I am the Frugal Money Man. I know, the one word that NOBODY likes to hear, and I am going to say it again…FRUGAL! I wasn’t always frugal, as a matter of fact I didn’t really know what the word meant for the majority of my life.
I was never rich growing up (nor was I poor) and I was born in to a middle class family. Neither of my parents have a college degree, but they were both very hardworking individuals. They made a goal together that they would get all their children to become college graduates, and they eventually achieved this goal (I was probably the biggest potential liability in this goal however).
Before myself, my parents had 3 daughters who were all intelligent and athletic. Then I came along…9 years after (mistake maybe? I like to think the blessing). Although I was just as athletic, I was nowhere near as intelligent. They were all straight A students, and got accepted in to big universities such as the University of Virginia, James Madison, and George Mason University. By themselves, I believe they have a combined 5 degrees! I just simply didn’t have the same dedication they had within the classroom. As a student, I was easily distracted and only seemed to give attention towards topics that I thought would actually benefit me. I wasn’t an awful student, but I was average compared to my sisters. I graduated high school with a 3.1 GPA, and somehow got accepted to George Mason University.
My college years went by much the same as my high school years. I graduated with a slightly better GPA (3.2…I know big difference) than my high school GPA, but I still didn’t really know what I wanted to do in life. I graduated with a Bachelors degree in Criminal Justice, and started working the same summer job I held throughout my college years…LIFE-GUARDING!!! Although it’s nice to hang by the pool all day, I knew I would eventually have to step foot in to the real world. Luckily, about 2 months after graduating, I got a phone call from a company who found my resume and was actually interested in me. To this day, I don’t even know how they got my resume, but that interview led me in to my first “big boy” job in real world.
I was hired to do some basic computer administration work for the U.S. Navy. I was earning more money than I had ever seen in my life, but I had no idea what to do with it. It took me 6 months to enroll in my company 401(k) (this still makes me cry on the inside) and my weeks consisted of going to work, going to happy hour every Friday, and then usually much of the same during the weekend. I never spent a lot of my paychecks (I actually saved pretty well), but all I knew was to put it in a simple savings account. Words like investing, stocks, mutual funds, and employer sponsored retirement plans flew right over my head. This all changed when I got a new boss at work who eventually turned me in to the Frugal Money Man.
“Take care of your retirement first.” As I became close with my new boss, he echoed this statement a lot around me. At the time, I didn’t give it too much attention. Then one day I decided to login to my 401(k), and saw that my account grew over $50 from the previous day! I know $50 is not that much money, but a fire lit deep inside me because I was completely shocked at what just happened. How in the world did my account grow over $50 without me doing anything? I had to understand what was happening here, so just like any dummy in the world who was lost on a topic, I ordered my first investing book; Investing for Dummies! What this book taught me forever changed my mindset of money.
Fast forward 2 years and I am now officially the Frugal Money Man. I eat, sleep, and breathe personal finance. I have set lofty financial goals for my myself and my fiance (you will hear more about her in later posts). It is my goal to help others discover their inner frugalness (not sure that’s really a word, but I am going with it). This blog aims to break down financial topics that may be confusing such as debt, savings, investing, and much more. I look forward to walking this journey with you, as we strive to build wealth in this new world.
NOBODY ELSE IN THE WORLD IS GOING TO FUND YOUR RETIREMENT…IT’S ALL ON YOU!