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Self-made millionaire: If your goal is to be financially independent, ask yourself 4 questions

“At the end of the day, the better you know yourself, the easier it is to manage your money.”

By | Ryan Ermey |

Like any other financial philosophy, the so-called “FIRE” movement has no shortage of experts and thought leaders eager to share their blueprint for success. Fans of FIRE (which stands for “financial independence, retire early”) embrace the idea of saving the vast majority of their income in their 20s and 30s, in order to retire or focus solely on hobbies and passion projects in their 30s or 40s.

And if you’re interested in FIRE, chances are you’ve heard of Grant Sabatier. The author of “Financial Freedom” and founder of websites Millennial Money and is one of the movement’s prominent success stories, having stashed away over $1 million in just five years by launching several side hustles and saving more than 80% of his income.

Yet unlike many of his peers, Sabatier doesn’t believe his path to financial independence should be used as a roadmap.

“One of the mistakes people make is that they see a YouTube video or a blog post, or read a book about how someone is living their life and think, ‘That’s how I’m going to live my life,’” he says. “That’s always a bad plan.”

It may seem logical to reach for an outside framework to apply to your finances, Sabatier says, but you’re far more likely to find success if you start from a place of introspection. “It’s easier to chase something than to stop and look at your life,” he says. “At the end of the day, the better you know yourself, the easier it is to manage your money.”

Here are four questions Sabatier suggests you ask yourself before pursuing financial independence as a goal.

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