5 habits to start in your 20’s if you fancy retiring by 40

Now you may be thinking I’m going to offer you a sure fire way to make £1million before you reach your 40’s….unfortunately I’m not! What I am going to give you however, is some tools and things you can do to maximise your chances for financial freedom as early as possible.

In a nutshell – if you want to retire early, you have to start saving early. I think that’s pretty clear? The younger you start to think about your money in a mature way, the higher your chances are…it’s that simple.

So, if you want to feel a little better about your money and start getting your sh*t together, then read on.

Track what you spend

I know I know. It sounds like a boring job, and yes, if you do it manually, it can be quite painstaking (especially if you spend a lot of money). Whether you’re a lover of spreadsheets like me, or prefer to have everything digitally in an app, there are a number of free resources out there to help.

If you’re an app user, these may help you get on track – Money Dashboard, Yolt and Bud are all free to use.

Knowing how much you’re bringing in and how much your spending each month is crucial. It can help you to understand what you’re overspending on and what you have left to save.

Speaking of saving

Most of what you read online will talk about saving half or saving a certain percentage of what you earn – good advice, but if you have a lot outgoing, this may not be possible.

Once you’ve worked out your monthly budget, think about what you can afford not to spend – for example your daily coffee from Starbucks. This over the year can tot up to a substantial amount of money that could easily be popped away in a regular or stocks and shares savings account.

Of course, there are some incredibly impressive people out there who have amassed a huge amount of money in a short period of time by saving more than half their income, but if it’s not possible for you, there are other ways to maximise your saving potential.

Cash in on your hobby or skill set

No matter if you’re a blogger, creator, writer or aspiring photographer, find a way to maximise your income by cashing in on your hobby. For example, I work a full time job, do freelance social media and writing for a number of clients and utilise my passion for fitness to maximise my income.

If you have a skill set or a hobby, you can do it too. But, be mindful not to burn yourself out! At some point something may have to give.

If early retirement or becoming more financially comfortable is one of your goals, turning a hobby into a career (or side hustle if you will), is a great way to pop more cash in the bank for the future. Of course, you will have to register as self-employed if you do start making an income, but that’s a whole other ball game. Drop me a comment below if you’d like to know more about being self-employed while working full time!

Set financial goals

Having a goal can often keep us driven. It gives most people a clear purpose and end date to what they’re trying to achieve. The same applies if you want to retire early or become more financially free.

If you’re thinking of investing some of your money, have a goal in mind for 5 and 10 years, as building up a portfolio of this type can take a decent amount of time. If you’re wanting to start investing in stocks and shares, I’d recommend speaking to someone in the know, so you understand the ins and the outs. It’s a bit of a minefield if you’re new to it.

See how much you’ll need to save if you’re looking to retire early by using a retirement income calculator.


Automating your finances will be the best thing you ever do. I promise you. Putting your financial plan on autopilot will not only help you build up your money, it’ll save you a lot of time and mental energy.

Set up standing orders from your current account to your savings account for the start of each month; automate the transferring of money to your investment account; and above all, don’t touch the money once it’s in there!

Building up your money can seem like a struggle, and I’m not saying you’ll definitely retire by the time you’re 40. What these tools will do, is get you to where you want to be a hell of a lot faster! The last thing we all want when we get older, is to be retiring with little to no money to live from.

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    • sophiieschoice
      January 31, 2020 / 8:54 pm

      Glad you found them helpful hun! Xx

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