Diania Merriam is the founder of The EconoMe Conference, an event centered around financial independence, also known as the “Ted Talks” of the FIRE movement. She’s also the host of the popular podcast Optimal Finance Daily where she narrates articles from the best personal finance blogs on the planet. When she finally got out of debt, she was able to negotiate a remote working arrangement with her employer, take a 2 month sabbatical to walk 500 miles across northern Spain on the Camino de Santiago, and launch her own business.

Everybody wants to achieve financial freedom, right? In this episode, Diania is going to walk us through how she was able to get out $30k of debt in 11 months and used her newfound financial freedom to save 60% of her income and be on track to be financially independent by the time she’s 40 years old! I also have a special code to those who would want to take part in her conference, so make sure to tune in until the end!

[00:01 – 03:41] Opening Segment

  • Let’s welcome today’s guest
  • I talk about Diania Merriam’s background
    • Misconception about the FIRE movement
  • Register for The EconoMe Conference
    • Use my code MICROEMPIRES and get a discount!

[03:42 – 20:38] Diania’s Money Culture and the FIRE Movement

  • Diania’s money culture growing up
    • “Never let a man take care of you”
    • Focused more on the income and lack guidance on money management
  • Shifting from being in debt to saving 60% of her income each month
  • Stumbling into the FIRE movement
    • Financial Independent Retire Early
    • A common misconception is about frugality
    • Increasing the gap between the income and expenses to build wealth by reducing expenses
  • Figuring out the level of frugality that works for you
  • Diania shares about the different “flavors” of FIRE
  • What frugality actually means
  • Importance of community when you’re on your financial freedom journey
  • Importance of learning your own money culture

[20:39 – 39:57] Diania’s Wealth Lifestyle to Achieve Financial Freedom

  • Diania’s move from New York to Cincinnati
  • Pitching a 2-month Sabbatical and significantly reduced housing cost
  • Not letting lifestyle inflation creep in
  • Wealth as a lifestyle
  • Shoutout to my podcast producers: Streamlined Podcasts
    • GET A DISCOUNT on your first month with Streamlined Podcasts by using this link!
  • Having the luxury to take a risk
  • Why Diania wants financial independence
  • The concept of “enough”

[39:58 – 49:33] Closing Segment

  • The EconoMe Conference
    • A passion project about inspiration and community
    • A party about money
    • Learning from other people’s journey
  • Connect with Diania
    • See links below
  • Final words

Resources Mentioned:

Tweetable Quotes:

“If you can’t manage $1,000, you can’t manage a million dollars.” – Diania Merriam

“One of the things I like to say about money and what I’ve learned about money, is that it’s only as valuable as your clarity on how you’re going to use it and your comfort level on how much is enough.” – Diania Merriam

“I think what unites us is the simple math behind early retirement, and just recognizing that it’s even possible, and then really be kind of, I guess the mentality of you don’t need to subscribe to the nine to five till you’re 65.” – Diania Merriam

“If you look at your inner circle, and you’re not inspired, it’s not your inner circle. It’s a cage.” – Mel Robbins

“Frugality is that it’s not about being cheap, and never spending money. It’s about only spending money on the things that actually really matter, and that are going to make a big difference in your life and your quality of life.” – Diania Merriam

You can connect with Diania Merriam through Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Check out her podcast, Optimal Finance Daily and sign-up for her mailing list here!

You can connect with me on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook. I’m excited to hear more about you. I’m excited to know more about you. Also, feel free to shoot me an email at jennifer@micro-empires.com. You can call or text 213-973-7206

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This podcast is about YOU.  We all have a story, whether your story is a lot like mine or totally different. Maybe you have a good job, but you know in your heart that you want more.

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