Ridiculously busy last few weeks. Just got back from my honeymoon in Great Exuma, Bahamas (It was literally incredible if you were wondering). Today is the official launch of Millennial Money Man, and it's been great so far. I woke up at 7:30 am instead of 5:30 am, got to work at 9ish instead of 6:45 am, and took almost an hour for lunch. I finished a freelance article before noon and made half of my old daily salary in a few hours. I ate breakfast before I got in my car to drive to work…like a normal human.
Day 1 of self-employment is pretty killer, I must admit.
Don't get me wrong, I know that this venture is going to take a lot of time and hard work. The days won't be easy, and I'm definitely going to have to hustle to get the word out about what I am trying to do for student loan debt and Millennial finance in general. However, today I am taking time to enjoy my new life. I've worked more hours per week in the past three years than I ever even imagined possible. Who knew a teacher would work 60-70 hours a week regularly?!? I used to get about a 20 minute lunch break, and now I can take as much time as I want to.
At the end of the day, it all really comes back to how I was able to make this happen for myself. I didn't buy new stuff when I got out of college. I lived as cheaply as I possibly could. I drove a crappy car (still do)! No fancy trips or cool vacations until last week. I threw most of my paycheck at my student loans, which was a hard pill to swallow every two weeks after working that hard.
There is a reason that many young people choose not to live the way I've lived. It's hard, non-glamorous, and generally sucks. But here is the difference between my path and my peers path's:
I work for myself, have to decide how I want to invest my $money$, and will probably go water-skiing later because I can.
Oh, I'm debt-free too. That's why I preach living below your means as passionately as I do. There is a better life where you don't have to work 40 years for some crappy retirement pension that may disappear before you can get your stressed out hands on it. You can avoid chasing the carrot on a string if you make the choice to pay off your student loan debt instead of line the car salesman's pockets after college. Wait a few years to buy that awesome house you've always wanted. Make your old shoes and clothes last a little while longer. Be a cheapskate.
Let your friends pass you by, and then FLY past them a few years later.
Am I bragging? Yeah. A little. But only because I want to get the point across that if a former band director can get a taste of freedom on a teacher's salary, anyone can. YOU CAN DO WHAT I DID. There's a pretty high possibility that you are smarter than me. Trust me, I still have problems remembering how to drive to places I've been to a hundred times. You don't have to be brilliant to be debt free and start building wealth in your 20's, you just have to be disciplined and resourceful.
If you want to get out of the rat race, you can and you should. I'd be happy to show you how to get there. Start by making a plan to get out of debt and be as passionate about it as you have ever been about anything in your entire life. Be freaking relentless. Dream so big for your future that it scares people. Don't let anyone tell you that it's not possible, because a teacher just made those people look like fools.