I am very happy to announce that I have watched the readership of this blog grow every week since its birth only five weeks ago. It is exciting to have like-minded people reading my thoughts and coming back for more.
Now that this little community is becoming more established, I feel it is time to more formally introduce myself. For those who have been following along so far, I have been known only as the strange and slightly confrontational financial guide, “The Money Mechanic”. Although I will continue to go by this name (lets face it, its catchy) I will tell you a little more about myself.
To start off, I am young. 21 years old to be exact. I am a bit of a crunchy granola type, and have always had a passion for all things outdoors. I was one of those kids who never understood the whole video game craze growing up. To me it was more fun to build things with K’nex or lego’s and hang out in the sunlight. I currently attend West Virginia University in pursuit of a chemical engineering degree, and live in Frederick, Maryland during my off time.
Many of you may be asking yourselves at this point “why should I read what this student has to say”. My answer would be because even if you have read every post on this blog, I am confident I have done more reading about YOU.
You see, I have this unusual enthusiasm to learn about the “predicament” of the 99%. Through this blog, I bring together all the best information I find through books, the internet, and personal experimentation. With this I aim to free you of your financial worries.
Also, if you have followed along through the 20+ post so far to get here, odds are there is a message somewhere in here that resonates with you.
Turns out a the only thing standing between any person and financial savvy is a few books and some excitement for the subject. The books are quite common, it seems to be the passion for personal finance that is the rare thing. I mean, I actually like this stuff! I love reading about diversification of funds and current interest rates. I love challenging myself to live on less, I see it as a game, and I believe that the world can learn to view their financial situation with the same optimism as I do.
And I don’t believe the world needs to be as excited about it as I am, they simply need to understand the information that is in front of them. People will always make smart decisions that are good for them when they have access to the right information.
Take me for example. How am I so certain I will be retired in just 9 years? Especially when I still have two more years until my degree, reducing my income earning years to just 7? It is because I understand the components of a happy life, and how separate they are from spending money. It is because I understand that an individual can live off $20,000, which would only require half a million to be produced sustainably.
And also because I understand what it means to retire early. Retirement is not the end of work, it is the end of mandatory work. Everyone continues to work on what they are passionate about, often picking up a few extra bucks along the way. The important thing to realize is that this extra work is not done for the money, it is done from the satisfaction received for contributing. The money is just an extra margin of safety.
Some of you may begin harping at me “an engineering salary? That is certainly above average!” and you would be right. However, my plan anticipates a single income, and graduating at 23 rather than 22. Many households have two incomes and begin earning earlier. Although I may get married and be in a two income household, my plan is individual for now, yet another margin of safety.
I am also not attempting to convince you that retiring at 30 is for everyone. What a want readers to take away is that if you have your shit together, financial freedom should be no more that 10 years away.
As I observed my own situation beginning to slide ahead of everyone around me with no lottery winnings, no inheritance, and no successful business, I became compelled to make others understand that this opportunity is for everyone. Why should I enjoy this information and watch everyone else slave for money most of their lives? Sure, some people like what they do for work, but most do not understand that they have other options.
This is what I really want for my readers, to understand the opportunities that are out there for them. We are raised to believe that paid employment is mandatory until old age, and that only then can we explore what really make us human. If I open ONE person’s eyes and get them onto the road to living a truly free life, all my hours of writing will be worth it.
So I will continue to write, as long as you continue to read.
The Money Mechanic