Actually, this isn’t really the beginning. This story actually begins with a recap, to let you know where I am now on my financial journey.
It’s now July 2013, and I’m 31 years old. Unlike many Americans, I didn’t attend a formal college. I started working full time at the ripe old age of 16, in the world of computers. That means I’ve been working in a full-time job of some sort for 15 years, almost half my life.
When I got married in 2005, my wife and I were in (what I considered) a great place financially. I had no debt outside of my (recent) mortgage, and my wife was only bringing about $4,000 of debt into the relationship. Not bad, especially considering she was completing 4 years of private college. She planned to get a job after school, and my job was going well.
Fast forward to 2009, and the birth of our daughter. We had moved out of our starter-home into something more “family friendly” and doubled our mortgage (but I could afford the monthly payments with room to spare). My wife had worked in an entry-level position for a couple of years after graduating college, but our desire was for her to leave her job and stay home with our daughter full time. We had done a decent job of keeping our expenses low, but somehow we didn’t have a whole lot in savings after moving into the new house. Where had it all gone?
Early on in life my dad impressed upon me the importance of money management. Of stewardship and responsibility. I remember telling a friend of mine in high school “my dream is to save enough money to buy a house in cash”. But 12 years later here I was, in the same boat that many other people find themselves in– living paycheck to paycheck, spending everything we earned.
It was around this time that I randomly picked up a book in a small used bookstore while on vacation in the mountains called “Your Money Or Your Life”. I didn’t think much of it until my dad noticed it in my hand and said “that book will radically change your thinking about money.” Boy, was he right.
The Financial Journey Begins
Over the last 3 years we’ve begun a journey, one that I’m more and more excited to be on. This isn’t some unreal success story where someone goes from $50,000 in debt to buying their own private island in a year, or where someone rents a basement and lives on pork ‘n beans for a year in order to start their dream-job. It’s a little more down to earth than that. A real family with common means– but uncommon goals.
This journey is one toward financial independence (or “FI”) in a normal person’s life. I have opinions, thoughts, and goals that go a little against the grain. I question “conventional wisdom” quite often, and I hope to retire WELL before age 65, but not rich. I hope you enjoy the blog and discover new ideas that challenge your own thinking. And no matter where you come from or where you are financially, I hope you enjoy your journey to where you want to be!