My name is Mike. I graduated in May 2012 with a degree in Aeronautical Engineering, and shortly thereafter, moved to Philadelphia, PA to start my first job out of college in a new city. This is where my fiscal story begins: away from family, in a new apartment, at a new job, in a new city, now supporting myself.

Without a clue as to what a 401k was or why this new company I was working for wanted to give me free money to put into one, I set out on a mission to learn all I could to navigate the sea of information I was now being flooded with. All the while, the start of student loan payments loomed in the not-so-distant future.

Armed with my own self-determination, the power of the internet, and a little too much free time, I started reading all I could about finances, budgeting, and planning for the future. By building on the strong sense of financial (and personal) responsibility my parents taught me, I started on a path to financial independence. I did this all without missing out on the fun and excitement of post college life in a new city.

You Don’t Need To Sacrifice It All

My story is not one where I lived off beans and rice to pay of my students loans in a year. It’s also not one where I’ve forced myself to pass up great experiences and travel opportunities in order to sink 80% of my salary into a retirement account. I believe that you can live an exciting and full life now without throwing away the possibility of a secure future. By making a smart budget and sticking to it, along with maximizing the potential of the money you do save, you can travel, go out with friends, enjoy interesting hobbies, and still have the hope of a secure financial future.

Why I’m Doing This

I’m writing this blog along with Simon because I genuinely believe in these financial principles. I want to help people navigate this complex and, honestly, sometimes scary world of personal finance, investing, and money management. You don’t need to be a math whiz or a financial genius. You don’t even need to make a ton of money. With a few simple habits, anyone can take the first step to join us on the journey to financial security and independence.