For new and existing readers, this is my journey as an anonymous millennial from -$20,000 net worth in November 2016 to financial independence and early retirement. Subscribe to my blog to stay posted!
It’s been just over 2 years since I started my journey to financial independence and it’s been one of the best decisions that I’ve made. A few years ago when I was in my mid-20s (I’m in my late 20s now), I had an ‘ah-ha!’ moment where the lifestyle I was living (and my friendship circle was living) would leave me broke, in debt and living outside of my means – far from where I had envisioned myself by 30.
I started this blog without the intention to make money or gain a million+ followers – it was simply a way to keep myself accountable and share my ups and downs with someone out there in the world.
Today, I’m sharing with you the most eye-opening, enlightening and most confronting lessons I’ve learned over the past 2 years while on my journey to financial independence.
- Listen to and trust that little internal voice.
The thing that kicked off my financial independence journey was an ‘ah-ha’ moment where that little whispering voice ended up screaming ‘ENOUGH’! I realised if I didn’t take drastic action and make a big effort change my lifestyle I’d end up broke, always living outside of my means and living paycheque to paycheque. That little voice is your gut telling you something is off and will just become louder with time.
- My goal and career path is different to the majority.
I learned that my path is different to the majority and I’m ok with being different and not always fitting in. Most people are comfortable with a 9-5, mortgage and following the status quo which is far from the path I want in life. The way I think is different to the majority and I’ve learnt to be ok with following a different route.
- You can find a community outside of your community.
When I started on this journey I didn’t know anyone who was interested in personal finance, budgeting or frugality. I started this blog to be able to express myself openly and honestly and found a community to lean on.
- Some people just won’t get it and that’s ok.
My friendships have changed over time as I’ve grown and become more sure of myself and what I value. My priorities and activities I enjoy now are far from what they were 3 years ago. As my life stage and priorities have changed so have my friendships as our paths have gone in different directions.
- I’ve become more of myself.
This journey has been so much more than money. By watching my spending I’ve learnt about what I value and don’t value and focused my energy, time and spending on the times that add meaning to my life. I’ve slowly but surely learnt about what I believe in and who I am as a person.
- It’s a marathon not a sprint.
I always feel like I take one step forward and two steps back but then look at how far I’ve come in 2 years and realise the progress I’ve made. We all make mistakes but as long as you learn something from it, that’s all that matters.
- What gets measured gets managed.
Every time I blog, I’m accountable to you (my readers) in the FI community and it keeps my eye on the goal. When I let things slip and don’t blog, my finances and spending goes haywire. Energy flows where attention goals.
- I’ve learned the meaning of freedom.
Financial independence was initially a way to afford a life without the financial constraints of a job that I don’t enjoy. Over time, I’ve learned that financial independence is the freedom to afford to take action to pursue or move way from things that do and don’t align with what I value.
- I have enough.
I learned to drill down into the core reason why I was spending so much and the psychological need I was trying to fill. Once I realised this, I stopped mindless spending, only bought things which had served a purpose and gave me value. Suddenly my spending started to drop off. I learned that I have enough ‘stuff’ and instead to be mindful instead of mindless in my consumption.
- It’s not what you earn, it’s what you do with what you earn.
There are those who earn a lot of money but always find themselves broke. And there are those who earn peanuts and feel like they have enough. Lifestyle inflation is something to keep a watchful eye over as the temptation to upgrade will eat away any monetary gains without satisfying your core needs.
Do any of these lessons resonate with you? What have been the lessons you’ve learned from the financial independence community or your own financial journey? Comment below!
xx Miss Piggy