I have briefly described my marital status on my “About Me” page. But for those of you who don’t know, my marriage dissolved when I was 30. I used to be very spendy and loved pretty shiny things (Ok, I am still like that, but I am more intentional about my purchases now). Since my ex husband was working in the financial sector, I relied heavily on him for anything money related.
Since then, I have travelled extensively, not being intentional whatsoever with my spending. As I write this, it makes me cringe to look back at what a frivolous spender I was.
The divorce was a shock to my system. The scariest thing was to develop independence, especially around money. Over-reliance on my previous relationship left me feeling powerless and stressed about my future. This is when I realize how important it is to take control of my own finances.
As a woman, I believe it is important to understand how to handle your money, which puts you in the driver’s seat in case anything goes South. This experience taught me that nothing is ever guaranteed. It is always good to have that self-care skill in the back of your toolbox, whether you choose to use it or not. That way, you are more immune to bullshit and gain more respect.
However, it really took me some time to let that lesson sink in. I didn’t really optimize my finances until a year ago. It took my mortgage interest rate going up for renewal, and my travelling spending becoming unsustainable for me to kick me in the butt and do something about it. Since the travel bug has bitten me so badly that I had to find a solution that would satisfy both my travel cravings and still let me responsibly grow my money for retirement. That’s why I sold my condo to rent a room. Click here to read the article for an in-depth explanation. That’s also when I was introduced to the couple at Millennial Revolution.
Since discovering Millennial revolution, it has opened my eyes for the world of Financial Independence. After learning the skill of “Mathing Shit Up”, it made me realize it is possible to build a 7 figure portfolio within 10-15 years, single-handedly, with my current income, and still allow me to travel 4-5 times a year! I am extremely fortunate to have a defined benefit pension with my company as well, so that will help!
To reach financial independence, it means saving enough money to create a perpetual money making machine. The most common forms of investments are in stocks and bonds, business income, or rental income. When that portfolio is large enough for it to generate enough passive income to cover your everyday expenses, voila, you are financially independent and out of the rat race! Now you are free to do what you want without worrying about money, well of course, only if you stay within your annual budget.
To get there, you want to increase your saving rate and figure out your everyday expenses. Mr. Money Mustache’s article on the shockingly simple math behind early retirement, shows how this works. Click here to see his article and chart that shows how long it takes to retire based on your saving rate. Granted, this is assuming you have no initial capital to start with. If you do, you accelerate your years to retirement, like it is in my case.
Here are the few simple steps to get me started! I am a complete rookie in this whole financial independence community, but I think I am heading in the right direction!
Since learning more about personal finance, I feel empowered and confident that I can take care of myself. It forces me to evaluate what is important to me, which I have since allocate the time and resources to experiences that make me happy, not what society tells me what would make me happy. Pop culture and keeping up with the Joneses can be damaging not only to our wallet but to our self worth. We don’t need to follow trends to be validated. The whole self love lesson is another journey I embarked on which I will talk about in another post.
When I reach financial independence, it gives me the power to have options. It means FREEDOM! I can continue to work or not. Maybe slow travel to different countries in the world and perhaps volunteer at a sloth sanctuary? That would be my dream!
Anyways, that’s it from me about financial independence. What do you think about this concept? Would you change your lifestyle to retire earlier? Comment below!
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