I built livefreemoney.com to help people. I’m enjoying my FIRE journey so much, and it would just be amazing if I could help other people find that joy! But recently, it occurred to me that one of the best ways I could help is to share the specifics of that journey. So let’s start at the beginning. Actually, let’s begin before the beginning.
Maybe one day I’ll write more on my early life, but it feels super personal and not very relevant to my FIRE journey, so let’s say that I moved around a lot, and my family was poor, but we always got by. I wasn’t on the street or anything like that, but we always struggled with money. Fought about money. Stressed about money. You get the idea.
I was a late bloomer. I moved out at a young age but ended up out of money and living with my parents again at 18. I worked minimum wage jobs. I was a dishwasher, a cashier, a dogsitter, etc. For years I lived with no savings, living paycheck to paycheck.
Through all these years, I made one intelligent decision. I learned how to code. I didn’t even know it was a smart decision! I learned because it sounded fun. My partner and I taught ourselves over a few years.
We were having a ton of fun coding and joined a Meetup with other coders. We started meeting “successful” people for the first time. People with money, savings, health insurance!
With time and a lot of good fortune, we were able to leverage the relationships we made at this Meetup into real jobs!
We had a fair amount of credit card debt at this point, but we were finally able to put a tiny bit of money away. I didn’t have any money invested, but I did have an emergency fund for the first time.
I went on living this way for a few years. I was no longer living paycheck to paycheck, but I wasn’t saving either. I didn’t have a plan.
What’s in a book
On a whim, I ended up buying an audiobook copy of The Millionaire Next Door, and it blew my mind. I remember listening to a chapter and then annoying the crap out of my partner with all of the amazing things I just learned!
The book taught me the basics about compound interest, savings, retirement goals, and, most importantly, breaking from the “plan” of working until you are 65. The year after reading this book was the most critical year (financially) of my life.
Stay tuned for the next chapter!
Jon Kuperman is a software engineer and real estate investor. He’s always looking for new investments. He’s also hoping to achieve financial freedom through investing.