Q: What is your current position/role and when did you first develop an interest in finance?
A: I’m an Engineer in the Oil and Gas industry, I’ve been working there for 6 years. I first developed an interest in finance about 3 years ago. I was watching a YouTube video about the different ways someone can save money and how to live as a minimalist. I grew up with money struggles, so I wanted to see what I could do to get rich. I had a drive to do better with my money and wanted to build wealth. Then, I came across “Our Rich Journey” videos and learned that they were working to achieve FI/RE. It blew my mind! I started reading books to learn more. The first book I read was Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. As they say, the rest is history!
Q: What challenges have you faced with personal finance?
A: When I first started working, I saved some of the money I earned but I spent most of it. I paid a lot towards travel and experiences rather than “things.” I don’t necessarily regret the experiences but I do wish I could have managed my spending better. Despite my spending, I did save some money and I only had debt for my car. After learning about personal finance, I have changed my mindset about money. It really lit a fire under me to get my finances in order so that I can achieve financial independence. After paying off my car, I’m now debt free and I’ve started to invest.
Q: If you could give advice to your 18 year old self about managing your money, what would you tell yourself and why?
A: My advice would be to start learning about money and gaining financial literacy. I would also add, “don’t waste money on clothes in the efforts of impressing people.” If I knew what I know now, I would have had better money habits earlier and would have been able to start investing earlier, meaning I would be able to reach financial independence sooner.
Check out our personal finance books as a resource to begin your journey towards financial literacy!
Q: What is your top tip for budgeting?
My top tip is to have patience when it comes to budgeting. It takes time to find the balance that works for you, and you might have to track your spending for about a year before you find what works.
Please don’t give up after a few months. Sometimes unexpected expenses come up and by tracking your spending for a year and being flexible with your budget during that time, you will gain great insight into your spending habits.
Q: What do you think is the most critical step to ensuring financial independence?
A: Investing is THE most critical step in achieving financial independence. It’s the only way that someone can build wealth over time. It could be investing in the stock market, real estate, a business, etc. Having an asset that generates income for you is key.
A close second is discipline. If you are financially literate but lack the discipline to live below your means and invest, then you’ll never be financially independent.
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