To make things as simple and easy as possible I came up with a formula I've called "M.I.D.S.I" It's the five steps for wealth accumulation and financial freedom that I'm personally working through, and since I started applying them I've seen a crazy transformation in my business and over $51,000 of growth in my net worth.
Step #1 - Minimise Expenses
I used a website called networthify.com to plug in some numbers and work out my early retirement date, based on my monthly expenses, savings rate and income. No matter how much income you make it won’t make any difference to your financial independence date unless you can reduce your expenses and maximise your saving rate. The lower your expenses… the quicker you can get there.And that also means building up some F*** U money to do whatever you want for the rest of your life.
Step #2 - Income Maximisation
The very first thing I suggest is learning a high value skill to really maximise the return on your time. Software development is one example of a high value skill... and one we're passionate about teaching here at Clever Programmer, especially when you team it up with other high value skills like negotiation and soft skills.
Step #3 - Debt… pay it all down
I want you to look at debt as a LEECH. Literally, a leech that’s sucking your blood.I pulled this analogy from J L Collins’ book “A Simple Path to Wealth” - it’s an incredible book that I highly recommend.You need to attack it. Cut it right out of your life as soon as you can to start feeling free.
Once you’ve cleaned that up, you want to start repaying your credit cards in full - on time- every month.Automate it and forget it.Just by paying down my debt and repaying my cards in full each month my credit score improved MASSIVELY.
Step #4 - Save aggressively
First up, build a 3-6 month runway to cover your expenses.The mental space this frees up for you is seriously life changing. It’s hard to make any decisions, especially the big ones, when you’re running paycheck to paycheck and have no cash buffer for when life just happens.
Once you've built that runway - save aggressively. Remember: the higher your savings rate the quicker you’ll get to that ultimate goal of financial independence. If you’re smart now, and especially if you don’t increase your spending to match your extra income, those savings can grow and grow until you hit that magic FREEDOM number.
Step #5 - Invest and grow
From all the research I've done (and it's really important that you do your own too) - reading Tony Robbins' Unshakeable, Mr Money Moustache's Blog, following Ramit Sethi... the list goes on ...the reason it's so important to start investing always comes down to the same thing... COMPOUND INTEREST…
If you invest something today…. It actually earns MORE money for you tomorrow. And then THAT money earns more money too… 😱 You’re literally putting your money to work so it can grow for you.
*** Here's that cheat sheet of resources I promised you:***
Apps and website tools:
Personal Capital - shows my assets, liabilities and net worth
Clarity Money - clearly shows cash, investments and credit card debt so I can look at them daily
Credit Karma - for checking and improving credit score
Compound Interest Calculator
Networthify - retirement date calculator
Ramit Sethi - I Will Teach You To Be Rich
Mr. Money Moustache
Tony Robbins - Unshakeable
Andrei Jikh - The Magic of Finance
J L Collins’ - “A Simple Path to Wealth