The goal of money independence is a 10 to 20 year journey.
Most people can see the end-reward of money independence and its utter freedom. The sound of having a passive income stream cover your lifestyle cost sounds great. Obviously. But people hit a mental block when they think of acting on a 15 year goal.
And yeah, I mean who wouldn't?
So let's find a way to make money independence happen in a digestible time frame.
Let's talk bridge funds.
"Bridge" -- a structure carrying a path over an obstacle.
"Fund" -- a sum of money saved for a particular purpose.
Get it? hah,
A bridge fund is money saved to help you accomplish your next goal. Each bridge gets you to a goal, all the while keeping you on your path to money independence.
Another way to see it is as you grow your stash you put down markers to hit. As you hit them you take actions to improve your life-situations. The reason you reach for a greater number before you make the life change is to lessen any risks that could happen when you make the change.
With bridge funds you are creating your money independence lifestyle piece by piece while on your way to your money independence number.
You aren't sitting in shitty situations until you hit the number. You are using the the hidden green money provides to make your life better and better as you go, while keeping the end goal of retirement in mind.
Here are some goals and bridge funds that might fit different stages of your life:
-Pay off all debt! And celebrate with a month long road trip! [$4,000]
-Save four months worth of spending to start investing! [$6,000]
-Negotiate a better position at my current job or find more desirable work [$30,000]
-Work in New Zealand for two years! [$50,000]
-Get my real estate license or go to physical therapy school [$65,000]
-Be a physical therapist and save to buy a home [$100,000]
-Work 3 days a week to spend more time with kids while they are young [$350,000]
-Start a small side-business selling artwork or playing music! [$500,000]
I'm not saying you should outline your whole life like this. I just wrote all of these to show different ideas of what a bridge fund could be used for at different phases of the money independence journey. The bridge fund number is relative to your lifestyle cost and savings rate and amount.
All you need to do is set up your next goal, then create a bridge fund that aligns with it.
Each bridge should excite you for its end-reward, and keep you moving toward the longer goal of money independence.
The idea here is that when you hit your money independence number your entire path has been filled with accomplishment after accomplishment of your dreams.
You don't sacrifice anything. You empower yourself more and more with every bridge you cross.
Life is for the living. And bridge funds are a wonderful way to start pulling the hidden green out of life while keeping on the money independence path.