Providing some details about who you are and your finance philosophy is pretty popular among internet bloggers.
So, 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 $30,000 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 that wasn’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 excited.
You can also read about our writer, Laura, here.
DISCLAIMER: Views expressed here are personal opinions and are not meant to defame anyone or misinform readers of ELYM. You should not act on anything you read here and should make your own decisions about how to invest, save or spend your money. At no time should you conclude that any advice on this site is written to change your mind or direct you to invest, save or spend your money in any particular way. The simple act of reading this blog confirms your understanding that I’m not liable for any financial decisions you might make after reading this blog. So, the purpose of this blog is to entertain. Go be entertained!