(NEW YORK) — Money can be a taboo topic — whether it’s in a relationship or in your career. But one couple successfully tackled it head on to create a road map for financial freedom.
Julien and Kiersten Saunders of “The Rich and Regular” blog shared their tips with ABC News’ Good Morning America from their new book, Cashing Out: Win the Wealth Game by Walking Away.
“We really got to a solution by understanding that there’s a lot of culture at play when it comes to both of our money perspectives,” Kiersten Saunders said.
The couple strengthened their relationship and were ultimately able to walk away from their corporate jobs and eliminate more than $200,000 in debt.
“People are talking around the issue or they’re having very coded and respectful conversations about money, but they’re not really getting down to the nitty-gritty details and those are the things matter,” Julien Saunders said.
The couple have rewritten the rules to achieving financial freedom and detailed it in their book.
“It’s a new career ambition that allows people to put themselves in the driver’s seat of how they spend their time,” she explained.
The couple believes that the key mental approach for careers is to operate with the end in mind, “so that you’re managing your money and managing you career in a way that puts you in a position to walk away without creating some type of financial disarray,” Julien Saunders said.
The couple gave their income a clear purpose and prioritized wants versus needs.
“What it looked like for me [was] breaking my lease to my very expensive apartment, [and] curbing my eating-out habits … so we did a lot of cooking at home,” Kiersten Saunders said.
They also began budgeting with intention.
“I will likely never spend a bunch of money on a nice car, but the things I care about, like travel, spending time with my family, I’m a lot freer and looser with my budget,” Julien Saunders said. “With that, we invest consistently so that we’re not wasting money on things we don’t really care about.”
Overall these three tips are what helped them most:
1. Give your income a clear purpose and invest it.
2. Plan your job exit within 15 years.
3. Find your superpower and make sure the work you’re doing gives value to you beyond just your paycheck.
“I would add to be nimble,” ABC News chief business correspondent Rebecca Jarvis said. “Make sure you are aware that recessions and stock market selloffs, like the type of environment we’re seeing, are a fact of life. Plan accordingly and be prepared.”
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