It’s easy to become discouraged and even disgusted by your own financial story these days. Everywhere you look, a 20-something is making millions or a 30-something has enough money in investments to retire. And there you sit with heaping debt, not knowing how to fund your child’s college education, and a tiny retirement account. Financial blogs have a way of either motivating or discouraging the reader. In our endless pursuit to compare ourselves to others, we lose sight of our own journey. And lets face it, that’s the only journey that matters…
Our story is not one of retiring in our 30s. Unfortunately, we already missed that marker. I’m suspecting quite a few of you fine people have too. Not to worry, despite the plethora of sexy stories out there touting how 30-somethings are throwing in the employme
nt towel, it’s still quite an accomplishment and really freakin’ awesome to become financially independent AT ANY AGE!
When we first entered the world of personal finance and writing this blog, we were just coming out of a dark financial place. For the majority of our adult lives, we were working our full-time jobs and saving here and there. We weren’t terrible when it came to our money; but, we certainly weren’t going to make a Yahoo headline. And being past the big 4-0, we likely never will. Becoming financially independent past your 30s just isn’t considered sexy enough to be big news anymore. That’s okay, we’re still REALLY going to enjoy it and consider our financial story a huge success whenever we hit our goal!
Hatching The Plan
We didn’t meet until we were well into our 30s, which meant we didn’t have a financial plan that we hatched together after college. Instead, we had a trail of bad relationships and financial missteps littering our past. At one point or another, we both racked up major credit card debt, abandoned retirement savings, and allowed less than stellar relationships to last way too long. In sum, we weren’t putting our finances front and center because we had PLENTY of time to start saving later.
After we met, we continued to live as we always had – assuming we had PLENTY of time ahead of us. Then we woke up one day and realized our time was slipping away. The turning point for us was when we nearly purchased The American Dream (read: a house we couldn’t comfortably afford) for our family. Luckily, the deal fell apart because of mother nature! Woot Woot! We were smart enough to take a step back and take inventory of ourselves and our finances. At that very moment, we decided we needed to make BIG changes to reach our ultimate goal of financial independence. And if we wanted to reach that goal before our golden years – we needed to change – FAST. So, we did.
I’m guessing you might also have some financial missteps in your past that you’re working to overcome. I’m here to tell you that that’s great! Yes, that is great! Why? Because it’s making you work harder and appreciate every single financial win you make. On a side note – it’s also making you an interesting person. Years from now, when you tell your story, people will listen.
Your story will forever be changed the moment you decided to take control of your money and build wealth for yourself, your family, and future generations. Yes, that one tiny decision you made to get yourself back on track with your finances can and likely will affect future generations of your family tree. Now that’s powerful!
After making the decision to take control of your money, you’ll want to start by examining every single expense that’s eating into your monthly cash. Dissect all expenses – Big and Small. And trust me, no expense is too small to be overlooked. I’m lookin’ at you, morning coffee!
Quick and Dirty List of Items to Examine…
–Consumer Debt/Interest rates
-Coffee. Yes, coffee.
And just in case you’re interested, check out my free 5-day email course to take control of your money here!
You Start Where You Start
So, stop becoming discouraged by reading financial success stories of people who have retired years before you will. Instead, draw inspiration and motivation from those stories. After all, if they can do it, you can too!
Your story is just that. It’s yours. It doesn’t matter if you start at 20 or if you start at 45. According to the numbers, anyone can become financially independent in about a decade. If you’re working with a double income, maybe less. If you’re working with a single income, maybe longer. Either way, financial independence is about the journey.
What are your thoughts on this topic? Have you ever been discouraged by reading about the financial successes of people much younger than you? If so, how did you overcome it?