The technology, particularly the internet and the process of earning money online have made it easier for people to achieve financial freedom… or maybe not?
However, the billion dollars online business industry today has also become an inclined opportunity for those who were early comers, computer geeks as well as the people who were and are eager to learn how to leverage from it.
I must point out that, today, building an online business doesn’t require any special computer knowledge. You just need to know the basics. If you can write in a word document and use the Facebook, then you can definitely build your own online business.
On the other hand, there are people who have no privilege of having an internet or having a computer. Do they even have the chance to achieve financial freedom in our modern generation?
Yes, of course, they have the chance. The truth is, it’s all up to a person’s determination.
Here is my real life story. Hmmm. Maybe I should say me and my car’s story (lol).
Welcome to today’s topic:
How I Achieved Financial Freedom Without Internet At The Age Of 24
How I Achieved Financial Freedom Without Internet At The Age Of 24
At the age of 20, I was working as a government employee and my salary was as normal as everybody else – underpaid according to the amount of the work I delivered.
If you have read my bio, so you’d probably know that I originally came from the Philippines and I still have businesses and passive income generating assets over there today. Most of them were acquired and built even before I moved here in Denmark back in 2007.
So, I worked as an Accountant and my cost of living was relatively high. I had a car, which was a gift from my dad when I graduated from the University. The car maintenance and gasoline expenses alone were eating my salary. But I badly needed my car.
Back then, I was lucky enough to still be living with my parents so I didn’t have to pay fixed rental expenses.
However, as a consideration, I gave money to my mom every 2 weeks (every time I get a salary) so my expenses would be almost the same as if I rented a little apartment.
Well, I didn’t come from a rich family but my parents were not poor either (at least the time I was born). Yes, my parents were poor before that, but I remember that my parents were very hardworking. They built their success through the consistent building of passive income, frugal lifestyle and at the same time continued the sources of active income on both sides.
My father had a construction firm and my mom had a kiosk, lending business, and clothing business.
So, I think my success at an early age was due to the fact that I was raised up in that environment – frugal lifestyle, businesses, and close family relationship.
The Reality Of Working 9-5 Job
My monthly expenses were much higher than my monthly salary as a government employee (see the money breakdown below). This is the reality for most of the people working on the 9-5 job even today- a deficit budget.
I remember one of my office mates back then ( I will never forget this). I found her crying in the ladies room and I asked her why? She said because “it was payday and she only had 20 pesos (50 cents) left after paying all her advances and loans”.
Unfortunately, she was not the only one. What they (most of the government employees) were doing was just borrowing money and recycling their loans every single month. The result = accumulated debts.
I even had an office mate who suddenly went abroad and left hundreds of thousands of multiple loans unpaid at the workplace.
That is/was the reality for many who have or had a 9-5 job. Actually, my working time was even more- it was 7 am-5 pm. That was 10 hours a day 5 days a week = 50 hours.
And most of the time, we needed to work in the weekends during elections or other government events and we’d never get paid for it.
With the transportation, I also had to use at least a 1-hour drive from home to my workplace (2 hours back and forth) using my car.
And I could even use up to 2 hours (4 hours back and forth) if I choose to commute or use public transportation.
Obviously, I could save 2 hours a day or 10 hours a week by keeping my car. So, I did it even I knew it’s more expensive. What I was thinking was the amount of time I could save.
When I calculated my income versus my expenses, I knew I had to do something. Having a car was too expensive at the level of my salary but I really needed it.
That’s how I started to build other sources of income while actively working because I needed to keep my car. lol.
How I Started
Earning Extra Money
So, I knew I badly need more sources of income of at least $100 in order to keep my car. So, I began selling rice to my office mates and other basic commodities like cooking oil, sugar, etc. And they paid me whenever they get their salaries. I began earning an extra $200 per month by doing so.
I bought the commodities on wholesale price which enable me to earn up to 40% markup.
Where did I get the capital? I used my bonuses as my initial investment and all the installment payments were reinvested right away and so the capital got accumulated faster.
Then I started a clothing business and I hired my niece to manage it with the profit sharing of 60/40 on my advantage. That gave me around $300 a month.
At one point, my sister lost her job and I wanted to help her because she was pregnant and she couldn’t work anymore in ordinary working hours.
So, I started a pawnshop business with a very humble initial investment of $16,000.
I went to a jewelry and stones appraisal training back then and I remember one of my classmates when he told us that he was so nervous because his capital for his pawnshop business was too low.
Then, I asked him how much and he said: “I only have 8 million pesos ($160,000) as my initial investment”.
And I was very shy to say how much I had for my initial investment. lol.
Pawnshop plus lending business accumulated my assets even more because I reinvested everything and kept my expenses low. I bought 3 parcels of land and I built my own house, which I converted into 3 apartments later on for more passive income.
I’m still amazed today whenever I think back how little my salary was and how I managed to get out of my “9-5 job” and became financially independent and achieved financial freedom after around 3 years.
All numbers are converted to US dollars so you can relate better as you read on. Take note that the numbers are not adjusted with the inflation rate today.
For example the commodity prices. The price of rice that time was only Php10-15 per kilo. Today, the price is already Php50-66 per kilo (after 12 years).
Income Sources: Salary, selling rice and other basic commodities, clothes installment and pawnshop (Apartments Rental Income not included – because they where constructed a couple of years after I moved to DK):
- Salary: $150 excluding bonuses (I quit after 3 years)
- Net Profit from rice installment: $100
- Net Profit from other commodities sugar, oil, etc.: $100
- Net Profit from clothes installment business: $300
- Net Profit from Pawnshop: $1,600 (level achieved after 2 years)
Total: $2,250 per month
- House rental: $0
- Allowance – mom: $60
- Gasoline Expense: $40
- Car maintenance (Average): $50
- Personal Allowance: $100
Monthly Savings For Investments: $2,000.
I left my most secured permanent position in the government and focused on my own businesses at the age of 24.
That’s all without the help of the internet! And It all started because I badly wanted to keep my car! lol.
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Why am I telling you this personal story? My story is far from being extraordinary. I believe anybody can to do it because it really doesn’t require any special skills. In fact, as long as you are willing to achieve something and you have a strong determination (For me, I was just trying to keep my car that time lol), you will never be left behind.
So, no matter where you are in your life’s journey today, success can be achieved even at the lowest point of your financial situation. People get buried with debts because of lack of control over their personal finances.
Learn to make financial plans even your bank account is on big red numbers or you are on a budget deficit. Strictly follow your plans and you will definitely meet your goals.
Living a simple and frugal life even when you already earning more than enough will increase your savings and investments. Accordingly, finding different ways to earn more money will accumulate your income even more.
The simplest and clearest formula in achieving financial freedom is always to keep your expenses low and keep finding ways to earn money even more.
Through hard work and persistence, success is within your reach.
This is the end of today’s topic “How I Achieved Financial Freedom Without Internet At The Age Of 24”. I hope you have learned something from my personal story and that it would help you to make wiser decisions for your personal finance.
This post aims to inspire you to take more actions in improving your personal finances. However, we highly recommend talking to your financial adviser for the actual investment plans that suit your current financial status.
If you have any suggestion or question, please feel free to comment below. Thanks and good luck to your journey to financial freedom.