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How I Got Here

If you’ve read my About Me, you know that I’ve long thought about creating a blog. For years I put it off, but I finally decided to actually do it and see what happens. So how did I get to now?

Early Life

I’ve been frugal and interested in money for as long as I can remember. My mom always recounts that she took me to the bank to open a checking account when I was 10 years old, where the personal banker showed me one of those classic compound interest tables.

I was in awe, practically couldn’t believe it, as one typically is when seeing this for the first time. The numbers seemed like they had to be wrong. I always had a job from a young age and ever since I’ve been focused on making and saving money. And I hated spending money. My family wasn’t completely destitute by any means, but we lived paycheck to paycheck and I always felt the stress of money weighing on me.

I’m an Adult?!

Fast forward to 2013, when I got my first “real” job out of college and entered the corporate world. It didn’t take long to realize that this was not something I could do long term. The politics, bureaucracy, egos, etc. take a toll. Not to mention sitting at a desk all day long after mostly controlling my schedule and time while in college. It was definitely an adjustment.

It was toward the end of my senior year of college when I stumbled upon Mr. Money Mustache and read through all of his stuff. His website made me realize there were a lot of other people like me who were frugal and wanted to have freedom with their time. This further cemented my plan to save as much money as I could as fast as possible.

It’s now the end of 2021; I’m happily married and in my early 30s. I’m still in the corporate world, making a lot more money than I did right out of school and in a much better financial position than I ever expected to be at this age.

Financial Progress

When I graduated from college, I had about $16k in student loans—somewhat of a pittance by today’s standards, though it scared the heck out of me at the time. I was able to pay it off fairly quickly and live debt free. Getting to a positive net worth was such a happy day that it’s hard to believe my wife and I are closing in on a $1 million net worth.

I went back to a negative net worth when I married my wife as she carried significant student debt from dental school. We made a plan to pay down student debt to a manageable level. As recently as four years ago at this time our net worth was around negative $110k. We’ll probably be in the mid-$900k net worth range by the end of this calendar year, a quick increase that is really hard to fathom.

I remember reading the Financial Independence sub Reddit and seeing others in our situation, thinking that kind of money seemed so far off. Fortunately, we’re both on the same page when it comes to money and have increased our incomes substantially over the last few years while keeping our spending constant.

One of the goals of this blog is to tell you how we did it: what we did right, what we did (and still do) wrong, and update you on our progress to financial freedom. I want to help navigate you through the world of personal finance, demystifying the place along the way.

Look for upcoming articles on key tenets that have helped us, including tracking expenses, personal balance sheet / net worth updates, investing practices, and general frugality. The most important things in personal finance are really quite simple, but require focus and discipline to execute day in and day out.

I look forward to bringing you on the journey, and hope to hear your story as well!

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