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How to Master Your Money In Your 20’s, with Cody Berman

Presented by Wealthsimple

Welcome to The MapleMoney Show, the podcast that helps Canadians improve their personal finances to create lasting financial freedom. I’m your host, Tom Drake, the founder of MapleMoney, where I’ve been writing about all things related to personal finance since 2009.

Imagine landing a lucrative corporate job at the ripe old age of 24, only to quit seven months later to pursue a life of freedom. That’s exactly what this week’s guest did, and he joins the show this week to explain how he was able to walk away at such a young age.

Cody Berman is a serial entrepreneur who is always looking for the next exciting business opportunity. He is a co-founder of Gold City Ventures, a founder of The Financial Freedom Summit, owner of Fly to FI, and co-host of The FI Show. When he’s not being interviewed on podcasts, you might catch him weightlifting, playing sports, or travelling.

I was interested to know not only how Cody was able to leave his 9-5 job, but why he didn’t stick with it longer. After all, 7 months isn’t a long time. But the way he explains it makes a lot of sense. By learning to live on a very modest income, Cody was buying himself months of freedom with every $1000 he saved at his job. He realized early on that it’s possible to have fun in your 20’s while still being frugal.

Too many young people fall into the trap of lifestyle inflation. As their income grows, so do their expenses. According to Cody, by avoiding overspending in three key areas, you can learn to live on a lot less and build a solid nest egg. In addition to being fascinated by savings principles such as the “Rule of 72”, Cody’s motivation grew when he discovered that there was a large community of people who were retiring as early as their mid-30’s. This only propelled him further towards entrepreneurship and a life of financial independence.

If you’re in your 20’s and feel as though your current plan for your finances isn’t working all that well, you don’t want to miss this episode of The MapleMoney Show.

Our sponsor, Wealthsimple, believes that financial independence should be available to anyone. That’s why they have no account minimums, meaning that you can get started investing for as little as one dollar. Don’t delay any longer, invest online by visiting Wealthsimple today.

Episode Summary

  • What frugal living looks like in your 20’s
  • You can have fun and be frugal
  • The benefits of learning how to manage money at an early age
  • The “Rule of 72”
  • How Cody ditched his corporate job after only 7 months
  • The BIG three expenses to avoid
  • Understanding the trap of lifestyle inflation
  • It pays to hang out with likeminded people
  • Travelling on a budget
Read transcript

Imagine landing a lucrative career job at the ripe old age of 24, only to quit 7 months later to pursue a life of freedom. That’s exactly what Cody Berman did. He joins the show this week to explain how he was able to walk away at such a young age. Cody is a serial entrepreneur who is always looking for the next exciting business opportunity. He is the co-founder of Gold City Ventures, co-founder of The Financial Freedom Summit, owner Fly to Fl, and co-host of The FI Show.

Welcome to the Maple Money Show, the podcast that helps Canadians improve their personal finances to create lasting financial freedom. Our sponsor, Wealthsimple, believes financial independence should be available to anyone. That’s why they have no account minimums, meaning you can get started investing for as little as one dollar. Don’t delay any longer. Invest online by visiting today. Now, let’s chat with Cody.

Tom: Hi Cody, welcome to the Maple Money Show.

Cody: Thanks for having me. I’m excited to be here.

Tom: I’m glad to have you on. We spent a lot of time together earlier in the year and one of the things that struck me was at your young age you have it together way more than I ever did. I’ve said on the podcast before, how my twenties 20s were pretty much lost. It was partying, not understanding the benefit of saving or investing. I pretty much didn’t start a responsible life until 30. So how old are you right now?

Cody: I’m currently 24.

Tom: You’ve already done way more than I had done at 30. One of the things I really want to get into is how you were with frugality. Even in college, just the fact of being a broke college student, I think everyone has a bit of frugality because there is only so much money to go around. What did frugality mean to you when you were in college?

Cody: I think was pretty similar to what you were talking about there. You’re really forced into frugality hard core when you’re in college. You’re living on $8,000 or $10,000 grand a year if you’re lucky. Maybe you had some side jobs and you’re balling out on $15,000 a year. But, you’re eating the cheapest food, drinking the cheapest booze possible. Nobody was living the lavish life. Well, nobody I knew or was friends with was living that lavish lifestyle. To me, frugality was keeping housing, transportation, and food costs down. It meant keeping everything as cheap as I possibly could while still having the time of my life. I wasn’t hiding in my room, never spending money and only eating Ramen noodles. I would just do fun things at the cheapest price point possible.

Tom: Despite almost no one having money in college, there is still this lack of responsibility; this willingness to just go out and spend. How did you fight that? Were your friends on the same page as you or was there a constant push to go out every night and spend a bunch of money at the bar—those kinds of activities?

Cody: I’d say the two biggest expense items I had in college were paying for housing where the house was a crappy little place. We called it the chum bucket. It was literally falling apart with mold in the basement and stuff. We were eight guys in a six bedroom. My friends were on board with keeping housing as low as possible. I’m sure we’ll get into that later in this conversation. If you can keep your big expense categories low you are already setting yourself up for massive successes down the road. Things you’re talking about like going out to bars and out to eat, we would be going to places that had really cheap wings and things like that. My friends were also pretty cognizant of not going out and spending $150. I’ll bring you back to your college days where we’d pre game. We would drink a bunch before we go to the bar and then we would only have to buy one or two drinks while we were out. So that was a big thing we did to cut down the costs because you could go to a bar and drop $100, $150 on drinks or you can just hang out at your house for another hour. And I don’t recommend this listeners and viewers. Don’t be binge drinking, but you can get a lot of drinking done at home before you go out and spend all the money.

Tom: Yeah, for sure. I did the pregaming. Now I’m going to date myself probably because I don’t even know if this is a legal price now but at the time, we could find certain bar nights where in Canada it was 50 cents a highball. You could spend two dollars and walk away with two doubles when you went up to the bar. So drinking wasn’t always too expensive if you picked the right nights. I remember there was another bar that had the pony kegs of beer. I think was maybe five dollars or something like that. There are cheap options out there. Again, we’re not suggesting anyone just go drink like crazy, but it can be done cheaply if you’re looking at the right prices and on the right days too. So where did you go next? It sounds like you were you were doing a good job of having the right people around you where maybe I didn’t. The people I hung around would definitely pre drink and everything but they still wanted to spend money we really didn’t have. And then we’d complain about how we used up some of our student loan or had debt on our credit cards. This was pretty common back then. Are you seeing this in your circle at all?

Cody: I definitely was seeing it in my circle. I’m not saying all my friends were super frugal and into saving. But, at least they understood, “Hey, Cody’s a frugal guy. He is going to buy a few less drinks and drinks and maybe have a few more at home. That wasn’t a weird thing or anything. I wasn’t an outcast or anything. I was still going out. I think that’s the big difference. And it’s the thing frugality gets a bad rep for all the time. People think that frugal people aren’t doing anything. They aren’t having fun. But they’re having fun. It’s just that they may have to tweak one or two different things to have a pretty similar experience at a far less cost. So, yeah, some of my friends were balling out. They would buy a round of shots for 15 people or whatever and I just wasn’t doing that. It wasn’t that big of a decision difference to have hundreds or potentially tens of thousands of dollars of savings down the road.

Tom: Throughout college and your life now, it sounds like you’re probably naturally frugal. This isn’t something that you’re being too mindful of. It’s not something you are having to go out of your way to do.

Cody: I’d definitely say that I grew up with parents who were at least money conscious. They didn’t teach me much on the investment, entrepreneurship and side hustle side. I got later. But they definitely told me I shouldn’t buy something if I hadn’t earned the money to get it. And that I shouldn’t be using credit to get things either. I kind of had that ingrained in me pretty early on which I’m really thankful for. I knew I had to work if I wanted to buy a new pair of shoes. I’d have to work if I wanted to buy like an XBox or whatever it was. They weren’t just handing me things so I already kind of knew the value of money and I would only buy something if I had the money to buy it.

Tom: I’ve done that, too. But how early did you start actually saving and investing? I found when I was saving up for things, it was really just saving for a future purchase. In the end, I was still spending all the money.

Cody: I’d say I was probably around 18 when I got really into saving, investing, and realizing how important it was to save for my future. My mom was really instrumental in getting me on board with the whole mindset of financial independence and then side hustling after that. I started maxing out my Roth when I was 18 and I’ve been keeping that streak going ever since. I was definitely fortunate to get that information early. It is not difficult stuff. It’s really not hard to conceptualize and understand why this is important. It’s just some people get it at age 40. Some people get it at 18 and some people get it at 70. I don’t think it takes a genius to figure out how important it is. It’s just that I was fortunate to get it way earlier than most people.

Tom: Here, in Canada, we’ve got a TFSA, which is a great option where people can save money every year. They started accumulating this total contribution room at 18. So as soon as they turn 18 they can start putting money into this and it will grow tax-free. So you’re right—you got it sooner. It’s definitely a mindset thing. Something has to switch on, where you’re ready do this at 18, 30 or 40. I’ve said this on the podcast before, it was around 30 when we were getting married, having a kid, buying a house, all at the same time. It took those things to happen for me to actually start being responsible with money.

Cody: I think one of the most important things in this is the picture I like to paint for people because I talk to a lot of young professional people at colleges and stuff. The power of compound interest is crazy. Even the difference from 18 to 28—that 10-year investing difference is hundreds of thousands of dollars 40 years from now. I’m sure you’re familiar with this, Tom, but I’ll just break it down super quick for listeners and viewers who don’t understand or know what the rule of 72 is. I always use this as an example when I’m talking to young people. The rule of 72 basically states that if you take your average estimated return and divide 72 by that number, whatever the answer to that is, is about how long it will take for your money to double. So, let’s just be conservative. Over the past 100 years, it’s been about 7 percent. We’ll call it compounded, annualized, inflation adjusted returns. With 72 divided by 7, your money is going to double about every 10 years. Obviously, this is the back of the envelope. But let’s just use that as a proxy. This might sound like an astronomical figure to some people but let’s say you save $100,000 by the time you are 25 years old. And let’s assume you have all your crap together—you’re only 18 and you already understand this stuff. From aged 25 to 35, you don’t have to contribute another dime and that $100,000, in theory, will double to $200,000. In another 10 years that $200,000 turns into $400,000. Another 10 years go by—you’re now 55 years old and you have $800,000. By the time you turn 65, you have $1.6 million just chilling in the bank from that original $100,000 you invested when you were 25 years old. That concept is so mind boggling and powerful. But, obviously, not enough people are getting this information. I didn’t learn this in high school or college. But if young people would just start saving… You don’t have to save up $100,000. That is just a clean, easy example I use on my podcast. But it’s so powerful, Tom. I think that’s one of the biggest things I try to tell young people is like, hey, like if you have the leeway, if you have the flexibility, if you don’t have the lifestyle creep to create a huge gap between your income and your expenses right off the bat, like right out of the gate, whether you’re 18 going to the trades or you’re 22, just graduated college and you start just socking that money away and investing. It’s going to have astronomical returns for you 40 years down the road.

Yeah. I love the rule 72 as well. One way I’ve heard it in the past, just looking at my own situation of 20 or 30 is literally do you want twice as much money at retirement or not? Because there’s an extra 10 years. So when I’m 50 or 60, I am going to have half of what I could have had if I had started at 20 instead of 30. The math is what it is. Yeah, but I was shown this in college. I had an economics teacher, maybe only spent 30 minutes, 60 minutes on this, but. But this this idea of showing the graph and and the sooner you start the better. I just wasn’t ready to listen to it. I was more concerned about the party that night or something. I should have been listening. I wasn’t a big fan of getting financial literacy in the schools, but at the same time, we got to find a way to make people kind of understand this at a young age and actually care about it because you can teach it. But if people aren’t ready to care about, it’s going to be hard to get them to act the way you were and not the way I was.

I think one of the big things for me, like it’s just figuring out how to package the information for it to be a. Talking to a college student, like if I had some sixty five year old banker come in and tell me, show me an economics graph and you know, he’s like, oh, if you save this much by this much, then you’ll have millions of dollars in retirement.

That wasn’t so appealing. Like what really got me into it was actually getting into the financial independent space and hearing about these people who are retiring at 30. And I was like, nobody told me that this was possible. But the math checks out. These are real people. I had conversations with these people and that’s what kind of got me fired up. I was like, I want freedom like that a lot. Not like I will want to stop working. And then I hate working, but having the freedom to choose not to work because you already have enough money doing the work for you, whether it’s in investments or real estate or whatever. That’s just such a freeing thing. So that’s what got me initially engaged and really excited about this personal finance stuff, was seeing real people who are retiring at these crazy low ages that you don’t hear in mainstream media.

Well, that’s a good point. You have better access to information than I had. There was barely an Internet here. I’m dating myself again. But there certainly wasn’t podcasts. So to learn this stuff pretty much here in Canada, we have money since magazine. You’d have to go buy that magazine or you’d have to jepko library and take out a book and even towards 30. That’s exactly what I did. I picked up an issue of Money Science magazine just on a whim at a grocery store one day. And it was quite life changing, literally. We wouldn’t be talking right now with me, start digging that first step.

I also read a book. The Little Book of Common Sense Investing. And it changed my mind on the little bit of mutual funds I had at the time. Why? They they weren’t a great deal. And so little steps. But but nowadays, yeah, there’s a lot more information. There are blogs and podcasts. And even in mainstream media, you get those stories of this person retired at 20 and this person retired at twenty five. And there’s a lot more access to information, a lot more motivating stories out there than than I had, unfortunately.

So let’s move out of college a bit. After you finished college, you went into a job and I found this kind of funny. Can you tell us how long you lasted at your corporate job?

Yeah. So it was a full seven months. Pretty good. Pretty good, huh, Tom? Yeah, I was in commercial real estate lending and I was in there for seven months. I was saving logit going back to how important saving was, saving 90 percent of my income.

I was living like as cheap as I possibly could. And that was kind of like I was talking about just to buy freedom on my freedom clock. Like I was like, if I can keep my expenses at, say, which is use clean numbers here, if I can keep my expenses at a thousand dollars a month. And in that seven months, I’d saved up thirty five grand for my corporate job. I was like, that’s thirty five months of freedom for me to kind of, you know, go after an entrepreneur, a pursuit or travel the world or whatever like you when you kind of put money in the form of time or time, freedom, that just becomes crazy. And so I was like, if I can keep my expenses as low as possible and kind of keep that college lifestyle going, and I can save up a chunk of money in this case with thirty five grand at that corporate job, I think this is by me so much freedom that I wouldn’t have had if I were to just spend every single paycheck that was come in on like a new car or a fancy apartment or whatever it might be.

It’s hard to do that lifestyle inflation, something that’s really easy to get into when you have that money available. And like you said, it would be easy to go buy a new car. So two things I know we’ll start with this. First is, is how did you how did you fight that urge or did you just not even have that kind of urge?

Definitely. I mean, the urge was there because when you have the money coming and you’re like, oh, whatever, like, what’s another hundred bucks a month on X, Y or Z? And I see so many of my friends doing this, they start to make real money.

And then they Lisa Card and the four hundred a month they’re like, oh whatever. So four hundred a month I’m making, you know, three grand a month. And then they got the.

Then they get the fancy apartment and then they start going out to eat like four or five nights a week. And it just keeps adding up and adding up. And before you know it, if you’re not tracking your expenses or tracking your net worth. You have like two thousand three thousand dollars of monthly recurring expenses that were previously almost zero when you were a college student. And then it just happens. It’s just like a little it’s a little bit more. A little bit more. A little bit more until you’re just burdened by all these monthly expenses and or debt.

Yeah, exactly. How did you keep your expenses so low?

Like to start. What did your housing situation look like then?

So right after college, I’ll I’ll give you I’ll give you kind of the timeline. So in college was really low housing us paying three hundred fifty dollars a month for rent because I said I was living in that crap hole.

After college, I moved back home for seven months actually with my mom was really fortunate. She let me do that. Then I kind of got the boot and then actually went on the road with our mutual friend Grant Sabbat T.A.. We traveled the country for three months together. Then I went and got a cheap apartment. And this is cheap relative, depending on where you’re living. In Boston, I was paying six hundred forty dollars a month with a couple of my buddies. And so I’ve always tried to keep my housing like as low as I possibly could because like I was mentioning before, like if you can keep the big few as lowest possible housing. Situation and food, then your entertainment. Like, if you’re going to a concert and it’s 150 bucks like that doesn’t move the needle as much as an additional thousand dollars in housing does every single month. So that’s what I’ve always kind of focused on. And I think that’s also been able to kind of keep me levelheaded because I see people who will bury their head in the sand and try to save every single penny, and then they just burn out. They hit a wall because they’re cutting out all the fun. They’re they’re cutting out hanging out with friends and things like that. And that’s totally what I’m not about. I’m still hanging out with friends, you know, four or five nights a week havin a great time. So going out to the bar, go back to college, like you were saying, definitely drinking way more than I should have. But since I knew the importance of those keeping those big ones low, like I could spend in the more frivolous categories, a little more leniently, if that makes sense.

Yeah. And that’s something that seems like it’s sustainable. Like you’re focusing on the big things like this, the whole latte factor, and it sounds great and everything. But you’re right that it makes a lot more sense to put some effort into something like housing or even smaller related things like like the amount of people that won’t sort of get new quotes for insurance and just see things that can kind of really add up more than a fancy coffee here and there. You mentioned transportation being another big one. What did you do there? What was transportation look like for you?

Yeah, so luckily I’ve never been, like, really attracted to having, like, the fanciest, nicest car. So I was driving my high school car actually until a couple of years ago and it kind of just crapped the bed.

I sold it for two thousand bucks. It was a beater at that point. That’s just the thing. It’s like if you buy a car that’s a few years old, five to seven years old and just run it until it dies, like you’re gonna get way more value out of it than if you go buy the 40 thousand new car off the lot. Even though they give you all those fancy up cells and packages and leads to own and all that stuff, it’s just like it’s a world of difference. I wish I had a calculator to do some math at right now, but like I did the math between doing the monthly payments on like a forty thousand dollar car and buying a five thousand dollar used car that probably still gets the job done is hundreds of thousands of dollars down the road. And people don’t realize that because it’s just in the moment. And like I mentioned before, they just see the monthly recurring expense. They don’t really think of the debt as a whole. I think a lot of people actually get stuck in that trap. Going back to what you were saying about like not understanding money in college. People will get in one hundred thousand hours of student loan debt and they don’t actually understand what that means. Like having one hundred thousand dollars in debt is crazy, but like nobody actually feels the weight of that because they just understand the monthly recurring payments, even if it’s 20 years that they’re paying those monthly payments for.

You know, I know someone that I don’t know a lot about car leases, but I know someone that they’re basically coming to the end of their term and they could have bought the vehicle for a pretty decent price. Instead, they flipped into a new lease. And the mindset, the way they explained to me was, oh, yeah, this one’s even fancier, but the lease is only an extra thing. It was like fifty or a hundred a month. And so they weren’t even looking at the is this four hundred a month they were looking at, oh, this is just this much more. They’ve already gotten to the point that they’ve ignored original amount and they’re just looking at the increase kind of thing. It’s like they’re getting this brand new, very fancy vehicle for just fifty dollars more, one hundred dollars more or whatever it was. So they’ve actually even blocked out the original. Well, he says it is, and they’re just looking at the increase. So that’s kind of how mindset can kind of affect the hassle.

And when you’re looking at your spending and it’s quick, man, like I’ve had friends who within a year of getting out of college and they’re living like a scumbag, like I was on like eight to ten thousand dollars a year and now they’re spending 50 grand a year.

It’s like, how do you five how do you justify a five X increase in your spending? And like you’re probably not you’re probably less happy, honestly, like a lot of people’s college days are the best days are like they’re probably less happy spending five x the amount they were before. And of course, there are some expenses that you can avoid. But like that type of lifestyle, inflation is just crazy to me. And obviously I have an advantage being in this personal finance space and seeing how crippling debt can be and how freeing not debt can be. But it’s just crazy, man. I really try to get this message to as many people as you can. But like I was mentioning before, you kind of get to meet people where they are. You can’t just be spewing numbers and spreadsheets of people. That doesn’t really resonate.

Yeah, I recommend to a lot of people, like even locally in any city, there’s often a choose five group or something like any any kind of local meetup where you can just get around some people with this kind of mindset because it will change how you think if you are hanging around with people that do the corporate job, they work. They were five days a week. They spend it all on the weekend and happy hour and everything like that to get out of that a little bit. It’s nice to find some people that are kind of thinking differently and see what’s possible. Definitely. Another thing I want to talk to you about was you mentioned you traveled around for three months. Let’s start with that one. What did that look like? If I have the detail, I don’t know everything, but I think you and Grant were basically living out of a van for most of it.

That no, that’s like the all of it. Yeah, we were we were driving around, man. I’m upset. We missed. Yeah.

Up in Canada. But yeah, we drove around in the van. I mean, that was just. Then life is really cheap, so that’s not a good example of, like travel and cheap, I could never get some better examples. But all we’re paying for was food, very cheap lodging at campgrounds and kiwis and stuff. Yeah. I mean, we really didn’t spend too much. Yeah.

Well, what about some other travel? You went around Australia. How long did you do that for. I lived there for six months. OK. How did that come about.

So my girlfriend wanted to study abroad. She’s two years younger than me.

So I had just graduated and I was like, well, I mean, I’ll just live abroad. It’s a lot cheaper than the Study Abroad program. So we went over and we lived in Brisbane for six months and traveled all around the country. And it was amazing. I think some of the tips. I know a lot of people looking for actionable advice here is like you can travel for so much cheaper than most of the advertised and the TV vacations look like. I know so many people who will go to, say, Jamaica for a week and I’ll spend like seven grand. It’s like I went to Australia for six months and spent ninety five hundred total. So it’s just like choosing how to travel. I also was having fun and stuff, but some big things like flights and I know I don’t recommend credit cards to people who have bad credit scores are irresponsible. They know they’re irresponsible credit. But you can really get I know in Canada you guys aren’t as fortunate. With all the credit cards we have in the U.S. before, any people in the U.S. listening, like if you can get pick up some chase ultimate rewards card and get like those points or what name your airline is, there’s literally credit cards for every airline and paying them off in full every single month never carry a balance. I don’t want any of you Maple Money Show listeners to be paying interest, but I basically got a round trip to Australia for free just from one credit card bonus. And so that’s one thing I take huge advantage of.

Also was just abusing a BMB and getting the cheapest lodging possible because I mean, for me anyway, I know a lot of people like, oh, why would you want to stay in a cheap air? And maybe it’s like I’m not going on vacation to hang out in the hotel room or to hang on the RBA be like when I go on vacation, I’m out there to explore, to have fun. The only reason I’m coming back typically is to go to bed. So I don’t mind. My girlfriend and I were staying at twenty dollar a night Beebe’s and you could do that for an entire month for 600 bucks. But that’s that’s really cheap. Or you can get like a five star hotel and spend two grand on four days. To me like it’s with travel anyway. It’s quantity over quality.

Like I’d much rather go on a three month vacation and just kind of chill out and, you know, not be spending thousands and thousands of dollars every week, then go on a little five day stint as blow on money and, you know, do the most extravagant things possible. And you’re right here in Canada, first of all, we don’t have as many cards. So I’d like this whole idea of constantly turning cards doesn’t work quite as easily, but it’s doable. It’s not something I feel like I’ve ever mastered. My friend Barry Choi up money we have. He does this much better. But you get the right cards and you get referrals and everything else and it can’t be done. It’s a lot more work, I think, than than it is in the US. And and the bonuses aren’t as big to begin with. But the point still remains. You can certainly travel for free. You can you can go over to Europe and back for free. It can’t be done. It’s just something I feel like I haven’t maximized. First of all, we’re a family of four, so everything’s multiplied and we like Disneyland. And Disney World is only so much you can do to save money there. I’ve written about it before I can. You can save money, but it’s not going to be cheap. It’s not going to be twenty dollars a night or anything. That’s true. Yeah. I feel like this is I think any more episodes on this to smarten me up to is truly traveling cheaply because yeah, we seem to fail at this all the time. But again, like you said, with going out or anything, you can have wants and things that are a little more extravagant if you’re covering the bases elsewhere. Right. Ligands. As long as you’re kind of realizing what matters to you, like we are a very Disney family. We like to do that every couple of years. And we arrange our finances in a way we’re like on the other year, we might just do like a quick little family reunion in the next province where it’s not like we’re constantly having these these extravagant trips.

We literally just do it occasionally and offset it with a cheaper family cabin kind of thing with extended family. So it depends on how you want to work all that together to make it all fit together. Another thing I want to talk to you about was you mentioned. Was it 90 percent that you’re saving your saving rate?

Yeah, I was 90 percent when when I was up a corporate job. So what did that look like? Like, I know we’ve covered the frugality, but it seems like an impossible number when you hit the corporate job. Is this the same time you’re staying with your mom when it was 90 percent? Yes. Once I moved out of there, we went down to like eighty three. That’s still pretty good.

Yeah, I love my go. I oh, it’s not as good, but yeah, I guess I’ll just lay it out.

One of the reasons why it was possible is because you get paid pretty well and commercial real estate lending. Corporate banking. My rent was, you know, four hundred bucks at the beginning. My health insurance is covered by my company. My auto insurance was like one hundred bucks a month. We’re up to like five hundred bucks a month. And then it was just like food and going out. And so my. Groceries, I shop pretty cheaply for groceries. I’d spend probably hundred fifty a month or one hundred twenty two hundred fifty a month on myself for groceries and then going out and like bars whenever. I’d still do that. So that would be maybe another like 200 bucks a month. Like all in all, I was spending eight to nine hundred bucks at my like. I guess it wouldn’t be the peak at my trough of my spending when I was literally trying to save as much as I possibly could while still enjoying life. So when you’re like spending that little the savings rate, it’s not that crazy. The lower you go, obviously the savings rate is going to increase, the lower you’re spending. Floor goes.

They had this well-paying job. Why did you leave it so quick? What was your mindset then?

It seems like something that you’d want to hold on to because obviously that was the source of the saving rate you had. Yeah. Yeah.

Well, I was definitely building site. Hustle’s at the same time. I know, you know, I’m a side hustler and I love figuring out ways to make money.

But the reason why, honestly, was our mutual friend Grant has taught me a lot about this and that on the book tour and stuff is like a lot of people who are in this financial independence space, they don’t realize how much freedom they have until they’re like really, really far down the road. Like, maybe they’re a year away from retirement and they have a million bucks saved up and they’re going to live on forty thousand dollars a year using the four percent rule. Don’t get into all the all that stuff right now, but you have so much more freedom than a lot of people give themselves credit for. Like in my particular situation, the fact that I had thirty five thousand dollars saved up in my expenses were Subba thousand was thirty five months of freedom to me. And so I was like, you know what? I’ll go in like trauma, hand to entrepreneurship and building businesses, see how it goes. And I but I have this financial runway. So even if I made zero dollars, like, I mean, barring any catastrophic events to my life, I’m going to be fine for like around thirty five months. So I think that’s why it was so afraid to me. Like I understood that, hey, my money already has all this. It’s already giving me all this power. I might not be at financial independence. I might not have a million bucks saved up or whatever, but I have this saved up and I know my expenses are this. And once you understand the math, that’s the mindset. Shift is pretty crazy. Understanding the freedom.

Yeah, exactly. You had calculated not how much money you had, how much time you had. Exactly. And you always had the ability to fall back on this. Didn’t work. I can go back to a job. It’s not like quitting that job meant you can never have one again. So that is great. I like how you look at it as time and not money.

Can you let people know where they can find you online?

Yeah. So you guys can actually listen to my podcast and started tuning into a podcast here. It’s called The Fi Show or the Financial Independent Show. That’s everywhere podcasts are.

I got my blog fly to. That’s pretty much my central hub. You can find everywhere else that I’m on the Internet on on my blog, Fly Towfigh about the Financial Freedom Summit and my all my courses, all that cool stuff. So, yeah, definitely hit me up. I’m I like interacting with people and giving people advice and talking to people here and people stories. So definitely hit me up if you are interested and connected.

Great. Thanks for me on the show next month.

Thank you, Cody, for sharing your story. It’s a great reminder that developing a frugal mindset is beneficial at any age. And you can still have fun while saving money. You find shown us for this episode at Maple Money Show dot com slash one zero five.

Remember the make money Facebook community? If not, I’d love to connect with you there. It’s a great place to ask a question and share recent money. Went to encourage others to join. Head over to make money dot com slash community to share with the group. See you back here next week. When Michelle Jackson joins us discuss selling what you already know online. See you soon.

Nobody told me that (early retirement at 30) was possible, but the math checked out. These were real people. I had conversations with these people. That’s what got me fired up, seeing real people that were retiring at these crazy low ages that you don’t hear about in mainstream media. - Cody Berman Click to Tweet