The 4 best money lessons I learned from 'Financial Freedom,' by a man who retired at 30 as a millionaire

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I first heard of Grant Sabatier's book "Financial Freedom: A Proven Path to All the Money You Will Ever Need," when my dear friend Mel co-hosted a book event with Sabatier at a bookstore in Los Angeles.

While Sabatier's book was one of a handful out there on getting to a place financially so you don't ever have to work again, his stood out to me because among those who reach financial independence at an early age, he didn't fit in the standard mold of someone who worked a high-paying job in tech.

When Sabatier was 24, was out of work, living with his parents, depressed, and had a grand sum of $2.26 in his bank account - plus $20,000 in credit card debt. Fast forward five years later, and he had amassed a cool $1.25 million in net worth.

Now financially independent, he has the freedom to work on meaningful projects. And while he doesn't need to do something for the money, the work he wants to pursue just happens to generate income. Here are four lessons I learned from reading his book:

1. Know the true cost of a purchase

Oftentimes we buy something because we get this impulsive "want now" urge and drop it into our cart, or press "checkout" online. Sabatier reminds us to think about the true cost of a purchase, and that there's a trade-off every time.

Some questions to ask yourself: How many hours did you have to work to purchase it? If you buy this, what won't you be able to buy? And most importantly, how much money could you potentially earn if you invested that money instead?

If you put that money in, say, a retirement account like a 401(k) or IRA, or taxable investment account, how much would that amount be worth in 10 years? Or 20 years? Let's say you invest $200 instead of spending it on a nice hammock. At 9% average rate of return, that $200 could be worth $1,200 20 years down the line.

2. Check your numbers every day

Sabatier is relentless about this. It should only take about five minutes a day. Checking your numbers will ensure you're on track to reaching your goal of being financially free. He recommends starting by checking your net worth, and logging into your investment accounts (although many experts disagree on this point, because the best investment returns happen over time and checking daily makes it too tempting to try and time the market). You'll also want to see how much you spent yesterday, and how much you've spent so far in that month. That way you can be sure you're on track.

Plus, you'll want to check how much money you've made from all your different income streams. Lastly, you will want to check your bank and credit card accounts. It might sound a bit rigorous, but you can probably look at all the important numbers in one fell swoop using a net worth tracking tool or money management app.

3. Planning for retirement isn't an exact science

While you definitely need to know the number you need to save to retire, that number will likely change over time. What is important is to set a goal, and to give yourself a reasonable time frame to hit that goal.

The amount of money you need to hit in your net worth has to do with your ideal lifestyle during retirement years, and how old you are when you retire. An interesting tidbit: The younger you are when you retire, the less money you'll need to have saved (as long as you follow a few rules). That's because of the magic of compound interest. Because that money will be sitting in your investment accounts for a longer period of time, it will have more time to grow in value.

4. Side hustle like crazy

While Sabatier was raking in $50,000 a year at a small digital marketing agency, he side hustled as much as possible to grow his net worth. He spent about 40 hours a week doing paid work he liked doing, which included everything from building websites for law firms, flipping domain names, running digital marketing campaigns, and even flipping vintage mopeds and VW campers.

As he says: No job was too small. He also did a handful of random side gigs, like cat sitting, penning white papers, and selling concert tickets. All of his profits went into his savings.

Sabatier points out how important it is to have multiple income streams. He also reminds readers of the following: When you work for someone else, your earning potential is limited. When you work for yourself, your earning potential is essentially limitless.

Throughout "Financial Freedom," Sabatier emphasizes that it's the daily habits that will help you achieve financial independence. It's the day-to-day actions, and steps you take, that will help you save and grow your money faster.

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