Are you tired of living paycheck to paycheck? Would you like to have enough money in the bank that you could take an unpaid vacation for six months and still not run out of money? Or maybe you’d like to retire early and travel the world or spend your time doing whatever you want rather than working for someone else. Whether you want to reach financial independence through freelancing, starting your own business, getting out of debt, investing, or another way—this article will give you some ideas on how to make it happen sooner than later.

Follow Money Mentors

When it comes to advice, you’re likely going to get what you pay for. If you want a personal financial advisor—that is, someone who will manage your money and help create a comprehensive plan for your financial future—you’ll pay anywhere from 0.5% to 2% of your assets each year in fees. At that rate, an initial $500,000 would end up costing $50,000 (or more) over 10 years. In other words: Ouch!

Save Early, Stay Frugal, Invest Wisely

Investing can seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. As with most things in life, investing early and staying frugal are key elements to achieving financial independence. Use these 10 tips to build your nest egg, and you’ll be on your way to achieving that level of comfort sooner than you think.

Live Below Your Means

Being financially independent means not having to worry about money. I’m not saying that you should sacrifice all of your hobbies and interests, but you need to live below your means if you want to be truly financially independent. Track your spending habits and adjust as necessary so that you can stop worrying about your finances. When it comes time to retire, it’s going to be a lot easier if you haven’t blown all of your money on toys while working.

Skip The Expensive Hobbies and Trips

Eliminate wasteful spending from your budget. There are many things that may seem like a luxury, but can quickly turn into an expense. If you want to become financially independent and retire early, it’s important to eliminate unnecessary expenses from your budget.

Reconsider That Job Offer

The job market is tough, and if you have a shot at a well-paying position, it’s a good idea to take it. But if you can start making real money right out of college—or even earlier—you might want to reconsider that offer. Once you’re independently financed, you have no boss to answer to except yourself. If your company goes under in six months, it doesn’t matter; you have other options.

Don’t Chase Wealth

It’s important to understand that you shouldn’t chase after wealth. Instead, focus on finding your purpose and doing something meaningful with your life. If you do that, wealth will come—and even if it doesn’t, you will still be happy.

Stay Away From Managers That Don’t Add Value To Your Life

It’s important to separate yourself from unnecessary people who will only bring you down. It takes a lot of work to cut people out of your life, but it’s worth it. Surround yourself with people who are positive and optimistic. Don’t spend time around negative people! Negativity spreads like wildfire, which means you can easily become discouraged if you hang around with negative thinkers. Get rid of all distractions in your life and focus on what truly matters most to you.

Stop Wasting Time On Social Media. Pay Attention To What Matters And What Doesn’t Instead

Social media can be a great way to keep in touch with friends and family, but too much of it can lead to distraction and wasted time. If you’re trying to become financially independent, you don’t have time for that. Instead of wasting your time on social media, focus on what matters most—your financial independence.

Get A Side Hustle (Or Two)

Not everyone wants to sit behind a desk all day, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want to bring in an extra stream of income. If you’re feeling stuck in your job, it might be time to bring in some extra cash through a side hustle. You can get started by creating an account on freelancer sites like oDesk or Elance and start bidding on projects.

Learn About Taxes

Failing to learn about taxes can be costly. As a sole proprietor, you are responsible for paying both income and self-employment taxes. In addition, if you’re working with a limited liability company (LLC), you need to pay quarterly estimated taxes based on your total taxable income for the year—even if it’s not yet April 15th. When in doubt, make sure you consult with an accountant or tax professional before trying to handle your own business taxes. You can also visit IRS.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses for additional information on how to get started with tax payments in general.