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A Math Teacher Went From Earning $5,000 a Month to $28,000 Thanks to 6 Strategic Money Decisions

Steve Chen went from being a teacher to becoming financially independent and making six figures

By | Laila Maidan |

From the moment Steve Chen saw his first paycheck, he knew the job wasn’t going to pan out. He started his career as a public school teacher in 2014, teaching math to middle-school students in Los Angeles, and the pay just wasn’t enough.

He was making a little over $5,000 a month pre-tax. But after all the taxes and benefits were deducted, he was left with barely enough  to enjoy his life the way he wanted to. 

“I live in California. A lot of the stuff here is super expensive, like with taxes, food, and living costs. I did the math on it and I was like, even if I lived super frugally and just ate ramen every day or whatever, and saved $500 or $1,000 every month in my checking and my savings accounts, there’s no way that I can live comfortably when it comes to retirement,” Chen said. “That’s when I decided to make a change in my life.”

Related: How a 30 Year Old Turned Her $3,400 Tax Refund Into a $12,000-a-Month Side Hustle

He hopped on the internet and began researching how others were retiring early. Six years later, in February 2020, he quit his job at the age of 33 after tucking away enough money to live on his investments. He now has four sources of  that bring him about $28,000 a month and allow him to work as much or as little as he wants to. 

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