SavingNinja is a 27-year-old engineer and entrepreneur seeking financial freedom and happiness through exploration and perseverance. His name was coined as a direct result of his impressive savings rate; which involves saving 80% of his total after-tax income. On his blog, (thesavingninja.com) he tracks his progress towards financial independence (currently 4.2 years away), offers others ways to increase their savings rate and teaches people how to earn more money.
1. What motivates you to retire early? Is it dissatisfaction with your current job?
The motivation is to pursue whatever my heart desires. Right now, this revolves around spending time with my loved ones and traveling. Very few people are fortunate enough to work in positions that they would still commit to if they were not being paid. They would probably work fewer hours or in a completely different profession if they had the funds to do so.
All of this ultimately boils down to happiness. The motivation to “retire early” will always eventually be concluded with seeking joy.
2. What do your friends and family think about your plan? Do they support it?
My family doesn’t know about my plan and I only tell very few friends. Speaking about finances in the UK is almost a taboo. It can also invoke jealousy in older individuals did not learn about compound interest earlier in their life. This could affect you negatively at work or when interviewing for new opportunities, which is why I keep my blog anonymous!
3. What do you imagine your life to look like when you finally quit your job?
I’m a self-professed workaholic, I’m not happy unless I’m doing things! This has led me to creating three business ventures whilst working in my full-time job. When I finally do quit my salaried position, I imagine a life filled with these side ventures. I would love to travel the world as I work on them to find my perfect abode.
I also have a passion for building things and would love to build my own home someday (even if it takes a long time).
4. Some people say that once you retire you can feel you lose your sense of purpose? What are your thoughts on this?
I can see why this may be a case for some people, especially people who have worked with the same company for most of their life. For me, however, I don’t think I will have much problems adapting. I tend to move onto a different role after a year or so and I have a lot of money-generating hobbies. I’ve lived in three different countries and hope to live in a lot more. I just can’t keep still for very long! I always find a purpose no matter what I’m pursuing, I would probably even go as far as to say that I change purpose too often, haha.
5. What steps are you taking to reach financial independence?
I believe that the big-ticket items are what affects your accumulation phase the most. These are things like travel, living, holidays, etc. So, for my own journey I’ve focused on these things:
I bought a much cheaper property in a less desirable area which allows me to only spend £100 per month on mortgage interest.
I commute into London for a higher salaried job. I make sure that my commute time isn’t wasted so I tend to work on my blog, read, or listen to Podcasts on my journey. I also cycle when I’m not on the train to further save costs (and get free exercise!)
When I did drive (before I started getting the train) I opted for an older car and repaired it myself. There’s nothing you can’t do with a good set of tools and Google! I learned lots of new things and was able to save a lot of money.
I tend to travel to places that are not popular destinations. I also never pay for a guided tour, I make my own way and go on my own adventures. Doing this makes traveling a lot more fun and cheaper too. One of the favourite places that I’ve travelled to recently is the Czech Republic. I got a return flight from London for only £60 and it was one of my favourite holidays, the Teplice Rocks are amazing!
6. Do you find it hard to follow a financial regime? Does it impact your life and if so, how?
I was lucky enough to have parents that never earned much more than minimum wage. Instead of gifting me money they instead instilled in me frugality, integrity and self-discipline. These traits have made it easy for me to save 80% of my after-tax salary. I actually believe that spending less money makes you happier, you’re forced to be more imaginative, creative and adventurous.
I set up a budget once a year or when my financial situation changes. I decide in this Excel sheet how much I want to designate to luxury, travel and investments and stick with that until the next update.
To see this article in Polish, click here
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