Afford Anything

Create wealth. Maximize life. Discover how to master your money and live to the fullest

Hi! I’m Paula. I’ll introduce myself in a moment. But first, let’s talk about you.

I’m going to make a few guesses about you

  • You want to take control of your money — not be controlled by your money.
  • You don’t want to spend 40 years in a cubicle.
  • You’re smart.
  • You’re different, unconventional. Maybe even a little rebellious.
  • You own your sh*t – you take command of building a better life.

If this sounds like you, welcome home. You’ve found a great community in this little pocket of the internet.

Afford Anything is a movement rooted in one idea: You can afford anything, but not everything — and that’s true not only for your money, but also your time, focus, energy and attention.

This opens two questions:

  1. How can we make smarter decisions about our money, time and life?
  2. How can we align our daily behaviors and habits with the lifestyle we value most?

Afford Anything explores the answers to these two critical questions.

Along the journey, we take interesting forays into topics like investing, travel, lifestyle design, financial independence, and any other topic that jumps into this curiosity playground. We swap stories and ideas about real estate, entrepreneurship, productivity, personal development and a philosophy of money.

Each of these conversations are portals into a larger framework of making smarter choices and building a better life. If you’re intrigued, explore our blog and podcast. Better yet, download our free book, Escape, and join our free online community of 40,000+ subscribers.

And if you’d like to meet me — Paula Pant, the writer and instigator —
read on.

When I graduated from college, I did what society expected: I got a job.

Shocking, eh?

I landed my dream gig: I was a newspaper reporter in a scenic Colorado town. I loved my colleagues; I had a blast everyday in the newsroom. I didn’t earn much — $21,000 per year — but I enjoyed my work. Life was awesome. Except for one teeny-tiny little problem: I lacked freedom.

I was required to come to the office five days per week and sit in my chair from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. — regardless of whether or not I operated at peak productivity during those hours.

If I wanted to spend a week at the beach or mountains, I needed to “submit a request.”

That irked me. Why should arbitrary rules govern the hours of MY life? Why couldn’t I control my limited hours on this earth?

I wanted escape.

So I saved money. Like a maniac. I hustled during the evenings and weekends, writing freelance articles, and saved every dime. I landed a few promotions with commensurate pay raises, and tucked this into a savings account. I earned extra money on the side, and put it straight into savings — $50 here, $100 there. Slowly, hundreds turned into thousands. In April 2008, I handed in my resignation and bought a one-way airline ticket to Egypt. I held $25,000 in the bank.

I spent the next two years backpacking across Asia and Australia. I rode camels in Cairo, scuba-dived in Thailand, explored Indonesian islands, hiked Tasmanian mountains, drove 27,000 kilometers across Australia … you get the idea.

When I returned to the U.S. in 2010, I had a terrifying thought: I might need to get a job again. I couldn’t go back to a crappy cubicle. I wanted sustainable, long-term freedom. But how?

First I built a six-figure income as a self-employed writer. This took a few years, but I eventually earned a well-paid living from my laptop. Nothing could be better. Right?


I wanted financial independence: the ability to escape trading time-for-money. I wanted to build investments that could support
me 100%.

Let me be clear: I’m not a beach bum who wants to drink margaritas all day. I wanted freedom to work on Purpose-Driven projects, instead of relying on a paycheck for groceries and gas.

I decided to build this through real estate investing. I saved my “day job” money and bought a house. Actually, I bought a triplex, which is a building with three units. I moved into one of the units and rented out the other two.

Thanks to this rental income, I lived “for free,” with zero out-of-pocket housing costs. I kept saving money, reinvesting as much as possible into my fledgling real estate business. I bought another house. And another. And another. And another. The flywheel started spinning.

I made many mistakes, but over time, I created systems. I hired a team. I built a business that generates profits while I sleep.

After I felt confident that my team can manage these properties, I moved 2,000 miles away. The money that flows into my bank account while I’m sleeping /traveling/hiking is enough to support myself and my partner, Will, for the rest of our lives. I don’t live a bling-bling-BMW lifestyle. I’m not poppin’ corks at the club ’til the break of dawn, or whatever those rap lyrics say.

But can I pay the bills with passive income?

I don’t need to answer to a boss. Never again. I don’t work in a cubicle and I never sit in rush-hour traffic. I live life exactly as I want. I’ll spend 4 hours hiking on a random Tuesday if the mood strikes. Or I’ll stay up all night writing blog posts. Or I’ll travel to Bali on a whim. I’ve broken the shackles of paycheck-dependence.

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