Looking for financial independence and early retirement? Justin shares how he was able to retire at 33 and which expenses were the big wins. 

I have a millionaire next door…okay, not next door, but really close.

This week Justin from Root of Good came on the podcast to discuss how he was able to retire at 33, with three kids at home.

Subscribe to Couple Money Podcast via iTunes, Stitcher, or copy this link to use with a podcatcher of your choice. You can also find me hanging out on Twitter and Facebook.

How Big Wins Lead to Financial Independence

Justin was gracious enough to go into detail how he and his wife have built their lives frugally while stealing having fun.

Yes, you do need to adjust your daily habits, but if you’re looking to make real in-roads and progress towards financial independence go for the big wins.

Justin shared that the three biggest wins you can get are housing, transportation, and food.

Housing: More Than Location

Location, location, location, is the mantra of many real estate agents and it’s certainly something to keep in mind, but you need to go deeper and know the neighborhoods.

You’re not looking for swanky and popular, those neighbors usually mean you’re paying a lot for not much in actual benefits.

What you want are the gems in the rough – the neighborhoods with what you care about (good groceries and schools nearby), residents who care (their properties are maintained), and safe, at an affordable price.

Justin and his wife found a place not far from downtown Raleigh and near family. Besides a great location, their place also allow them to further reduce their living expenses around the house and much more by trading skills and supplies.

Now if you’re nowhere near relatives you can still do something similar by being near your network of friends or by creating your own neighborhood tribe.

Transportation: No Debt, Less Problems

After homes, cars can be a huge expenses. When we were first married, I had a car loan on my Jetta and it was a weight on our tight budget.

We now avoid car loans and just buy them with cash. Sounds crazy, but it’s been wonderful. You can find some great cars that will last for years.

Justin’s also in the no car loan camp. They keep their cars until they are worn down.

Food: Master Chef

There’s really no joy in only eating rice and beans just to save money.

As you work towards financial independence, you can still have awesome meals like homemade tamales or beef curry without draining your wallet.

The trick is mastering some essential skills such as meal planning and cooking.

Thoughts on Big Wins

I hope these tips help you two build up your savings and get closer to your goals. How many of you are working towards early retirement or financially independence?

Build Wealth Together

Couple money marriage finances wealth

Stop worrying about money and start dumping your debt and building wealth as couple!

Get our free guide on how to hack your goals. Make 2018 your best year ever!

Powered by ConvertKit

About Elle Martinez

Elle Martinez helps families at Couple Money achieve financial freedom by sharing tips for reducing debt, increase income, and building net worth. Learn how to live on one income and have fun with the second..

Visit my website →

2 comments comments closed

  1. My partner and I love, love, love eating out. Our wallets don’t love it as much. We try to avoid eating out by cooking together. Yeah, we still have wash our own dishes, but we can often eat better tasting (and healthful) food for way less, plus we get to nurture our relationship at the same time.

    • I love that you use eating in as an opportunity to bond as well as save some money. Frugal doesn’t have to be boring or cheap. You can live well and boost your savings with some planning.