How A 32-Year-Old Teacher Managed To Save $500,000

Leah Bourne
November 13, 2019

A scary amount of people are living paycheck to paycheck today. Wages for most people are pretty stagnant. And people are in large amounts of debt, and not saving nearly enough. We know, we know, you already know all of this stuff.

All of which is definitely why when we read a recent post by a teacher on Reddit our ears perked up. This person says he was able to put away $500,000 on a teacher’s salary. In New York City of all places. And, at the ripe age of 32. (Cue us screaming how).

Here’s what he wrote on Reddit about how he did it:

“500k net worth is a big milestone for me. I wanted to share this to inspire other people. No matter what your profession is and which area of the country you live in, FI is possible! Although I have not yet achieved FI, I can now see it in the not too distant future. It’s a great feeling!

The majority of my income is from a modest profession as a teacher. I’m also in a HCL area of NYC.

Following the FI principles has gotten me to this point and I’d be happy to help anyone that has questions.

Some things that have helped me reach this mark:

  1. Max out retirement accounts (403b and 457)

  2. Max out Roth IRA every year.

  3. Live below your means and don’t change your lifestyle when your income increases.

  4. Take initiative in understanding investing. Learn to manage your own money and portfolio . (No one will value your money as much as you do.)

  5. Create multiple streams of income.

  6. Find side hustles. Teachers only work 180 days a year. There’s no excuse to not pickup a side hustle in this profession.

  7. Diversify your portfolio and invest in low cost index funds.

  8. Avoid unnecessary debt by going to expensive private colleges. You can often get the same education in a low cost state school. Also keep an eye out for scholarships and other forms of financial aid.

  9. Never time the market and dollar cost into the market every month.

  10. Keep excess cash in a high yield savings account.

  11. Make sure to read some of the great books on personal finance and investing. (Rich dad poor dad, millionaire next door, a random walk down Wall Street, money master the game).

  12. Keep the big costs as low as possible (Rent, transportation, and food). Find an affordable place to live and if possible live with a roommate.

  13. Take advantage of credit card benefits and travel hacks.

  14. Start as early as possible! (The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The next best time is now)

Hope this helps and maybe inspires a few people on their way to FI!”

All of these points are really really solid, and some serious inspo. Save what you can, earn as much as you can, and then take your money and make it work for you. Kudos to this teacher for making it happen, and this serves as a nice reminder to all of us that we can fight against the odds and do it, too.

Feature Image: The Money Manual

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