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There is a popular saying in the financial community, “One House, One Spouse, One Job.”
It essentially constitutes one of the “golden rules” of finance and is advice often given to those seeking financial independence.
Breaking one or more components of this tenet implies that you may find yourself in a financial pit with little chance of escape.
It is therefore quite easy to become disheartened, and even give up before starting the journey to financial success, if you happen to be one of the transgressors.
As the purpose of this blog is meant to uplift and not discourage, I thought it would be beneficial to highlight individuals who have indeed broken the rule and still found financial success.
I consider myself one of the major violators of this rule, and have broken all 3 components in grand fashion, exemplified by my 5 part series “I Have Pretty Much Made Every Mistake In The Book.”
These stories are meant to inspire so that others know it is still possible to reach your financial goals despite straying off the ideal path.
The following submission is from a fellow blogger, Kevin, who runs the website Next Level Finance.
Background Information (age, occupation, marital status):
I am 36 years old, business owner, and married.
Which of the golden rules did you break?
For each golden rule broken, can you please provide the following information:
a) How old you were when you first broke the rule
23 years old!
I quit my corporate job just 18 months in to go work in the family business.
b) What is your best estimate for the cost of breaking this rule?
I’d say that it cost me roughly $75,000 in direct compensation reduction over a couple of years after the job change, but indirectly it probably cost me much more as it turned into a job that I became a bit stuck in while trying to figure out what to do next.
c) How many years, if any, do you feel breaking the rule set you back financially?
In terms of capital accumulation, it probably set me back a year or two, but it set me back further in terms of career and that’s a bit harder to quantify.
d) How were you able to overcome the financial repercussions (if any)?
Through just working hard and keeping an eye on quality opportunities, most of the repercussions faced during my early 20s have now been overcome and then some.
I guess it’s better to make mistakes in your early 20s than in your early 40s.
It’s easier to overcome them.
My post, “How To Increase Net Worth” demonstrates some of the principles I used.
e) What were some of the factors you considered when weighing your decision to break a golden rule?
I was impatient and thought I was too good for the corporate ladder.
I thought there might be more opportunity in an entrepreneurial environment.
I don’t necessarily disagree with these statements, but to make this jump so early on was silly.
f) If you went back in time and was faced with the same situation, would you defy a golden rule again or would you instead find an alternative course (and if so what would it be)?
I would consider breaking the rule again, but I would absolutely wait longer before doing it.
As someone so early in his career, it’s important to just stay put for a time being and learn.
g) What advice would you offer readers potentially facing a similar decision?
If you’re in a good corporate job with annual raises and promotion opportunities, don’t be so quick to go the entrepreneurial route.
I’m a strong believer in becoming a business owner, but individuals in their 20s should not be so hasty (as I was).
Having a job is more than just that specific job.
Learn new skills.
See how some companies work.
You’re not going to enter prime earning years until your 30s and beyond anyways, so just be patient and learn.
h) Why do you think the rule that you broke is even included in the financial tenet, “One House, One Spouse, One job?”
For most people, focusing on his or her primary job is absolutely the best way to increase income.
Obviously there are exceptions, and obviously some entrepreneurs are super successful.
I’m an entrepreneur myself and make a good living from it, but I think the majority of people out there would be better suited to just focus on their job and increase their opportunity and compensation within the current job they have.
i) If you were faced with breaking a golden rule today, would you do it?
For the right opportunities, I’d break the one job rule.
But I’m much more wiser than years ago, and I’m more content in my current situation.
I’m a strong believer in the one spouse rule, and I also believe that sticking with your one house as long as possible is a really good idea.
Most people underestimate the costs of moving, and it is typically a direct hit to your net worth.
As much as I would love to take credit for coming up with the idea for this series, I have to admit that this was the brainchild of a reader of the blog who contacted me and made this excellent suggestion.
I welcome any suggestions for topics for this blog, it just makes my life so much easier and helps preserve whatever I have remaining in my creative well.
If you have an inspiring financial story as a “financial golden rule breaker” feel free to offer a submission so that your story can likewise inspire others.
For guidance please check out this guest post checklist.
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