The World’s Least Fascinating Personal Finance Blogger

Reading hundreds of blog posts surrounding the personal finance community, it’s easy to get a little jealous of others’ success. I mean, on a daily basis I read about people going from rags to riches, or having a $1M income, or people retiring at an obscenely young age. With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, I think it’s time to step back and focus on all the reasons I have to be thankful.

Thankful Turkey

I’m lucky

I may be the world’s least fascinating personal finance blogger – but don’t stop reading! I don’t have a compelling story like those mentioned above. I’ve been too damn lucky. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve made some good decisions along the way (quietly pats back). When life choices work out as well as they have, there is nothing to say but “I’m lucky.” Here are a few examples:

  • I was born in a society that allows me to grow my wealth and pursue happiness
  • I’ve never known what it was like to be homeless
  • Or hungry
  • My grade school education was entirely paid by taxpayers
  • Thanks to my parents generosity and choosing a less expensive state university in my home state, I never needed student loans
  • While I’ve made plenty of financial and other mistakes in my life, none of them have caused significant harm
  • My biggest financial hardship was being unemployed for just a few months. At the time, we were able to pay the bills with my wife’s salary and had plenty in an emergency fund in case we had a shortfall.
  • I’ve never been stuck paying credit card interest
  • In fact, the only interest I’ve ever paid has been on my mortgage
  • I never overspent on a car purchase or lease. Actually, I have never made a car payment. I inherited my 2006 car in 2009 and the Mrs. and I still share it today. The savings from no car payments have taken me a long way toward financial independence without sacrificing anything of importance to me.
  • I also never bought too much of a house, which is one of the biggest financial roadblocks in society today. Many people buy as big of a house as they can “afford” and then try to keep up with their neighbors. Our home purchasing decisions have been well below the “most we can afford” and I’m thankful for the flexibility that those choices have given us.
  • I’ve never spent more money than I’ve made in a year and as such, my net worth has increased every year of my life.

I Married Well Perfectly

First and foremost I’m thankful for my wife. Mrs. WPF is the backbone that holds our family up. She’s smart, fun and much better looking than me. We have always been able to communicate well. Even when we have a difference of opinion (which is often), we always find a way to sort through it without resentment. Being with her has by far been the best decision I’ve ever made, financial or otherwise. Thank you for putting up with all my craziness.

I have two wonderful healthy sons

They both drive me a little nuts, make my hair gray and bring me more joy than I can describe. They inspire and motivate me to be my best so I can give them the best.

I’m thankful for my parents

I am who I am today because of them. While I did not have everything growing up, I had everything I needed and much more. They have influenced who I am today more than I even know. From a financial perspective, my father introduced me to the stock market and investing. My mom taught me that you don’t need the latest and greatest of everything to be happy, along with how to buy only the things that are really important to you. This blog is a combination of the best of what my parents taught me about personal finance and the lessons I’ve learned from their financial mistakes. My parents provided the trampoline that I jumped off of when becoming an adult. I’d never be where I am today without that bounce.

My Friends and Family Put Up With Me

And it can’t be easy. I have the best group of friends and family I could ever ask for. There are so many wonderful people in my life I can’t begin to name them all. Many good times have been had. I’ll say this, if I ever need help – with anything – I know there are a number of people I can count on. You can’t put a value on that.

From a blogging perspective an extra big thank you to the friend that edits these posts pro bono to make sure they actually make sense… in English. Also a special thank you to those that have challenged or suggested improvements to my blog posts. I really appreciate your critical eyes.

The World's Least Fascinating Personal Finance Blogger

My Career

I’m certainly not one of those people that loves their job and would do it for free. I doubt most people on the FI path are. Still, I’m thankful for my job, career and skills that allow me to earn a healthy income. Personal finance would be damn hard if I did not have it.

My Financial Education

I’m thankful that I stumbled into the “magic of compound interest” at such a young age.

For those that don’t know, the “magic” is how your investment returns earn their own returns. For example, if you invest $1K this year and it earns 10% annually, at the end of the year you will have $1.1K, a profit of $100. The next year, when that $1.1K earns 10% you will have $1.21K, a profit of $110. You see, the returns on your investment the first year drive even more returns the next… just like magic! Try this exercise for 45 years and see what your $1K becomes. OK, fine I’ll tell you. It’s $72,890! Crazy right?!?

Because of this concept, I knew the importance of investing early and often. I developed a workable investing strategy before ever earning a real paycheck! I’m on track to achieve FI at the age of 45 without ever having to make any sacrifices because I practiced an imperfect version of Winning Personal Finance from the age of 22.

Personal Finance Blogs

As I wrote in “Less Stress More Happiness,” being fired once and becoming a one-income family added more stress to my life then I realized. That stress led me to get serious about optimizing my finances and building as much of a safety net as possible. That goal led me to find: Retire by 40, Mr. Money Mustache and the Mad Fientist. These blogs clarified some personal finance ideas that were fuzzy in my head and, more importantly, drove me to document my goals. I now have a new view of the world after clearly defining and actively chasing my financial goals. I can’t wait to see what comes next.

Personal Finance Blogging Community

The support that I’ve received from the personal finance blogging community has been incredible. A three line email from Pete at Do You even Blog gave me some focus and led me to connect with many other fantastic bloggers on Twitter and the Rockstar Finance forums. If this site ever becomes something, it will be because of this community. The ideas and inspiration I’ve received from working with these wonderful people has been amazing.

My Readers

Lastly, I’m thankful for all of my readers. For a little while, I was writing only to my mom (hi mom) but eventually, my readership increased beyond the fingers on my hands. The purpose of this blog is to help each of you improve your finances in some way. While I talk about some personal experiences at times, this site is really about you. Many blogs tell the author’s story to entertain the audience. We are not really about that here. I may tell a story but the purpose is to help. I’m thankful for your readership, since I enjoy an extreme amount of satisfaction by helping you (at least trying to) help yourself. If there is ever a way I can be of more direct assistance, please use my contact page to be in touch. Making money for my employer (a corporation) is nice, but not nearly as fulfilling as improving someone’s life.

P.S.

Before this, I’ve never written about my gratitude. I’ve found it really uplifting. I tend to spend most of my time focusing on fixing problems. Realizing how lucky and privileged I am while writing this was just amazing.

Enjoy your holiday.

Thanksgiving dinner

28 thoughts on “The World’s Least Fascinating Personal Finance Blogger”

  1. You have certainly got yourself a new fan, self-proclaimed least fascinating or not! How you have counted your blessings in this post warmed my heart. It is nice to step away from the numbers at times and be thankful for the little things – a roof overhead, hot food on the table, a warm blanket, family and friends.

    Keep being ‘least fascinating’, it is working. I am looking forward to diving into your blogs more.

  2. Happy Thanksgiving to you! A while back I read that daily gratitude was one of the best ways to cultivate daily contentment / happiness. I’m trying to make it a point to express gratitude each day – in fact, since September I’ve been logging three things I’m grateful for each morning. Sometimes it’s hard, especially when life sucks, but it does do wonders.

    1. I always thought the daily gratitude thing was too much. I tend to focus on fixing problems, not counting blessings. After the experience writing this post and your feedback, I just might have to try it!

  3. Damn what was that email? *digs back in gmail.

    And this post was anything BUT uninteresting (double-negative much?). I love personal stuff like this, especially gratitude posts 🙂

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    1. Upon review the email was longer than three lines. Here is the part that I was referring to from Pete

      “Get 4k personal finance twitter followers ASAP, comment in the Rockstar Finance forums a lot, and publish original and super-engaging content. Do that work, let the wins/losses come as they may.”

      Thanks again!

  4. That was a nice post, and it almost read exactly as a younger me would have written it. I also didn’t make car payments, married perfectly, great kids, never owed on a credit card and so forth. I’m just the older you, early retired from the corporate world and wealthy and keeping busy with paid and nonpaid side gigs. I think the only differences were that I was never laid off, kept the same job my whole career, and my wife stayed home with the kids after our second one, and never went back to the workforce. Also we still live in the first house we ever bought and our three millennial kids have two degrees each and are self sufficient without student loans. I can tell you’ll retire much earlier than I did but I am guessing you’ll feel just like you do now twenty years in the future, and older you will be grateful for your choices just like older me thanks young guy me for the ones he made!

    1. Steve – Thanks for leaving such a kind comment. I find those of us that write and read FI blogs tend to have a bunch in common. I’m happy that your life has worked out so well. Especially because it seems that I’m following in your footsteps a bit. I’m not sure I’ll retire earlier than you though. I’d like to keep “working” for quite a while after I hit FI. I just want that work to be meaningful and rewarding. Getting to “working optional” ASAP is my big priority.

  5. Thanks for the mention! You made my day. 🙂
    Great to hear you’re having a fantastic year. It’s pretty amazing what friends and family will put up with. 🙂 We’ve had a really great year as well and I’m very grateful.
    Have a terrific Thanksgiving!

    1. Joe – I distinctly remember being frustrated after a day of work and googling “retire by 40.” Thanks for proving that you don’t have to win the lottery in order to do so.

  6. Hi Jason –

    Thanks for the post and overview. I’d been meaning to check out your site as I see you actively contributing to and commenting in the PF community’s many other great sites (I’m still quite new).

    I’ve added you to my list of “followed” sites in my WordPress stream, as I found this post straight-forward and meaningful. Admittedly, I find myself in some similar circumstances among the items you listed in your “I’m lucky” list, so it was easy to relate.

    Not everyone, including myself, has an extraordinary to always tell. But sometimes the ordinary adds value in its own way.

    Thanks again for the post.
    – Mike

    1. Thanks for your thoughtful comment and for the follow. I agree that ordinary adds it’s own value. It’s why I write in the first place. We can all learn so much from each other. I’m glad that you have been lucky as well. Good luck with the blogging.

  7. Happy TG Jason and congratulations on being feature on RSF!

    I woudn’t call you the least fascinating pf blogger at all. I keep coming to your blog for a reason 🙂 . A lot of us like to follow successful bloggers to see how they did it so we can learn a thing or two. Not buying too much house, living below your means, driving a 10+ year old car,…all of those are fascinating topics to talk about 🙂

    99to1percent recently posted…Giving Thanks and The 6 Gifts That Keep On Giving…
    https://99to1percent.com/gifts-keep-giving/

    1. If Ms. 99to1 thinks I’m fascinating, maybe I was wrong. Thanks again for the alert about the Rockstar feature. Crazy to accomplish my first blogging goal and not to have seen it myself.

  8. A happy belated Thanksgiving to you! You’re extremely lucky, especially to have found that wonderful woman who stands beside you.

    We all feel like the least fascinating sometimes (most of the times?) but few say it. Kudos to you for writing about it.

    On par to reach FI at 45? That’s VERY fascinating to me. When I was 45 we were married 2 years and didn’t have a pot to p*ss in.

    1. You have no idea how lucky I am with her by my side.

      I guess when you compare yourself with fascinating people, you just seem normal. I’ll take it though. Normal is pretty good 🙂!

  9. How can you be the world’s least fascinating pf blogger…I hold that title =) Your story sounds the same as mine. No crazy pay down debt story or epiphany about how to deal with money. I have a wonderful wife and 2 little boys…just trying to share my financial journey. Will definitely have to read more of the archives to see if we really are so similar…we all have unique stories to share!

  10. Awesome article! I have never read a story like you, as mention most start with doom and gloom (Including mine) and then somehow they find a way to be successful. I appreciate the honestly and the storytelling. It kept me engaged and wanting to read more. I like the frugalness you bring, and mentioning that sometimes less is more. The stress of not having debt may be more beneficial then actually saving itself. At least from a health standpoint. Thanks, Craig

    1. Craig – I think it’s hilarious that you have never read a story like mine. It must be because everybody that has unfascinating stories does not bother to write about them.

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