How We Escaped The Rat Race
In the end, it was a combination of ideas that worked.
There’s no ‘one way’ to escape the rat race. With so many variables unique to each life, it’s a bit of a fool’s errand to try and cater to them all.
Hopefully you can take some of the positive things I’ve learned and apply them to your own situation.
Here are some key facts:
How long did it take? About 6 years
How old were you? 36 years old
How much money did you earn? On average, £30k pa
Do you have dependants? 1 dog
Do you live in a house? Yes
Do you have a car? Yes
Disclosure: Based on personal opinion, not to be taken as advice. Seek a professional if required.
Before I begin, let me give you a little background.
How To Escape The Rat Race
The Wage Slave
I joined the ‘working world’ with high hopes that were quickly dashed. At first, I tried to make the best of it, but over the years that followed, it became clear that it just wasn’t for me.
I had bills and responsibilities and felt locked in. I couldn’t see another way to earn an income.
With no money in savings, none coming from family and nothing on the horizon, it was clear: If we wanted freedom, we would have to earn it.
Escape The Rat Race
With No Money
My initial research unearthed a community of people, all trying to escape the rat race. I hadn’t realised how universal the problem was.
At work, there were only a few people who were comfortable discussing it. Others thought escaping the rat race was a pipe dream, and said as much.
I started reading everything I could find on early retirement and escaping the rat race. Finally, I started to formulate a plan.
The first plan was to save as much money as possible. To pay off the mortgage then, later down the road, earn an income from investments. To do any of that, we needed to save -lots.
After discussing it with my wife, we started saving, as much as we could. Our budget was cut for so long, it became our lifestyle.
Extreme Saving, is all about understanding the budget, and controlling it. I learned that I didn’t need all of the things I was paying for.
If not for a frugal lifestyle, I would still be working today. A frugal lifestyle means cutting the premium television, reducing your utility bills, questioning if you need that item or service. 99% of the time, if the answer was ‘no’, we didn’t spend the money.
We continued with a frugal lifestyle for about 4 years. Scrimping and saving all the way. We managed to save over 50% of our income. We had emergency savings, and with the rest, we aggressively overpaid the mortgage.
Time and again, we had to push back our target date. We never seemed to have enough money to make a meaningful difference to our financial situation.
It was frustrating, as progress was slow. Then there was a recession.
I began to think that, either we had to downsize in an extreme way, or just give up.
Escaping The Rat Race
There were a number of factors which lead to the solution. None-the-less, it became clear that we had another option; to create a business.
An online business could solve our problem.
In the most simple terms, this is what we did.
It was this action which changed my life.
I financially supported my wife, freeing her to focus on starting a business. I would pay the bills and work on the business in my spare time.
On this side of the tunnel, having escaped the rat race, it seems like a straight forward, sensible thing to do. It always made sense to us. At the time though, people around us were quite judgemental about our decision.
We put aside a nominal amount of about £500, solely to fund any business venture. That was the limit and no more.
The idea was to pursue activities that interested us, to ‘earn’ from doing what we enjoyed doing. The risk was ours, and so was the reward. We wanted to work away from the ‘workforce’ and ‘system’. To no longer have to answer to somebody, or deal with so called ‘office politics’.
Exit The Rat Race
The business slowly grew into something we would measure as a success: It could just about cover our monthly expenses.
In addition, years of frugal living had created a good backup fund.
In January 2017, at the age of 36, I resigned my position.
I had a lot more time on my hands and wanted to help others on a similar journey.
That inspired Freedom2Try.com.
What would I tell my younger self?
1. Focus on your goal
2. Reduce your expenses and save money
3. Use your wages to fund business creation
4. Create businesses until something works
5. Don’t listen to indoctrinated people, they can’t see it
I’m now fortunate to be living out what used to be daydreams of freedom.
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Understanding money, and your requirement for it, is a good place to start when hoping to escape the rat race. Read about the most important number for financial freedom.