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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.

Sounds impossible? It's not. Justin shares some valuable tips on getting big wins with your family's finances. 

In this episode we discuss:

  • the three biggest expenses for families (and how to optimize them!)
  • skills that can help you save and make more money
  • how to invest your money to become financially independent

Hope you enjoy! 

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Want to hear another episode about raising kids while on the path to financial independence? Check out my episode with Matt Becker!

We get into how financial independence can be done in intervals to maximize your options and give you flexibility. 

Resources to Retire Early

Are you two serious about becoming financially independent?

Here are handy resources mentioned in the episode along with extra tools to help you optimize your money together!

And if you’re looking for a community to swap ideas and encouragement, please join Thriving Families on 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.

Meet Justin from Root of Good

Looking for financial independence and early retirement? Justin shares how he was able to retire at 33 and which expenses were the big wins! #fi #FIRE #family #money

Through careful saving and planning, Justin and his wife managed to accumulate enough wealth to retire in their 30s, while raising three kids. 

They are hard core savers who focused on freedom and options. Justin shares his adventures, including their family trips around the world! 

Connect with Justin over at Root of Good | Twitter | Facebook

Takeaways from the Episode

I want to focus on some key takeaways I got from Justin that we're really honing in on for our finances.

  • Focus on big wins.
  • There's an app/spreadsheet for that. 
  • Family and financial independence are compatible. 

So those were my takeaways I want to hear from you. What are you going to implement? 

We’re going to discuss this in our private Facebook group over at Thriving Families!

Support the Podcast!

Thank you so much for listening to the podcast!

  • Spread the word! If you enjoyed this episode and think it can help a buddy get on the path to dumping debt and become financially free, please share.
  • Leave a review. Honest feedback and reviews make a big difference and gets the word out about the podcast. Leave your review on Apple or Stitcher.
  • Grab a copy of Jumpstart Your Marriage and Your Money. My book is designed for a busy couple to set up their finances in 4 weeks. Get tips and tools that have worked for other couples on their journey of building their marriage and wealth together!

Music Credit

Like the music in this episode? Our theme song is by Gentle Regime. Additional music by Lee Rosevere.

This episode was originally released in June 2016. It has been updated October 2018. 

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..

2 comments add your comment

  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.