ years as a hands-on engineer and later as a supervisor, I resigned in April 2012 to stop working for others and join forces with my wife (who is also an engineer). Together, we run our IT/Web consulting company full-time where I have been working part-time since 2003. Our business is home-based and it does not require us being psychically in New York or anywhere in particular as long as there is an Internet connection.
We do not have any debt! We paid off our home within 5+ years of purchase, our vacation apartment within 3 years of purchase, our two cars within 2 years of purchase. We always pay our credit cards in full every month, and have never ever carried any credit card balance.
We definitely feel like we are already retired. No debt, we work from home or wherever, plan international travels, etc. Our blog was started to reflect our debt free, retired at 30’s lifestyle.
Some Financial Rules that Our Family Practices:
• First and foremost, have your family in order. A stable family where husband and wife have similar or same set of goals is the bedrock of financial and emotional stability. Please don’t forget that most of family arguments are money based! We’ve always considered our finances as “The Family Finances”; never his or her finances.
• Be happy with what you have, not with what you could or should have! Therefore, do not compete with Joneses! One of the best ways of doing this is to live in a neighborhood that does not force you to compete with others in the first place. For example, drive a modest car and live in a place where everyone drives modest cars. Don’t get me wrong competition can be a good thing, but in the case of “Keeping up with the Joneses” it can lead many to an unhappy bankrupt life.
• Never ever carry any credit card debt. That does not mean don’t use credit cards. Do use cash reward credit cards all the time so you can track your expenses AND earn money, but don’t go above what you know you can’t afford.
• Try to make as much money as you can. One of the best ways of doing this is to work for you; own a business. Keep in mind that owning a business could be as simple as having a website or selling something that is in demand and you know how to make or provide! Also, save as much as you can. Choice of saving may vary, but do save!
• Always live below your means, regardless of your income. Know, plan, and track your cash flow for short-term and mid-to-long term
• OVER estimate your future/potential expenses and UNDER estimate your future/potential income.
The road is early financial independence has many challenges, but it is not impossible to take. If you’re willing to make sacrifices and your desire is strong enough, then there’s hope for you to succeed!
Readers: What steps will you take to achieve early financial independence? How far are you willing to go to achieve your goals?
2) Six Easy Steps to Figuring Out Your Retirement
Photo Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net