Most people would consider $80,000 a year a respectable salary, but what if you were making that much during college? That’s what today’s guest, Brandon Richard Austin, made in his sophomore year. As a journalism major, he started doing freelance writing work, and a client of his ended up offering him a remote position on the team.

So there Brandon was, making $80,000 a year, working 12 hour days, all while juggling school at the same time. Thankfully, Brandon wasn’t a big spender. He didn’t go out and buy a new car, a new watch, or even move out of his parents’ house.

Brandon was able to start investing in index funds and early cryptocurrencies, netting him some pretty stable returns (at least from the index funds). After completing college and still having a very low cost of living, Brandon asked himself if the job was worth all the stress. He decided it wasn’t and voluntarily chose to take a pay cut to work somewhere else where he was happier and had more control of his work.

Brandon still lives at home and advocates doing the same for people his age. Not having a housing cost (or having very low housing costs) is one of the best ways to put yourself on the path to financial freedom. This low cost of living situation has allowed Brandon to be on the path to financial independence while still valuing his happiness.

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