How one couple saved $1 million in 4 years to retire by age 43

Next, the couple focused on earning more. Carl’s main side gig is blogging, but he also fixes up homes and writes smart phone apps. Mindy, who was previously a stay-at-home mom, landed her current job as a writer for a real estate investing website through their blog. They both plan to continue working on the side in retirement.

They also made smart investments, including buying the $176,000 fixer upper home that they estimate is now worth over $400,000. Another major investment vehicle for Carl and Mindy is the stock market. Although they don’t recommend picking individual stocks — which is much riskier than investing in low-cost index funds — they did have success buying shares of Facebook.

“I don’t endorse it and it’s not my new methodology, but I bought 2,000 shares at Facebook at about $30 a share and now it’s like $120 a share,” Carl told Torabi. “I’m an index-fund guy now.”

Whether you choose to invest in real estate or the stock market, or neither, the point is that focusing on increasing earnings is just as important as saving. Increasing income isn’t always as easy as cutting costs, but most people don’t work more than 40 hours a week, they said on Torabi’s podcast. They said you can drive for Uber or Lyft and rent out a spare room through Airbnb to increase your income.

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