The trade-offs that resulted in $ 1 million in net worth at age 35

 The trade-offs that resulted in $ 1 million in net worth at age 35

For Drock, a lobbyist who lives in Washington, D.C., and his wife, the road to 35-year-old net worth of $ 1 million has been littered with compromises.

In a blog post published in January, Droc, who uses an online pseudonym but has been verified by Insider, detailed his journey to becoming a millionaire. He called several of his professional accomplishments fortunes that greatly increased his family income, but he achieved each of them by making careful and often difficult decisions.

1. Moving from a family to a higher-paying job

About 10 years ago, Droc and his wife moved to the US East Coast so he could get a promotion.

When I first asked her to think about moving, she literally cried, Droc wrote on his blog. The idea of ​​uprooting our lives was traumatic — our entire family and all of our friends were in the Midwest.

But they weighed the benefits — the professional opportunity and nearly doubling the annual income — from $ 70,000 to $ 120,000 — and decided it was worth it. It turned out to be a key decision for our financial life, he said.

However, being away from family was challenging. They lost their immediate support system and were forced to deliberately stay in touch, Drok told Insider.

No one but our closest relatives ever came to visit, he said, and scheduling family reunions while they were in their hometown was challenging.

2. Giving up social life for night school

Shortly after their move, Droc's wife enrolled in graduate school and he entered law school. He worked from 9 to 5, spent most of the evenings at school, studied for about 20 hours on weekends, and graduated from university four years later.

It was a busy schedule, which for the first two years only allowed him to spend two leisure activities a week: dating his wife and online video games with friends.

Otherwise, it was almost all business,Drok said. He added that it was stressful, but his desire to reach new heights financially and professionally was motivating. Friends and family often didn't understand why he was so busy and he missed weddings, funerals, and his 10-year high school reunion.

3. How to Avoid Lifestyle Inflation

There is a natural tendency to spend more money as you earn more. But, striving to achieve financial independence by age 40, Droc and his wife are superconscious about their spending habits.

The Mint keeps track of everything every month, he said. But we still spend money on what we value. We're just more selective than most, and we limit it to a reasonable amount that works within our financial plan. 

According to him, they spent the money on a unique experience for themselves and their loved ones, as well as vacationing in the tropics and throughout Europe. But they are increasing credit card rewards, traveling during the low season, and combining work and leisure travel to cut costs.