My Experiences that have led me to where I am

Jonathon at Mymoneyblog had a really good post that described his background. He got a lot of comments from that post and it was pretty apparent that people found his background interesting. (I know I did)

I thought I’d post my background to give people an idea of who is blogging here.

I come from a blue collar family from Washington state. My family owned a struggling small business for many years (about 17). I was a child, and then teenager for many of these years and started helping out in the store at the age of 13. By the time I was 16, I was running the store on the weekends so that my parents could have a day off. About minimum wage was all that they could afford to pay me then. Through those years, I watched my mother struggle to pay the bills each month, sometimes even taking from one place, to pay another. Prioritizing the bills (as to which got paid first) was a standard practice. I can remember worrying about what would happen if the bills didn’t get paid at the age of 14 years old. As I got older, I struggled to get through junior college, while still helping out at the store (so my parents could have a day off) and also holding down another job during the week. Neither of my parents had gone to college and hadn’t pushed me to go either. I paid the cost of going to college with money that I was earning at my jobs. At the time, I was also driving a commercial truck locally. The store finally went out of business and my dad took a maintenance job at a large office building. It was about that time that I decided I had to finish college. I saved over $14000 while living at my parent’s house, and then gave notice at my job. I was headed over to college to finish. I can still hear my father’s voice telling me that he didn’t know if that was the right thing to do since I was making more money at the time, than he had ever made. At the time, the hardest thing I had ever done was to quit that job. I had been making $30000 per year, which felt like a lot of money. Then, to go to school and watch the savings deplete with no source of income, was extremely difficult. I managed to pull it off though. (I ended up working on campus to slow the depletion of my savings) While it was the hardest decision I had ever made (to go off to school), it was also the best decision I had ever made. That college degree gave me the springboard to be where I am today.

These experiences are what set me on a path to being financially secure. The amount of dread and worry about finances that I had at such a young age has stayed with me all these years. I vowed to never worry about whether I was going to lose my job, or have enough money after payday to cover the bills. I used to save up paychecks, just to see how many I could save without cashing them. By doing this, I felt like I had options. I look back now and feel grateful that I have had these experiences. It caused me to seek out information that has taught me strong money management skills. I learned all about “The Rule of 72”, and compound interest, and saw, at the age of 19, how powerful it is to start saving early. I didn’t come from money and I know that the majority of the population didn’t either. I guess that’s why I have taken such an interest in personal finance blogs. I don’t think I know everything, in fact, I readily admit that I’m an amateur. I can’t figure the net present value of something off the top of my head and I don’t understand the markets very well, but I do understand what I consider to be the “basics”

-Spend less money than you earn
-Invest as much as you can as early as you can (front load)
-Don’t be consumed by our materialistic society
-Recognize that most of those people you think are successful, are most likely just in debt
-Don’t try to keep up with the Jones’
-And a bunch more that you can read on just about any of the personal finance blogs

I’m excited to feel enlightened and in control of my finances and I wish the same feelings for everyone else who weren’t blessed with a silver spoon in their mouth. Once you experience being in control of your financial future, it really is addictive. That’s why I enjoy blogging about it. If anything I’ve written gives someone even one new idea, or point of view that helps them get the addiction to being financially “free”, then I’m happy.

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Comments

  1. says

    Like your site. Hope you can take a look at mine–it is for recent graduates and college seniors. It’s just getting started so would appreciate any tips/comments/suggestion. Let me know if you will consider linking it to your site.

    AskUncleBill

    Thanks and best regards.

    Bill Bradle

  2. says

    Hi Hazzard: Just a quick note to let you know that I’ve been a regular reader of your blog since the old Blogger days. I hope you will check out my blog and if you like it, consider adding it to your blogroll. Cheers!

  3. says

    Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. It’s nice for a new blogger to know that someone is reading what they’re writing. I’ve enjoyed perusing your blog and I especially enjoyed your “Who Am I” post. I think your “basics” cover a lot! I look forward to coming back.

  4. says

    Wow everyone here is asking for a link swap! Can I chime in? I would love to get to know my fellow money bloggers and would certainly appreciate a visit or if you like to join my blogroll, I have a section on my site for that! I’m over at “The Digerati Life” at http://www.thedigeratilife.com.

    ELYM, no email address? :(

    See you all in the blogosphere!

  5. Joseph Sangl says

    Would you consider placing a link to my personal finance blog on your blogroll?

    I have linked you on my blog at

    About Me: I have been blogging full-blast about personal finances for the past 20 months. My primary focus is providing practical tools that help people win with their money – budgets, financial calculators, success stories, step-by-step how-to guides.

    I appreciate your consideration!
    Joe

  6. says

    I just wanted to say that’s one of the best bios I’ve read on a blog! Very inspirational. Keep up the great work :)

  7. Gili says

    Hi,
    I love your site!
    I would love to hear your thoughts on MarketGuru.com. Maybe we can cooperate?
    Cheers,
    /g

  8. says

    Hi Hazzard,

    I discovered your blog last week, and I must say I’m a fan. I like your style. I’ve got a PF blog called True Adventures in Money Hacking–would you add it to your blogroll? Or we could exchange buttons!

    Thanks again for the great content.

    -Wren