Do you want to become financially independent?
Do you want complete freedom to choose what to do and not do?
Do you want to be the master of your own destiny versus have someone else in control?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you’ve come to the right place.
This site is about the few, essential steps anyone needs to take to become financially independent.
When I say “anyone”, I mean anyone. Any person who applies these principles consistently over time will become wealthier. They will also achieve financial independence well before most others.
And when I say “few”, that’s what I mean. There are only three simple steps that are vital to your success. Focus on these and your net worth will skyrocket.
Welcome to ESI Money!
This site is about managing your money so you can become wealthy. I realize that “wealthy” is a moving target, but what you consider to be your “wealthy” is up to you. I simply share tips that have helped me amass a sizable net worth and you can pick and choose the most suitable for you.
This page is designed to tell you a bit about about the author, help introduce you to the site, and give a few tips for making the most of your time here.
Learning from Success
These site is a summary of 25 years of money management experience.
I am not a financial adviser or money professional of any kind. I’m just a normal person who learned how to manage money by trial and error plus some study and focus.
But the results speak for themselves. In those 25 years I have been able to accumulate a large net worth that has left me financially independent.
Why does that matter to you? According to The Miracle Morning, a key path to success is “to learn from the experts — those who have already done what you want to do.”
I personally prefer learning from someone who has “been there and done that” versus someone who has plenty of theories but no real accomplishments to back them up. I trust you feel the same.
Now I would certainly not call myself an expert. Banish the thought! In fact ESI Money has an entire category dedicated to “experts” who are not really experts (they just pretend to be because it’s to their advantage.)
But if you want to learn from someone who is financially independent, then I’m your guy. I’ve done what you want to do.
Before we get to the details, let me share a bit about my background. I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth.
About the Author
I’m a 50-something guy who’s been married 27 years and has two kids (son, daughter) in their twenties. We live in Colorado (and LOVE it!).
My interest in personal finance was a gradual process which built upon itself through a series of events. Some of the highlights include:
- I grew up rather poor in a small Midwestern town and knew I didn’t want to live that way as an adult. From a young age, I knew I wanted to be wealthy and I geared my career choices towards high-paying professions.
- I worked my way through college and grad school. I spent the next 28 years working in marketing for large and small companies.
- My wife and I started helping others at our church with their finances. The training we took prior to assisting them not only equipped us to help others but also educated us about managing our own money.
- Counseling others taught us a great deal about real-world money issues. We could see first-hand what was working and what wasn’t. Much of our learning was from seeing others’ mistakes.
- About this time I read The Millionaire Next Door and started applying the concepts I learned. It is easily the most influential money book of my life.
- We paid off all our debts early in our marriage, including our mortgage, and saved 36% of my income for over 20 years. We invested this money initially for growth and later for income.
- Along the way, we donated approximately 20% of our income. Helping those who are less fortunate is a key part of our family’s values.
- In 2005, I started a personal finance blog. As I wrote, I learned more about what it really took to become wealthy. It helped crystalize my thoughts and forced me to take action.
- I determined an arbitrary amount in both assets ($4 million) and income ($100k) for what I thought it would take to retire early. Then, through a series of events, I became tired of work. I wanted to leave for good. I wanted my freedom. I began to rethink my retirement plans. I calculated a very specific retirement budget and found that I had enough to retire at any time. (I had become financially independent a decade earlier. Doh!)
- In the fall of 2016 I retired with a nest egg whose income is large enough to provide for my family’s needs. In other words, we don’t have to withdraw anything from assets to support our needs.
- I started ESI Money shortly before I retired.
I don’t say any of this to brag (it’s actually not that impressive anyway – almost anyone could do what I’ve done) but to just let you know that I’m fairly knowledgeable in the subject and have actually accomplished something financially myself.
From personal experience, and the experience and testimonials of my readers, I know these principles work. I hope you will take them to heart, implement them, and achieve your financial goals.
If you want to dig a bit deeper into who this ESI guy is, your best source is to read the posts in my About category. They all shed some sort of light into who I am, how I handle money, the issues I’m facing now, and so forth.
If you want a quick overview of my life as it relates to this site, check out these posts:
If you want a quick overview of my personal life and how I manage various aspects of my finances, here are a few posts I’d recommend reading:
- I Retired!
- The Day My Most Valuable Asset Took a Hit
- The First Million is the Hardest
- Financial Details of My Real Estate Investments
- How I Save a Fortune When Buying New Cars
- How We Paid Off Our Mortgage in 10 Years
My philosophy is simple and focuses on doing three simple things to achieve financial independence:
There’s a bit more to it than that, of course, but if you concentrate on these three areas, they will get you at least 90% of the way there.
If you want a LOT of detail, check out my ESI Manifesto.
And here are some of the posts that give a bit more detail on why the site was started and what it’s about:
Finding Your Way Around
Feel free to look around however you like. For those of you who want a bit more “guided” tour, here are some tips:
- The navigation at the top of the site will lead you to my most important and most written on topics. Simply click on a box (like “earn”) and you’ll be taken to specifics on that subject.
- If you’d like to see posts by category, by month, or a complete list of posts, visit my archives page or look at the list of categories in the right sidebar.
- If you want to see/read every post, check out this page containing the sequence in which each post was written.
As for specific categories, here are a few you might be interested in:
- Millionaires category — There’s no better way in my opinion to become wealthy than to learn from others who have done it. These millionaires share the tips and tactics that gave them high net worths. Spoiler alert: the tips often boil down to earning, saving, and investing.
- Not Experts category — This series points out the fact that many of the “financial experts” in media (TV, radio, print, web) and business (financial advisors) are not really that well-versed in how to become wealthy. And yet they hold themselves out to be and give advice as if they are true experts. This is a relatively new series but is already becoming very popular as we discuss the various ways we see these issues play out in our society.
- Retirement category — As an early retiree I’m able to point out both what it takes to retire early as well as how to manage being retired at a relatively young age. There’s some interesting stuff in here if you’re at all interested in early retirement.
Thanks for visiting!