I have learned some very valuable lessons during this journey. Some like spend less than you earn, shoot for a high savings rate, try house hacking, learn CC hacking, use the public library and turn your podcasts to 1.5x the speed. These are all great lessons that have helped me along the way. I have learned that a normal consumer ideology would never really allow me to build the lifestyle I want. It also would have a real negative effect on my building wealth. By the way, I have earned well over $2,000 of free money by using the Amex Platinum Card!!!
I have learned FUCK being like every other normal person!
My Dreams Where Wrong
My old dreams were to have things like a nice vehicle, a house, clothes, vacations that I loved and would be proud to show off to family and friends. These things would bring me joy and make me happy. I could share these accomplishments on social media for all to see how good I was doing and how happy I was. This is what society taught me was what I should do. This is what my work environment taught me I should do. That is what all my friends did so it had to be the right way. This is what being an adult is right? We must get a good career, excel at it, buy the house, vehicle and fill the house with magazine perfect stuff, go out to eat and have drinks, take that perfect vacation getaway and post it all for the world to see on social media.
We must get a good career, excel at it, buy the house, vehicle and fill the house with magazine perfect stuff, go out to eat and have drinks, take that perfect vacation getaway and post it all for the world to see on social media.
The Better Path
Then I learned about the FI/FIRE community and I learned the secret math of the 4% rule and how much I would need to keep such a crazy lifestyle up. I then challenged myself on how much does this current lifestyle makes me happy if at all? To my surprise, it really only gave me a short term joy that never really lasted but make me crave something more and bigger.
It made me realize that none of those things really brought me any value nor was it my dream. I came to the conclusion that I did not want to work for the rest of my life just to have these shallow things. I wanted FREEDOM of choices. I asked myself “what did I want to do on my Monday vs driving to work to a job I dislike” the answer was clear. Anything besides going to work.
Or maybe I just want to go travel to South America for 6 months. So you see I realized that even on days that I liked my job there is no way that it allowed me to go travel for 6 months. Nor did my current lifestyle allow me to be able to do this financially. I used Personal Capital to track my wealth and get my financial shit together!
I like to not only challenge the status quo but beat it down as my life depends on it.
The Invisible Trap
People buy stuff to distract themselves from the life they hate. It’s way easier to keep doing this vs coming to terms that you hate your life and it’s time to build a new one. Humans in general are designed to take the path of the least resistance thus putting us in the invisible trap.
We hate our job, boss, life, and so on. So we try to buy happiness with shopping, fancy fun vehicles, new electronics, big houses, and that perfect vacation. What’s sad is by doing this you are getting more tangled in the trap and have less control over your independence. Independence is not how much stuff you have. It’s how many choices you can make in your life without having to worry about money.
My Fun, Adventures, And Simple Life
I took a ton of action over the last few years and because of this, I have seen amazing results. I started with around $20,000 in 2015. As of Jan 2021 I have over a $350,000 liquid net worth! I have not pinched pennies to do this. In fact, I live a much more fulfilling lifestyle than most people I talk to.
I now live in an RV full-time and honestly enjoy it. It has challenged me to really figure out what I value as a person and to be more intentional with everything I do. It sounds odd but never has I been more tied into my community than I have with this lifestyle. Yet trust me I’m not saying you must live in an RV to reach Financial Independence!
Yet trust me I’m not saying you must live in an RV to reach Financial Independence!
I live a very simple yet fulfilling life now. We spend most of our time outdoors when the weather is nice. We go to parks, beaches, trails and just go explore new and old places as much as possible. We rarely eat out so when we do it actually makes it very special.
People seem to eat out so much it’s become the norm and not a special event to enjoy. We don’t drive flashy cars or even newer cars. I could afford to buy a $100,000 flashy car today in cash. Yet It would not bring me more Independence! My life goal is to bring myself more independence not less.
My dreams, freedom, and happiness are more important than getting validation from others for materialistic objects or destinations via social media.
I Built A Bullet-Proof Plan
My plan is at the age of 39 (about 3 years away!) that I could quit working indefinitely. That I would then have the freedom to just travel and live anywhere I wanted without a care in the world. This would mean I would have to make a plan that would allow me to financially afford this lifestyle no matter what crisis or events would happen in the world. The foundation of this plan is investing. I love using M1 Finance as they make investing simple, fun, and profitable!
I built my bulletproof plan. Thus this blog was born so I could document and keep myself accountable for my plan and reach my destination. This blog has turned into so much more though. It has evolved into a passion and purpose to help thousands of people get better with money, fitness, and lifestyle design.
The Critics Can Be Harsh… Fuck Them
I get bashed and criticized for my lifestyle choices way too often. I hear…
- Your life sounds boring
- You have to be miserable
- You should spend more money
- You pinch pennies
- Life is too short to save money
- What If I or you die tomorrow
- You can’t take your money to the grave
From people at work, on social media, and even in financial groups. These people still live a life of social validation through thinking happiness is created around objects. What is great is I’m living the life I have designed to be flexible, secure, fulfilling, adventurous, and filled with Independence.
I learned very quickly it’s better to shut out the noise. Instead of wasting time on the critics I focus on my bullet-proof plan and finding more passion projects.
Remember your choices today and the things you put your time and effort into will have real effects on your future.
I could buy a really nice big house, a nice fancy luxury car, wear expensive trendy clothes and even go on those exotic vacations. Yet if I did that I would always have to trade my time for money. I would be a tapped to a cycle of consumerism that has become so common it’s our cultural norm.
Sorry to my friends and people I know that do this day in day out. I just can’t live a life chained to my stuff or having to seek exotic getaways so I can forget the daily lifestyle that I really hate and don’t enjoy.
Instead, I plan to slow travel, create a lot of content, read, explore and truly live a life where I can just sit in my chair outside where ever I am and know this is perfect and I planned this and achieved it. I won’t have to worry about going to work on Monday. I won’t care that sales are down due to a crisis. I will be living a life I created by being intentional and taking action. Live life on your terms, challenge what you truly value, go after what you want, stop trying to show off to the world because that will never end well for you.
My Incredible Wife
My wife is even a bigger example of what you can create when you stop trying to fit into social norms. She has not worked in 10 years and has lived such an amazing lifestyle. She has lived all over the world and you would never even know it. Because she does not need validation from others nor does she feel the need to try to show off.
She speaks five languages, plays multiple musical instruments, helps young kids in Guatemala, owns multiple houses in multiple countries has a Master’s Degree in Economics and is such an amazing person. She lives such an incredible intentional lifestyle. My choices led me to talk to her and eventually ask her out and finally ask her to marry me.
Start Really Living
I could only imagine how miserable my life would be if I did not make the choices I have to say Fuck being normal. How right now instead of planning my exit strategy for work I would be planning and stressing about having to get another job after my military career to support my lifestyle.
It’s insane how often I see guys and gals do 20-30 years in the military and still have to get jobs afterward to afford their lifestyle and how much they stress about it.
The moral of the story is to choose a different path in life to create a fulfilling, flexible, and truly independent life. Teach your kids financial wisdom so they can become 2nd generations FIRE Walkers. Here is a great post on 7 Ways to Save Money as a Teenager. One that you have full control over no matter what is happening. One that is intentional based on your values that will bring you long-term happiness.
Thanks for stopping by. I use affiliate links to support this site at no cost to you if you believe you get value, please consider supporting me by clicking.
My favorite free financial tool to manage my net worth is Empower. You get a $20 Amazon gift card for signing up.
My favorite free investing platform is M1 Finance. You get $10 for signing up. No trading or management fees plus you can buy fractional shares.
My favorite phone service is Mint Mobile. You get a $15 renewal credit for signing up. I get a year of phone service for a rock-bottom price of $240. As a guy who travels and lives in an RV full-time, this service has been amazing.