$150k in 3 years
Here is how I did it……
I’m revealing my money story and sharing details of how I managed to save $150k (check out my current net worth here) in a little under 3 years. I hope you are able to take something away from my story and how important it is to have financial security, a safety net in a way that will increase your happiness and even your job satisfaction!! I know hard to believe right?
I share these money-saving tips with the hope that they will inspire and motivate you to save because if I could do it, so can you. Here goes!
On a side note I also quite like the template I pulled onto my website to write this post, let me know if you like it?
How To Save $150k: Where I started
When I first graduated from university, I got a job making a starting salary of $35,000 which was really ~$28,000 after taxes. Pretty mediocre right? Consulting didn’t pay much for a someone fresh out of college back then. The first few years of my working life I didn’t save much at all – in fact I was in debt, living beyond my means, although having fun while doing it – things needed to change. I spent all my salary each month, and then some. Renting in the most expensive part of the city, paying for running a car I didn’t need and an expensive party lifestyle were the main culprits! It was a fun time drinking and partying and eating out 5 times a week but not smart, especially for someone who now had the goal of getting out of the rat race by 35 (I’m 30) financially free!
Four years later, I had little to my name.
As I progressed up through the ranks, I noticed the more I made the more I spent, lifestyle inflation at its finest right? Along with those promotions the more stress and workload increased, I began to resent my job! Things had to change. At the same time I began getting interested in Financial Freedom and Investing or the so called ‘Fire Movement’ along with getting hooked on Youtuber’s in this space such as Graham Stephan. It all started to click for me, and I set my goals on not having to work until retirement and getting out of the rat race while I was still relatively young. Easier said than done. The next 3 years I diligently focused, although I do admit I had some advantages over most;
- I was fortunate to have no student loans, thanks to education being free in my home country of Ireland (now I am based in Canada) – something I am truly grateful for given the horror stories I hear across North America of students coming out of university with over $100k of debt
- My income increased substantially, especially when I moved to Canada. I moved into strategy consulting, slightly more attractive from a salary perspective, my base salary jumped to $150k (with a 10-15% bonus)
- I got a raise and a bonus every year and got promoted, raising my salary 5-10% each year.
However, I had noticed that these advantages put me in a lot better position than most, I’ve become a saver by nature now with a renewed focus due to having an ultimate goal to achieve. This means, as long as I keep earning and investing (smartly) I will get closer to that financial freedom goal!
“Big City living comes with Big City Salaries”
How I Saved $150K in 3 Years
1. I moved to a big city
I moved from my home town of Dublin, Ireland to Toronto, Canada. The job I was in didn’t change or the industry, only the location. I immediately received a 50% salary increase because of this move. All of which I invested or saved, with the occasional splurge on drunken weekends away (I am Irish after all and there are stereotypes to live up to!). My advice if you are based in a smaller town, city or country, explore the opportunity of relocating – it pays!
2. I started investing
I took the plunge and opened up a brokerage investment account and started contributing monthly to it. At first I didn’t know what I was doing, lost some money on Cryptocurrencies and single stocks (I know, absolute newbie right!) But starting investing was my smartest move looking back, as I learned more I began sticking to ETF’s or Index funds (fancy terms for investing in 100’s of companies at once to reduce your risk). This strategy paid off and I started seeing annual returns of 10-15% sometimes higher. (let’s pray this Bull run continues)
3. I took advantage of employer Pension matching and stock equity offers
When I was offered a matching pension first starting my career I actually said no, only because I didn’t fully understand what it was and assumed it was just for old people 🙂 How naive I was? I have since wised up (at least in this area of my life :)) and taken advantage of investing into RRSP pension accounts with pre-tax dollars along with taking advantage of employer matching and employer stock purchased stock discounts. Trust me, if your employer offers these – say yes!! You will notice your savings exponentially increasing over time!
4. I started living within my means
I started to change my ways, not draconian like – but small changes in my life that made a big difference. Number 1 was ditching the car – I live downtown in Toronto where a car is certainly not needed so I switched to a bike. I not only feel healthier but also save over $1000 more every month due to this one change, thats $12,000 a year! I also tried cooking from home more which has been helped with the global lockdown but I have noticed I have more to save and invest. At a high level just being more generally aware of what you’re spending your money on each month goes a long way.
You can do it too!
That, at a high-level anyhow, is how I was able to save over $150k in 3 years.
All of this being said, you may not be able to save $150,000 right now, maybe you make less or have student loans to pay back or you have kids to support. But regardless, simply being more aware of the fundamentals of saving and living within your means, making smart money decisions, and starting investing as early as you can will get you on your way.
The hardest part is starting— before you know it will you will be joining me in 5 years time, fingers crossed, financially free with the ability to do what you want, where you want, when you want! For me that includes a cool bottle of Corona (yes Corona even after everything with Covid) on a tropical beach with friends and family. Good luck on your journey, leave me a comment or get in contact (see contact page) if you found any part of brief story interesting, or even if you liked/disliked this posts template 😉 I would love to know people are reading this other than my Mum (she is great though!)