Paula quit her 9-to-5 job in 2008, long before she'd heard of financial independence. She just couldn't stand the cubicle life anymore.
Her starting salary was $21,000 per year in 2005, and her highest salary was $31,000 per year in 2008. Despite her lower income, she managed to save $25,000 during her short career. She lived on these savings after she quit her 9-to-5 job, and spent two years backpacking across the world.
When she returned to the U.S. in 2010, she started a self-employed career as a freelance writer. She and her now-husband, Will, scraped together enough money to buy a triplex as their first home. They lived in one unit, with roommates, and rented out the other two units. The rental income they received allowed them to live "for free," with no out-of-pocket housing costs. This was their first taste of passive income.
Today they own 7 rental units. Last year, their rental properties grossed $125,000 and netted $43,000 in passive income, after expenses. They are financially independent through the income from their rentals.
Paula's weekly podcast, Afford Anything, has been downloaded nearly 3 million times. Her website, AffordAnything.com, gets 250,000 views a month and her email newsletter has more than 50,000 subscribers. She speaks at FIRE meet-ups such as the Ecuador Chautauqua, Camp Mustache and Camp FI, as well as gatherings such as FinCon and the World Domination Summit. You can find her online at:
Podcast: Afford Anything