Welcome to my blog.
I think about money 24/7. Doesn’t everyone? Maybe not. That’s why this blog will serve as my outlet to share my thoughts with the world. It’s a healthy way to get these thoughts out of my head.
Money issues are universal. Even if people don’t readily talk about money, it’s still an issue, whether or not they want to admit it. I find money management interesting and tied to every other aspect of life.
My interest in finances started early in life. I learned to not want to be struggling like my parents and they always seemed to be struggling. When I was very young, I remember living comfortably. After a few years, my parents built a brand-new home and soon, they were in over their heads. By then, my mother was never indulgent and the struggling was palpable. It became worse after my parents divorced. My mother had no job-related skills and took a low-paying secretarial job. My dad ran his own business, but it was pretty slim living by then.
People learn what they’re taught and I guess they never had the best education in managing money. My mother was told not to go to college, that I know as a fact. The other messages that she silently passed down were probably learned from some previous experience. One very strong impression I remember was a doozie: don’t expect too much of life. Sad, isn’t it?
Throughout, I learned how it felt to be deprived. I could never buy the nicest thing in the store, no matter what it was. Often, I had to deal with buying nothing. That’s not fun.
Life took a turn when I started earning a paycheck. I remember thinking, “Now we’re talking.” Working in a supermarket is far from glamorous but I gained credibility by doing simple things like showing up on time and when I was scheduled. I found that I liked working. It was handy to have that kind of attitude for what was to come.
After I graduated college with an accounting degree, I started working in small and large public accounting firms. Let me start by saying this: I used to be a really happy person. For a field that relies on human capital, they don’t do a good job of cherishing their only commodity. The hours were punishing but I was determined to advance in my career. Fast forward twenty years – I did advance my career by turning my strongest skills into achievements. Unfortunately, advancement leads to stress. I’ve worked in some high-pressure environments and it really wears you down. It’s a shame it has to be that way.
My first turn to financial independence happened when I was on the receiving end of a manager’s contemptuous response to a question. I was only two months into a new job and was working at a client site. I called my manager and left a question on his voice mail. He never responded. I waited a few days and called back, asking my question again. The following day, he called back, angrier than ever. He hissed into the phone, “I hate it when people call me more than once with the same question!” Well, excuuu-use me. I never expected that response, maybe he could have called me before I had to ask twice? Anyway, it annoyed me so much that the same night, I decided that I was not going to be a corporate slave. I had a mortgage that was due each month but that would not make me a prisoner to be subjected to this kind of behavior. That was the motivation to pay off my $110,000 mortgage. At the time, I only had $3,000 in savings.
I immediately set out to not only pay off the mortgage, but pad my savings. Well, all I need is a goal and there’s no stopping me. After four years, the mortgage was paid off and my savings balance was $50,000. I would call that success.
My goal is to retire comfortably at 59 1/2. I’ll write about reaching my goal, the accumulation of wealth, and some mistakes I’ve made.