Forrest from Don't Work Another Day

See how Forrest is leveraging his day job and side hustle to reach FI as fast as possible.

Louisville, Kentucky
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What is your backstory and how did you first get interested in FIRE?

While working a corporate job, I found myself lost in what was next. I didn’t know what to do, but I did know that I did not want to spend the next 40 years of my life locked in an office Monday through Friday from 8 to 5 building an empire for someone else.

From a young age I have been interested in money. Growing up I had heard Dave Ramsey on the radio, and while I don’t believe in all of his methods or ideology, I think his principles have good footing. A few years ago, I started reading several investing and personal finance blogs that really motivated me to strive for FIRE.

I’ve been fortunate enough to have a stable career in marketing with no financial nightmares as of yet.

Why is FIRE important to you?

My FIRE journey is a little different than most others, I believe. I am not searching to retire early at all. I think work has always, and will always be, a part of my life. But shifting from an environment in which I’m required to work to work-optional would bring me more joy.

The ultimate reason I want FIRE is to have the freedom to do as I want on a daily basis. Coming from a life living for days off and the weekend, this goal would help both my physical and mental health.

What other types of income do you have outside your main job? (housing investments, side hustle, etc.)

One of my primary objectives on my journey to FIRE has been to continually increase my income. While my primary side hustle is blogging at Don’t Work Another Day, I also rented out a small portion of my home to a roommate for a few years. These income streams have helped to increase my investments.

I’m always looking for new sides hustles and ways to make money but my online business has been the priority over the past 18 months.

I also think that you don’t HAVE to have a side hustle to achieve FIRE. While the income from a side hustle can be advantageous, you could also increase your income by focusing your time on your career instead.

What tools, processes or services have helped you save or make more money to achieve FIRE faster?

I think automating my finances as much as possible has helped me on my path towards FIRE. I have automatic investments that come out of my accounts biweekly, allowing me to do minimal work to invest.

I also have invested in my education and knowledge early on enabling me to get a good job with an above average salary in a low cost of living area. I encourage everyone to invest in their knowledge as soon as possible as it can be vital to increasing your income.

Where do you see yourself in 5, 10, 20 years?

I am hoping within the next 5 years I can quit my corporate job and become a full-time entrepreneur. As my blog continues to grow, I plan to reinvest the profits so that it can grow exponentially and I can gain the freedom I desire. I also plan to invest in real estate with hopes of purchasing a rental property within the next 5 years.

In the next 10 years, I hope to have a strong passive income portfolio that allows me to work as wanted while retaining a strong income so I can continue investing.

In the next 20 years, I hope to be fully “retired” with a completely passive income portfolio so that I can live wherever, travel, and enjoy time with friends and family as much as possible.

If you were just getting started in FIRE, what would be the first 3 steps you took to building your path towards financial independence?

My first step would be ensuring you have a net positive cashflow at the end of each month. Make sure your income exceeds your expenses. If you do not have a surplus at the end of the month, look at your expenses and try to cut out any that aren’t necessary.

Then, start investing. It doesn’t matter how much, just get started. This money will compound exponentially helping you to achieve FIRE much faster.

My third step would be focusing on increasing my income so that I can invest more.

In your opinion, should people striving for FIRE focus on lowering their spending or increasing income?

I’ll be completely honest, I am not a frugal or minimalist person by any means. I have spent time working to increase my income so I can purchase things and experiences that I enjoy.

I think that your FIRE journey is all about you. Noone knows you better than yourself. If you’re a frugal person, try lowering your expenses. If you aren’t so frugal, work to increase your income. Whether you’re desperate for money or have plenty, knowing yourself is the key to FIRE.

With that said, you cannot spend all of your income and achieve FIRE. You have to learn how to save and figure out what systems work for you.

Any Frugal/FIRE friendly Hobbies?

I am big into fitness and health. I believe in the impacts your physical health and conditioning can have on your mental health.

Outside of that, I enjoy spending my time at the beach or with family and friends.