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 income from var­i­ous sides I’d like accu­mu­late enough to retire by the time I’m 35 in 2025. The side hus­tles include such things like real estate, rev­enue from the pod­cast I co-host (Fire Drill Pod­cast), and art­sy fart­sy projects such as quilt­ing and stained glass. All that income will let me do what­ev­er I want! Trav­el the world for cheap, cre­ate fab­u­lous 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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48 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.


    • 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 4550. (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!

    • 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.

    • My path has changed so much since I start­ed, I can’t imag­ine what else will change! Thanks for com­ment­ing!

  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!


    • 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. Hey there! So hap­py found your blog , it’s awe­some! I am also a mil­len­ni­al on my way to FI! Would love to share my knowl­edge with you and also learn from you! You inspired me and I just launched my blog, it is http://www.fromrussiatoer.com to stay on track with my goals. Thank YOU for that!


  10. 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?

  11. 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.

  12. 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!

  13. 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!


  14. Hel­lo from anoth­er per­son­al finance blog­ger. I just start­ed on my jour­ney to FI ear­li­er this year and just want­ed to say Hi! Will be check­ing out more of your blog – sub­scribed already!

  15. I’m almost 26 and my fiancé and I have just bought a house and are work­ing towards a 60 — 70% sav­ing rate. None of our friends are on the same page so I love read­ing about oth­er young peo­ple who are pur­su­ing FIRE.

  16. Hi Gwen! I just heard you on the Mad­Fi­en­tist pod­cast and want­ed to say hi and intro­duce myself. I’m Rob, a soft­ware engi­neer from NJ. 🙂 I know lit­er­al­ly zero peo­ple who are inter­est­ed in any­thing I’m inter­est­ed in, includ­ing FI, so I thought I’d sub­scribe here and leave a com­ment. One of the rec­om­men­da­tions at the end of the pod­cast was to find oth­er peo­ple who are into FI, so here I am!

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