Financial Freedom: Financial Tips & Guidance from Self-Made Millionaire

Grant Sabatier

We have all had moments when we felt we didn’t have enough money to get by. In 2010, 24-year-old Grant Sabatier woke up to find he had $2.26 in his bank account.

Five years later, he had a net worth of over $1.25 million.

Grant recently visited our counseling partners GreenPath Financial Wellness to share how he achieved financial independence.

Here are three takeaways from Grant’s presentation:


We want to remix the American Dream so it works for everyone. Many often dream of spending more time with their loved ones because to them time is more precious than money. Grant stresses this sentiment in his book, Financial Freedom. He states,

“I tried to convince myself that this would all be worth it, that every dollar I earned [on the job] was one minute and one dollar closer to some distant dream future in which I could live the life I wanted to live. I realized that doing everything I was ‘supposed’ to do wouldn’t guarantee anything, even retirement in forty-plus years. What kind of life is that? I didn’t want to spend my days in a job I hated just so I could get by.”

So what did he do?


Most of us have accepted the narrative that we should spend decades working a traditional 9-to-5 job in order to earn the right to retire at age 65 or 70. Typically, in order to get to this standard, people are advised to save 5-10% of their paycheck toward retirement. Grant shared that he found a way to live frugally and was able to put 80% of his paycheck into his retirement fund.

Grant says,

“Forget everything we’ve learned about money so we can actually live the life we want.”

Here are six steps to get you started:

1. Calculate your expenses today and figure out how much money you need to get out of debt. Paying off your debt is the first step.

2. Radically shift how you think about money.

3. Stop budgeting and focus on what has the biggest impact on your savings. For example, for most people their biggest expense is their rent or mortgage, so focus on decreasing that payment.

4. Maximize your work benefits, increase your skills, and find a higher paying job.

5. Start a profitable side hustle to make some extra money. This could be a rental property, starting your own small business, dog walking or just selling crafts on Etsy.

6. Invest as much money as early and as often as you can. Grant suggests trying to give up a few luxuries in order to put more of your paycheck towards your retirement. Investing these savings wisely, could give you the reward of an early retirement.

Think about what changes you could make today. Grant encourages us to take control of our finances and empowers us to take action, whether that means working side jobs, starting our own business or altering our lifestyle in the short-run, for the long-term benefit.


Do your research, and know that you’re not alone.

There are many books and educational resources out there with wonderful financial tips. Here are several books we recommend to get started:

  • Financial Freedom by Grant Sabatier
  • The Simple Path to Wealth by JL Collins
  • Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin
  • Set for Life by Scott Trench
  • Smart Women Finish Rich by David Bach
  • The Automatic Millionaire by David Bach

You can also find free classes and webinars to help you on the 121FCU events calendar. These resources can help you live life on your own terms—sooner than later.

Not sure where to go from here?

Free Financial Counseling Can Help.

Our experienced and empathetic financial coaches can help you develop a financial plan and support you in paying off your debt faster, so that you can be on the path to a richer life sooner. Learn more on our Financial Counseling page.

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