Well, it's official. I'm no blogger. :) But I AM all about financial independence, and thought I'd share an update.
A few things people might find interesting about me are that I live in NYC, have an 800 square foot apartment, eat out at restaurants often, travel internationally several times a year, wear nice clothes, and keep my car in an attached garage near the elevator in my air-conditioned building.
And I usually spend about $30k a year. How? My girlfriend shares the rent, I travel using points or to stay with friends, and I drive a fuel-efficient Prius.
I started my financial journey when I was 24, when my net worth was -$125k due to my student loans and credit card debt. I learned to be frugal because I had to be.
I worked my tail off in sales for a few years, starting with a salary of $35k, eventually earning six figures by the time I left for business school at 27. I had saved and invested as much as I could, and my net worth had grown to about $0. I was proud. I chose a two-year MBA program for about $50k (including rent, meals, travel, books, etc.,) which was a fraction of the cost of most other top 20 programs. I left my money in the market and took out low interest federal student loans to pay for it. When I re-entered the workforce at 29, I pursued consulting, where I knew I would travel often, save money, and learn. Learning has been key as I've grown my career, and I've earned about 10% more each year over the last 8 years.
About three years ago I reached the crossover point, where I could technically finance my modest lifestyle with passive income if I wanted to. I chose (and choose) to keep working, though, because there are so many things to learn, places to go, and people to meet. I enjoy my work and want to continue to grow, if for no other reason than to see what life has in store for me. Opportunity is out there, and I won't come across it sitting on my couch.
Because I've been less stressed on the weekends than I used to be, I helped start a business with my partner, which is thriving! In a few years I may transition to that full time, or explore something else. While I may have 'retired' from mandatory work, I've found optional work to be rewarding enough to keep doing.