Negative $100k Net Worth? A Great Place to Start.

Hi! Ok, so here I am spitting out onto the page whatever is popping into my mind… probably not a good way to write. So let’s get this, and a few other things, out of the way up front… I’m not a writer by any stretch of the imagination! I’ve never blogged before, and I’ll very likely break all sorts of writing rules as we go, so I’m sure this adventure I’m about to undertake will be cringe-worthy at best to all of you English majors out there! (Run on sentence??) But I’ve heard more than once that it’s a bad idea to wait until you have it all figured out to get started taking action on an idea… so forgive me in advance for what follows. This is me taking action.

I didn’t have the faintest desire to start a blog until yesterday, but I’ve had a very strong passion for pursuing financial independence for about 7 years now. …Don’t we all? I’d like to say I’ve taken that pursuit very seriously, but I’d probably be kidding myself by believing that. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been that guy who always wanted more, and who very often was doing stupid things trying to get ahead. Not stupid like illegal, well… This is my first post, so maybe I should save some of the crazy stories for another time. But then there’s a part of me who’s thinking, “no one is going to read this anyway, so no big deal!” But I’m nothing if not hopeful, so I’ll just believe that what I’m going to write here will be a help to someone who maybe is in the same position as I am – deeply in debt, but scrappy, and willing to do whatever it takes to create a better life – one in which finances are low on the list of factors considered when making choices. Now there’s a pretty big distinction to make between disregarding money in the decision making process because you don’t care about digging the hole deeper, and disregarding money in the decision making process because you have far more than enough to cover the cost of your decision. To put it much simpler, wouldn’t it be great to be in a financial position where you can choose your meal at a restaurant based on its description rather than its price?

I’m still reading menus from right to left, but that’s why I’m writing this blog. I want to document my journey to achieving financial independence from where I am now – buried deep in student loans, consumer debt, mortgage payments, you name it. I plan to be transparent about my debt, my income, and my choices along the way. I’ll use real numbers because I hope to be an example of finding a path forward regardless of where you’re financially starting out. This won’t be an instruction manual or a step by step “how to” guide to financial independence (…considering I’m not financially independent), but what it will be is a document of my attempt to get there! Here’s another disclaimer… I mentioned that I’ve had the passion to chase after financial independence for the last 7 years; I may be pretty deeply in debt, but I haven’t been sitting on my butt – I’ve been working hard at my 9-5, on business ideas with my wife, on others with my friends, and basically doing my best to bust down any door I could to get closer to the goal, so I do have an asset or two starting to work in my favor. More on that later!

I thought about a bunch of titles for this blog… “Pursuing Financial Independence” (blah), “My Journey for Financial Peace” (A bit too Ramsey); but as I kept thinking about it, I realized that I don’t necessarily want financial independence, I want options. I want to be able to choose. So that’s how I landed on “Chasing Choices”. It’s the idea that as we progress through life, the quality and quantity of our options should improve. Done right, we should be able to increase our available time along with our income, giving us the freedom to choose what we want instead of just “choosing” what we have to.

It seems strange to be writing a blog about financial independence when my net worth just after college was less than -$100,000 (No, that’s not a typo. That’s a negative sign) and it’s not much higher… uhh, less low… now, almost 6 years later. But I’m moving the right direction, and I hope this project will be an encouragement to someone trying to make it. If nothing else, I hope it’ll keep me accountable on my way!

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