Since launching Call to Leap, I've had so many people ask me how I became financially free as a public school teacher, at just 33 years old. Some are skeptical, some want to know the secret. And while I've told the short story again and again, I decided to give you guys the more intimate details of my journey and how I got to where I am today.
As a child of immigrants who came here with very little, I grew up thinking it was a good day when I got to order off the dollar menu at McDonald’s. My family ate out so infrequently that any time we did dine out, I felt like a king. I thought eating at Sizzler’s or Chili’s was the ultimate treat.
My parents did everything they could to stretch out the value of a dollar. That usually meant wearing hand-me-downs, not purchasing things if we didn’t have coupons for them, and getting free stuff from donation centers and yard sales.
Growing up experiencing this has stayed with me for most of my life. In college, I’d feel weird spending even $4 on a burger when I knew I could be eating at home. I always took overly good care of all my clothes and treated my shoes like they’d be the only pair of shoes I’d ever own. Even when I started making my own money and could afford nice things for myself, my parents’ voices lived within me, reminding me not to waste and buy unnecessary things.
The thing is, you will never become wealthy thinking like this. You hear stories about people who saved every single penny instead of telling the cashier, “keep the change”, and how saving to that extreme has helped them build wealth over time. But scrimping and saving does not a millionaire make.
I’ve had to slowly unlearn this scarcity mindset. There are still moments where I'll often find myself debating internally with whether or not my purchase of the latest phone or gadget is justified, even though I know I can afford it. But I’m getting better about treating myself to nice things and will splurge on a meal every so often now that I’m financially free.
In my new guidebook, I talk more about my evolving relationship with money, what steps I took to get to where I am today, and how you can do the same.
Because you guys have been a part of my community for some time now, I want to celebrate the launch of this guidebook with you all by offering you early access to my new guide, for free, for a limited time.
Head on over here to get your copy!
Steve, Financial Freedom Coach, M.Ed.