Welcome to Money at 30
“Financial independence” — doesn’t it just sound wonderful? In the technical sense, that phrase specifically refers to one’s ability to cover their expenses exclusively through income generated by their assets… or, in layman’s terms: they don’t have to work. That’s all well and good, but I don’t believe a phrase as genuinely inspiring as “financial independence” should be that severely limited.
I presume that, for many Millennials around my age, the term conjures up an image of them making their final student loan payment. For some a bit younger, it may mean moving out on their own and not having to ask their parents for cash when they’re in a jam. In addition to those, for me, financial independence means (or should mean) making enough money to support the kind of lifestyle you want to have. With the launch of Money at 30, that’s exactly what I’m striving to accomplish.
Last summer, I suddenly started taking a greater interest in personal finance. In reality, this had actually been bubbling up for a while as my wife and I were trying to navigate things like retirement savings, health care, and other facts of life that require a huge chunk of change. While I felt we had been setting a strong course, there was still one thing I had yet to do: check my credit.
To my surprise, what I found was not only far from the train wreck I was half expecting but was actually really good. After this exciting discovery, I had another epiphany and decided to write about my financial journey for what I thought would be a guest post on Dyer News. However, that “guest post” ended up becoming a weekly column I decided to title “Money at 30.” In actuality, that moniker was just intended to be a headline for the initial post but seemed like as good a name as any to talk about finances and my life in general.
Fast forward to a few months later and I am proud to announce that Money at 30 is now getting its own home. While I will still be contributing a weekly column to Dyer News, I wanted to build my own site to talk more in depth about a number of financial topics and beyond. By “beyond” I mean that I want this site to also include streaks of what else interests me. From writing and blogging to, presumably, a dash of Disney and perhaps even a touch of politics from time to time, I intend to explore all of it through the lens of personal finance.
To give you a better idea of what I mean, here are a few personal goals and other thoughts I’ve had while preparing this site for launch:
I want to travel like a local
I’m a weird traveler — I know that about myself. In addition to my last several trips being to cities that have Disney parks in them, I also have a strange fascination with visiting shopping malls in other countries, while otherwise aimlessly walking through their streets. While many might assume that’s pretty much a waste of time and money while overseas, I argue that it’s actually a great introduction to a culture (albeit more pop culture, perhaps) of a country.
That’s why I was really struck by the idea of being a digital nomad. Although I’m not sure I’d want to hop from place to place to place like many people who enjoy traveling do, the idea of getting to take an extended vacation to a country I already love or want to learn more about sounds perfect to me. In fact, if I do end up having kids, I’d even consider homeschooling them so they could come along for such adventures.
Of course, like most things, this requires money. That’s part of the reason why I’m hoping to grow this site into something that can help subsidize my wanderlust. Futhermore, my wife and I are constantly on the hunt for her digital calling and finding her a gig she can do from anywhere.
That said, expect some thrifty and helpful travel tips — some which will even be specific to the various cities and countries we’ll have the chance to visit.
I want to set up a great home base
Admittedly there may be a dichotomy growing inside of me. While I want to travel more and spend time away from home, I’ve also been interested in the prospect of buying a house. But why tie yourself to a mortgage when you’re looking to untether your life otherwise?
This is something I plan on diving into much more. Surprisingly, there are actually financially reasonable arguments to be made on both sides of the renting versus owning divide. Additionally, with the low cost of living in our new adopted home of Springfield, Missouri, it seems either choice might still offer us the freedom to live abroad for short periods of time, while still paying to hold our abode in the States.
Like I said, the decision process behind home buying is a big one, so strap in for lots of real estate ponderings you won’t find on HGTV.
I want to keep learning
I should just say this now: I am not an expert. Although I can speak with some authority on a number of topics I have personal experience with, I don’t know everything. In fact, in the grand scheme of things, I don’t even know that much. Still, I’m very open to learning and sharing those lessons with you.
In addition to the more basic personal finance tips and advice I plan on providing, I plan on discussing more specific tips and “lifehacks” (if you will) along the way. Whether in the form of a YouTube video or a step by step guide, I look forward to curating resources that you may find helpful.
There’s a treasure trove of information on the web, and so, when I find a gem, I’ll surely be passing it on.
I want to use my voice
Lastly, my goal with this site and for my writing career is just to do more. While I promise not to get too far removed from the financial core of this site, I’m excited to take on other projects that will push me a bit out of my comfort zone but that I can still add my two cents to.
Currently, I’m developing a few of potential book ideas that are all very different from each other but that I believe will be interesting and entertaining to others. At this time I’m not quite ready to announce anything for certain, but rest assured that you’ll be the first to hear about it when I do. Plus, I’m more than happy to take you along for the journey so you can see some of the challenges that go with writing/blogging/publishing as well as the (hopeful) success that can come from them.
With all of that said, thanks for checking out Money at 30 — I hope you’ll come back soon as we embark on this pursuit of financial independence together.
Also published on Medium.