In this blog I talk about a number of personal finances issues, saving money on expenses, the importance of how much you save, and my own experiences – particularly DIY projects related to our home remodeling.
So who the heck am I?
I’m a 32 year old white guy. I work in Software Engineering (aka Computer Programming) and have been interested in it since I was a kid. I live in Western NY with my wife, our baby son, a dog and two cats. My goal is to be financially independent so that I can spend more time with my family and control what I choose to work on.
I currently expect to retire before I’m 42, though if the markets do well and we can do a better job paying off the mortgages more quickly that number may go down. Unfortunately, while I’ve had good wages and made a number of good financial decisions I’ve also made some pretty awful ones as well (like my divorce, stay tuned for posts on the mistakes). My net worth is roughly ~$540,000 made up of ~$300,000 in investments/retirement accounts and ~$220,000 in home equity across three homes.
I own a duplex, which I bought in 2005 with my ex-wife as our first home. We quickly learned that our plans for life had changed and I learned some hard financial and personal lessons.
Since then I’ve remarried and my wife and I bought a cheap but large family home in the suburbs, turning her townhouse into a rental. So I’m also a small-time landlord with three mortgages and three rental units; and we’re always doing some remodeling or other work on one of the homes.
I’ve been interested in finances and investing since I was a little kid. I started with a savings account in grade school. My father was a slightly early retiree who was rather frugal himself, and he obsessed over his 401k as he neared his retirement date. That happened to coincide with my teenage years, so I saw a lot of CNBC and created my own stock watch lists. I got a job as early as the state would allow (15) and paid for my own insurance and gas. I picked a well paying major, committed to college from home, and tuition played a large role in my college decision. As a result, I worked through college and paid off my student loans about one year out from graduating. I worked hard in my spare time on projects which led me to eventually get hired across the country in Silicon Valley.
I work from my home remotely and make a nice California tech wage. So, while I have worked hard and made good decisions in the past, I’ve also had luck play a role in helping accelerate my progress towards my goals.
With this blog, I’m hoping to share information: for people who haven’t started on how to get started; for those frugal people looking for different ways to save money; and to share my progress on my goal. I’m also hoping that you guys will share your own tips, troubles and stories – I could use the help!