About Me

 

Welcome to my blog! If you are a millennial who hates the rat race, this is the place to be!

I started this to document my journey to Financial Independence. My goal is to help guide my fellow millennials (that’s right, all you youngins out there. Yes, you.) along similar paths to financial freedom. Millennials are the group of people born anywhere from roughly the early eighties to the 2000’s. Basically, at the time of writing, anyone who can drive up to 30 some odd year olds.

A lot of the financial blogs out there are dedicated to older people who are set in their lives and want to make changes.

My blog is not for them.

If you’re older and reading, FANTASTIC. I look forward to hearing about any similar experiences you might have had in the past! I’m writing to the young kids in college, the ones who've just graduated and the young professionals. Read more about my goal for the blog in My Manifesto.

Becoming financially aware at a younger age has pros and cons. The best part about being young is we haven’t had as much time to make so many bad mistakes that are set in stone. We’re the financial equivalent of a clean slate. We also have tons of time for compound interest to work its magic and make us lots of free money, as well as the time to ride out a bear market.

One con is just a simple lack of experience. There are a lot of life lessons to be learned in the adult world, and I’m hoping that we can grow and learn together!

I suppose I should introduce myself a bit better. I’m Gwen. I’m 26, located in the Midwest, and somewhat happily employed in the IT sector. From an early age, I’ve always had an obsession with money. When I was younger, I was obsessed with obtaining more of it so I could have more things, namely candy from the gas station and replacement fees for lost library cards. Seriously, I don’t know what it was about those slippery little buggers, but I must’ve lost at least a dozen cards. Same goes for house keys. If you would like to read more about my background, check out Background: Part 1 and the other half of the story in Part 2.

Fortunately for my present and future self, I haven’t lost that obsession, but I have set new sights: Financial Independence, Early Retirement, Fuck You money, whatever you want to call it, I want it. I interned at a Fortune 500 company the summer before my last semester in college and discovered working 8+ hours a day kinda sucked ass. Like, a lot. It seemed like I was constantly doing only one of 3 activities: sleeping, eating, or working. Where was all the free time I had in college? Even weekends didn’t feel like enough. Something had to give, because the thought of working in an office until I’m 65 makes me want to shoot myself in the face.

Enter FI.

By working my tail off, saving as much as I can, and having a passive income stream from some rentals I’d like accumulate enough to retire by the time I’m 35 in 2025. Then I can do whatever I want! Travel the world for cheap, create fabric works of art, or even just have both parents around for any future kids I might have.

So, welcome to FIRE-y Millennials! Better buckle up because it’s going to be a wild ride!

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43 thoughts on “About Me

  1. It’s completely awesome that you caught the FIRE bug so early in life! Imagine where you’ll be in a couple decades!?!?

    And Arduino! I’ve been wanting to hack on that for the longest time. I’ll satisfy my ownArduino ambitions in retirement.

    Iowa is wonderful! We get a kick hanging out in the state every summer at RAGBRAI.

    • Thanks for commenting! Hopefully in a couple decades I’ll be doing whatever I feel like doing! Whether that be programming fun Arduino projects or riding my bike and drinking lol The sky is the limit!

  2. Hello from another millennial pursuing ER! I went to Chautauqua the week after you and had an AMAZING time as well! I thought I was the youngest one on the trip but you have me beat! Good luck with your path to FI. Looks like you’re doing great!

  3. 35!?! That’s an awesome goal for FI! I am not as bold and am trying for it by 40…of course I’d like it to be sooner. Mr. Money Mustache is great! I found him after I found BudgetsAreSexy.

    JT

    • Thanks! We’ll see how it goes. Aim high and all that lol. I really hate working. 40 is still pretty early!

  4. I think it’s awesome that you are already thinking about early retirement. I wish I had made better choices when I was younger in order to set myself up for the possibility of ER. Right now, my current focus is on digging my way out of massive student loan debt. Who knows, maybe early retirement is still a possibility. It’s definitely appealing!

    • You can do it! Fortunately, I was able to graduate with no debt which gave me a huge leg up on the process.

  5. Hi Gwen!

    I found your blog through Paula’s podcast! 🙂

    Another Midwesterner here! After a looooot of years in school (almost done with my PhD), I’m working toward getting that “big girl” job… With the amount I’ll be paid (peanuts), I don’t think I have a shot at 50% savings, but I’m doing my best to work to save toward several goals, including FI (but also factoring in the costs of kiddos, eventually) and then RE around age 45/50. (Since I’m just a few years older than you, I think I’m not too far off base.)

    I’ve liked looking through your blog so far! I’ll probably be popping up in comments here and there.

    Until later!
    -Emily

    • Thanks Emily! Glad you dropped by! I wouldn’t worry about getting to a set amount of savings. Just do your best with what you’ve got and you’ll be golden. Congratulations on the PhD!

  6. Cool, inspiring bio. The road to financial independence is ultimatley the road to find our vision of happiness. The earth will be a better place if more of us commit to taking this road. It is a long and winding road, with many life-changing suprises along your way. I am on my quest to find the purpose of life and FI at the same time. Come check us out sometime @ wealth well done. God bless and thanks.

  7. Hey Gwen, I’ve just heard your interview in the Madfientist Podcast. Just passing by to say hello from Brazil. I’m in the FI journey over here too and I’ve just started a blog to share my experiences and learnings during the process with my Brazilian friends. Hoping to learn a bit more in your blog and share some insights too. Bye!

    • Hi Fred thanks for stopping by! Brazil!? That is awesome! I’m always interested to learn how people in other countries are achieving FI. Good luck on your journey!

  8. Hi there! I too found my way here from the Mad Fientist podcast. I’m a fellow millennial (soon to be 25) who has caught the FI bug. I’m in the IT/Geospatial field working for a local government in Northern Colorado. I’m excited to have discovered my millennial FIRE peeps and look forward to following along!

    -Kalen

    • Woot woot! Welcome to my blog! IT is a pretty great field to be in haha. I’m jealous about your location! Colorado has some amazing skiing.

  9. HA! – I agree working 8+ hours a day kinda sucks ass! :). If you are hoping for an upside – the good news is that if you work at it, you can build up a tolerance to suck-ass. Kind of like beer, but much less fun. 🙂

    All joking aside, I like your blog and am impressed that you caught FIRE at such an early age. I wish I had done the same, but it’s never too late! I’m a GenX’r. That used to be cool, but sounds kind of boring now-a-days. I do work with many young professionals and have three kids and am doing my best to open their eyes to the wonders of saving and compounding interest.

    Best of luck and keep it going!

    – Zero

    • Thanks Mr. Zero! Starting so early in life has really allowed me to avoid making a lot of common, dumb mistakes. Who knows what my life would be like if I hadn’t discovered the FIRE lifestyle?

  10. Hi Gwen,

    I am one of your OLDER readers! I wish I knew what I do now (and what you know) about saving and FI when I was younger. I have been playing catch up but will be FI in a few more years and most of my peers are looking at another 10-15 years of working. You have a great blog; thanks for writing and keep it up! I have been trying to teach my 16 year old daughter the principles of FIRE and I have had her reading your blog. Keep up the good work!

    • Thanks for reading Darrell! For your daughter, just impart one piece of wisdom to her: SCHOLARSHIPS. They’re everywhere out there and are hers for the taking. Feel free to shoot me an email for ideas!

    • I use a combination of Meetup.com, the FI subreddit, Twitter, the Rockstar Finance forum, and the Mr. Money Mustache forum.

  11. Just got a new subscriber! As a millennial and IT guy myself, your blog is very relatable. I look forward to learning more about FI with you, and best of luck in your real estate endeavors!

  12. Boom, another new subscriber. I subscribe to Coach Carson’s emails, and when I saw his interview with you, I had to check it out!
    Fun facts:
    I also just bought my first house less than a month ago.
    It’s also a multi-family – House Hacking for the win!
    I also have a goal to be financially independent by age 40 (Your goal is 35, even better).
    I’m also 26.

    Very excited to see how you progress in your journey to financial freedom. Remember to set S.M.A.R.T. goals and to take steps toward accomplishing those goals every single day!

    -Ray

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