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In today’s episode, Cody and Justin bring you one of their favorite episodes to date. Paula Pant is always conducting great interviews herself but today she’s the one answering questions. She walks us through her amazing story of only three traditional years of employment, traveling the world, and the steps she took to secure her financial independence.
There is something for everyone in this episode. You’ve got philosophy, entrepreneurship, freelancing, and even some great real-estate tips. This discussion also gets into focusing also on increasing income and not just being consumed by minimizing expenses. Paula calls this “The gap” or the delta between your earnings and expenses. Go check out the episode for yourself and let us know what you took away from the show.
- Grew up in a normal middle-class family where they weren’t rich but didn’t have to worry about money
- Paula had a desire to study abroad in college but the prices were too high
- She decided instead to work for a few years to save money and then travel
- Graduated college in 2005 and started at a newspaper making $25k per year
- She worked there 3 years topping out at $31k per year
- On the side, she was freelancing and earned an additional $25k on the side in a travel fund
- Quit her job and left her lease in 2008
- She backpacked around Egypt, Cambodia, and other countries on a budget of $1k per month
- When she returned from her trip she decided to go full-time freelancing
- After 18 months, her freelancing was making over $100k per year
- She began taking her excess income and investing in real estate
- The rental properties are now netting over $40k
- She talks about how achieving in life drives her to continue to work consistently vs just doing the gig economy and bouncing around
- We discuss how important it is to find a job you love to do because any skill can be spun into a high paying job
- She talks about the pressures of growing up in a Nepalese culture and how you’re expected to either be a doctor or an engineer in order to escape
- We discuss how so much of the FIRE movement revolves around spending what seems like extremely frugal lifestyles when in reality it’s just normal life for so many people in America and across the world
- She also discusses how more of the focus should be on the income side of the equation vs the spending part of the equation
- This led us to the discussion of “The Gap” or the difference between earning and spending not necessarily just one side of the equation
- The conversation then swaps over to an overview of Paula’s real estate investing
- It’s clear that Paula has a passion to read and to learn and talks about how the internet has now democratized learning
- She gets into what she looks for in a house from both the location and physical attributes of the home and how she’s purchasing houses from a distance
- In 2019 she will be launching her own real estate course
- She talks about how financial independence gives her time to be with others and volunteer
- She continues to travel and was actually out of the country when the Suze Orman interview went viral
- We discuss her hitting $1M net worth around 30 and the changes she would make if she had to do it over again
- What do you want? Paula describes how no matter what your passion is, it can be profitable enough to become wealthy and find financial independence. Her work at a newspaper was low paying but she took that same skill and passion and became her own boss and increased her salary by 500%.
- The gap. We loved this explanation. Instead of debating whether you should increase your income or decrease your spending, just focus on the gap between the two. Both are very important so don’t let either of them become the center of attention. Just focus on the gap.
- What FI can bring. The examples Paula gave with what she is doing with her flexible time were so important to think about when you’re going after these goals. It’s so much more than sippin’ margs on the beach. She has the opportunity to be there for her friend and she becomes a new mother and she has time to volunteer to things that are important to her. Imagine how much more rewarding life can be when you’re in control.
Call to Action
Increase your income! Whether it’s picking up a side hustle or figuring out a way to maximize your main hustle, there is some way for you to increase your income in 2019.
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Links from the Episode
Contact Paula Pant:
Learn More About Your Hosts:
Fly to FI (Cody’s Blog)
Saving-Sherpa (Justin’s blog)