I have always been relatively in control of my money.

And that really gets to some people. But it’s true, and I’m proud of it.

It’s not that I came from a well-off family, or was given any leg up in life. In fact, my parents both worked hard while I was growing up to be able to keep a roof over our heads. They had four kids to support; there was no money to spare to buy me a car/house/holiday.

What my parents did do for me was teach me frugality. My mum did the weekly food shopping with a strict budget, list in one hand and a pocket calculator in the other (it was the 1990’s). My dad, never one to spend money willy-nilly, entertained us with a game of cricket in the backyard or a trip to the local library.

My parents charged me board at a rate of 25% of my income from the time I got my first job after high school. It took me a couple of years to save up for my first car and during that time I had to catch public transport or walk to work, university or social outings. I created my first budget spreadsheet at 19, and stashed away the majority of my earnings into high interest savings accounts.

By 21, my future husband and I had bought our first slice of the property market in the form of a two-bedroom unit. We moved to a remote island for work shortly after, our incomes rose and our expenses plummeted. After saving cash for our wedding, two overseas trips, a baby and a hefty house deposit, we moved again and bought our second property right around the time our second bub was born.

Now that we are back in relative civilization, our expenses have grown again and our income remains steady. Our budget changes regularly as we try to balance savings, mortgages, children, life, and investments. I want to retire early, at least from a job that I go to simply because I would be broke if I don’t.

I have a solid background in personal finance, spend my spare time studying the subject, and could talk about money all day long. My ultimate goal is to be financially free by 35, so come along with me and I’ll show you exactly how you can be financially free too.