3 answers

I want to be financially independent in 3 years. Tips?

Asked Bethesda, Maryland

What steps should I take if I want to make this a gradual process?
I am in University going into my sophomore year.

Books to read? People to talk to? etc.

Thanks y'all! #finance #management #university #advice #money-management

3 answers

Claudio S’s Answer

Updated New York, New York

Here is what I suggest that you do (this is based on my personal experience, having saved over a couple of million dollars):

  1. Be as frugal as possible - every $ counts towards your savings. Remember, there is a difference between frugality and stinginess.

  2. Do any and every job that you can do in your spare time especially if it pays. I used all of my spare time to either do part time work, sometimes 2 or 3. When someone needs someone to clean their toilet, clean the apartment, etc I raise my hand and ask - "how much"? If I am not a subject matter expert, I say, "Please let me do it, I wil do it for a discount because I have to figure it out"

  3. The most beautiful word in finance is the word "compounding". Find out what it means. For me, savings was addicting. I save $$ regardless of how much I make. For me, it is a discipline, a hobby, a goal. Trust me, the day you realize that you can afford to pay a watch for $20,000 is the day you realize that you have made it through hard work.

When I came to this country, I have zero dollar. I remember the time I finally saved $1,000 dollars, then $10,000 dollars. I remember jumping up and down in the bank when I deposited the last $500 dollars (part time work check) so that my savings is $1,000,000. When the bank teller recorded my deposit, I asked her for a receipt with my balance to date. I showed it to her and jumped up and down again!

Mr. Barbosa, You sure have an amazing story. I see what you have to say about saving, but, to be honest, I find it less appealing than interest rates. What are your opinions on stocks, bonds, and general investments as an alternative?
By saving, I meant cash, stocks, bonds and real estate - what I have and what I can speak to intelligently based on my experience. I am big believer in low cost, low fee index fund investing. Here is what I do: <ol> <li> Research index fund and determine if it lines up with my overall savings/investment goal(s). I will find out how much the minimum amount to invest in, fee, comparables, etc. </li> <li> When I have saved enough cash to buy into the fund, I will open and buy the fund. If I can afford it, I will add $250 (automatic withdrawal from my checking account) each month into the fund. </li> <li> Periodically, I will look at my investment portfolio and re-balance it (e.g. 70 stock/30 bond, of which 60% stock is US and rest is International). </li> </ol>

Donald’s Answer

Updated Alexandria, Virginia

Not sure what exactly that means but let's assume: not relying on anyone else, no debt. So, Live below your means Max out your retirement opportunities Pay off credit cards each month Don't assume any debt Remember that things are just things and that you do not need most of the things Have 6 months emergency savings set aside Save 10-20% of you take home pay after retirement A car is a means of transportation not a reflection of you

I appreciate your last line: "a car is a means of transportation not a reflection of you." Thanks, Donald.

Ken’s Answer

Updated Cleveland, Ohio

Hi Matthew!

You ask some very important questions.

Tips on managing money: http://lifehacker.com/how-to-manage-your-money-for-those-who-never-learned-g-1703892260 http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/slideshows/how-to-manage-your-money-in-your-20s

Best of luck. Please keep me posted. I would like to follow your progress!

Wow. Thanks Ken for the wonderful answer. My goal for next semester is to truly immerse myself in the opportunities that college provides. So this is right up my alley. How do I keep you posted?
You are welcome! You can keep me posted by leaving comments on this page. Looking forward to following your progress!
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