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Since leaving the corporate world behind 8 months ago, I’ve had a lot of time and space to think. While it’s pretty cool to wake up every morning and do what you want, reaching financial independence will inevitably cause you to go deeper into yourself. This can feel both freeing and jarring, but if you ride the waves of emotions you’ll find yourself growing and expanding in a ton of expected ways.

It can get lonely. Some days I miss the camaraderie of hanging out with my old team or clients, but I also can’t remember a time when I’ve slept better or felt more rested or calm. It took me a full 6 months to go through my corporate detox and recover from burnout, but now an immense clarity has been opening up to me. A clarity that could only come with more time and space.

I’ve been thinking a lot about success and what it means to me.

Between 2010-2015 I defined success as reaching financial independence, so I could have enough money to live on for the rest of my life. Between 2015-2017 I defined success as escaping from the corporate world and “retiring” early from the gaily grind. From late 2017 to early 2018 success was to finish writing my book Financial Freedom, but now what?

The more I try to define it the more elusive it became. Then it hit me.

To me success isn’t about money, it’s about peace.

I just want to feel a peace. I want to feel calm and present. I want to feel alive. I want to feel at one with the world and myself. I don’t want to be shackled by worry about money or the future. I want to feel at ease. Like I’ve found my rhythm. Like I’m in the right place. That “peaceful easy feeling.”

I’ve thought a lot about Anthony Bourdain’s suicide over the past week. Here’s a guy who seemingly had everything – money, fame, the opportunity to get paid to travel the world. So why was he so unhappy?

After hearing about his death I started watching interviews with Anthony to try and see if I could spot something that was off, any hint in his words that he was truly unhappy. I came across this interview he did with Fast Company where he was asked what life advice he would give to younger people. The advice is pretty standard and what you would expect – take risks, don’t worry too much, explore, be open, be compassionate. But then later in the interview he talks about one of his worst nightmares is being in a room where everyone agrees with him. Where he’d be bored.

Success to Anthony Bourdain clearly meant having the freedom to do whatever he wanted, but in the end, freedom wasn’t enough, and in fact, freedom might have ended up boxing him in because he lost the challenge and the friction that made him so creative early on. He clearly had reached a level of success so many people dream of, but after he reached it where else did he have to go? Another season? Another episode? Another book? At some point even, an amazing job like getting paid to travel the world and eat food can probably feel like a routine. Here’s the full interview – it’s worth a watch.

Anthony Bourdain - Our last full interview - YouTube

Maybe Anthony lost his joy. Maybe it wasn’t enough. Maybe he couldn’t find peace. It was well known that he spent over 200 days a year on the road and many of his friends in their tributes wondered if he spent so much time working because he was running from something. Who knows, but it does make you wonder. If he had peace would he have done what he did?

So what’s changed? Why is this happening? Why are so many people unhappy?

There are obviously many reasons and it will take years to further unravel what’s making us so unhappy, but I think it has a lot to do with what we think will make us happy or what we are told will make us happy, as well as how we define success.

We see how others live on Instagram and both consciously and unconsciously compare ourselves with others. It’s how our brains are wired.

Often when I use social media I feel anxious – why don’t I have as many Instagram followers as that blogger, or why didn’t people retweet this tweet? Why didn’t that follower who liked everything stop liking my posts? Should I be tweeting more? I’ve only tweeted 1,800 times in 3 years when many others have tweeted 30,000+ times.

It’s dumb, but I for some reason can’t help but feel it. It’s one of the reasons I took so long to even create an Instagram account – I really don’t like how anxious social media makes me, and clearly others feel. But I do enjoy seeing what all my homies are up to and occasionally engaging in the conversation. BTW you can follow me on Instagram here (it would make me happy though!).

I can’t imagine how 20-year olds, who spend an absolutely insane amount of time on social media, feel. But social media is clearly making them anxious and unhappy too. Like really unhappy. This past week a new study showed that depression rates in the United States are increasingly rapidly, especially amongst teens between 12 and 17 years old. The future generations are already stressed out and life certainly doesn’t get any easier.

People are also spending tons of money just to get the perfect Instagram shot. A recent report from Chase showed that 77% of millennials were willing to spend up to $137 for the perfect Instagram shot. 1 shot!

And this one woman went $10,000 into debt for the perfect Instagram shots. We want to look successful. We crave the outward appearance of it. Many of us believe that success is the next job promotion, or the $10,000 raise, or the new car, or the new house, or the trip around the world, of the perfect Instagram shot, or even financial independence.

We also spend so much time being busy. Busyness is truly an epidemic.

We live in a world where we chase success and the next emotional high of completing a project, or getting a promotion, or winning a new piece of business. It’s easy to be business and we think it makes us feel good, but in reality, we are often running after something external because it’s more difficult and more uncomfortable to go stop and go inside, to ask ourselves do we really want to be doing this.

It’s often only in moments when we are forced into reflection by confronting the death of someone we cared about or someone we admired, to think about if we are really living our best lives. Or if we really love our lives. It’s easy to snap back into a routine that makes us comfortable and be busy so we feel like we’ve accomplished something, but in reality, we confuse being busy with being alive.

On my own journey I’ve learned that success doesn’t come from money, or a promotion, or the next big project, or that new car. It doesn’t come from outside. It comes from within.

You need to live your own life, not someone else’s. If you measure yourself against anyone else or some external measurement you will always fall short (even when you make it). It will never be enough. You shouldn’t measure yourself against your friends, or an Instagram, any blogger, or anyone you see featured online. You should only measure yourself against you and you will change. You will grow and change many times in your life.

 

It’s often difficult to find peace because we are constantly changing. I’m a really different person than I was when I started my FI journey at 24. Like almost completely different. I meditate and enjoy doing yoga. I go to the ballet and enjoy bird watching (guess I’m becoming an old man at 33!). I enjoy staying in on a Saturday and listening to records or getting lost in a good book. Let yourself grow. Growing is living.

Happiness, peace, and joy all come from within

Pursuing financial independence is a lot of fun and it’s empowering to be able to say no to consumer culture and watch your net-worth grow. When I first discovered FI I felt like I stumbled on the “Truth” and there a reason I subtitled my book “A Proven Path,” because it’s a path that works. It worked for me and it’s working for more and more people.

But while the FI game is fun and if feels good to feel in control of your money, FI can also become a money addiction in another form. If you’re only about the numbers and the spreadsheet, or the next savings goal, you might miss the important stuff. The whole reason we’re saving in the first place. Money only matters if you live a life you love.

Instead of a number, a spreadsheet, a collection of things, a perfectly curated Instagram, or the next raise, consider measuring success by how peaceful you feel instead. It’s a lot more fulfilling.

The post Success Isn’t About Money, It’s About Peace appeared first on Millennial Money.

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I get asked all the time for online checking and savings account recommendations and Radius Bank offers one of the best I’ve found. Radius Hybrid is a free high-interest checking account that combines the high-interest earning of savings with the flexibility of a checking account and is FDIC insured.

I’ve never reviewed an online checking account on Millennial Money before, and when the Radius team reached out I was skeptical, but glad that I discovered their high interest checking account.

Radius Bank Checking Account Review - YouTube

For full disclosure I am getting compensated for this review but wouldn’t have accepted the opportunity without first checking out and vetting Radius Bank. While there are some online savings accounts that offer a higher rate of return than Radius, I’ve never seen a checking account with as high a return that offers all of the great features of Radius Bank. It’s definitely worth checking out.

Here are some of the benefits of their High Interest Checking Account that will help you make more money on the money you keep in your checking account.

A Return 17x the National Average

Most checking accounts offer close to a 0% return, but Radius Bank’s high interest checking account functions more like a savings account and offers a 0.85% APY, which is 17x the national average. This return never expires and there are no caps on the amount of money you have saved that can get this return. Many banks will change their rates after an introductory period or limit the amount of money that can get the interest rate. Not Radius Bank.

It’s Completely Free

Yes, there are no account fees ever for anything. Many bank accounts have hidden fees, but not Radius, who offer the checking account completely free with only a $100 opening balance. You also get access to a ton of free ATMs around the world. I don’t know about you but over the years I’ve lost a lot of money to stupid bank and ATM fees, so it’s refreshing that Radius Bank truly lets you bank for free, which means less worry and more money in your pocket.

It’s Completely Online and Mobile

Another great feature of this high yield checking account is that you can do everything online or in the Radius Mobile app. You can deposit checks, set up direct deposits, pay your friends or family easily on your phone, use your favorite mobile wallet, track your net-worth and link external accounts, create a budget, and protect your account. The Radius Bank mobile app is one of the best mobile banking apps I’ve used – it’s so simple and has a ton of great features.

You can also download the Radius Card app so that you can remotely disable your Radius Bank debit card from the mobile app if you lose it or it gets stolen. Over the past few years I’ve had my wallet stolen twice and would have loved a simple feature like this to cancel my cards.

Summary

Too many people leave their money on the sidelines in a checking or savings account that generates a terrible investment return. Don’t be one of them. Here’s a summary of the Radius Bank High Yield Checking Features:

  • Earns 0.85% APY on balances over $2,500
  • Free ATMs Worldwide
  • No monthly maintenance fees
  • No minimum balance requirements
  • Free Online & Mobile Banking with:
    • Mobile Check Deposit
    • Personal Financial Management tools
    • P2P payments
  • Use with Mobile Wallets

Check out Radius Bank if you are looking for a completely free online high interest checking account with awesome features. You can open an account in less than 5 minutes.

The post Radius Bank Review: High Interest Checking appeared first on Millennial Money.

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MM note: My book Financial Freedom: A Proven Path to All the Money You Will Ever Need with a foreword by Vicki Robin, is now available for preorder with a ton of bonuses here.

Between 2010-2015, during what I now call “those five insane years,” I spent all of my time trying to make as much money as possible. I consistently worked 50+ hour weeks making money in my full-time digital marketing job and then another 30+ hours a week I was side hustling and at one point had a rotation of 13 different side hustles. In fact I attribute a lot of my own success directly to the investment gains I generated from side hustling. It would have taken me at least 5 more years to become financially independent without side hustling to investing.

I was investing and saving up to 80% of my income some months. I drove an $800 car and lived in the crappiest apartment you could imagine, all while making six figures and investing as much as I could. Many of my friends who were climbing the career ladder bought nice new Audi and BMW SUVs and bought expensive condos near the lake with $4,000 a month mortgages. While I spent as little as possible and banked as much money as I could. What to many people would be viewed as a sacrifice, I viewed as an opportunity.

An opportunity to get out. To escape forty years of wage slavery and cubicle life. To escape staying up all night worrying about money and worrying if I had enough. I wanted to escape the grind really bad. I wanted one thing: financial freedom. I knew the fastest way to get there was to invest as much money as early and often as I could. There is nothing more valuable to fast track financial freedom than making more money and compounding.

Financial Freedom Book | by Grant Sabatier - YouTube

So I put my head down and worked and worked and worked to make it happen. And because of a solid strategy, consistent execution, and some good old-fashioned luck, it happened. It took me 5 years and 3 months to go from $2.26 in my bank account to $1.25 million. Here’s more on how to save a million dollars. I’d reached my goal of becoming a millionaire and financially independent by 30, in what turned out to be the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. And of course, I also got lucky since I started investing in 2010 and the stock market absolutely crushed it between 2010-2015. But it wouldn’t have mattered if I wasn’t ready for it or I wasn’t investing as much money as I could. Without luck I would have gotten to FI, it just would have taken me a little a little longer. You can rely on luck, but you can increase your odds of getting lucky. Control what you can: your income, your savings rate, and your asset allocation and let compounding and time take care of the rest.

Money is infinite. Time is not. Why you should “retire” as quickly as possible

While what I thought I wanted was money, as it turned out what I really wanted was time and space. Time and space to explore the world. Time to breath. Time to go deeper into myself and explore what it means to be alive. Time and space to grow. I wanted complete financial freedom, which to me means having freedom through money. When you have enough money, you have complete control over your space and time.

Money is infinite – you can always go out and make more. But you can’t get more time. When you follow a great investing strategy, whether you are house hacking and investing in real estate, or investing in the stock market, when you make the most of your money you are making the most of your time. The more optimized and efficient you are with money, the more time you can buy and the less time you’ll need to spend working for money.

Life is too short to not try and “retire” early and what I mean by “retire” is simply spending your time doing something you want, instead of something you need to do. While you should define what early retirement means to you, to me it’s not about money, it’s about how I spend my time. Since I don’t have to worry about money I can do what I want, so even though I’m still make money blogging, I’m retired because I don’t have to do it. I just enjoy it. There is no way that I could have written Financial Freedom if I hadn’t “retired” early from the corporate world and took back control of my time.

The Joy of Millennial Money

In 2015 shortly after becoming financially independent I launched Millennial Money to write about my path to financial freedom. Writing about money and personal finance is a deep passion of mine, because it combines a few things I enjoy: writing, philosophy, and of course money. More and more people started showing up to the blog from all over the world and asking for help. I’ve received thousands of emails from Millennial Money readers and podcast listeners who share the intimate details of their money (and in many cases) personal lives. Money and life are so interconnected that it’s hard to talk about one without the other.

Something I could have never imagined started happening. As it turned out I really enjoyed teaching and helping others. In fact, every reader or listener email I received meant more to me than any dollar I had made. I was blown away. If you would have told me 7 years ago that I would be a person with a mission I would have laughed at the impossibility. But it happened. I had actually found what I believe is my true purpose, my mission.

My mission is to help relieve financial struggles in as many people’s lives as I can. Money stress is real. It impacts every area of our lives. It’s the number two reason for divorce, one of the top reasons for suicide, and consistently ranks as the top stressor in people’s lives. I know what it feels like to have nothing, and comparatively I’ve had, and have, so much more than most.

I realized that I could only share so much in a blog post of video, and that in order to reach more people I would need to write a book. And write a book that wasn’t just the run of the mill here’s how you get your money life in order, but a book about life and money and time. A book that would help anyone, literally anyone, no matter where they are in their financial life to make more money and gain freedom through it.

Most personal finance books take a one-dimensional perspective – they focus on how to save more money and make the most of what you have, but rarely focus on how to make more. Saving and making money are two sides of the same coin and making more money is the fastest way to reach financial freedom.

Financial freedom is unique to you. Live your own life.

I wrote the book Financial Freedom to help you reach the next level of financial freedom no matter where you are starting from. Whether you are deep in student loan debt or already have hundreds of thousands of dollars saved, this book is designed to get you to the next level of financial freedom as quickly as possible. It’s a scalable strategy designed for you to revisit it each year to check back in with your goals, your finances, and the role money is playing in your life. It can help you escape living paycheck to paycheck, but it can also help you reach financial independence, when you no longer have to work for money.

In Financial Freedom, I share the exact path that I and the 12 other people featured in the book used to reach FI before 35. The book covers everything you need to get to financial independence, with each step designed to help you make more money in less time and accelerate your financial freedom. It’s about fast-tracking FIRE (financial independence retire early) and getting you to each stage of financial freedom as quickly as possible so you can make the most of your time.

While I’m not a big fan of labels, and while I am certainly a part of the FIRE movement, I like to think of more as the financial freedom movement. Freedom means so many different things to different people and financially independence might feel really far away. I wanted to write a book that would help people no matter where they are on their own financial journey.

The topics in the book include how to figure out how much money you actually need, how to easily save at least 25% more money without cutting the things you love, how to live for free, how to start making at least $10,000 more in the next few weeks in your full time job, how to identify and launch a profitable side hustle, how to travel the world for free, how to invest in stocks and/or real estate to reach financial independence in 10 years or less and a whole lot more.

I worked really hard to write it to make it as easy to follow as possible, even for someone who has no experience with money. But it’s also designed to help people who are already on the FI path discover new ways to save money, make money, and think about money. The path in my Financial Freedom book is designed become more familiar and reveal new insights the more time you spend with it. It’s designed to be clear and easy to implement and help make it easier to understand and make the tradeoffs often required to buy back your time.

Writing the Financial Freedom book was really hard. But I am so pumped to share it with the world.

Over the past year I spent over 2,800 hours of my own life writing Financial Freedom with the singular goal of helping you make more money in less time, so you can feel less stress and live a life you love. At the end of the day that’s what’s important. My hope is that this helps many people who are either struggling with money or stressed by money see money differently and learn how to gain freedom through it. Writing a book is no joke and nothing could have prepared me for the challenge of putting so much information together in an accessible path that anyone can follow. This isn’t some fluff book with a few key ideas and a bunch of filler, Financial Freedom is packed full of the what, why, and the how. I actually show you how to do everything. I didn’t cut any corners. I put my everything into this book and I can’t wait for you to read it.

I’m incredibly excited to announce Financial Freedom: A Proven Path to All the Money You Will Ever Need is now available for preorder!!! Wha?? Seeing the book on Amazon was a huge and humbling moment for me. I gotta admit I was pretty choked up by it. I can’t wait to share it with the world and the journey ahead. I also can’t wait to the road and meet you across the world! I’m all like…

You might be thinking why would I buy a book 8 months before it comes out?

Preordering Financial Freedom comes with a ton of exclusive bonuses and will help me reach more people!

Publishers use preorder numbers to determine how much support to provide and where the book should be sold. The more preorders, the more support I will get from booksellers and Penguin and the more this message will spread. Also, preordering is actually nice and easy because many retailers don’t charge you until the book is released so you won’t have to pay until February, but it really helps me.

If you order through Financial Freedom on Amazon they have a pre-sale guarantee so if the price drops at any point during the pre-sale you only get charged that price. Both hardcover and ebook prices can fluctuate a lot during preorder periods so if you order now you can lock in the lowest price guarantee. It’s pretty sweet and will ensure that you get the lowest price.

I’m also releasing a ton of exclusive preorder bonuses that you can see below, which are a ton of extra value (I can’t even quantify it with a dollar figure). So there’s that too!

Preorder Financial Freedom Here!

Thank you for all of your support. Whether you are a long time or first time reader, I couldn’t do any of this without you! Also to all of my regular readers, thank you for your patience while I took a break from blogging to finish the book. I’m very excited to get back to a regular posting schedule on Millennial Money and have some dope posts in the works.

All of the emails of support and the growth of Millennial Money and this community made all of this possible. I can’t wait for you to read Financial Freedom!

Click on the logos below to preorder through your platform. Available almost anywhere books are sold.

Limited Preorder Bonuses (June 2018!)

1. Exclusive Access to 90 Minute Fast Track Financial Freedom Course

2. “How To Launch a Profitable Side Hustle” PDF Download

3. Early Access to The Online Tools In The Book

4. You’re Entered to Win 1 of 5 Personal 30 Minute Calls with Grant (Each Month!)

5. Exclusive Access to the Private Financial Freedom Book Facebook Community

6. Access to Grant’s Personal Book Club (where he will be reading Financial Freedom with you when it’s launched!)

7. Chance to win an all expenses paid trip to NYC to work and chill with Grant

8. Chance to win a monthly bundle of Grant’s 5 Favorite Money Books!

9. Exclusive opportunities to Join Grant’s Private Financial Freedom Community

10. Chance to Win a Free Book (I’ll pay back 500 preorders when it’s released!)

To claim your bonuses please forward your receipt to bonus@millennialmoney.com!

The post Financial Freedom Book (& Bonuses!) appeared first on Millennial Money.

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Millennial Money by Grant Sabatier - 1M ago

For most Americans, debt has become an unfortunate part of life. From student loans to credit cards, debt is more common today than ever before. Americans now have almost $1.5 trillion dollars in student loans to repay, with the average college graduate in 2016 having approximately $37,172 in student loan debt. Add that to the average credit card debt of over $15,000 per American household, and the debt trap is getting bigger every year.

But thankfully, as a generation, we are starting to conquer it and in fact, 39% of millennials are hoping to pay off their debts in 2018, according to a recent Fannie Mae survey. If debt is a fundamental part of today’s financial landscape, then why have we previously been advised to steer clear of it?

A simple explanation is that there are different types of debt. Good debt can help you build long-term wealth and achieve your future goals. Bad debt can drain your bank account and ruin your credit.

So how do you identify which debt is good and which debt is bad? The key is being able to think about some loans as investments in your future that will generate a net-positive return on investment (ROI) in the future.

I know it’s hard to imagine that debt can help generate income in the long run, but that’s a common misconception. A way to determine if debt is good, is to ask yourself if you’re using it to finance something that will appreciate (aka go up in value) over time and if there is an opportunity to get returns on the money you’re planning to spend.

Let’s look at some of the four most popular types of debt to determine if they are good or bad.

Mortgage Debt

Mortgage loans are an excellent example of good debt if you use them responsibly. When you take out a mortgage loan, you’re not only putting a roof over your head, but you’re getting tax deductions and a financial asset that is likely to appreciate over time. Also, with mortgage programs offering down payments as low as 3%, funding a mortgage is more accessible than ever. While mortgages are long-term loans, by the time you pay off the mortgage, your home could be worth more than what you initially paid for it. Also, making consistent, on-time payments can help improve your credit score.

But mortgages can also become bad debt if you buy a home that is more expensive than you can afford and ultimately have to default on your mortgage payments. A good rule of thumb is to take out a mortgage that you can pay with 25% – 35% or less of your after-tax take home pay. This will give you some flexibility and ensure that you’re not “house poor” because you are spending too much money on your monthly mortgage.

Also, when buying any home there are additional costs above your mortgage payment that should be factored into your calculation, like taxes, repairs, and any assessments. The best way to ensure that mortgage debt is good debt is by making sure you can afford your monthly mortgage payments.

Student Debt

Student loans can be another example of good debt – with some caveats. As scary as student loan payments may seem, there is still a positive correlation between a college degree and future earnings. Having a degree immediately increases your value in the work field and presents opportunities that would otherwise be unavailable. Student loans also offer low-interest rates, while other types of debt are notorious for having crippling interest rates. This is the type of good debt that acts as an investment in your future.

But that also doesn’t mean that all student loans are worth it. The value of your student loans can be determined by other factors, like where you go to school, what type of degree you get, and what you do with your degree when you graduate.

Car Loan Debt

On the other hand, bad debt is something to be avoided. If you’re borrowing money for something that is a depreciating asset, then this debt could be a bad decision. The average American pays around $500 a month on a car payment, which in most cases is bad debt because a car is a depreciating asset (meaning it goes down in value over time). While it might be nice to be driving a nice new car, it’s a much better financial decision to buy a used car with cash if you can.

Or think about if you really even need a car – it’s never been easier to get around using public transportation and ridesharing, which might end up being a lot cheaper than owning a car in the first place. Why saddle yourself with $500 a month to pay for the next 6-7 years, when you could buy a less expensive car and use that money to invest in stocks or real estate that can go up in value? In almost all cases car loan debt is bad debt.

Credit Card Debt

Credit card debt is arguably the worst form of debt because the interest percentage is so high. The average credit card interest rate is over 15%, meaning you pay the bank 15% every month you don’t pay your credit card balance in full. It’s easy to swipe your card for every single purchase, but credit cards are rarely used to pay for something that will have future financial returns. Even a small balance on your credit card can accumulate into a massive outstanding debt due to high-interest rates and late fees for missed payments. If you don’t pay your monthly bill in full, these interest payments can quickly drag you into debt and end up taking years to pay off.

Bad debt is avoidable by asking yourself if the purchase is a good investment. If the answer is no, then going into debt for this purchase is a bad decision. Consider if the debt can set you up for long-term financial security and help you build an asset. Now this doesn’t mean that credit cards are bad, you just need to use the debt responsibly by paying off your full credit card balance each month.

Final thoughts

Often whether or not debt is good debt or bad debt depends on how you use it. If you are smart with it, like getting a mortgage to purchase a home, you can buy an asset that could go up in value. On the other hand, if you take out a bunch of debt for something that goes down in value you could find yourself in a big hole. Always be very careful about borrowing money and using credit.

If you’re interested in learning more about one of the best kinds of debt – a mortgage — there are great resources available to you. With as little as 3% down, you could own a home and invest in real estate and in your future self. Learn how here.

The post Good Debt vs. Bad Debt appeared first on Millennial Money.

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of First Republic Bank. All opinions are 100% mine.

A few weeks ago, I was in the Las Vegas airport waiting to head back to Chicago, when I struck up a conversation with the guy named Steve sitting next to me. It didn’t take long for me to see that he was logged into his student loan portal looking at his upcoming payment. I made a comment about how student loans suck and he agreed, saying that he spends half of his monthly take-home pay on his student loan payment. After a few minutes of sharing my own story, Steve trusted me enough to tell me more about his student loans. As it turned out the interest rate on his private student loans was 9%. I knew he could do a lot better so about 15 minutes later he had refinanced his loans at a much lower rate saving him thousands of dollars per year in interest payments.

I’m always on the lookout for amazing student loan refinance rates and this month I discovered an exceptionally low rate offered by First Republic Bank. It’s one of the lowest rates in the country, and a 5-year term is currently as low as 1.95% APR1! I was so interested that I wanted to learn more. I had the opportunity to chat with James Herbert, their Head of Student Loan Refinancing. Below is that interview. Check it out.

What are the benefits, in your opinion, of student loan refinancing?

When you refinance your student loan debt with First Republic, you are taking out a personal loan at a potentially lower rate. The biggest benefit of doing this is saving money, which you can do by either lowering your current monthly payment, lowering your interest rate or both. It’s about getting out of debt sooner. Another benefit is you are often able to combine your existing loans into one provider.

What’s the student loan refinance process look like at First Republic?

It’s very easy. We want to blend the digital experience with a personal banking relationship. So anyone who is interested can come to our website, fill out a few simple questions, and get an estimate of their refinance rate. Then they will also get a follow-up call from a First Republic banker to make sure they are getting the best loan and terms that work for them.

What makes First Republic a good choice for student loan refinancing?

Our rates are really competitive and currently range from 1.95% APR to 3.95% APR.1 (Get your rate here.) So they are extremely attractive for refinancing and are among the lowest rates in the nation. We also offer great customer service since you work with a banker, not just an online experience. We also offer a full suite of financial solutions to help you achieve your life goals — from saving for retirement or a wedding to funding your children’s college education or investing. And as part of the refinance process you can get to know your banker and get personal support.

Is there any benefit for someone who wants to buy their first home to refinance with you while also looking for a mortgage?

Yeah, absolutely. We recently just launched a new program that offers exclusive rates for our clients who have refinanced their student loans with us and are looking to buy or refinance their first home with First Republic. If you refinance your student loans and then are interested, you can get paired with a homebuying expert to help you out. This is why we look to build holistic longer-term relationships with our clients.

When it comes to refinancing, when does it make sense and when doesn’t it make sense?

It’s a very personal decision based on your personal situation. Borrowers should know that when they refinance, the personal loan does not have the special benefits of student loans such as forbearance and income-based repayment. However, there are many financial benefits. Some people are looking to save money currently for a variety of reasons, including lowering their rates, shortening the loan term, or lowering their monthly payment to keep more cash in their pocket today. This is why an individual discussion can be so helpful, because we can help you make the best decision based on your personal goals.

If you are in the market to refinance definitely check out the rates at First Republic Bank, some of the lowest in the country. Get started today and learn more.

The True Impact of Refinancing Your Student Loans - YouTube

1 Annual Percentage Rate. Rates effective as of January 15, 2018, and are subject to change. This is not a student loan. For more information, go to firstrepublic.com/student-loan-refinancing.

2 Terms and conditions apply. All loans are subject to the First Republic Bank’s underwriting standards. The products mentioned above are not available in all markets. For a complete list of locations, visit firstrepublic.com/locations.

The post The Lowest Student Loan Refinance Rates in the Game? appeared first on Millennial Money.

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Millennial Money by Grant Sabatier - 2M ago

While it’s still a little cold in Chicago, it’s bound to get warmer sometime right? But the weather isn’t the only change that takes place in early Spring. As my fellow Chicagoans know (and maybe dread!), the majority of the city’s leases end in April and moving week madness begins. This year, instead of fighting with the crowds, try springing into homeownership and making those hectic move out dates a thing of the past.

To Rent or To Buy

The rent vs. buy debate has been carried on for generations and I’ve written about it extensively. While buying a home is not a decision that’s made lightly, the benefits of buying your own home often far outweigh the benefits of renting.

According to a recent survey conducted on behalf of Fannie Mae*, 42% of millennials believe the biggest benefit to homeownership is being able to make their living space their own without the restrictions of a rental. If you’ve ever rented a home before, you’re aware of the downside of living by a set of rules from your landlord. Whether it’s a no-pets-allowed policy or being forced to keep the 70s shag carpet, these rules detract from truly making a house your home. When you own a home, you have the freedom to create a space that suits you, and you can do whatever you want whenever you want! And hands down the best part is you can’t get kicked out when your landlord decides they want to double the rent (this happened to one of my friends recently even though he’d been a good tenant for the past 5 years!).

The same survey shows that 25% of millennials want to buy a home because they want to put money towards something they own and will someday sell. When you’re making monthly rent payments, you’re essentially investing in your landlord’s future instead of your own. You’re making your landlord rich instead of yourself! Mortgage payments are an investment in your own future. Owning a home is an investment because when you’re ready to eventually sell your house you’ll ideally make back the money you spent and then some! Not only are you spending money on something that could give you potential returns but you’re getting many additional perks, like the mortgage interest tax deduction, that you can’t get renting.

 

Mortgage Accessibility

If homeownership is so preferable to renting, then why don’t more millennials buy a home? Well according to the survey results, 54% of millennials who rent feel that they’re not financially stable enough to afford a home. Luckily, this is often a misconception. Mortgages have become increasingly accessible for people in all financial situations and are turning out to be a smart investment decision for many. One of the main reasons for not feeling financially stable is outstanding debt. In most circumstances the debt millennials are facing comes from student loans. Lenders have now created programs that offer mortgages specifically for potential homebuyers with student debt.

The other main road block for many is a mortgage down payment. Survey results also show that 83% of millennials believe the down payment on a mortgage is more than 3%. This is another misconception that should not stand in your way of buying a home. Lenders are now offering programs that require a down payment of as little as 3%. These programs also offer flexibility in where this down payment money comes from. Whether you’re paying rent or paying a mortgage, a monthly bill is inevitable. The upside is that owning your own home offers flexibility and freedom that renting does not.

 

Spring in Chicago

So the Cubs are back at Wrigley, music shows are almost back in Millennium Park, and you can almost taste that first hotdog of street festival season. The Chicago housing market is also still an incredible investment, with many neighborhoods selling at record prices and forecasted to increase in value over the next several years.

If you are currently renting, getting ready to renew your lease, or are ready to start hunting for a new one, it’s time for you to see if it makes better financial sense to buy instead of rent. Take a second to step back and learn about your lower down payment options here – you won’t regret it.

* Survey data in this blog post has been sourced from a November 2017 survey among 1,008 U.S. adults ages 18-36. This unpublished survey was conducted in the United States by ORC International on behalf of Fannie Mae.

The post Spring into Homeownership appeared first on Millennial Money.

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Over the past year I’ve been writing a book about fast-tracking financial freedom and this Tuesday I’m doing two free live 1 hour webinars where I’ll be sharing the entire blueprint for the first time. You can also check out my sweet new beard.

I’ve spent the past 8 years refining, testing, and using this blueprint to make money as efficiently as possible. I’ve also been teaching this to my private coaching clients and it’s helping them all make and save more money. One of my clients used this exact framework to scale his $200 a week side hustling into a $250,000 a year business and how he’s on track to reach financial independence in the next few years before turning 35.

Now I’m excited to release the blueprint to a larger group and help more people fast track FI. On the Fast Track Financial Freedom webinar, I’ll also be sharing the exact strategy I used to go from $2.26 to $1,250,000 and financially free in 5 years. Back when I started my own FI journey at the age of 24 I found a lot of good information on saving money and investing, no one was writing about how to make more money to accelerate financial independence. I didn’t want to reach FI in 20 or 30 years, I wanted to do it as quickly as possible. That’s what we are going to cover in the webinar. I’ll be talking about the following topics and more:

I’ve never done a live webinar on Millennial Money so I’m excited to share and chat with you one on one. I’m so stoked so many people have already signed up. It’s going to be at least an hour of content with a live Q&A session so you can ask me anything you want about entrepreneurship, side hustling, investing, saving money, financial freedom, or anything else about money. I am also going to hang around the Q&A as long as I can, so if you’ve ever had a question for me here’s your chance.

I wanted to make sure you didn’t miss the opportunity to attend this live event. I don’t know when I’ll do another.

Register Free Here.

See you soon.

The post Free Webinar: Fast Track Financial Freedom appeared first on Millennial Money.

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Anyone can go out and make a few hundred extra bucks a week on the side. You make extra money doing anything – mow lawns, walk dogs, shovel snow, babysit, code online, tutor, make deliveries, chauffer people, flip on eBay, sell a product on Amazon, participate in focus groups, or an infinite number of things.

But not all side hustles are created equal, and some can make you a lot more money than others. The best and worst thing about side hustling is you can literally make money doing anything.

A 12-year-old named Sam from Wisconsin reached out to me because he’s doing his 7th grade project on “How to make money side hustling” and wanted to profile someone who has had success side hustling. Sam’s got the right mindset – I wish I was asking these questions. Sam had recently found an article about me and how I made over $1 million side hustles, and reached out to interview me for his class project. While many journalists have shared my story, I gotta admit this request from Sam is definitely my favorite interview request I’ve received so far this year. Sam asked me a really practical question, “How can I actually launch a side hustle that will make me a lot of money?”

During our chat, he told he wanted to quit 7th grade and launch a business, which of course I advised against, but couldn’t help but laugh. I told him starting at 12 with what I was teaching him could set him up for life and to keep at it. We ended up chatting on Skype for over 45 minutes as I gave Sam a masterclass in making money – a class that he’d never take and will never take in school.

FYI, I am going to be hosting a Free 1 Hour Live Webinar This Week on Fast Tracking Financial Freedom where I’ll walk through the exact blueprint I used to reach financial independence at the age of 30. I’ll be covering a ton of topics including side hustling. I’ll also be doing a live Q&A so you can ask me any question you want about making more money.

It’s Never Been Easier in History To Make More Money

Back in the day you’d go to school, get a job, work at it for 30-40 years and the peace out into retirement if you made it that far. Your company took care of your with a lifetime pension (free money for the rest of your life!), but now we are left to fend for ourselves. Thankfully it’s never been easier in history to make more money. Either online or offline, it’s never been easier to get a raise, build a business, and the making money in your sleep investing.

Today there are now more tools, strategies, and blueprints for making money. You can learn skills insanely quickly on YouTube in less than a week, you can replicate someone else’s blueprint and map it to your own business, and you can join a community of other people who are working together to make money and build wealth. We are living in an awesome time to make money and I love teaching this stuff. I get so excited to see and help so many people make money faster than they ever thought possible. Below is what I told Sam and it’s a great starting point and blueprint for you to dive into making more money.

Don’t forget to sign up for the Free 1 Hour Live Webinar This Week on Fast Tracking Financial Freedom where I’ll be diving deeper into side hustling and other topics.

9 Steps to Start A Million Dollar Side Hustle

While there are many variables that impact how much money you make, here are the variables that I think matter most. They are what helped me save $1 million in five years and reach financial independence at the age of 30. Now I’m not saying it’s easy to make a lot more money, but it’s definitely getting easier. First, you need to shift your mindset.

1. Shift to a net-worth mindset and side hustle to invest, not spend

If you are going to side hustle, it’s not about how much money you make, it’s about how much money you keep and invest. You want $1 you make side hustling to be worth $5, $10, or $20 in the future. This is how you amplify your time. I see way too many people side hustle just to make a few extra hundred bucks a week to spend, but this significantly limits the potential of your side hustling.

While your income, your savings rate, your investment returns, your debt to income ratio, and all those other numbers are important when optimizing your money, the single most important metric that you should be tracking is your net-worth. Your net-worth measures how much money you are worth by subtracting your liabilities (debt/what you owe) from your assets (what you own that has value, your cash, and investments). It doesn’t matter how much money you make if you spend it all.

Start Tracking Your Net Worth For Free (ASAP)

2. Side hustle for yourself, not someone else (actually be your own boss)

If you are side hustling for someone else, the money you can make will always be limited by the number of hours you have in the day. It’s really tough to get off your 9 to 5 job and hop in a Lyft to drive all night. Sure, people do it and it’s definitely a popular side hustle. While you might think you are working for yourself, you are actually working for Lyft. Sure, it gives you flexibility and freedom, but no matter how much you drive for Lyft or deliver for Postmates, you’ll always be limited to your own hours. You can’t scale Lyft driving because it’s limited to your own time.

So you need to think about side hustles that you can do and build a business. This doesn’t mean you have to hire your own employers, but you can probably make more money if you do. Profitable side hustling is all about the money/time tradeoff, so you will make a lot more money if you’re the person at the top. This is just one of the many reasons blogging is a great side hustle. To learn how to make money blogging check out my Free 7 Day Blogging Side Hustle Course.

3. Figure out how much time you can actually dedicate to side hustling

If you want to make money side hustling you’re going to have to put in the time. Before picking a side hustle, you need to evaluate how much time you are really willing to commit to it because how much time you have will determine the types of side hustles you can launch.

Some side hustles will take a lot more time to get off the ground than others – for example, if you have an amazing idea for a new mobile app, but you don’t know how to code, it’s going to take a lot of time to get that idea off the ground. But mowing lawns in the evenings or on the weekends doesn’t require anything more than the ability to mowing lawns.

This doesn’t mean that if you’re busy you can’t find time to side hustle, it just means that you should calibrate the difficulty of your side hustle based on the amount of time you have. I know many families who work side hustle at night after their kids go to bed and some who even bring their kids along on the weekend. They are able to do it, because they schedule their time well and they just really want it.

I had the opportunity to work personally with two Millennial Money readers, Rob and Melissa who have three kids and run their own side business flipping items they find at thrift stores and auctions. They also have a website called Flea Market Flipper where they teach others how to make money on the side flipping.

Since they have 3 little kids, time is incredibly limited, but they always spend a few hours each night working on their business after the kids go to sleep – since they are working on it together they still get to spend time together and make money. They also strategically divide up the tasks based on their own unique skill sets – Melissa handles the website, content writing, and technical side of the business, while Rob handles the selling and client engagement.

So sit down think about how much time per week do you reasonably have to launch a side hustle. Do you have time in the morning before work, maybe while you are commuting? What about after work or on the weekends?

Remember, side hustling is also about the time/money tradeoff, so it’s up to you to decide how much time you are willing to trade today to make more money to invest in the future.

4. Think about the profit potential before you start (most money for the least amount of time)

If you want to make as much money as possible side hustling then you need to think about how much money you can make with a potential side hustle before you start it. While you can make money doing an infinite number of things, you can only make so much by trading your own time, even if you are your own boss. Thinking about the scalable potential of a side hustle before starting will help you make as much money as you want from your side hustle. Here are a few examples.

While you can make money doing pretty much anything, it’s a lot easier to make money doing something you love or at least like – not only are you more likely to stick with it, but it also won’t feel like work. Sure, you can just have hobbies and do things for fun, but why not make money doing it? Think about what you really love to do and how profitable it can. Seriously, while you can make money doing almost anything, you can really make a  lot of money if you can find something that you love doing and has profit potential!

5. Do you have the skills and resources to make it happen?

Before launching into a side hustle, just you need to be realistic about the amount of time you have to dedicate to it, you also need to be realistic about whether or not you currently have the skills required to make money doing it. Or if you don’t have the skills how long it will take to develop the new skills AND resources required to make it happen and how realistic it is that you will take the time to actually do it.

For example, back to the mobile app idea – everyone these days has an idea for a new mobile app, but if you don’t have any experience coding, then it’s going to take you a lot more time to get it off the ground. Sure, you can learn how to code as part of your side hustle, but realize that it’s going to take you a lot more time to launch and a long time until you start making money. I recommend that you pick a side hustle idea that you can execute on quickly and that requires a manageable amount of resources. You definitely don’t want to sink a bunch of money or money you can’t afford into a side hustle idea.

6. What is the market demand and competition for your idea?

Analyzing and understanding market demand is the first place you should start before launching any business – because if people don’t want what you have to sell or too many other people are selling it, then you won’t make any money. There are essentially three ways to compete – based on price, value, or both. So you can either be cheaper than your competitor, offer more value for the same price, or be cheaper and offer more value.

The higher the market demand for your service or product, the more money you can charge and the more money you can make. Market demand is determined by supply and demand, or the number of people who want to buy something (customers) and the number of people selling it (competitors). If you really want to make as much money as possible side hustling then you need to research the market demand for your service or product idea. While you don’t have to spend a ton of time doing market demand research, the more you know about the market the easier it will be for you to develop and sell your product or service.

Three easy ways to analyze the market demand for a service or product is to ask your potential customers what they want through in-person discussions or online surveys and analyze Google search volume data using Google Keyword Planner.

If there is no one else offering what you want to offer, then the reason is that no one is willing to buy it, or you’ve stumbled on an insanely good side hustle idea and might have an early mover advantage. No matter what your side hustle idea is, the more you know about your competitors the easier it will be for you to market and sell your own services.

7. Get your first customer

So now you’ve got a great side hustle idea, how do you actually get clients? While this depends on the type of product or service you are selling, generally the easiest way is to sell into the same community (online or offline) you surveyed to analyze market demand. If people already know you, they are much more likely to buy from you and are the best place to start.

Focus on selling your first client or first product. Don’t stress or worry about selling to a lot of people at first. While you might launch the best product or service ever and you might have more sales than you can handle, it’s more likely it will be tough to sell your first few clients or product. This is normal and actually to your advantage since you will want to grow your side hustle at a pace you can handle. One of the worst thing for a young business is to oversell and not be able to handle demand.

While it can be tough to sell your first client or first product, if you do it correctly your first customers will be the most valuable customers you ever have. Here’s why. Selling slowly at first will help you do two essential things that can significantly increase the potential of your business having success.

First, you should always over deliver for your first clients – give them as much value as possible, go above and beyond to make them happy, even if it takes a ton of extra time because you will want/need your first client or purchasers to be your references. Having a great reference will make selling your second client or product so much easier.

8. Test, Test, Test & Execute, Execute, Execute

While I recommend you start with one side hustle at first so you don’t spread yourself too thin, because you are your own boss, you can test out a lot of different side hustles to find one you really love and/or that makes you the most money. That’s the beauty of side hustling – you aren’t stuck with an idea. It might take you a few before you find your most profitable idea. It wasn’t until I tested five other ideas before I found my first profitable side hustle – doing search engine optimization (SEO) for companies.

One thing to keep in mind as you explore new ways to make money – ideas are a dime a dozen. Good ideas are everywhere. I had the idea for Uber a full 4 years before the company launched, but why didn’t I become a billionaire? Because ideas don’t mean anything if you can’t execute on them. Seriously, making money is all about execution. So as you brainstorm side hustle ideas while walking through this chapter, think hard about what you can execute with your skills and time.

9. Figure out when it’s time to scale

If you want to make millions of dollars from an idea that started as a side hustle, then you should scale it by hiring other people to do some (if not most) of the work. The more you can distribute the work, the less you can work, and the faster you can grow your business.

You should consider scaling your side hustle if you have been able to consistently sell your service or product and have been making a profit for the past 6 months, or if the demand for your services or products have exploded quickly. If the demand for your services or product is higher than you can meet on your own, or if the demand is consistent and you don’t want to do the work, then you should consider hiring other people to do the work.

By hiring employees, you can focus on selling (connecting your supply with the demand) and running the business. And when I mean employees here it doesn’t mean you have to hire full-time employees, they could be part-time or contract employees. It’s better to start small, since the last thing you want is to hire too many people and not be able to make enough money to pay them. Once again this is why it’s so important for the demand for your side hustle to be consistent.

The better your team is at doing the work the more efficient they get, so you eventually charge your clients or customers more money, but your team is more efficient, so the time it takes to do the work goes down, resulting in an increased profit margin for you – which means more money. Over time if you manage the business well, you can make an absolutely insane amount of money.

Next Steps

1.Sign up for the Free 1 Hour Fast Track Financial Freedom Webinar to learn more about side hustling and making more money.

2. Start tracking your net-worth for Free

3. Sign up for the Free 7 Day Blogging Side Hustle Course

4. Sign up for alerts on when my upcoming book All The Money You’ll Ever Need: A Proven Plan to Fast Track Financial Freedom here.

The post 9 Steps To A Million Dollar Side Hustle appeared first on Millennial Money.

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It’s one of those perfect spring May days when the sun warms your face, but it’s cool and easy to breathe. I was walking the half a mile from my house to my office and I’d had just the right amount of coffee that it felt more like I was floating instead of walking. I’d done this walk over 2,000 times since moving downtown and didn’t expect today to be much different.

However, once I reached the financial district in Chicago a man walking about 15 feet in front of me stopped gasping for air, and by the time I got closer he’d put one knee down on the sidewalk and then collapsed on his side. Time slowed for the next 30 seconds, as I froze and watched two people stop to ask if he was okay, then one pull out her phone and call 911. I walked over to help but was just in the way – by now people were gathering around. I stood and watched unable to help as an ambulance and fire truck showed up and a medic brought out a defibrillator working hard to save the mans life. I was running late, so I prayed and walked on.

Later that day and the next I looked online for information on what happened to him, but there was no mention. In fact, there was no mention of anyone who had died that year in the financial district in Chicago. I later learned from a convenience store clerk that the man who had died was 51 years old and had spent the past 27 years working for the same bank. He’d walked the same sidewalks I had over 13,000 times to and from his office.

It’s clearly something people don’t write about – these businessmen and businesswomen who drop dead on their way to and from work. But I had seen in real life and it haunted me. I started feeling a little bit emptier each day as I walked to my office. Once I stopped looking at the sidewalk and the street and the big buildings and started looking at people’s faces I could sometimes feel their emptiness too.

I’d never noticed it before because I never looked. Of course, some people looked really happy and had that extra pep in their step, but most people looked tired, sad, and sometimes vacant. I could not only tell they were suffering, I could feel it. So why were they doing this? Why did they get up and repeat the same patterns every day…why did I do it? Because we needed the money.

Just Getting By

Most of us work because we need the money and while there are some people who really love their jobs and work doesn’t feel like “work”, survey after survey reveals that most people don’t enjoy their work. A recent survey showed that 70% of all American workers are just getting by at work.

It’s also no secret that money is the number two reason couple’s get divorced and believed to be a top ten reason people commit suicide. So many of us get up and go to work and go through the motions because that’s all we believe is possible. That we are stuck at our jobs and in the daily grind. As my good friend Vicki Robin says in her transcendent book Your Money or Your Life, “instead of making a living we are making a dying.”

While didn’t realize it at the time, looking back it’s easy for me to pinpoint that spring May day was a turning point for me. I had just turned 30 a few months before and I was starting to feel the weight of the past 6 years. I’d been working 17 hour days, including most Saturdays and Sundays since I started my financial independence journey at the age of 24. I was tired, like really tired all the time. Every few months my body would completely crash and I’d be on the couch for a week feeling out of it and sick. I’d been running myself into the ground being in constant hustle mode for years.

A month after watching a 51 year old man die while walking to work I logged into Personal Capital (yes, I really have been using Personal Capital for over 4 years nows) and saw that my investments in my net-worth had hit $1,251,000 and that I was officially financially independent. That if I managed my money well I could likely live off it for the rest of my life without having to work again. I wish I could say that I jumped for joy and went out to a really nice dinner, but I didn’t. I was more in shock that I’d actually made it, but I too tired to celebrate that day or for the next few months. It felt like I’d just finished 100 marathons and it felt like a blur.

I launched Millennial Money exactly 3 years ago as a way to write about and reflect on how I’d gone from $2.26 in my bank account to millionaire in just a little over 5 years. While building the blog was slow going at first, I really fell in love with writing. After the first six months, I started getting emails from readers, but it was this message below that the reader could have never imagined would also change my life.

“Grant, I’m a huge fan of the blog and you’ve inspired me to get serious about making money so I can take care of my parents who have always struggled financially and are getting older. Just this past week I got a new job making $9,000 more than my previous job using your negotiation tactics and I made my first $200 with my side hustle this month. I know it’s not much, but I’ve proved it to myself that I can do it. I wouldn’t be here without you. You’ve changed my life. Thank you for all that you do.” – Brian from San Antonio

I realized at that exact moment this was my mission in life. My true purpose. Everything I had done had led me here for a reason. I felt oddly serene and at peace. This one email meant more to me than any dollar I’d ever made. While I love making money, it compared nothing to this feeling. This was it. I doubled down and started writing and connecting more. Over the following years, the emails like this multiplied and I now have a GMAIL folder titled “Purpose” that has thousands of messages just like Brians, some of them really long and heartfelt. They fill me with a joy that’s indescribable – the closest I can get is that it feels warm and whole.

Over the following year, I put more and more time into Millennial Money and doors started opening so many places. In 2017 alone I did over 200 media interviews, signed a 6 figure book deal, did many speaking engagements, and wrote over 150,000 words about money. Writing the book has also helped me reflect back on my own FI journey and realize now how many mistakes and sacrifices I made that I really didn’t need to make.

It also helped me to build a blueprint anyone can follow to fast track financial freedom that I can’t wait to share with the world. Now that the book is done I’m doing a Free Live Webinar on Fast Tracking Financial Freedom to share the blueprint.

The Burn Out

The previous 8 years have taken a huge toll on me. I’d gained over 60 pounds eating at my desk, not exercising as much as I should, eating crap, and dealing with immense amounts of stress. I had high blood pressure and was pre-diabetic. My Doctor was super worried, I could even see it in his eyes. He was more scared about me that I was about myself. He suggested that I take as long as a break as I could.  He encouraged me to heal myself in any way that I could. But I had a book to write and media interviews and a blog to grow… How could I even begin to take time off?

I was utterly burnt out. While I had been burnt out before (remember I used to crash every few months for an entire week!), it was nothing compared to this. In September last year, I was so tired and sick I couldn’t get out of bed. I was tired all the time, but still couldn’t really sleep. My mind was blurry. I couldn’t even focus on small things like making a meal or watching TV. I was completely exhausted.

I realized that I was doing too much and that in one area of my life I was growing and fulfilled, and the other was causing me stress and anxiety. What I really needed a corporate detox. So in October of last year, I walked away to focus on my health and try to finish the book. The post I wrote, “A Confession & The Future” blew up and so many of you reached out to me offering support and encouraging words. I can’t even begin to tell you how much all of your messages and words meant to me. It filled me with so much love that you read and support me on my journey and in my mission.

11 Steps To Recover From Burn Out

It’s been 6 months since I walked away the corporate world to dedicate myself to healing and finishing my book All The Money You’ll Ever Need: A Proven Plan to Fast Track Financial Freedom. I feel so grateful to have had the freedom to recover.

The results have been incredible and I’ve never been happier. I’ve lost almost 30 pounds and I’m managing my stress. I’m sleeping better and feel more present. While I am definitely a work in progress, I’m getting better at cultivating balance in my life. While I’ve tested A LOT of things as I’ve tried to recover from my extreme burnout below are the 10 things that have helped me the most. I hope if you are trying to avoid or recover from burn out they will help you too. Keep in mind that I’m not a trained medical professional so consult your doctor if you have any questions.

1. Complete shut down and rest immediately. One big mistake I used to make was trying to “take it easy” when I started to burn out, but I kept working and inevitably ended up pushing myself too hard. When you start to feel like you are burning out immediately shut down and do as little as possible. Sleep whenever you feel tired. Say no to as much as you can. If you have travel plans cancel them. I slept for almost 2 weeks straight and did as little as possible to kick start my recovery plan.

2. Practice walking meditation in the morning. While I’ve enjoyed sitting meditation on and off for years (more off than on), walking meditation is extremely helpful in recovering from burnout. I usually practice walking meditation for an hour every morning. It’s simple to do – simply go out for a walk and focus on your breathing taking one step in front of the other. While it’s tough to slow down at first, keep at it.

Within a week you will be walking more rhythmically and you’ll start to notice things you never noticed before.  I’m currently into watching the birds coming out for Spring, which is something I would never have seen before. You might be thinking, isn’t this just a walk? Yes, but it’s also meditation. You will learn how to control your breathing and it will calm your mind and body in ways you’ve never experienced before. It’s legit. To learn more about walking meditation and other great tips for relaxing check out Thich’s Nhat Hanh’s transcendent books Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life and The Art of Living: Peace and Freedom in the Here and Now. Both of those books are totally worth reading when you are burned out!

3. Drink a green juice daily or at least once every few days. Greens are super calming to your nervous system so the more you eat not only the more nourishment you are getting but they are chilling you out too. When you’ve been stressed out for a long time your body sucks up all of your nutrients and you are likely nutrient deficient in some way. Drink the green juices that have low sugar and no added sugar in them. I’m not talking about those fruit smoothies that are green, I’m talking about the juices that are made up of Kale, Spinach, Parsley, Wheatgrass, Romaine etc. The good stuff. If you want to make it at home my favorite green juice: 3 big handfuls of spinach, 3 leaves of kale, 1 apple, 1 lemon, 1 cucumber, and some mint. Add water as needed. Or you can also make it as a smoothie and add in 1 banana and some water an whatever type of nut or regular milk you use. And if you are looking for a to-go option, this is the best green juice powder I’ve found and now travel with (tastes terrible, but makes you feel amazing): Amazing Grass Green Superfood Organic Powder.

4. Drink lemon water in the morning and then drink a lot of water throughout the day. I started drinking 16 oz of organic lemon water right when I wake up every morning and it’s been really effective at hydrating me for the day. When you sleep your body has spent the past 8 hours using up your water and most of us wake up dehydrated. Study after study has shown that lemon water naturally detoxifies your liver and does a bunch of other amazing things. All you need to do is buy an organic lemon and squeeze half of the lemon into water and drink it up! After your morning lemon water, keep drinking water throughout the day. I only drink water, coffee (unfortunately dehydrating), herbal tea, green juice, and green tea. Buy a metal or plastic water bottle and keep it full and next to you at all ties. Most people are dehydrated and long-term dehydration can wreak havoc on your body.

5. Eat mostly vegetables and high-quality fats. When you’re burned out your body needs to rebuild so you need sleep, hydration, and high-quality nutrition. The best diet I found and one that’s worked really well for me is a diet focused mostly on vegetables and a small amount of high-quality fats. I eat a lot of broccoli, spinach, and cauliflower, and high-quality fats like wild salmon, avocados, and 100% grass-fed beef. Both of these food books were helpful to me Eat Fat, Get Thin: Why the Fat We Eat Is the Key to Sustained Weight Loss and Vibrant Health and Bulletproof: The Cookbook: Lose Up to a Pound a Day, Increase Your Energy, and End Food Cravings for Good.

6. Supplement with B Vitamins and Vitamin C. While there are many nutritional supplements that could be helpful in recovering from burn out, the two that helped me the most were a collection of B vitamins and Vitamin C, both of which your body uses up when you are really stressed out.

7. Give up alcohol for as long as possible. As more and more research shows, alcohol isn’t good for you and I learned quickly that it only makes burn out worse, as your liver and body have to work hard to remove the alcohol in addition to any craziness that you should be detoxing from. So give up alcohol until you feel fully recovered or for as long as you can or even forever.

8. Exercise but don’t overdo it. As you know exercising is good for you, but if you are burned out it can do more harm than good if you push too hard. Be gentle on your body until you feel recovered – don’t try to just sweat it all out or you will further compromise an already compromised immune system. This is one of the reasons I do walking meditation, take an easy bike ride, or do gentle yoga when I need to recover.

9. When you do go don’t go too hard too quickly. This was was a big mistake. When you do work, focus on short bursts of no more than 2 hours then take a 15-30 minute walking or sitting meditation break. This was really hard for me since I used to be a manic worker who always went super hard. But I made myself do it and it’s had a huge impact on my life and has made me more productive and mindful. Just try it out for a week the next time you work.

10. Set a defined quitting time and stick with it. Whether it’s 5 pm or 8 pm, set a time and then don’t do any strenuous mental or physical work after that time. Instead, make dinner, go for a walk, hang with your kids, cook dinner, play music, or anything else that isn’t “work”. This is really really hard for many entrepreneurs to do, myself included. It’s so easy to work all the time, especially if you are building your own business. So many of you are under an increasing amount of stress and pressure to perform, but not setting a quitting time is the easiest way to burn out.

11. Give it time. Researchers haven’t really figured out what stress actually does to the body and if you are really stressed or burned out it’s going to take time. And you might feel worse before you start feeling better. Everyone’s body responds differently to stress and recovers differently from stress. Use these tips as building blocks. Another great book to check out that has amazing tips that support wellness and is also definitely worth a read: How to Be Well: The 6 Keys to a Happy and Healthy Life.

What’s Next

Now that that the book is done and I feel like I’ve completely recovered from my corporate detox I am transitioning into the next phase of the Millennial Money mission, which is to teach fast tracking financial freedom without burning out! While the book won’t be available for pre-sale until this fall, I can’t wait that long to share the blueprint that I know will help a lot of people so I’m doing a Free Live Webinar on Fast Tracking Financial Freedom to share this blueprint with you.

The post How To Recover From Burnout (& Life Update) appeared first on Millennial Money.

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I get asked all the time ‘what are a few things I can do today to improve my finances?’.

Keeping tabs on your money is obviously important. But why can it be so hard to stay on top of it day after day? The short answer: there is SO much to keep track of. Budgets, payment dates, paying off debt, improving your credit score, refinancing, tracking your investments, and planning for retirement….just to name a few. It’s enough to make your head spin.

But here are 11 of the easiest steps you can take to start saving and making more money.


11 Easy Money Moves To Make Today 1. Track Your Money Like Millionaires Do


One of the toughest parts of managing your finances is staying on top of every aspect of your wealth.

Investment performance, cash flows, budgets, early retirement trajectory…..it’s a lot.

Luckily, Personal Capital makes it easier to master your money. It’s hands down the best Free Money app in the game. It has over 50 amazing features that allow you to keep track of your accounts, your spending, and your retirement progress. Here are a few of my favorite:

* Track your net-worth (the most important number in personal finance)

*Monitor your spending

*Analyze your investment portfolio

*Track your savings goals

*Plan for retirement

By linking your accounts with Personal Capital, you can use the next-level dashboard to keep a birds-eye view on your financial life.

It’s literally my favorite app ever. I’ve been using it for over 4 years and it’s completely FREE.

Get to know your money, today. Sign Up Free here.

2. Sign up for a Better Travel Credit Card (and travel for free)

Do you travel a lot or want to travel for free? Then you need to check out some of the amazing sign up bonus for the Best Travel Credit Cards. Some cards give you up to 100,000 bonus miles or points for signing up! Depending on the airline you fly that can easily buy you a FIRST CLASS ROUND TRIP TICKET anywhere in the world.

If you do use credit cards and have decent credit then you should definitely check out the Best Travel Credit Cards to see if you can get a better credit card with better bonuses. I always sign up for at least 2 or 3 new travel credit cards every year to maximize the miles I can earn. I am always looking for a card with better bonuses and miles. Definitely, check out the Best Travel Credit Cards.

3. Only Pay for Car Insurance When You Drive (this is Legit!)

If you have a car, then car insurance is something you HAVE to pay for. There’s no way around it. Bummer. But…

…what if there is a way to ONLY pay for the miles you drive?

Metromile is making that happen with their pay-per-mile insurance model.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Get a Free Quote with Metromile
  2. Plug the Metromile ‘Pulse’ device into your car, which tracks your mileage
  3. Pay a small base rate, plus the going rate of the mileage you drive that month

It’s that simple.

If you only drive 100 miles in a month, then you ONLY PAY for driving 100 miles a month.

Isn’t it nice when we only pay for the things we actually use? I save over $600 per year using Metromile.

Get a Free Metromile Quote (in 2 minutes!).

4. Optimize Your 401(k) and Stop Leaving Money on the Table


Got a 401(k)? Sweeeeet! You may be able to make it perform even better. Most people are leaving money on the table.

Knowing if your retirement account is crushing it can be difficult. All sorts of allocations, indexes and long-term planning to understand.

Fortunately, you can rely on the easiest tool out there: Blooom to analyze and optimize your 401(k) for you. And you can try it out for Free.

Blooom starts by giving your 401(k) an in-depth assessment, helping you understand your account better along the way. Find any hidden fees, see if you have the right balance of stocks and bonds, and get a better long-term outlook at your retirement planning.

If it’s right for you, the service is just $10/month for Blooom to continually monitor your retirement account. The ROI on the $10 a month is insane.

Let it know when you want to retire, and Blooom can help you get there.

Sign Up For A Free 30 Day Blooom Trial Using This Link

5. Refinance Your Student Loans and Pay Up To $18,000 Less


The average college student has over $30,000 in student loans after graduation. And most people are paying WAY TOO MUCH MONEY on their student loans. 

Don’t leave money on the table. The average student loan refinancer saves over $18,000 over the life of their loan. That’s a ton of money!

Fortunately, you can easily refinance those student loans as you build your credit and improve your finances in the first years of career.

Credible or LendKey both make refinancing easy and affordable. Some qualified borrowers can reduce their interest rate to below 5%. One Millennial Money reader even got a rate below 3%. Don’t leave money on the table!

Refinancing debt can give you more financial flexibility, and potentially pay less in interest.

Credible can even hook you up with a $50 bonus if you’re refinancing application is approved!

Also check out LendKey to compare your rates.

6. Get the Best Deal on Life Insurance to Protect the Ones You Love


Knowing what type of insurance to get is tough. I’ll admit it.

Especially for young professionals in their 20s and 30s. You don’t always need the type of insurance being thrown at you by salesmen.

It can still be a great idea to have a basic life insurance policy if your family relies on your income or if you just had a kid. It can be your significant other, child, or relative you help care for.

PolicyGenius gives you an easy way to compare and buy life insurance online. I signed up for Life Insurance in less than 5 minutes.

Simply visit PolicyGenius, apply, and get instant freequotes from a range of the top life insurance providers.

Get a Free Life Insurance Quote 7. Earn Cash for Browsing Online While Watching Netflix

Spend much time online? Like earning passive income?

Swagbucks gives users an awesome way to earn gift cards and rewards while doing easy things like answering surveys, watching movie trailers, and shopping online.

In the end, you get coupons and gift cards that keep cash in your wallet

They give out over 7,000 gift cards per day!

Signup with Swagbucks today

8. Make More Money from Your Home (and maybe even live for free!) 

Renting out a room (or house) through AirBnB is one of the fastest and easiest ways to make more money.

Depending on your space, you could make anywhere between a few hundred bucks to a few thousand in extra cash each month with regular occupancy.

Signing-up takes no time at all and gives you the power to rent out your space whenever you want.

Do you own multiple properties? There’s even the potential to build a six-figure AirBnb rental business.

Sign Up Now to start crushing it with Airbnb.

9. Invest with a Robo-Advisor to Maximize Your Investing Returns

Betterment is an easy to use platform that helps users start investing with as little as $10.

It works by asking you a series of questions about your age, income, risk tolerance, and financial goals. They help you minimize your tax burden and give you the option of consulting with a person any time you need a more personal touch.

Betterment keeps tabs on performance by letting you know when you are ‘on-track’ or ‘off-track’ to meet your goals. It also tells you how much to save in order to meet your goals.

Give Betterment a try today

10. Start a Blog Online Side Hustle and Make $2,000+ a Month

Fact: it has never been easier to make money online.

Fact: I’ve made over $1 million with this blog! Yup!

Already have a blog? Great!

Don’t already have a blog? Get started building your own personal platform. It’s the best way to build your brand and share your ideas with the world.

Step 1: Set up a blog in less than 10 minutes with BlueHost for as little as $2.95 a month using this link.

Step 2: Sign up for my Free 7 Day “How To Build A Profitable Blog Quickly” Email Course, where over the next 7 days I’ll walk you through the exact steps to launch your own blog and set it up to start making money. BOOM!

11. Invest in Real Estate…Easily

Want to invest in real-estate without putting down a huge down payment or becoming a landlord?

Believe it or not, there’s a way.

With Fundrise, you can get started investing in real-estate with a minimum investment of just $500. Then Fundrise takes care of all the work for you.

The best part? You get to know EXACTLY what properties are included in your portfolio.

Earn money through quarterly dividend payments and potential appreciation in the value of your shares, just like a stock.

Keep in mind, there is risk involved with investing. Even though Fundrise has paid distributions every quarter since Q2 2016.

Interested? Get started with Fundrise here.

What are some other easy ways to save and make more money?

The post 11 Easy Money Moves To Make Today appeared first on Millennial Money.

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