Financial Freedom cover

Financial Freedom - Book Summary

A Proven Path to All the Money You Will Ever Need

Duration: 26:37
Release Date: May 27, 2024
Book Author: Grant Sabatier
Category: Money & Investments
Duration: 26:37
Release Date: May 27, 2024
Book Author: Grant Sabatier
Category: Money & Investments

In this episode of 20 Minute Books, we'll explore "Financial Freedom" by Grant Sabatier. Published in 2019, this enlightening book presents a robust financial strategy designed to accumulate wealth sufficient enough for you to live on the interest of your investments alone. This means you can gain independence from traditional employment, allowing for an earlier and more enjoyable retirement, regardless of your current financial state or income level.

Grant Sabatier, an entrepreneur and self-made millionaire, has shared his expertise with over ten million readers via his popular website, Millennial Money. "Financial Freedom" is his inaugural book, distilling his experiences and approaches into actionable advice.

This book is ideal for those who yearn to break free from the confines of 9 to 5 work, millennials eager to retire well before the typical age, and anyone who experiences anxiety over their financial future. Rediscover the joy of living on your terms and learn how financial freedom is within your reach. Tune in to discover how to transform your financial destiny with strategies that prove you don't need to wait until your sixties to retire comfortably and happily.

Unlock the secrets of early financial freedom

Imagine a life where the daily grind, the endless meetings, and the cramped cubicles are things of the past — a life where you get to decide how to spend every hour of your day. This isn't just a pipe dream. It’s the reality that Grant Sabatier created for himself before he turned 30, and it’s a reality you can achieve too.

At the age of 24, Grant found himself disillusioned with the typical 9-to-5 life, drowning in financial insecurities, and struggling to make any real progress beyond living paycheck-to-paycheck. Only five years later, he had not only escaped the daily grind but had also reached a point where he no longer needed to work to sustain his lifestyle. No lucky lottery ticket, no inheritance — just smart, strategic financial planning.

Get ready to discover Grant's revolutionary approach to achieving financial independence. Through his insights, you’ll find out why Albert Einstein revered compound interest as the eight wonder of the world. You'll see why traditional budgeting methods might be holding you back from wealth accumulation. Furthermore, you’ll learn about the innovative ways everyday people, much like Grant, turn routine services like dog walking into a pipeline for millions.

Are you ready to rewrite your financial future? Let’s dive into the strategies that will guide you there.

Breaking free from financial norms is a path to early freedom

Imagine hitting rock bottom at 24 — unemployed, living with your parents, and your bank account flashing a pitiful two dollars and twenty-six cents. This was Grant Sabatier's reality in August 2010 after dedicating three grueling years to the workforce with virtually nothing to show for it. Confronted by the daunting financial challenges that plague many millennials, such as stifling student loans and wages diminished by inflation, Grant realized that the conventional path laid out before him was unlikely to lead to financial satisfaction, let alone freedom.

The pivotal lesson here is clear: If you seek financial freedom, sometimes you must step away from societal expectations.

Grant was unwilling to surrender the prime years of his life to mundane office life, subscribing instead to a vision that seemed nearly impossible — amass one million, two hundred fifty thousand dollars to retire early. This audacious goal would require a radical departure from the norm; it wasn't just about escaping a cubicle but also redefining his relationship with money.

Money isn’t merely a means to pay bills — it’s a dynamic tool that could be multiplied and manipulated. With this perspective shift, Grant immersed himself in the world of finance, resolving to turn every penny into a soldier in his army towards financial independence.

His strategic blueprint involved not just excelling in his day job but also creating dual side hustles and making smart stock market investments. This intensive approach demanded significant sacrifices and a stern deviation from the comfort zones his peers inhabited.

By 2015, just five years from the brink of financial desolation, Grant's net worth eclipsed one million dollars. His dedicated savings now earned enough interest to sustain him without ever needing to work again.

Grant’s journey is not just a tale of personal triumph, but a roadmap for anyone feeling entrapped by financial insecurity. His strategies, which we will delve into, are not about simple budget cuts — they're about transforming your understanding of money and mastering it to work in your favor. The road is tough, the sacrifices real, but the destination of financial freedom is profoundly liberating and, as Grant’s story illustrates, entirely achievable.

Begin your financial freedom journey by tracking annual expenses

Albert Einstein famously declared compounding to be the eighth wonder of the world, and it's not hard to see why. This financial marvel allows your savings to grow exponentially over time, without the need for further contributions. Each dollar saved generates interest, and that interest, in turn, earns more interest — resulting in what could almost be described as a magical multiplication of your money.

When Grant Sabatier decided to aim for a savings goal of one million, two hundred fifty thousand dollars, it wasn’t a number he plucked from the air because it sounded substantial. It was carefully calculated as the amount he would need to generate enough compound interest annually, allowing him to live without working. The crucial first step in his financial strategy? Determining his annual expenditure.

Here’s the vital takeaway: To set yourself on the path to financial freedom, begin by calculating your annual expenses.

Everyone’s lifestyle and aspirations are different, meaning there's no one-size-fits-all number. For Grant, living comfortably in Chicago meant needing around fifty thousand dollars each year. Your financial needs might vary depending on factors like location, family size, and personal goals.

First, account for all your regular expenses, including housing, taxes, utilities, insurance, and personal spending on items like food and entertainment. Don’t forget to consider future needs or changes, such as starting a family, upgrading your home, or relocating to an area with a higher cost of living.

Once you have a total for your yearly outgoings, use this formula to find your target savings: divide your annual expenses by 4 percent. This figure represents the principal amount you need to invest where the interest generated will sustain your lifestyle.

Why 4 percent? This number is known as a safe withdrawal rate. Typically, investments can grow at an average rate of about 7 percent, factoring in inflation. By only using 4 percent of the compound interest earned, you ensure that your principal remains intact and continues to grow.

Even if the calculated amount seems daunting, remember that achieving this goal doesn't happen overnight. It’s a long-term endeavor, but with the power of compounding, each step forward gets you closer to your ultimate goal of financial freedom. Stick with it, and allow compounding to work its wonders to gradually build your fortune.

Assess your net worth to jumpstart your financial planning

Think of every new venture in life — be it a holiday, a business launch, or entering parenthood — as a journey that starts from a specific point. For those embarking on the road to financial freedom, that pivotal starting point is determining your net worth, the comprehensive value of your financial status.

Understanding your net worth is crucial as it forms the foundation of your financial strategy, serving as a navigational tool that tells you how much ground you need to cover to reach your financial objectives. Without knowing your net worth, planning your financial future is like sailing a ship with no steering mechanism.

The primary insight here is: Kick off your financial plan by clearly understanding where you stand right now.

To calculate your net worth, begin with your assets, which include anything you own with economic value. This encompasses cash in your bank accounts, investments, property, and personal items such as jewelry or art. Start by listing items valued over one hundred dollars, noting down their potential sell-on value. For instance, a couch you bought for five hundred dollars might now fetch sixty dollars. Sum all your estimated values plus cash reserves to gauge your total assets.

Now shift your focus to liabilities, which are essentially your debts, including credit card bills, mortgages, and any loans. Document each of these debts and then aggregate them to discover the total amount you owe.

Finally, subtract your liabilities from your assets — the remainder is your net worth.

If this number falls below zero, do not despair. Many, including Grant himself, started their financial independence journey in debt — Grant was twenty thousand dollars in debt. Instead of seeing this as a setback, incorporate this into your total financial strategy by adjusting your savings targets accordingly. For instance, Grant's target increased from one million, two hundred fifty thousand dollars to one million, two hundred seventy thousand dollars due to his liabilities.

Conversely, if your net worth is positive, that’s a commendable starting point! Reduce your savings goal by any regular income generated from your assets, such as rental income, and focus your efforts on investing this surplus wisely to accelerate your journey to financial independence.

To keep your financial goals on track, dedicate around five minutes daily to monitoring your net worth. Initially, this might seem tedious, but watching your financial growth can be incredibly motivating, transforming this task into a rewarding daily affirmation of your progress towards financial liberty.

Measure the real cost of purchases in hours of your life

Most of us indulge in small daily expenses that enhance our day—the morning coffee, a quick snack during breaks. These seem minor, but every expense has a deeper cost than its price tag when you’re focusing on achieving financial freedom. Rather than just considering the monetary cost, think about how much of your life you’re trading for these items.

The crucial lesson here is: judge your expenditures by the amount of life you exchange for them.

Imagine you buy a three-dollar coffee. You might think it's only three dollars, but considering taxes and the fact that your salary is subject to tax deductions, you actually need to earn around four dollars pre-tax to afford it. Start viewing your expenses in this new light, and the real cost of things becomes glaringly evident.

Taking this wider view isn't just about cutting out all non-essential expenses; it's about understanding the real impact of your spending habits. How many hours must you work to afford small comforts, or bigger expenses like a vacation or a new car? Every dollar spent could alternatively be invested, potentially earning you compound interest that amplifies over time.

To fully grasp the cost of your spending, you must first calculate your real hourly wage. This isn't as simple as dividing your salary by the number of work hours. Consider all the unpaid, work-related activities that consume your time—commuting, overtime that stretches unacknowledged, even the evening spent unwinding from a particularly stressful day at work. All these contribute to reducing your actual hourly earning rate.

Once you determine your adjusted hourly wage, you can work out how many hours of work each purchase costs you. This approach can transform your spending habits, from impulsive or emotional decisions to more deliberate, financially sound choices. Each saved dollar not spent on fleeting pleasures could be an addition to your investments, working silently towards multiplying itself through the magic of compounding, and bringing you a step closer to your goal of financial independence.

Slash the big three expenses to boost your savings

Just like maintaining a diet, sticking to a budget can be a daunting task, with each store and online ad presenting temptations that can derail your financial plans. Not only do budgets feel restrictive, often making money seem scarce, but they also tend to focus on minor cost savings, which hardly make a dent compared to your major recurring expenses.

The fundamental insight here is: Focus on reducing your primary costs—housing, transport, and food—to significantly enhance your savings potential.

In the United States, the typical household allocates around 60 percent of its income to these three expenses. If this could be reduced even by half, imagine the extra capital available for investments. For example, cutting this expenditure from 60 percent to 30 percent could liberate about seventeen thousand, five hundred dollars annually, amounting to an impressive eight hundred thirty-five thousand dollars over two decades of investing.

So, how should you approach trimming these significant expenses? Begin with housing, which for many represents the largest chunk of their budget. Consider downsizing or relocating to a more cost-effective area temporarily. This change alone can substantially increase your saving rate.

Next, address your transport costs. The annual expense of owning and operating a vehicle, including payments, fuel, maintenance, and insurance, can be staggeringly high. Public transportation, car-sharing, or even switching to a scooter or moped can drastically cut these costs, saving thousands of dollars each year.

Lastly, evaluate your food spending. Regular expenses here can add up quickly, especially with dining out. To save money, try ordering your staple groceries in bulk from discount online retailers to benefit from recurring savings and minimize eating out to occasions where you can use discounts or promotions. Opting for tap water over pricey beverages when dining out can also meaningfully reduce your bill.

By targeting these Big Three expenses and aiming to save at least 25 percent of your income from these adjustments, you'll not only streamline your budget but also accelerate your journey toward reaching your financial goals. This strategic focus can effectively reduce the number of years needed to achieve your savings target, bringing you closer to financial freedom sooner than you might think.

Maximize your regular earnings to accelerate financial independence

While it's common to compartmentalize work as a necessary yet separate part of our lives, reimagining your job as a key player in your wealth-building arsenal can significantly enhance your road to financial freedom.

Here's the key takeaway: Actively seek methods to leverage your regular earnings to speed up your journey to becoming financially independent.

Firstly, dive into the benefits of your pension fund. Typically, your employer may match the contributions you make up to a certain percentage which essentially is free money aiding your future savings. Contributing more to your pension not only secures your retirement but also reduces your current taxable income since these are pre-tax contributions, pushing you faster towards your financial goals.

Secondly, consider the potential raise in your paycheck. Often, the thought of negotiating a higher salary can be daunting. However, equipped with the right preparation, you can approach this task with confidence. Start by researching what similar roles in other organizations pay by reviewing job postings online. Reflect on the additional responsibilities you handle and the value you bring to your company. Timing your request around performance reviews or the beginning of a fiscal year can also increase your chances of success. When discussing a raise, frame your request in terms of percentage rather than a fixed dollar amount, as percentages are generally less intimidating and easier to negotiate.

Lastly, seek the possibility of a remote work arrangement. Eliminating daily commutes can save a considerable amount of money and increase productivity. The 2016 Gallup State of the American Workplace report highlights that employees who work from home three to four days a week tend to have the highest engagement levels. This setup not only benefits you but is also advantageous for your employer, making it a compelling proposal.

By focusing on these strategies, you can make your regular nine-to-five work for you, bringing you closer to the ultimate goal of financial independence.

Expand your financial horizons with entrepreneurial side ventures

Consider the story of Matt, a graphic designer based in Chicago collecting a yearly salary of fifty-five thousand dollars. At 25 years old, he is on a trajectory to hit one and a half million dollars in savings by age 30, not from his day job alone, but thanks to a thriving side business he began as a cash-strapped college student: a dog-walking service.

Initially, Matt charged five dollars per dog walk, managing only about ten dogs each week. As the demand in his area grew, the business expanded rapidly, and soon Matt needed to employ additional walkers to keep up. Fast forward to today, and Matt’s side hustle not only complements his main job but adds another two hundred thousand dollars per year to his savings.

This brings us to a vital point: Diversify your income by launching side businesses.

In the pursuit of financial freedom, relying solely on your primary job's income can limit potential growth. A side business introduces another revenue stream, often generating passive income once established.

If you're considering a side venture, choose something aligned with your passions and skills. This alignment increases the likelihood of perseverance and success. For instance, Matt's love for dogs likely fueled his dedication to his dog-walking business.

Before diving in, assess the market landscape. Understand your competition, and look for gaps that may represent opportunities. When Matt began, there were few other dog-walkers in his vicinity, allowing him to grow his customer base by offering incentives like free walks for referrals.

However, a lack of competitors can indicate low demand, or it might signal a unique market opportunity—either scenario deserves careful consideration and testing. Start small to keep initial costs low, reducing financial risk while you validate your business model.

Lastly, funnel earnings from your side business directly into your investment portfolio. This strategy maximizes compound interest, accelerating your financial growth and moving you closer to independence. So, inspired by Matt’s example, consider what side business could propel you towards your financial goals.

Action is the true key to achieving financial freedom

Grant Sabatier’s path to financial liberation was sparked by a realization that conventional approaches wouldn't suffice. This epiphany came at a cost; post-recession job loss in 2010 severed him from a lifestyle of leisurely Saturday brunches with friends. Redirecting this time towards nurturing his side businesses was a necessary sacrifice to meet his ambitious savings goals.

Choosing the path to financial independence often means charting a course unfamiliar to and sometimes discouraged by your nearest and dearest. Confronting skepticism from friends and family questioning your unconventional strategies can stir doubts. Nonetheless, the essential action is to dive in headfirst.

Here's the central idea: The most brilliant financial plan is useless without execution.

Achieving freedom from financial stress requires guts to start, even when you feel unprepared. It's easy to delay, telling yourself you need just one more book or one more seminar. However, every day spent without acting is a day of lost potential earnings from investments.

So, begin now. Engage with your HR about enhancing your pension contributions through employer match programs. Open an investment account and make an initial deposit, no matter how small. Dedicate time to brainstorm potential business ideas. Understand that proficiency comes through practice and expect to make errors — these mishaps are merely stepping stones.

Embarking on this journey demands steadfast commitment and the fortitude to withstand short-term sacrifices for long-term gains. Grant took five years to hit his target; your timeline might extend longer depending on various factors like starting net worth and the success of your entrepreneurial ventures.

Persistently focusing on your ultimate goal will necessitate declines to social invitations and possibly re-evaluating spending habits with partners or loved ones. These sacrifices, albeit tough, are temporary maneuvers steering towards a broader horizon of extensive personal freedom.

Keep your objectives in clear view; the rewards of enduring freedom and financial independence are indeed worth the journey.

Essential insights for securing financial freedom

If mere savings were enough to secure a stable financial future, many would have already escaped the 9-to-5 grind. Unfortunately, simply stashing away five percent of your salary isn't the key to lasting financial independence. High earners are just as susceptible to this trap, often caught in a cycle of high income coupled with high expenditure, which ultimately prevents genuine financial freedom. Meanwhile, countless individuals spend their days in cubicles, envisioning a future where they can finally live on their own terms.

However, the reality is that each person has the potential to harness the value of their money effectively starting today. By integrating the strategies outlined in these insights, you can maximize your earnings, manage expenditures wisely, and make astute investments that continue to secure your financial health. Understanding and practicing these principles—utilizing your income wisely, minimizing unnecessary expenses, and investing intelligently—are crucial steps on the path to achieving true financial independence.

Financial Freedom Quotes by Grant Sabatier

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