Saturday, April 19, 2014

I'm Not Rich, Guys.

There are a lot of people who write about achieving financial independence, and that's great. But I have yet to see one for whom I am the target demographic. You see, I'm technically "poor". All too often, I'll read a great personal finance book or blog or article, and they'll suggest a hypothetical situation just to show how their plan works. Invariably, it goes something like this:

"Let's assume you make $50,000 per year, and every two years or so, you get a raise...."

What? I can't hear you over your nuclear explosion of cash. If I had that income level, of course I could retire early! But I don't. I work at a grocery store. I make $2,500 per month on a good month. If I got full-time hours that month. If I had an extra payday that month. If I'm at journeyman pay rate (which I am *whew*). If I don't have a good month, if I don't have full hours (and I don't always), then I only have something like I did last April-- $1,820.88. Or less. In 2013, I had a total of $26,000 of income to work with. In 2012, I had $24,000. In 2011-- $22,500. There's no employer-matched 401k, a little bit of paid vacation hours (which are cashed out every year, and included in the figures I just quoted), and about $350-700 per year in some form of Health Savings Account in conjunction with the health insurance plan.

So I'm writing this blog. For me. Because I want there to be more helpful information for people like me. I'm good with money. I live on less than what I make. I don't need help making a budget. I don't need welfare to pay the bills. But I want to get ahead, and I want to do more than work 9 hours a day at a job I don't really like.

I'm going to retire in ten years. This blog is about how I'm doing that.

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It seems like everyone else has a disclaimer, so here you go. Consider yourself disclaimed. All I'm claiming is that I only claim what I claim I claim, and disclaim other claims I haven't claimed.

Does "claim" sound weird in your head now? It does in mine.