How To Live Frugally and Achieve Financial Independence

How to live frugally and achieve Financial Independence: Here are the steps I follow, and this is how I was able to achieve this goal by 28. Enjoy! Add me on Instagram: GPStephan

What’s of you guys it’s graham here so this is a really interesting topic how to live frugally and achieve financial independence this is something we’re at its core is really really simple it’s not at all complicated in fact i could sum up everything you need to know about financial independence and give you the entire blueprint in this one single video and that

Would be all you would ever need to know and in fact i intend to do that but it’s also not that simple at the same time see if these concepts are so basic and easy to understand then why is it that financial independence becomes like this elusive goal for 99.9% of the population why does financial independence need to be this pipe dream of all retire when i’m 65

After i’ve worked 40 straight years and then i’ll finally be able to enjoy the golden years i have spent so hard working towards because i don’t believe it has to be like that so i’ll share my journey about achieving financial independence by the age of 28 and some really simple steps that you can do as well and follow along with when it comes to me i believe my

Financial independence journey started at the age of 18 because this was the first aha moment i had with really a definitive goal in mind now at that time i worked a very brief job doing data entry from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. monday through friday and working that job felt like an absolute prison i felt completely trapped i saw the dead blaze looks of everyone working in

Their cubicle waiting for the day to end just so that they can go home watch tv and then do the same monotonous repetitive tasks the next day and then they do that for 40 years maybe they retire then they enjoy the last remaining years of their life and then they die and they say that as people were more motivated by avoiding pain than we are by seeking pleasure

And to me there was nothing more painful than the idea of doing that i knew at that exact moment i would do anything possible that i needed to do to avoid ever going back into a job that i absolutely hated so i ended up switching careers and beginning work as a real estate agent but because i instinctually wanted to avoid that job so badly i saved everything that

I made i knew this the more i saved the more options i would have in the future and i would just think to myself if i could just save up enough and then invest this money at the very least i would have something to fall back on should something ever happen and this is where we come to the first step of financial independence and that is saving in order to achieve

Financial independence you must save your money and live below your means and how long it’s going to take you to achieve financial independence relies entirely on these two things how much money do you spend and how much money do you save this is what mister money mustache a financial independence blogger calls the shockingly simple truth behind early retirement and

Based on right now your own income and expenses you could just do the calculation really within a few minutes to see how long it’s going to take you to achieve financial independence for example if you spend 100% of your income well then you’re never going to retire because you never have anything left over however if you start saving 25% of your income you’ll be

Able to retire in about 32 years and maintain your current standard of living today and if you start saving 50 percent of your income you should be able to retire in about 17 years and if you start saving 70 percent of your income well you should be able to retire in about eight and a half years you get the idea now before i even found out about early retirement

Or financial independence i was naturally a saver and just a very frugal person it was just instilled in me at a really young age that you don’t waste money you don’t buy things you don’t need and i prefer just having the mobility of having all of this money saved up in case of an emergency than buying all of these fancy things that i would never actually use

So i did my best to save every single dollar i could starting at a young age doing that for over three and a half years straight saving as much money as i could led me to buying my first rental property at the age of 21 years old and it was also around that same time that i just randomly discovered a community on reddit called fire which stands for financially

Independent retired early this was an entire community of people just like me who loved talking about their savings rates who loved talking about their investments who left talking about living frugally all for the unified goal of being able to retire early and when i found this community i finally felt understood i finally was no longer the single crazy person who

Loves saving money for the goal of investing it and growing the whole nest egg i finally found a whole community of other crazy people who like to do this as much as i do and i swear people thought i was absolutely crazy for being involved in the whole retire early community i’ll never forget when i was 23 years old somebody asked me what my plan was and i told

Them that i wanted to work as a real estate agent and then be able to retire by the age of 30 i literally had people laugh at the idea they would joke and they would say oh ha ha ha you know you got a lot to learn about life maybe try more like 50 if you’re lucky meanwhile these were people spending a hundred percent of their income living in huge houses buying the

Newest cars getting the newest gadgets and here i was saving almost everything that i made living on like $5 subway footlong sandwiches not going to buy drinks at bars because i felt that was too expensive and i was buying rental properties instead and this is saying out there that i found to be so true the rich stay rich because they live like they’re poor and

The poor stay poor because they live like they’re rich this is basically what i ended up doing and that just brings me to my second point of financial independence and that is cutting back expenses now for the sake of financial independence and retiring early you must do what you can to save more money you must do it you can just to live below your means see i’m

The type where i like living in los angeles i like driving a lotus exige i like being able to travel anywhere i want but the thing is these things don’t need to be expensive these are a few ways that i have found to cut back on expenses without cutting back on experiences now the first and biggest expense we all have is housing and it’s estimated that as americans

We spend between 30 and 50 percent of our incomes on housing and to me this is just way too high see i believe there’s a better option there i know a way where you can live entirely for free and cut down your housing expenses to absolutely zero and this is what i’m doing as well and it’s called house hacking this is where you buy a multi-family home let’s say a

Duplex triplex or four plex you live in one of the units and you rent out the other units you can also do this by buying a single-family home with a guest house on it or buying a single-family home that maybe has a detached basement or something that you can rent out separately to bring down your cost of living no typically when you do this right renting out the

Other units are going to cover your entire ownership cost of owning that building and there you go all of a sudden you’ve found a free place to live entirely for free now to actually do this it requires that you save up about ten to twenty percent as a down payment on the cost of the building but when you do that you can leverage that money for pretty much the

Rest of your life for free housing now if you don’t have the down payment to buy something right now no worries you can also do what’s called rent hacking this is where you rent a house and then you rent out a few of the other rooms to cover your cost of the house or you could just go and live with roommates this way you just end up splitting the cost for all of

The common areas that you barely end up using anyway and the only real cost is a smaller amount for the room that you use now besides housing another large expense that we tend to have is our car now all be the first to admit that depending on the industry you’re working in sometimes image can matter and it can’t help to drive a nicer car but this doesn’t need to

Be expensive for instance when i was 19 years old i went and bought a used 2006 lotus elise for $30,000 that car probably gave me the same enjoyment as they would have gotten from a $500,000 ferrari i ended up driving that car for two years and ended up selling it for $30,000 the same price i bought it for i lost absolutely zero money for the car and if anything

That car ended up making me way more money than i spent on it from meeting new clients going to car meets as a real estate agent but really my entire point is this you don’t have to spend a fortune to get a car and if you’re a car guy like me you want to drive something cool and fancy and rare or maybe exotic totally understand that but that also doesn’t need to be

Expensive because you could do what i like to call car hacking this is where you buy an exotic car or really any car at the bottom of its depreciation curve drive it for a few years and with that usually if you buy the car correctly you’ll be able to sell it for about the price you paid for it or if you’re not a car guy pretty much any five to eight year old honda

Or toyota pretty much keeps its value they rarely depreciate and this is something you could pretty much drive to the ground for just a fraction of the price of just about any other car now besides cars let’s then focus on entertainment and when it comes to financial independence there’s really a fine balance that comes with this now i’m in the type of mindset

Where you should go out and enjoy yourself you don’t need to be huddled up inside all day just for the sake of saving money but it’s important to know that you spend your money on things that matter the most to you for example as a young 20-something i saw my friends easily blowing like a hundred bucks on a friday or saturday night just for going out between ubers

And buying drinks and buying food and then an uber back easily a hundred bucks like it just completely boggled the mind for me how anyone could go to a bar order five drinks at like 13 dollars each when they could just go to the grocery store buy the entire bottle themselves for like $18 pre-game beforehand and then go to the bar and order water it’s the same thing

Basically what i’m saying though is that i found a way where i can go out and have the same experience as all of my friends are having without missing out except i found a way to do it for 10% of the price we’re also when it comes to buying food like those 15 to $20 lunches every day at work start to add up really really quickly so instead i just made the decision

To go and make food at home and bring it into work and i got my cost of lunches down to about $5 and then again i would just save the rest and come on let’s be real here i’m a guy in is 20s i don’t just sit around doing nothing all day if all my friends are going out to dinner one night i don’t just say no to that of course i always say yes i think it’s important

To live life but when it comes to me i honestly don’t care about food it sounds weird but i get the same enjoyment eating like a petit filet it mastro steakhouse as they do scrambling eggs and cheese at home so if i end up going out to dinner with a whole bunch of friends i just usually end up eating an appetizer instead of ordering an entree so i can get the same

Experience as everyone else except the appetizer is 1/3 of the cost as an entree and again as usual i just save the rest where the same could also be said about travel and some people absolutely love to travel and i have family up in canada that i like to see twice a year and at $700 per roundtrip ticket that adds up and that gets pretty expensive but i found it

Does not need to be this way you can learn the art of credit card churning which is basically you could sign up for credit cards to get the reward points and then redeem those for free travel and all of a sudden all of your travel is free when it comes to me i haven’t paid for a plane ticket or hotel and probably like three or maybe even four years and right now i

Have easily over half a million points and i can fly first-class multiple round trips anywhere i’d like to go stay in any hotels they want to stay at all for free and clothing can be another really big one and i think a lot of people are shocked when they figure out just how little i spend on clothing most of the stuff i buy is from h&m all the jackets i buy are

Usually from zara and they all cost for the most part under $100 and most of the clothing i have i’ve owned for years and i bought them on sales or clearances or black fridays this is a shirt i kid you not i’ve had this shirt this same shirt for about 10 years and i bought it at a ralph lauren outlet 10 years and i just keep it in good condition i guess not even

Kidding fun fact but for real though and most of my videos no one knows whether or not i’m wearing a $50 shirt or two dollar and fifty cent shirt from h&m plus styles just go in and out every other year or so and i don’t want to be stuck spending like 500 bucks on thing that is going to make me look ridiculous two years from now it’s just really important not

To get caught up in the cycle of buying new things just because you can and really focus on spending your money in the areas where it really matters the most to you see i don’t care about buying drinks i don’t care about spending a hundred dollars on a steak i don’t care about buying expensive luxury designer clothing i care about having the freedom to be able to

Pursue whatever i want in the moment without money getting in the way to me that is true enjoyment but with that said that then brings me to the third step of achieving financial independence and that is staying out of high interest debt this is really pretty much the kryptonite to financial independence most people don’t realize just how much high interest credit

Card debt high interest medical bills or student loans really tie up your income and set you back years or even decades throughout my entire life i made sure to stay out of any debt that isn’t a low interest fixed-rate mortgage that’s it i also make sure to never carry a credit card balance also make sure to never finance anything i cannot afford of course i still

Leverage my money if that debt just ends up making me even more money like with real estate but i also believe that if you’re paying more than a 5 percent interest rate then it’s probably in your best interest pun intended just to pay that off early now besides cutting back and saving which is really the foundation of financial independence it’s then important to

Go on to the fourth step and that is investing now this is another very very simple one and the concepts are as easy as this number one take advantage of all of your taxed advantage accounts such as a roth ira 401k or hsa this saves you money on taxes and there’s absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t be taking advantage of these now the second thing is invest

Consistently and invest long-term take a percentage of your paycheck that automatically goes into your investments without even thinking about it no matter what ideally this should probably be 20 percent of your paycheck preferably more but my recommendation is minimum 20 percent if you can now the third thing is time the market just invest consistently no matter

What the prices the fourth thing is that you should be investing in a well diversified low fee index fund vanguard and fidelity both have amazing options when it comes to this and then the fifth thing you have to do is just let the markets do their thing and stay consistent now for the majority of people out there watching this is it that’s all you need to do

Some people might want to throw real estate into the mix but for all of those that just want to take a very lazy approach and not be involved in any of that for probably 90% of people out there this is probably just all you need to do and here’s how you find out when you’re financially independent this is when your portfolio value becomes 25 times what you spend

Annually so this means if you spend $50,000 a year you are considered financially independent when you have 1 million two hundred and fifty thousand dollars invested or if you spend eighty thousand dollars per year you will need two million dollars invested or if you spend two hundred thousand dollars a year you’ll need five million dollars invested this is based

On what’s called the trinity study which suggests that you can withdraw 4% of your portfolio every single year for life without running out of money and that is the very simple math behind early retirement it’s just a simple function of how much money you spend how much money you invest and then just waiting until you hit that number where your portfolio is 25

Times your annual expenses and that is exactly how i was able to achieve financial independence at the age of 28 years old and yes you know i’ll be the first to admit that doing this by the age of 28 years old is by no means normal and i had several things working dramatically in my favor that helped contribute to that for instance i was working as a real estate

Agent in a very high cost of living area where the average home was worth about two to two and a half million dollars and that translated into very substantial commissions i also invested from the bottom of one of the longest bull markets actually the longest bull market we have seen in our entire history so i’m not going to be naive and think that those two things

Didn’t have a huge factor in where i am today because they absolutely did but one of the things i did have control of throughout the entire process was that i never increased my spending i continue to keep my personal expenses as though i am making a minimum-wage job i can make a hundred thousand dollars a month i won’t spend a single penny of that instead i will

Take all of it i will save it and i will invest 100% now going after early retirement and financial independence is going to be different for everybody no one needs to be as extreme as i am in some of these places it really just comes down to recognizing what’s the most important to you spending money on that and then cutting out the things that really don’t add

As much value to your life and basically the entire blueprint of this entire video in the entire financial independence retire early community is just this save your money by cutting down on your expenses just so that you can invest and you can retire when your investment portfolio reaches 25 times your annual expenses smash that like button so with that said you

Guys thank you so much for watching i really appreciate it if you guys enjoy videos like this before you click out if you wouldn’t mind just hitting the like button it does how about dramatically if you also haven’t subscribed already love to ask if you wouldn’t mind subscribing and definitely all of this stuff really helps out tremendously in terms of the youtube

Algorithm and engagement so if you wouldn’t mind one of those that would be great also feel free to add me on instagram i post there pretty much daily so if you want to be a part of it there feel free to add me there thank you again for watching and until next time

Transcribed from video
How To Live Frugally and Achieve Financial Independence By Graham Stephan