When You Have That Epiphany…

J. $ at Budgets Are Sexy had an interesting post on “When You Have That Epiphany” which inspired me to write this post. 🙂

I had my financial epiphany in 2011 after reading Secret of Millionaire Mind Set and attending the Millionaire Mind Intensive seminar with Mrs. T. Although both Mrs. T and I were frugal, we didn’t have the knowledge to wrap everything up. We also had a lot of negative thoughts and conditioning about money that were holding us back. Reading the book and attending the seminar helped the both of us to start talking about money openly and made sure that we’re on the same page on money and household finance.

Since then, we started a budget system and tracked our net worth every quarter. We also learned about passive income. While my dad was an early retiree and one of my cousins retired before age of 40, financial independence was not a concept I was very familiar with. Learning about financial independence and reading blogs like Mr. Money Mustache and Budget Are Sexy opened a new world for me. I realized that financial independence is truly possible. The idea of being financially independent got Mrs. T and I very excited. We set up plans and strategies so we could be financially independence by our mid 40’s (or earlier if we can). One of our passive income streams is dividend income which I provide an update every month on this blog. We have also become more informed on personal finance and investing. Starting this blog about 1.5 year ago was a way for me to share my thoughts with other like-minded people. I feel extremely fortunate and blessed to have been able to connect with various bloggers. I feel that the personal finance blogosphere is extremely supportive and I really appreciate all the support and help that I’ve received so far. Having a financial epiphany allowed us to be laser focused and have long term and short term goals to work toward. Our net worth has grown quite significantly since 2011, so has our passive income. Go me!

Dear readers, when did you have that financial epiphany?

 

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38 Comments

  • Reply
    Thias @It Pays Dividends
    April 20, 2016 at 9:43 am

    I had the epiphany about 2 years ago when I first started listening to personal finance podcasts (mainly Stacking Benjamins and Listen Money Matters). While we never spent a lot of money, we didn’t put it to work for us very effectively. I am still trying to get my wife 100% on board because I still don’t think she believes it is possible but I think we are getting closer every day!

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      April 20, 2016 at 4:46 pm

      Hi Thias,

      That’s awesome that you and your wife are 100% on board. 🙂

  • Reply
    Team CF
    April 20, 2016 at 11:45 am

    We got our epiphany after the combined parental leave after our little one was born. We travelled around for 10 weeks straight without financial worries (you got to love government benefits). But that feeling, and a lack of enthusiasm about my work, let to the search for improvements or other options. Via an article in MoneySense we got to earlyretirementextreme.com and onwards from there. Has been a good and productive journey since, but we may only be about half way, which is somewhat frustrating.

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      April 20, 2016 at 4:49 pm

      Hi Team CF,

      WTG on having an epiphany after parental leave. I’m taking a 2 week break and I’m definitely getting a small taste of what FI might look like on a daily basis.

  • Reply
    Route To Retire
    April 20, 2016 at 12:57 pm

    I had mine during a time when I kept thinking that there has to be something better than the day in and out every day at the office. I was in a rut and one day my mom called and said “hey, there was this guy on the news that’s talking about exactly what you’ve been frustrated with… his name is Robert Kiyosaki.”

    I rolled my eyes, but thought I would check out the book he was marketing at the time which was “Rich Dad’s Prophecy.” That book blew my mind! It clicked right away. It took me a while to figure out a game plan, but that was definitely it for me. Since then, I’ve read all of his books and even met him at one point. You can build up or beat down his teachings, but that was the big eye-opener for me and I understood the importance of passive income and getting out of the rat race.

    — Jim

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      April 20, 2016 at 4:51 pm

      Hi Jim,

      Kiyosaki’s book is great even though it’s pure fictional. Rich Dad, Poor Dad definitely opened my eyes. Awesome that you had a financial epiphany!

  • Reply
    brian503
    April 20, 2016 at 4:08 pm

    We had ours back in 2010, it was more of a rock bottom moment, when we were crippled with debt. We realized we had to make a change. We educated ourselves and built a plan. Now debt free we are building wealth and teaching our children how to do the same.

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      April 20, 2016 at 4:52 pm

      That’s totally awesome that you wre able to turn your life around Brian! Debt free is amazing!

  • Reply
    Dividend Beginner
    April 20, 2016 at 4:23 pm

    I had my epiphany after starting my first career job and reading Tony Robbin’s Money Master The Game about a year and a half ago. I knew I didn’t want to HAVE to work 8 hours of every single beautiful day for the rest of my life and wanted to enjoy my time. It just made sense.

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      April 20, 2016 at 4:53 pm

      Hi Dividend Beginner,

      Very cool! Haven’t read that book so will have to check it out. 🙂

  • Reply
    Jayson @ Monster Piggy Bank
    April 20, 2016 at 5:01 pm

    I hope I’d have that kind of epiphany that would really change my whole life into something better. I’d get the copy of Secret of Millionaire Mind Set. Thanks for the recommendation, Taw.

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      April 20, 2016 at 9:52 pm

      Hope the book will open a new world for you.

  • Reply
    Dividendsdownunder
    April 20, 2016 at 7:44 pm

    We had the epiphany when we realised that investors get their dividends topped up by 30% from the Govt (a refund of company tax). This led us to finding Fool.com(.au), TheSimpleDollar, GetRichSlowly and it has grown from there to finding a ton more websites. Perhaps too many 🙂

    Tristan

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      April 20, 2016 at 9:53 pm

      That’s a great knowledge to learn about dividend investing down under. Sounds like we’re similar, following way too many websites. 🙂

  • Reply
    Michael
    April 20, 2016 at 10:21 pm

    Have to agree with Dividend Beginner’s choice of book … Tony Robbin’s Money Master The Game. It is definitely worth a read. Lots of good Canadian dividend stocks to invest in up here 🙂 Love your articles

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      April 22, 2016 at 2:14 pm

      Thanks Michael, need to read Tony Robbin’s book for sure.

  • Reply
    NRG
    April 21, 2016 at 7:49 am

    I had my epiphany about six years ago. Did way too much buying a selling of stocks trying to find the next gain. I ended up neutral or losing money. I started reading Mr. Money Mustache, Asset Grinder, Tawcan, and other DGI investment blogs. Slowly started moving money from growth to income. Also started setting goals. I talked to my financial advisor and realized that the $15000 a year cost for him to manage my money could be in my pocket by using Dividend Growth stocks. Now I have a property in Phoenix which I visit 10 weeks a year, an acreage and everything is paid off. This is my last year of work and my dividend income plus modest pension will pay for a modest lifestyle of fun and travel.
    I wish I would have started DGI 20 years ago and I would have retired earlier.

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      April 22, 2016 at 2:15 pm

      Hi NRG,

      Looks like it was good for you to have the epiphany. Paying your financial advisor that much money for doing very little is outrageous. Great to hear that you’re doing much better financially than 6 years ago.

  • Reply
    Mr. SSC
    April 21, 2016 at 8:22 am

    I had my epiphany or “lightbulb moment” back around 2012 maybe. Mrs. SSC was already investing well for us, and she had been reading MMM, 1500 days, and other blogs and probably had her epiphany back in 2009 or so (but i can’t really speak for her on that). Even then her retirement spreadsheets predicted possible retirement around 45 (still not bad for not trying), well, we’d cut out our major financial leaks by then, so maybe we were trying without knowing it…

    However, I still didn’t buy in and accept that it was possible, until around 2012. Once I was sold on the concept, we’ve been working at ways to speed it up even more. I think we’re pretty solid on FI in 2018 for sure, 2017, maybe, and unless something catastrophic happens, I won’t be working in 2019. 🙂

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      April 22, 2016 at 2:15 pm

      Very cool Mr. SSC. Neat to hear that it was Mrs. SSC that had the ahha moment before you. 2017, 2018 or 2019, that’s still pretty awesome in my book.

  • Reply
    Apathy Ends
    April 21, 2016 at 9:21 am

    Coming up on 3 years now for me, when I realized I was paying over 5k in student loan interest every year. Some searches on “how to pay off debt” snowballed into “saving rates” and that has went further into “retire early”

    The personal finance community is amazing!

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      April 22, 2016 at 2:16 pm

      The PF community is absolutely amazing indeed.

  • Reply
    Jack Luo
    April 21, 2016 at 11:37 am

    Hi Tawcan,

    First of all, fantastic blog! I recently became a follower as your name showed up in multiple occasions as I was surfing through the net.

    I am in my late 20s, a lovely family with 6-month old baby boy (Jackson) who has been keeping me up all night. My wife is from Taiwan and I I have a deep Taiwanese heritage as well despite of being born and raised in China. I came to BC, Canada as a teenager 14 years ago, just like you, had to start with zero English proficiency.

    To be specific, I had various financial epiphanies throughout my life. Growing up with my grandparents in a suburban town had truly shaped me into a frugal person. Unfortunately, my wife was brought up very differently. Growing up in the city Taipei during the late 80s and early 90s, when the entire country’s economy was booming like crazy, my wife admits that she was somehow spoiled. We have very different perspectives and approaches when it comes to lifestyle and budgeting. I found it difficult to get her on-board on a frugal lifestyle and share the same financial values.

    However, I had a significant epiphany last year, when we were preparing for the arrival of our baby. I was stunned when I realized how little disposal income we had. Even though my current salary almost doubled since I started my career 6 years ago, I actually had more disposal income back then. That’s when I really started to make sizable contributions to my RRSP and max out on our TFSA, then looking to build-up my own investing portfolio instead of relying on mutual funds and other products offered by the banks. I realized that we need to create other streams of income as our expenses are likely to increase significantly with the arrival of our lovely boy, and it’s not likely that I can ever double my salary again.

    I really admire what you and your wife have done financially. Looking forward to more great posts.

    Cheers,

    Jack

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      April 22, 2016 at 2:16 pm

      Wow Jack, this is an awesome story and thanks for sharing, really appreciate you following my little blog.

  • Reply
    DivGuy
    April 21, 2016 at 11:58 am

    Hey Tawcan,
    very good post!
    Since I’m a teenager, I want to reach financial independence. However, I didn’t realize how to reach it until recently. By leaving my life here and going for my road trip opened my eyes on what truly matters. This is when I had my epiphany. I’m changing lots of things in my life before we leave and I know the journey will transform our family. This is very exciting!
    I’m actually aiming at cash flow generation instead of having a pile of money stack somewhere. My biggest “dividend portfolio” will become my websites. It’s a long but fun journey!
    Cheers,
    Mike

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      April 22, 2016 at 2:17 pm

      Hi Mike,

      Living on the road will be amazing not just for you but for your kids too. There are so many things one can learn by traveling than by reading books.

  • Reply
    J. Money
    April 22, 2016 at 8:16 am

    What a great idea for a post!! 😉

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      April 22, 2016 at 2:18 pm

      Learning from the master. 😉

  • Reply
    ambertreeleaves
    April 22, 2016 at 12:38 pm

    My epiphany came after selling my apartment. At that time, I was working on plan to be financially save by age 67, no joke! After some googling on how to invest in ETFs, I discovered this thing called Financial Independence. I made some major changes to the plan and hopefully can shave off a full 15 years! Seeing that date, I really opened my eyes.

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      April 22, 2016 at 2:20 pm

      Very cool that you discovered FI and are on your way to achieve FI. It’s amazing that more and more people are discovering that FI is indeed possible.

  • Reply
    Dividend Diplomats
    April 23, 2016 at 8:00 am

    Tawcan,

    Great post. I would say it started for me seeing my mom & family struggle. I knew then that financial stability was important. I then read Rich Dad, Poor Dad at around 2009/2010 and boom – the financial freedom journey was on for me. Thank God I had read and had the experiences in my life – as I know it has helped get me to where I am today. Keep on moving towards those goals and dreams!

    -Lanny

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      April 26, 2016 at 1:52 pm

      Hi Lanny,

      Great to hear that you had your own financial epiphany.

  • Reply
    organisedredhead
    April 23, 2016 at 11:38 am

    Hi Tawcan,

    I think I’m pretty new to the game in terms of FI and having an epiphany. Although I’ve always been pretty savvy with money I would say that I’ve only really woken up to the fact that I can become FI and retire earlier than many within the last 6 months or so – if only I’d have worked this out sooner *sigh*! Never mind, I now have a 10 year plan which with a little bit of luck might even be less than that. I discovered the possibilities, not through a book, but through the amazing personal finance blogs openly available to read online – amazing community I have to say.

    Thanks for a great post!

    OR

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      April 26, 2016 at 1:53 pm

      Hi OR,

      That’s great that you discovered the concept of FI the last 6 months. No need to feel bad, at least you had the epiphany recently than 20 years from now. 🙂

  • Reply
    Jonny Pean
    April 24, 2016 at 8:09 am

    My epiphany happened 5 years back when I finally decided that I want to give up my job and start my entrepreneurial journey. i realized that my happiness is definitely tied to my finances but more tied to how I earned those bucks

    • Reply
      Tawcan
      April 26, 2016 at 1:54 pm

      So awesome Jonny, thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    PonCat
    May 25, 2016 at 4:37 pm

    My epiphany happened when my health started deteriorating from over working. I was dis-satisfied all the time, but I was next in line for a promotion. When we had a org change, all my hard work was forgotten, and I didn’t join the “company man crew” and talk about football/beer/ etc so my expected promotion was handed to a new hire.

    Nonetheless, working in the tech industry in the valley compensates me very well, so I’ve decided to be happy, take it easy, and work on FI!

  • Reply
    wealthfromthirty
    February 22, 2017 at 7:29 pm

    I think my financial epiphany was listening to an audio book of “the millionaire next door” and reading a book of my Dad’s on dividend investing (which was written in the 80’s) during a summer of my early teens – my bedroom was 40+ degrees C but I sweated it out, literally, because I was so entranced. I created a bunch of spreadsheets and calculations to test the ideas the book (some strange concoction of high yield ASX stocks amongst other metrics) and the math the book purported worked didn’t hold up into the 90’s and beyond. Still, that was enough to whet my appetite and I haven’t looked back.

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