Finding Your Perfect Work-Life Balance | Lauren & Steven from Trip of a Lifestyle

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In today’s episode, you’ll hear from Lauren and Steven who write over at Trip of a Lifestyle.

This awesome couple took a six-month honeymoon to Hawaii and that changed everything.

They got a taste of traveling on a budget and earning along the way.

We can’t wait to showcase how they took control of their work-life balance and living life to the fullest.

Listen, learn, and let us know what you think.

Episode Summary

Discovering Financial Independence

  • Lauren started paying attention to income in college
  • She worked her way through college with scholarships and jobs
  • Then when her and Steven moved together to California they started talking to advisors
  • Steven’s started getting interested in investing after he started working
  • They ended up getting sold some really bad investments from a bank investor
  • Although it was a bad situation it was a big learning moment
  • They actually came up with this idea of having investments covering your expenses before formally discovering FI
  • It was also really helpful that they started early before they had faced lifestyle inflation
  • The big change for them after finding FI/RE was just saving with more of a purpose
  • They end up moving back to Florida to take advantage of a free master’s program for Steven
  • This program was based on a requirement that Steven would teach for a bit in Florida
  • During his teaching commitment, they got married and started brainstorming their honeymoon

Long Term Honeymoon

  • They had a goal of really driving down the cost per day for a Hawaii trip
  • Instead of a week or two, they would stay six months
  • They bought a used car, rented an apartment, and worked 10hrs per week
  • When the trip was over, they had broken even and their net-worth actually grew
  • This trip supercharged their will to retire early
  • Lauren & Steven were actually more excited about work because they knew what they wanted now
  • When they returned to Florida they also bought a small condo for cash
  • Even though they owned their house, they brought in roommates to bring in more money

Finding Work-Life Balance

  • To enable this type of travel they leveraged their skills to earn money while on the go
  • Steven picked up some private tutoring jobs
  • They both also do photography
  • Lauren negotiated with her employer for a part-time remote job which they agreed
  • When they would go on trips after buying their condo, they’d sign short term tenants
  • Lauren will also help out small business with social media

All 61 National parks in seven months

  • After a period of working after returning from the honeymoon, work started taking a toil
  • They felt really burnt out and felt like they should just be doing more of this travel
  • So they came up with this idea of seeing all 61 national parks
  • Total cost of the trip including van depreciation, healthcare, chartering planes etc was $37k
  • That’s total for two people and seven months
  • It would have only cost $21k if they skipped a couple of the really remote ones
  • Over that seven month period between side jobs and rent, they earned $37k
  • So their income matched their expenses while taking an incredible trip
  • You can get the full breakdown of this trip here

Their Spending

  • They have spent $18k-$27k per year
  • They are comfortable not chasing a specific FI number
  • Lauren & Steven look to continue their side jobs but have no interest in starting a business

Key Takeaways

  1. Test driving FI/RE: Lauren and Steven talk about how their trips are a test run at what financial independence will look like.
  2. Avoid burnout at all cost: It’s so important to enjoy the journey on your way to retirement
  3. It’s ok to not be a boss: I think it was very insightful that Lauren & Steven would rather use businesses than create one

Call to Action

Take a mini-FI/RE vacation and take some control over your work-life balance.

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Learn more about Lauren and Steven

Via their website Trip of a Lifestyle

Via their Instagram Trip of a Lifestyle

Learn More About Your Hosts

Fly to FI (Cody’s Blog)

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