Back when my wife and I were both working regular jobs, and both had decent incomes, we made a conscious decision. In an effort to achieve our financial goals, and in hopes of one day becoming financially independent from those jobs, we lived off of about one half of one income.
This did several things for us. First off, it taught us just how little money we needed in order to maintain a reasonable lifestyle. This meant that when we decided to move into careers that gave us more freedom but paid less, it didn’t come as a shock and our lifestyle wasn’t significantly altered. Second, it allowed us to save a large portion of our income as a financial reserve in the event that living financially independent from a regular employer didn’t pan out the way we’d hoped.
Getting Debt Free and Staying that Way
We’ve been in debt a total of three times in our lives. Two of these times were for student loans, both of which we paid off in under three years, and the third was for our first mortgage, which we held for about three years before downsizing and becoming mortgage free.
Otherwise, we have kept debt virtually non-existent. Doing so has allowed me as a self-employed individual to save more of a lowered income and avoid extra expenses in the form of debt interest payments. By eliminating such costs from our lives, it minimizes the number of bills coming in on a regular basis and maximizes the opportunities for the income we make, thereby making it easier to maintain a financially independent lifestyle.
Tracking All Expenses