Fresh Soil

That’s it. I’m doing it. And so far it feels great. I am a 25 year old Atlantan but more importantly, I am the queen of lists. I have a list for everything – groceries, to-do, to-read, to-eat, etc. I think there is a word for what that makes me but we will save that discussion for another post. The point is, there is one word that keeps resurfacing on all of these lists. BLOG. I have no idea how to do it. In fact, right now I’m writing this in a Word document with plans of pasting it into my blog once I get it up and running.

I have a ton of ideas, and all the time. With this blog I hope to not only get these ideas on paper to be accountable for, but track my progress and hopefully be an inspiration to others. Progress in what you ask? I have been accused of having some lofty goals and this may be one of them, but I think it is definitely possible: to be financially independent in 5 short years.

I was fortunate enough to make it out of school with zero debt and a decent job in my field of Finance. Shortly after I bought my first house, and have since moved up the ranks and I’m receiving a moderate salary for someone my age (roughly $60K). Although I have always been pretty frugal, I have only recently started getting deep into researching and investing- I have in two years accumulated close to $90K net worth ( I will get into more detail in a future post).

So what do I need to do in order to reach my goal of becoming financially independent by age 30? Well, I haven’t quite figured that out but here are some ideas for starters. Lines that are in bold, I plan to have accomplished in 2013.

Start a blog that provides a stream of passive income. “What?! I thought you said you were going to start this journey for the greater good and as a way to track your journey?!”  Well yes, indeed I am. The more you get to know me, the more you will see that I am a big fan of optimizing income from tasks you already do or enjoy. And after all, isn’t that what the quest to retirement is all about, doing whatever the heck you want, WHEN you want?

-File for an LLC : There are SO MANY advantages to having your own business. Even if you don’t already have an idea for what your business might do yet, it is a BEAUTIFUL thing that everyone should take advantage of. I already have a few ideas up my sleeve for what services/products I would be providing and I’m actually already making a small amount of money doing so. I just need to make it official, meaning file with the state, track expenses, market, create a website. There is a lot to-do and a full-time job sometimes makes it difficult.

Downsize: This is a pretty broad one as it encompasses many things. Simplicity is something I’ve taken a liking to. It provides peace of mind and quite frankly, makes life a whole lot more enjoyable when you realize that you can still be happy without so much STUFF.  I have a few ideas on how to accomplish this task.. stay tuned. You can join me in this challenge and compare your progress to mine.

Set up an online store/website:  This definitely requires a lot of research but I think it is achievable within the year. My short term goal would be to brainstorm some items that may be successful selling online in addition to it being something I have an interest in. Secondly, I have absolutely no experience in anything web related (design, SEO, etc). I want this to be a project that I create from the ground up and I don’t see any reason that I couldn’t learn how to build a successful website by researching online.

-Get an MBA: Now this sounds expensive. Yes it is, even when your employer will reimburse you for tuition, which just so happens to be the case. Another thing you’ll learn about me is that I love to take advantage of any benefit your employer offers: coffee in the breakroom, 401k matching, tuition reimbursement, YES PLEASE! And it just so happens that I love school so why not take advantage of this opportunity which would prove valuable in opening doors to whatever path I choose to take after I quit the ol’ 9-5.

-Find a distressed home and fix it up as a rental investment: This is something else I would find extremely fun doing in addition to advancing my plans for early retirement. I will probably go into a much more involved blog about this one as it is probably the riskiest short term goal that I have.

When I think about retirement, I think about more acres than I can count on two hands, rolling pastures, a quaint house with rocking chairs, chickens, goats, and enough land to bring home any stray dog I find in my travels. O yea, and it’d probably be in some place cool like France or Ireland. Well I’m not too far off from that ideal landscape. Despite my 8-5(8) and ¾ of an acre in Atlanta, I try to live a life as close to this as possible. I currently have 10 chickens, 2 goats, a dog, and a cat. No one believes me, not even my friends, until they see it. So although I am working towards the perfect retirement described above, I still try to live in the present as much as possible.  Any good farmer would tell you, “you reap what you sow”.  In addition to making smart financial decisions now and reaping the benefits in the long term, I take that to mean enjoying life in the present. REALLY enjoying it, and not being distracted by the things that we think we should enjoy like clothes, gadgets, and tv. Sure, I enjoy these as much as the next person but I’m learning more and more to be able to do without them and start enjoying moments, experiences, learning new things, and good food! Here’s to new adventures. Thank you for joining me on this one.

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