Reaching Financial Independence on An Educator's Budget Before You Retire!

Just in case you missed the show with Educator FI, here it is!

Who is Educator FI?

He is the career educator who I recently interviewed. He writes about education and financial independence at

He and I have something in common, we both like to help other educators take charge of their finances. He decided to start a blog in order to help other educators avoid some of the mistakes he and his wife made.

He taught elementary school for ten years (grades 1st through 5th), before becoming an elementary principal. He currently runs a program that supports students in need of additional behavior support. Overall, he has been involved with public education for 20 years.

His wife is also an elementary teacher. Like many educators, they started their careers in debt and ignored their finances for years. They realized their expenses had inflated right along with their income.

They also realized they didn’t enough saved, so they decided to make some changes.

Did they succeed?

You bet they did!

Over the last three years, they've pursued financial independence together--with a great deal of success!

They recently achieved a seven-figure net worth!

How did you and your wife reach financial independence?

We became very intentional about our finances.

What does financial independence mean to you?

He states that after being raised by a single mom, financial security was of key importance.

The simple definition is having enough money so that you can do whatever you want and whenever you want.

I noticed that EFI brought up his childhood, so I felt the need to ask after ignoring their money early in their career and going through lifestyle inflation, what instigated them to make changes and set the goal for financial independence?

He reported that he and his wife had been educators for approximately 15 years, and trying to grow more income.

Here is the takeaway:

However, they were spending all of their income, even the additional income they were striving to make in an effort to get ahead. EFI states, “I realized that was a recipe for us to work incredibly hard for a very long time”.

He had another realization: that the choices they were making would keep them working far longer than they might want. He says we might love our jobs, right now. However, we can’t guarantee that we will always love our jobs. That’s where financial independence and flexibility come into play.

If you would like to read about EFI’s big epiphany, you can read it here: About EFI

What was your best money moment?

He said once they realized they had a problem, they quickly made progress by getting intentional with their savings. Recently they downsized their home, which has cut their housing costs in half!

That means that he will put almost $130,000 into savings. It’s a flip flop from their first year when they were $130,000 in debt (negative $130,000).

That’s our kind of flip-flop!

What is a money lesson that you have learned?

What mistakes have you made on your way to financial independence?

EFI stated that he and his wife have made every mistake along the way.

Then he said ”I think the thing that we've done really well is work on our income over time, which has allowed us now to catch up more quickly. Looking back, there are so many things I would have done differently. I would have made different choices with my career and life.

As for a negative money lesson, it took him a long time to figure out that owning your own home is not necessarily an investment, and yet it was important for them to own a home.

The problem was they bought too much house. They were lucky that appreciation kind of bailed them out of the hole, and when they downsized.

They could have made a much more regional reasonable purchase and been in a much better financial position.

He is sharing so that you learn from his experience!

Career Tracks & Side Hustles

What is the key to getting ahead?

Educators can increase their income.

EFI is quick to point out that you can only save yourself into so much financial independence. Educators can’t control how much they make due to the system. So, it’s important to be aware of all your options as a professional.

There are options that will help you increase your salary...including a side hustle. That’s not your only option though, you can take various career tracks that will increase your salary, too. As a teacher, you can decide to take the administrator route, do extra duty, or use your experience level as leverage.

One of the things that EFI did for additional income was to run an after school leadership club. It combined extra duty with something he loved to do--all while making money!

One of the most financially lucrative ways he made money was as an adjunct professor. He could pick up a class and earn up to $3,000 (depending on course load). He taught up to four classes a year. It admits that it eventually became too much with his full-time job.

As you can see there are ways to work on your financial independence. They might involve your budget, and cutting expenses. They could also involve your career track or side hustle!

We would love to know what steps you are taking to reach financial independence.

OK, quick check in!

How did you like this blog? If you've found it helpful and enlightening, please share your thoughts in the One Million Apples Facebook Community!

Or... if you find yourself in need of someone who can help you navigate your way through your financial plan, check me out at Wealth of Confidence!

I'd love to help you.

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