Early retiree shares 13 ‘stupid simple’ money rules that helped him save $1 million: ‘I wasn’t born rich’


I will remember December 23, 2016 for the rest of my life. It was my last day working a full-time job.

My wife and I retired early at 33 and 35, respectively, after accumulating $870,000 working in information technology. With the help of the market, our net worth increased to $1 million shortly after.

I wasn’t born rich. We did not start our own business. Neither of us inherited a substantial amount of money. We didn’t even have side hustles at the time. We accumulated wealth the old-fashioned way — by working hard and making strategic financial moves.

Here are 13 stupid simple things I did that helped me escape the rat race after a 14-year career:

$840 billion in credit card debt. Interest rates are extremely high, making credit card debt the worst of all types of debt.

I’ve never paid a single dollar in credit card interest, and I owe much of that to my dad. He taught me that credit card debt is unacceptable, even for a month. For many people, credit cards make it too easy to spend money they don’t have. It’s a habit that can quickly get out of control.

I do use credit cards as a convenience. The fraud protection and implied warranties that many cards offer their customers make them worth it for me, but that’s because I pay off my balance every month. It’s a big reason why I was able to retire in my mid-30s.

Steve Adcock is a finance expert who blogs about how to achieve financial independence. A former software developer, Steve retired early at the age of 35. Follow him on Twitter @SteveOnSpeed.

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