Financial independence is the dream. You’ve achieved it once you can live comfortably and pay for all of your expenses without the need to work. See why it’s the dream? Most folks assume that it’s impossible unless they’re in their 60s, but that’s hogwash. You may have to dig in your heels and tighten the purse strings, but you can shoot for financial independence at any age.

Establish frugal habits

The best way to become financially independent is to control your spending. That’s the most painful aspect, but it’s also the most advantageous. Every penny you don’t spend on takeout meals, trendy clothing, or expensive vacations can be funneled into your independence fund.

The ultimate goal is to save back at least 40% of your annual income every year. That seems lofty, if not impossible. It’s difficult, and there’s no use pretending otherwise. Start slowly. Try to put back 20% when you begin. You’ll get better at saving.

Pick a goal

How much money do you need to live independently? Experts suggest that you follow the Rule of 25. It states that you’ve reached financial independence once you save 25 times as much as you need to spend yearly.

Before setting this goal, estimate your annual expenditures. Consider the bills you have now and the bills you’ll have in the future, including your taxes. It’s a great time to begin paying off your debts in earnest, too.

Invest your money

Investments mature over time. That brings in income you wouldn’t otherwise have. You can also invest a safe amount of money, i.e., no more than you can afford to lose, to bulk up your retirement fund quickly.

Choose sound investments. Significant risks are tempting because they come with substantial payouts. However, a dull, reliable stock, such as an insurance company investment, is unlikely to behave unpredictably. It may take longer to see a payout, but in this case, patience is lucrative.

Have you thought about trying for financial independence ahead of your retirement?