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Deacon Hayes, the blogger and podcaster behind Well Kept Wallet, was knee deep in debt to the tune of $52,000 in 2010. But instead of digging himself further and further into the whole, he decided to take responsibility and dig himself out.

Deacon HayesHe started by looking to the experts, other bloggers and authors that offered personal finance advice, and was able to implement their strategies to become debt-free in only 18 months!

Now, he’s all about educating others to do the same. But he doesn’t just focus on helping others become debt-free, he also wants to share how they can become financially independent and retire early too.

That’s certainly never something he thought he’d be able to accomplish, but now, in 2018, he is financially independent and technically an early retiree. But instead of drinking Pina Coladas on the beach somewhere, early retirement to him means being able to afford to do what he wants with each day. And what he wants to do is educate and inspire others to take control of their finances so they can live the lives they really want.

How to Become Debt-Free

So, in this episode we talk about a lot of things, but first let’s talk about debt repayment. Honestly, at the end of the day, to get a handle on your spending and debt, there are two simple things you need to do.

  1. Reduce your expenses
  2. Make more money

If you actually implement both things, you’ll be able to become solvent once again. It may take some time (longer than 18 months), but even if it takes a few years, these two things are key and they work!

Deacon also recommends the cash envelope system for reigning in spending, and having monthly money meetings with yourself or your partner to talk about your budget, your spending and net worth, and your future goals you’re working towards (and I totally agree!).

How to Become Financially Independent

Now, let’s talk early retirement. In order to achieve financial independence, there are three paths you can follow (though technically you don’t have to pick just one, you can do a combination or all three):

  1. Invest in real estate
  2. Invest in the stock market (no more than 10% individual stocks, then diversify your portfolio with index funds and ETFs)
  3. Earn more money through entrepreneurship

And to help guide you and give you examples on how to do this, Deacon share real-life case studies on his website.

Get His Course for Free

Want to take Deacon’s “Debt Free in 18 Months” course for free? It’s valued at $97, but you can sign up for free by going to: wellkeptwallet.com/retire

Follow Deacon on Social

Win Tickets to the Leaders & Icons Conference

I’m giving away two tickets to the Leaders & Icons Conference in Toronto on May 10! These tickets are valued at $399 each, and the featured speaker is James Comey, former Director of the FBI. If you want to enter to win, click the link below for more instructions.

Enter contest »

Tax Webinar Replay

As I mentioned at the end of this episode, myself and Lisa Zamparo, CPA, did a webinar last week all about how to file your taxes the right way when you’re self-employed or have a side hustle. If you missed the live webinar, that’s okay! You can still watch the replay by clicking the button below. Enjoy!

Watch tax webinar replay »

Tax webinar replay

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