In 2018, when my husband and I were both 27 and had accumulated $600,000 in savings, we quit our jobs. We purchased a 2008 Sprinter van, converted it to a camper, and set off traveling the country. We were able to travel on just $30,000 and saw some of the most amazing sights.
That had been our goal since 2015. At that time, my husband Matt and I were both working as engineers. Together, we brought home around $250,000. We were living in a small town in the Central Valley of California that wasn't a great fit, and the hours Matt was working were beginning to take a toll. We started learning about the financial independence community and saw a path to early retirement through saving and investing.
We ran the numbers and began saving 70% of our incomes. We kept up that pace for three years, but we started to feel burned out and realized that we needed to take a step back from the hustle and finally take the leap to start traveling.
We had saved up $600,000 over five years of full-time employment. When we decided to hit the road, most of our funds were in untouchable 401(k) accounts, but we had about $150,000 in cash at our disposal. We loved traveling, but while on the road, we found ourselves inspired to start a brand new venture, a company inspired by our passion for healthy eating: a cake mix company for people with low-carb and keto diets called Sweet Logic.
When we lived in California, our biggest saving strategy was renting out three bedrooms in our four-bedroom house. When we did that, we were able to cut our housing expenses and really ramp up our savings rate.
We were careful with our money in other ways that mattered, too. We never purchased a car for more than $5,000, for example, and always paid cash up front, so we never had a car payment. And we creatively used credit card points to fund our travels.
In early 2019, once our business started gaining traction, we decided that as much as we loved traveling, we needed to stay in one spot to really give the company its best chance at success.
We also decided that in order to feel comfortable investing more money into the business, one of us needed to go back to work, so we both started exploring our job options. This time, we took a completely different approach to job hunting. We prioritized location and our quality of life over salary.
Video by Jason Armesto
Our early retirement experience had shown us how much we wanted to be in a place that would allow us to lead an outdoorsy, active lifestyle. So when Matt got an engineering job in Denver, we packed up and settled in the Mile High City.
We still use the same strategies we implemented while we were planning for our early retirement. We live quite frugally. We are able to live off Matt's salary and still save 15% of his income. We still rent out rooms to reduce our housing costs, drive affordable cars, and cook healthy meals at home instead of dining out.
As the CEO of Sweet Logic, I work full-time on our business. I haven't taken a salary yet, as we continue to reinvest and grow. Last year, our business did $150,000 in revenue and in 2020 we are set to earn $400,000, with plans to expand into retail stores towards the end of this year.
We have big goals for Sweet Logic and are on track to do $1 million in sales in 2021. So far, we've been able to reach these revenue goals with an additional personal investment of $60,000, so we retain 100% ownership. We are hoping to bootstrap the business as long as we can and are excited about the company's future.
Allison Escovedo Owen is an entrepreneur based in Denver, Colorado. She started Sweet Logic, a keto baking-mix company, with her husband Matt. They share their entrepreneurship insights on their website Sweet Life Fam. Connect with them on Instagram @sweetlifefam.
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