My Financial Independence Journey: Catch Up Time

Dec 27

My Financial Independence Journey: Catch Up Time

Since it was unknown to me when I began my college career that I should start a blog to document my journey, I will catch you up on where I have been, where I am now, and discuss some of the lessons I’ve learned along the way. I graduated high school in 2007 with about $4,000 in savings from working various jobs such as helping a sole proprietor with his landscaping business, general labor at a trap shooting club, and selling items in a computer game online through a website I built when I was 15. Since 2007 (age 18), I have lived on my own, about half of the time with roommates, and half of the time without.   College I went to a public state college where tuition, room and board, and books were about $5,000 to $7,000 per semester depending on if I was in a dorm room or an apartment. Since I needed 150 credits for my chosen career, I went to school for five years at an estimated total cost of $60,000 (I will go into further details in a later post). Of this, only about $4,000-$6,000 was not financed through student loans. I did not qualify for federal aid the first few years of college so I took out private loans at rates between 8.75% and 9.75%. To show the power of compound interest, I had about $9,000 of accrued interest when I graduated, adding more to my total cost of college. Another mistake was taking out loans in excess of my tuition and fees for some living expenses such as food and rent when I was living in an apartment. My total debt when I graduated was over $70,000, more than double that of the average student loan debt at graduation.   Working during College I did not work during my first year in college. My mindset, whether right or wrong, was to focus on grades and deal with the money issues later. I ended up graduating with a 3.89 GPA, only to realize later that anything above a 3.2 would have likely been sufficient for the firms I applied to. I did work part-time as a manufacturing plant laborer for $10...

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Introducing: Red to Riches, A Blog on Financial Freedom

Nov 14

Welcome to Red to Riches. If you’ve ever been sitting in a cubicle wondering what the hell you are doing with your life, then this blog is for you. Like many millennials, I spend the majority of my time in a small cubicle city called an office. Armed with a laptop, several monitors, and a stapler, I’m supposed to aspire to climb the political corporate ladder in order to work even longer hours and sacrifice more of my time to my employer. Unfortunately, my company and I have a natural conflict of interest. Since I am a salaried professional, I am essentially an asset with a fixed cost to the company unless they push me off the ladder. The company benefits directly from the output their asset generates. Therefore, the company wants me to work as much as possible in order to reduce their fixed cost per hour. On the other hand, I have a desire to work zero hours. To elaborate on my desire to work zero hours for my employer, all we need to do is ask ourselves this question: “If I woke up with enough money to never need to sell my labor for money again, would I work another day at my current job?” My answer: “Hell no.” No disrespect to my employer, I’m just being honest. I would much rather be hiking, learning about subjects I am passionate about, and pursuing whatever I want, whenever I want. Let’s remember, when we were kids, we didn’t dream about being in cubicles nearly 25% of each year, stressing out about reports and timelines, and developing carpal tunnel. We did what we wanted to do, as much as our parents allowed us. My goal is to become financially independent in order to retire early so I can choose what I do each day rather than being economically forced into working a job I am not passionate about. Notice this doesn’t exclusively mean I will not be working. It could mean I have obtained enough cash generating assets to cover 80% of my living costs and I work part-time doing something I am passionate about to obtain the remaining 20%. One of the points I will prove through this blog...

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