This image has nothing to do with this post except that wordpress wouldn’t let me upload the image that I wanted to use but it would let me upload this one so it must be important for you to see it.
There are two ways to retire early: save more and spend less.
Thus far, I have been focusing a lot on the “SPEND LESS” side of things since that really helps both sides of the equation. If you spend less, you have more money to invest AND you simultaneously need LESS money to retire since you don’t spend as much. Pretty sweet deal.
Today, however, I’m going to look at the “SAVE MORE” side of things.
My role in our family unit is complex and layered. Since we live exclusively off of my husband’s income (hooray for the web development world) that frees me up to do the following things: manage the schedules of all three of us, take care of all the repairs on our home and rental properties, clean the house, landscape the yard (and, yes, I am actually in the process of completely transforming our copious amounts of grass into a beautifully landscaped sustainable yard!), remodel the kitchen (yep – I’m learning a lot and feel slightly bad ass for doing this by myself), care for the child when she is sick, home from school, on vacation, etc, volunteer for her school (because I’ve read those parenting books that say in order to be a good mom, you must volunteer in your child’s school…not that I care what they say…well, maybe just a bit), and run my own business. Whew. I got tired just writing all that, and I’m sure you tuned out about 12 lines back.
The point is that I am in a position where I get to pursue whatever I want without the pressure of bringing home a paycheck. I am also in a position where all the money that I bring in is *bonus* money! Woo Hoo!!!! Just think about it. A couple of thousand dollars a month that you can do whatever you want with. The thought is dizzying. So, what do I do with this *bonus* money you ask? Vacation in Hawaii? Purchase the newest apple produce? Go on a shopping spree?
I pay down our mortgage, of course. What a rush to see that principal amount drop by two grand! I actually get a little giddy just thinking about it.
Without the constraints of a full time job, I play a little game with myself: how can I bring in more money without sacrificing the quality of life for my family? How can I bring in more money in a way that is fulfilling and inspiring for me? Its a super fun game that I recommend everyone play even if you do currently have a full time job.
We are only limited by our imagination.
I currently have several sources of income which are both fulfilling for me and can be accomplished in between all that other stuff I listed earlier on that you tuned out.
- I occasionally do a photo shoot for a family or a wedding. I can be picky. I only work with people that I like who genuinely like my style of photography. I charge a living wage for my services, but, IMHO, I produce work worthy of that wage.
- In addition to photo shoots, I have written a book about “How To Photograph Your Child.” Now, I don’t make a ton from the sales of this book, but at this point, it is a passive income stream. I’ve got a second book in the works.
- I’ve recently started tutoring parents on how to use their DSLR to take better photos of their kid.
Every dollar I make goes directly into our mortgage. It is also money that we are not counting on so ultimately it shortens the amount of time that we have until retirement. This is how “SAVING MORE” can be used to get you to that retirement number sooner. Pick something that you love to do and turn it into a passive income stream.