Many dream of financial freedom and being a millionaire next door, but only few choose to take the action to achieve it. I suspect one of the reasons is that so few have good concrete examples - with details - of how it's done. I mean, examples of real people just like us, who decided to go for it, made their plans, took the steps, and got there. That's why I decided to share my own story. You'll probably be surprised how simple and straight-forward it is. You may also think: "Hey, that ain't nothin' special, I could do it too!". This is exactly what I had hoped you to think, so read on
I wasn't born rich in any way, and while my parents had good education and jobs, our financial status was very much average, typical middle class. We didn't have tons of money, but neither did we have any clear shortage of it. Here's more on what my family, background, and starting point looked like.
I studied to become an engineer, but picked up a career more directed towards business and finance. I guess this was due to the fact that while I had always liked engineering sciences - math, physics, chemistry, and so on - I was also interested in businesses, finance, and investments. Read more on my studies and career here.
While I was busy working and building my career, I also hoped to get rich one day. I didn't have any specific goal or method in mind. I just wanted to be financially comfortable, so that I wouldn't need to think much about money, and figured I'd get there one day, sooner or later (it always seemed it would be a fair bit later...). Here's more on my earlier finances and thoughts about them.
Then something happened. Out of nowhere, without myself having any chance to see it coming, my job was suddenly on the line. Of course the timing was perfect too. We were in the middle of 2002, in the worst depth of the recession that followed the burst of the internet bubble. Just a couple years before I had bought a house, and with my kids being 1 and 3 years old, I really couldn't afford missing my monthly pay-check, not even in a single month. I was shocked - I just couldn't believe this was happening to me!
Despite the happy ending, I now felt an urgent need do something in order to make sure I'll never again have to face a similar situation. I decided that my finances will need to be much stronger that they had been, and I really wanted to reduce my dependency on my corporate job. I was wondering if could actually become the millionaire next door in my neighborhood - and more, I was starting to dream that I really would be that next-door millionaire!
So I started to study my subject and eventually got convinced that I really could become a millionaire. It seemed like it could really be worth the effort, too, so I made my million dollar decision: I would definitely go for it. I then went on to make some concrete plans. Already knowing what I wanted to achieve, I now had to figure out what exactly it would be that I needed to do. I didn't really have much clue when I started. Yet, it all came together much quicker that I would have expected. Read more on my discovery and making of that million dollar plan.
As I now had a concrete and realistic plan, it was rather easy to get going with saving money and investing it. No doubt it took some tough choices, a lot of hard work, and long days, but still it felt easy and fun as I was excited and highly motivated. Read more here on how I was saving and investing money in order become another "millionaire next door".
I was now really on my way there - building wealth towards my first million. I just cannot tell you how great it felt! The strangest thing was that my plan was really working very much as I had expected. This made me wonder if it was because by luck or by design - had I really done my planning so well, or was I just being plain lucky? See more here how I was building wealth.
While the recession of 2008 - yes this was the real bad one! - set my progress back a bit, my plan was still working as before. Also - as usual - what goes down eventually goes up, so suddenly in the middle of 2009 I found myself hitting my first million milestone. I was now a millionaire and proceeding towards my second million at a good pace! Read on here.
It took a while to get used to the idea I really was now the millionaire next door in my neighborhood. Yet, being a millionaire was for me - and still is - mostly what I had expected. I had done much research into the topic and figured out what exactly it was that I was dreaming about. Therefore being the millionaire next door felt almost natural. A few things had drastically changed, though, since I started. To be a millionaire - here's what it was and has been like for me.