10 Ways We Grew Our Net Worth by $99,000 in a Year with One Income and then Zero Income!

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If you want to grow your net worth, but don’t know how I would stick around and read below.  It is pretty incredible feeling to be able to live off a small income and then zero income.  We went from being a family that made $150,000 per year for a year to a family who made $60,000 to a family who made had zero income.  We downsized our life and traveled the country and still grew our net worth by $99,000 in 2021. We want to show you 10 ways we grew our net worth so it can inspire you too!

Download for free the budget calendar to you this year!

1. Prayed for God to Provide

When we quit our jobs, I really did not know what the year was going to bring us.  I knew that God would provide because he did it for me before during the 3 months I did not have a job when I moved to Raleigh, NC I did not know how he would do it for us though.  I prayed consistently.  I had huge faith. My journal probably has in it a million times – God please provide for us.  Please make our budget work.  Please have us bless others along our journey. 

God provided in ways like this throughout the year:

  • We received free jewelry cases to create more income
  • We received fresh breads from other campers
  • We received jams and honeys from people we met along the way
  • We received free show fees
  • We received rent for free by volunteering our time

I will tell you God provides in ways you do not know is possible.  Try him.  He will provide for you too! 

2. Focused at the beginning of the year

Yearly Bullet Budget Journal

With this yearly bullet budget journal, we have seen people… Boost their savings Pay down debt fast Increase their networth Have one place for their finances Customize their budget, which means no messy budget Accomplish their money goals faster Reduce the worry about finances

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When we did have a steady income, we were focused on paying off the remaining debt of our home to make us debt free.  We also focused on maxing out our Health Saving Account to capitalize on tax free money. We focused on savings and really maximizing our investments as well.  This included our retirement Roth IRA, IRA, 401(k), and our child’s 529 Plan too. 

When you have a big plan like us to quit your jobs and travel the country, you must come financially prepared too.  

It cannot be a let’s just do it and hope it works kind of thing. 

3. Budgeted each month

We budgeted our months out that we did not have an income and tried to figure out how long we could make our savings work for us. We did not go overboard with our budget.  We reduced little things like tv, cell phones, rent, utilities, subscriptions, and all.  By cutting these costs it made us be able to go further with the money we had saved up.

Our main expenses in our budget were food, gas, insurance, and travel. To reduce these, like food, we created meal planning 101.  This helped us stay flat with our food budget even though inflation killed most people.  From 2020 to 2021, we only spent $100 more from year to year. This helped us a lot!

You can easily find out that food is the easiest way to bust a budget.

For gas, we used gas apps to help where we needed and places like food shopping to save on gas. This was our biggest expense as we traveled more than 3,500 miles total. 

Insurance, we pay in 6 months so we reduce this cost and it is very important to have in case of an accident. We also have our life insurance with this cost.  

4. Followed up on our budget

Every month we followed up on our budget even when it was scary!  There were months where we did not keep track closely of what was going out of our budget and we were living like we were on a 6 month vacation. Woooah! Those months I look back on and think, how did I allow us to buy 2 lobster meals in a week!  That is $200 you guys if you were wondering.  That is 2 weeks’ worth of meals for us.

Let me tell you a little secret, no matter how scary it is to follow up on your budget.  This will be where you win the most to increase your net worth! You will be able to see where your money is going and not be wondering where it went. 

5. Invested our money

Invest your money in a retirement account – early and often! You will be glad you did and if you start late start putting a little extra in it! Invest your money in your health savings account. Invest your money in a Roth IRA.  Every single bucket you can invest your money do it!  Your money will grow and grow and you will be glad you did.

When the market crashed because it will again.  Leave your money there and do not touch it! Do not touch your money to take it out as a loan. 

Watch that money grow and invest it! 

Look at our dividends grow over the past few years:

6. Paid off all our debts

We had our home that we needed to pay off.  That was the only remaining debt we had.  We paid off all our cars already.  We paid off all our student loans.  When you pay off your home that frees up $800+ payment that is now yours to do whatever you want!  It is such an AMAZING feeling.

I wish more people were able to do this, and let me tell you.  You can! 

When you get around the right people to motivate you and encourage you.  You can become debt free.  I wish more people talked about being debt free, but in our society, it is not talked about enough. 

Yearly Bullet Budget Journal

With this yearly bullet budget journal, we have seen people… Boost their savings Pay down debt fast Increase their networth Have one place for their finances Customize their budget, which means no messy budget Accomplish their money goals faster Reduce the worry about finances

$24.99

7. Focused on Fun Free Things To Do 

While we were traveling the country, we focused on fun free things to do rather than all the tourist spots.  Yes, we did do a few touristy stuff like Maid of the Mist in Niagara Falls and Mount Rush Moore, but you can still see so much of the country without buying stuff. 

Funny story, we went to the crazyhorse and turned around because they were going to make us pay for a rock that is not finished yet.  We could see it from our car and we snapped a photo and went on our way. 

If you do not know how to find free things to do while you are traveling, please read this.  We have been to over 46 states and lived in 6 states because we have chosen to live this lifestyle.  We always know how to stretch our dollar for our family.

8. Gave a car away

They always say to give and it will be given in ten folds back to you, and I have to tell you this is definitely true.  I love doing #8.  It is actually not the first car I have given away, but yes in 2021 we gave a car away. 

We had two cars and did not need two cars while we traveled to Utah. We only could tow one car, so we gave the car away to someone who needed it more than we did.  It felt so good too!  God provided in ways we did not know was possible because we gave first and we gave the goodness from our hearts.

If you need a reminder of how God provided for us, go back to number 1. 

  1. 5 Ways to Build your Credit
  2. 4 Top Questions about Retirement
  3. Give Today To Receive More Tomorrow
9. Increased our Income

We focused on how to increase our income with our side hustles.  We found things that we love to do and figured out how to make money from them.  There is so much that you can do to turn your hobby into an income. 

My husband set up shop at craft shows and other shows to sell his rocks and wire wrap jewelry.  His business he created, Unrivaled Wire Wraps.  

I help people with their budget and created a remote business to help more people with how to navigate through their money. 

10. Communicated to each other

The most important for last point on how we grew our net worth by $99k we communicated as a team.  We are a married couple who consistently keeps each other in the loop of our spending.  In anything in life, it is key to be on the same page and communicate. 

There are many ways to do money, but I truly believe to keep your money together and to do a budget together at the beginning of the month.  One person can do the numbers and the other person can come up with the suggestions.  One person can be the dreamer and the other person can bring the other person back to reality.  

You can do this as a team together, and if you are reading this and your spouse is not on par with you.  One way to get them on the same page as you is find out what their dream is.  Do they not want to work anymore? Do they want to travel the country? Do they want to buy a super fancy car? Buy a huge lot of land?  Find out the reason they would care about money and talk about and love that dream too. You can save together. You can pay off debt together.  You can be each other’s accountability partner, because you will need it during your money journey and to build your net worth. 

I hope these 10 ways to build your net worth encouraged you.  These are the true ways we built our net worth this year.  It is slow and steady who wins the race, so if you have not started to build your net worth.  I want you to start today.  Make a commitment today to make a budget, track your spending, communicate, and all those other ways to build your net worth as mentioned above.  You can do it and I fully believe in you.  You are blessed in everything you do. 

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