"Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish."
For the record:
- We did not receive stock options.
- We did not own any rental properties.
- We did not inherit money.
- We did not win the lottery.
- We are not employed as managers or executives.
- We are not self-employed.
- Starting in 2000, we are a one-income family with kids.
In short, we're a typical middle class family with a typical middle class lifestyle. Yet we save a lot of money. Saving money is what is mainly responsible for the continual increase in net worth shown in the above table. The rest of the increase came from investment growth. I listed the factors that did not contribute because I wanted to be clear that saving money and increasing net worth is possible even if you aren't a dual-income family or an executive or a business owner.
As I indicated in my first post to this blog, there is no silver bullet to increasing net worth and making early retirement work for me. The track record above is based on very basic principles of saving and investing money, but applied consistently over a long period of time. 10 years is a long time to stick to a budget! I find that once net worth begins to increase significantly, there is a tremendous temptation to alter the original plan and spend a lot of what has been accumulated. This is what all the advertisements and salespeople in life try to entice one to do.
But I am sticking with the plan. I think back and remember why I started down this road. It was not to enjoy big houses and luxury vehicles and leather sofas. It was not about having things. And it was not about prestige. And it was not about security. It was about time -- more time for my wife and kids and other relationships that mean something to me. And it was about the freedom to pursue my own goals in life unshackled from the daily grind of earning a paycheck.
Oh yes, I am sticking with it...