Build A Foundation and Compound It
The average Joe on the street has been affected by escalating inflation since early 2022. Even those people who have supposedly achieved FIRE are starting to struggle with expenses because their passive income could not keep up with inflation. We are facing a cost of living crisis across the world. It is during periods like this that I am glad I have built a substantial dividend portfolio. The growing cash flow from my portfolio enables me to improve my quality of life, gradually. 13 years ago when I started my investing journey, my strategy was scoffed at. I was saving up like mad, working an extra job on weekends. Cheap food, cheap clothes, cheap shoes, cheap phone, cheap laptop, no overseas trips. In other words, trade-offs were made. I knew I had to do hardcore saving and make some sacrifices to build a strong foundation. Told myself the fruits will come later and it would all be worth it. Told myself to keep grinding in silence.
In 2020 when the pandemic caused widespread panic and uncertainty around the world, I wasn't too affected. In fact, I was thriving. Even started my YouTube channel in the middle of a pandemic! I knew I could fall back on my portfolio. All those years of grinding finally paid off. I believe lifestyle inflation is actually fine as long as you do it sustainably and not on credit. Build up a huge passive cashflow before you even embark on quality of life upgrades. There is a saying in Chinese '先苦后甜' which means endure the bitterness first before tasting the sweetness later. Words of wisdom indeed. Unfortunately, most people prefer instant gratification.
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