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.
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
- 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
- Test driving FI/RE: Lauren and Steven talk about how their trips are a test run at what financial independence will look like.
- Avoid burnout at all cost: It’s so important to enjoy the journey on your way to retirement
- 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)
Saving-Sherpa (Justin’s blog)