The following is a Yakezie Blog Swap by Joe Edward.
Growing up, my parents always taught me and lived their life to be financially responsible. When I got out of college, I just did what I was taught. When I got my first job, I lived below my means, saved and put money in my 401K. I never was frugal, but almost every purchase was planned and when my car broke down or I received an unexpected bill, I always had money to cover it. This was taught how to act, now I know I was just going through the motions all through my 20s.
I did not know what it meant to be financially responsible until I had a family of my own. I have been married for 10 years and have three great boys. Eight years ago, we had my first son. I remember that like it was yesterday. I had just started back at school to receive my MBA, we owned a home with a mortgage, had two car payments and we were paying off student loans. We were not living paycheck to paycheck, but we were not building much wealth. When I held my son for the first time, I told him not to worry that I would take care of him and his mommy. That’s when everything changed for me.
I decided right then and there to start on our journey to build wealth to become financially independent. I guess I finally understood why my parents taught me to be financially independent. Over the next days, I wrote down a plan to move along the financial independence path as quickly as possible. That was eight years ago. We had two other boys since then and with each one we became more intense with our financial goals.
The last eight years have been focused on financial independence by living within our means and making extra money in pursuit of the life that we wanted to achieve. I worked to finish my MBA, worked hard for promotions, started side businesses, sold on eBay, had garage sales and traded options and currency. I worked hard for my family to make us financially sound. My wife stayed home with our children to make sure that we had a strong foundation of home life.
My 30s brought many changes to our financial well being. We have focused on our debt to be able to be in a position to make choices in the future. We have paid off all debt…all of it! We have no mortgage, car payments or any other debt. We have saved and have our children’s college education fully funded. In the last few years, we pay cash for cars, take a vacation to tropical places at least once a year, and don’t buy things unless we can afford it. We are not rich, but financially focused on how and where to spend our money.
As I am about to enter into my 40s, I am happy what we have accomplished. We are on a path to be asset millionaires by the the time I turn 41. We have reached the goal to be in a position choices on what to do next. I now want to focus on creating a business to be able to spend more time with my family. I want to travel less for work, be able to coach my kids in sports, and spend more date nights with my wife. I ponder many business opportunities, but you can bet that I won’t go into debt to do it.
Joe Edward is in pursuit of creating wealth for financial independence. Joe believes the right focus on five key areas are a way to financial independence:
- Maximize Career
- Save, Save, Save
- Debt Free Living
- Invest, Invest, Invest
- Create Multiple Streams of Income
Joe is well on his way to be an asset millionaire by the time he turns 41. He started SmartMoneyFocus.com to help others achieve their own paths to financial independence. Follow him on Twitter:@smartmoneyjoe. This post is part of the Yakezie Blog Swap. All posts in this blog swap can be viewed at the blog thousandaire.com.