I have to date mostly provided a small glimpse into my past and where the foundation of my journey into the financial world began; now I will give you a look into where we are now.
Let me first say, that two inherently “messy” people coming from completely different upbringings and thoughts on money deciding to get married and do life together can be difficult to say the least. We both have different views of money, different experiences with finances growing up, and a complete 180 degree difference in where we grew up.
My wife actually grew up overseas in Southeast Asia. Her parents are missionaries, so their income is based on raising support. As well, where they are based, they are not allowed to purchase property, so they have rented their entire lives and have moved on a fairly frequent schedule. Their family was blessed to have many amazing people supporting them, as well as living in an environment where the cost of living is significantly lower than here in the States. They were able to take a lot of extraordinary trips and vacations growing up, and see sights and have experiences that are much more difficult for individuals in this hemisphere are able to have. (This next part is up for debate – I have heard two slightly different stories, one from my wife and one from her father… sorry hunny!). Money was never really discussed, so my wife grew up without much, if any concept of finances, saving, investing, etc.
In stark contrast, I grew up in a different environment.
My parents, as I briefly discussed in some of the previous posts, owned a couple rental properties, both worked regular, W-2 paying jobs (until my mom was fortunate enough to become a stay-at-home mom and spend more time with my sister and me), and were open with their investing, saving, giving, etc. For the first almost 20 years of my life, we only lived in two different homes (compared to my wife’s somewhere between 6-10 different homes!).
I say all this only to portray that we were more than just a little different in our upbringings (aside from the part that we both had and have extremely amazing parents and siblings, of which we are eternally grateful!).
I’m sure by now and of you readers have had more than enough of our pasts! Just laying foundation for all to come, and to let everyone know that anyone can make these small changes and decisions that we have made over the last 1.5-2 years to start our path towards a place of “financial independence.” And though it has been anything but easy (and is still difficult at times), there is no one I would rather navigate this path through than with my beautiful bride.
We have taken steps towards being good stewards of our time and money; investing as much as possible, giving with a joyful heart, and cutting as many extraneous expenses as we can (without giving up our adventurous and people-loving lifestyle).
So, where are we now? We are building up our income-producing assets (rental properties), maxing out IRAs and contributing to her work’s 403B, and trying to learn and help others as much as we can in the process!
In my next post I’ll try give a deeper snapshot into our savings, investments, and expenses to show exactly what it looks like.
Hope you all are enjoying these posts and I pray they will be helpful in some form or fashion as we get more into the details! Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any comments or questions or if there is anything you would like me to dive more into.