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Millennial money expert and author Grant Sabatier takes you through his journey of financial independence and shares the big wins on how you can get on the path of financial freedom as a family!
Get on the Path to Financial Freedom
It’s almost the end of January, how are things going for you?
Over at our free and private Facebook group, Thriving Families, I've been keeping an eye on some of the goals you’ve been sharing and I’m really impressed.
Right now some are tackling debt, many mentioning their credit cards and student loans as their main targets.
Meal prepping is also on the list. That’s a fantastic money saver and will help you tremendously with your health goals.
Quite a few talked about earning more, both through their regular 9-5 job as well as side hustles.
On the surface, these goals seem to go in different directions, but when we chat in the group and get into the whys behind the goals, I noticed a recurring theme.
Having more flexibility and security for our families.
And for many, that path includes reaching financial independence.
But when you’re deep in debt or just starting out, it can seem overwhelming and in some cases out of reach.
However, you can take steps now to get your finances in a great spot and open up more options for your family.
Today Grant Sabatier, the author of Financial Freedom: A Proven Path to All the Money You’ll Ever Need and the creator of Millennial Money, goes through how he was able to become a millionaire and financially independent by 30.
More importantly he also discusses how you can create your own path based on your goals and priorities.
In this episode, we get into:
- Defining what financial independence and freedom means to you
- Why simply cutting expenses won’t get you to where you want to go
- How side hustles can enrich your lives and get you close to your FI dreams
You can listen to the podcast now or read the highlights of our conversation below.
Hope you enjoy!
Resources to Get on the Path to Financial Freedom
If you two are ready to make real progress on your big goals, here are helpful resources to check out.
- Best Budget and Money Apps: Personal Capital, Tiller, Mint
- Automatic Saving:
- Free 401(k) Analysis:
- Jumpstart Your Marriage and Your Money
- The Secret Sauce to Financial Independence & Early Retirement
- Retire Early By Rethinking Your Priorities
- The Shockingly Simple Math Behind Early Retirement
- DIY and the Financially Independent Lifestyle
Connect with Grant and Millennial Money
Dubbed “The Millennial Millionaire” by CNBC, Grant Sabatier went from $2.26 to $1 million in 5 years through entrepreneurship, side hustling and investing.
After reaching financial independence at the age of 30, Grant founded
Millenial Money , where he writes about making and investing money and co-hosts the Millennial Money Minutes podcast.
Since launching in 2015, Grant has reached over 10 million readers and listeners through his blog and podcast.
Grant is also the author of Financial Freedom: A Proven Path to All the Money You’ll Ever Need .
Grant has been featured in over 200 international media outlets including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, National Public Radio, and many others.
Defining Financial Freedom and Independence
Elle: You are one of those leading voices with financial freedom and financial independence.
Those are a couple of buzz phrases that a lot of people here but I feel like there's a lot of misconceptions around them. What do financial freedom and independence mean to you?
Grant: I think you're asking the right question because it really is completely personal.
I mean financial freedom to me might mean something very different than it does to you than it does to someone else.
When I started my financial independence journey at the age of 20, financial freedom meant getting out it meant having enough money that I didn't need to work again.
But just having that freedom… I mean I was at the time I was living with my parents. I had no money. I was completely broke and I was like financial freedom to me meant having enough that I just could do what I want with my time.
What financial freedom means to me has actually blossomed and changed quite a bit through the journey.
After becoming financially independent, I realized – and I it was interesting because I didn't realize this as much during that time – that you don't need millions of dollars or to be financially independent to get like 90 percent of the benefits of it.
And if I had just stopped and paid a little bit more attention I would have realized that I had so much of that freedom earlier and I didn't have to wait to ultimately get to the goal of having all the money that I would ever need.
Just at the point, I think the biggest moment for me was when I had about a year of expenses.
At the time I kind of felt a big weight was off my shoulders that I didn't need to rely on a job. I felt really empowered in making money.
So I think my view of financial freedom has really changed a lot. As I wrote the book, as I lived my own journey, and as I talked to others, because you know for some people it simply means you know not having any more student loan debt.
Like that literally is the one thing that's keeping them up at night and you can progressively get more and more freedom in your life and time and space ultimately to live the life that you love.
And that's really the point no matter what that means to you.
Financial Independence is Not About Slashing Expenses
Elle: When we first talked on this podcast what struck out to be first of all like your story is going.
I think you had like two dollars and fifty-something cents in the bank to millionaire in five years is extraordinary.
The takeaway I got from you, though, was money isn't the goal, time is. It's one of my favorite posts you wrote on Millennial Money.
I think many people- whether in the FIRE movement or not – miss the point of it.
I believe one reason some couples struggle with both of them getting on the path to financial independence or freedom is that one spouse doesn't understand see the WHY behind it.
Grant: I think at the end of the day, money only matters if it helps you live a life that you love.
Even in my own relationship with my wife, money is an incredibly personal thing.
And when you come into a couple you're bringing your own history your own emotions your own fears around money and you're coupling them together you know that you're pairing them someone else and you're trying to find common ground.
I've been with my wife now for gosh over twelve years and we still think entirely differently about money even to this day despite all the conversations.
And I think that at some point I just got you I just accepted how she thought about money even though it was very different than I thought about money. And then you know we went looking for that common ground.
But for me, I think many couples make the mistake of diving into the numbers first.
You know they're like ‘How much should we spend that last month? How much did we make last month?' as opposed to starting with, what I think is the more important questions – ‘Did we enjoy this last month? Are we having fun? Are we happy? Are we living our lives based on the money that we have that maximizes our enjoyment?'
You can then discuss things like ‘Oh Jan was an amazing month we had a lot of fun spending time with our family and our priorities' as opposed to ‘oh we overspent 400 hundred dollars on food last month' and that seems to be where a lot of people go.
It's really tough especially with like budgeting and family planning to always be so rigorous and always stick to your schedule.
In reality maybe if you do overspend, but you had a great time use that information.
You know as you move forward I tend to think that just sitting down with your partner and just being like ‘Are we happy? Is this the life we want to be living?' And then talking about the money is much more effective and a lot easier to see.
Leaving Money on the Table with Your 9-5 Job
Elle: One thing that I love that about your site is how it's not just cutting expenses.
It's evaluating expenses seeing the value whether it's financial or personal. But then you also talk about earning more in the side.
What do you think that's so important?
Grant: So a vast majority of 9 to 5 jobs they're not set up to help you reach financial independence as fast as possible.
I mean the way that companies are basically set up most organizations is that their legal pyramid schemes in the sense that the people at the top are making the most money.
And there's nothing wrong with that I mean that's that's capitalism.
I think employees – and I'm saying this as a former employee and as an employer – often times I believe that employees really underestimate their value to the company. They don't advocate for themselves strongly enough.
They're too worried that if they ask for a raise or ask for work remote opportunity that their boss is going to fire them.
The simple statistics at most companies is that it cost between 50 and 60 percent of your full one year salary to replace you. Like literally it's costing your company tens of thousands of dollars to replace you.
And so just asking for a raise, they're not likely going to fire you because it's more expensive to replace you than it is to keep you in some cases. And I mean I just see over and over how employees just leave so much money on the table.
When I had my own company less than 10 percent of my employees ever asked for a raise it was .
That's one of the cool things that writing the book is because I've worn both hats and I just sat them down and taught them all about investing.
I was just like, ‘you should do all these things'. And yeah only a few of them ever asked for a raise and I was like perhaps you're just you're just leaving money on the table.
How Side Hustles can Enrich Your Lives (and Bank Accounts)
But when you look at even just your full-time job in and of itself, it's not designed to help you become financially independent as quickly as possible.
That's why I really fell in love with side hustling simple idea of making money on the side and investing 100 percent of it to ultimately accelerate the amount of money that I was saving and also accelerate the rate of compounding of my investments.
And so once I started making money on the side I felt empowered I learned a ton about myself. I learned a number of skills that have been extremely useful in my life.
Key Takeaways on How Your Families Can Find Financial Independence
Before we close up I want to focus on some key takeaways I got from talking with Grant.
- Clarify what you’re working towards. No, you don’t need to have all the answers, but having a lifestyle goal or an ideal day to strive towards can help when it comes to making better long term decisions for your finances.
- Evaluate expenses beyond the numbers. Yes, you do need to spend less than you earn, but life is more than numbers. Review your expenses from a quality of life perspective.
- Side hustles can stay side hustles. There’s no reason you can’t have a fun money-making hobby. I think its great if you find a new career with a side hustle, but it’s also wonderful to something on your own schedule and on your own terms.
Those are my takeaways, I’d love to hear from you. What are you going to use from today’s episode?
Come let me know on our free FB group Thriving Families!
Support the Podcast
Thank you so much for listening!
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I appreciate your help. Let’s make talking about marriage and money fun!
This episode was originally posted in January 2019. The show notes have been updated in September 2022.