I'm No Millionaire

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.

Late 2013, I told my boss at the grocery store that I would only be available to work three days per week-- monday, tuesday, and wednesday. I then got myself hired to work evenings/nights delivering pizzas the rest of the week-- thursday through sunday.

I haven't taken the time to compare exactly my (average) income now to what it was before, but I'm pretty sure it's more. This is the income level I'm working with starting in 2014.

So I'm writing this blog. For me. Because I'm a little bit frustrated. 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.