When I first started this site, and chose the name I felt it was perfect, and I still do. I shared it with friends, family, and anyone who would listen before purchasing it. I also shared it with a facebook group that thought the name was great. Most people asked for no explanation of the name, only saying they liked it. To be fair it’s a simple name, that can mean something different for everyone, which was one of the main appeals to me. Now, however I think it’s important that you know where the name came from, how I became the future me, how I will again, and what it means for the future of the blog.
I Am The Future Me
It all started with a blog post on Jason Fiebers site Dividend Mantra “I’m Already Financially Independent“. In the post he talks about how he is already financially independent. He is so confident in how he is saving/investing for the future that financial independence is assured, there is no doubt in his mind and therefore that future already exists.
This was the first personal finance article I read that got me seriously thinking about my own finances. Though I had been looking into it for some time this article was the match that started me down the path to getting out of debt, investing, retiring early, living a lifestyle I enjoy rather than just living. Yes you could say that Jason inspired me to change my life, that Jason has changed my life. Hopefully someday I get to repay the favor, hopefully I get to inspire someone else in the same way he inspired me, only time will tell.
However just like we all know, the best part of “personal finance” is that it is truly “personal”. So I adjusted his sentiments in to fit my situation. I thought of when I was 13 knowing how awesome it would be to be 16 because then I could stay up later, and would know just about everything. When I was 16 the goal of course was 18 so I “would be an adult”. Then came looking forward to 21 only to be able to go out and have a beer.
When 21 came though I was debt free, I had nothing holding me back. “Past me” would have been wise to save money at this time, rather than spend every dime. A year later I started accumulating debt for several reasons and I thought that “future me” would pay it off. I looked forward to “future me” just like I did when I was 13 longing for 16. I imagined that I would be debt free, that I would have money in the bank, that I would stop needing to work so much, that money was no longer a problem. Five years have past and the only thing that has happened is I’m even more in debt. I think about money more now than when I had none, and now I have less than none. Yes I looked forward to “future me” to fix all my problems, and none of the problems are gone.
It was then I realized that I am the “future me”. I am the latest version of me, and in theory the best me yet. The only way that I’ll have the lifestyle I imagine for the next “future me” is if my chooses now match the requirements to reach the future me I imagine. I can’t simply sit by expecting myself to take care of the problems of the future unless I set out a plan for tomorrow. I can’t expect things to change unless I change at the same time. So that’s exactly what I’m going to do.
How I Became The “Future Me”
First thing I did was decided to get a good education. No, I didn’t enroll in the local college or training center, instead I started reading more and more. I read every blog I could find on personal finance, specifically those who are paying off debt, or who already have. After reading their “about me” sections I decided that was what I wanted. I wanted to be someone who paid off their debt and was now on my way to early retirement. I wanted to be one of those people that others respect, one of those people who are doing something that seems out of the ordinary but really anyone can do with proper planning.
After studying these personal finance bloggers I noticed a lot commonalities. For instance, they all started reading every personal finance book they could get their hand on. I had never even thought of reading a book on finance thinking it would be a boring read. But, if I were to become the “future me” than I had to do things that “past me” would never do.
I had been given a $20 Barnes and Noble Gift card for a high school graduation gift some 7 years before and never used it. So I went to the closest B&N and went to the financial book section (I was surprised it still worked too). I saw a book from a blogger that I love reading. The book was I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi. The other book that caught my eye was one a coworker had recommended years ago Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kowasaki. I devoured Roberts’ book in less than a day and Ramits’ the day after that, I was now hooked on personal finance books and there was no going back.
After using up my gift card, I started getting books from the local library. I would google “personal finance books” in order to find exactly which books I should read. I would also go to blogs to see if they had written a book, or if they had recommended some. I read every single one, at one point I even had 12 books checked out from the Library.
In addition to reading finance blogs, and reading Finance books I discovered an additional avenue of education and stepping stone towards becoming the “future me”. In came podcasts, my brother had long been listening to podcasts well he drove, or well he was working and often spoke about how much he learned from them. So I started listening to the Dave Ramsey Show (how could I not after reading his book). I wanted to be well rounded so I searched for things like “personal finance” and “passive income” and found several podcasts that I now listen to on a almost daily basis.
Through doing these things, I was starting to not be the “past me”, thinking the future holds the answers. No I had now become the “future me” that is going to deal with the problems of the past, and create the future I want.
How I will Become The “Future Me”
“Knowledge is power”, those words could not be more true. However if all you do is take in knowledge never acting on it than all that knowledge is wasted. I don’t want to waste this education I’ve given myself. I decided than that I would get out of debt, get a job that brings me more joy (or create my own business), spend more time with my family, and live the life I have so long desired.
Unlike in the past, I will make a dedicated plan to reach the next “future me”. In the future I am debt free, I work for myself, when I want to not when I need to. I go out to lunch with my friends and family twice a week (a different person each time). I have investments providing me with the passive income I need to pay my bills and do all the other things I want. I volunteer the majority of my time to others and think very little of myself. I have also lost weight and no longer fit into the clothes I did a few years ago.
Thus I Am The Future Me was created, not to make money from (though there will be some monetizing of the site) but to document my journey towards becoming the “future me”. I’m going to do this through freelancing, creating niche sites, rideshare driving, and investing.
Here I will document as best I can the steps I take in each of these areas, I will give the frugal things I do to save money as well as how much I make from these “side hustles”. I will also try to answer any questions any of you have on any of these subjects (I know many people area asking about rideshare driving).
I don’t know exactly where this blog will go, I don’t know if anyone will every find it, and if they do if they will be inspired. I don’t know if I’ll be able to get any freelance gigs, if the niche sites I create will be successful, or if I will ever invest anything. What I do know is that no matter what happens I will not feel regret over how the “past me” spent the time. I will know that the current me is the best me I could be and one worth calling the “future me”
What does the “future you” look like? What are some things that the “past you” did to get where you are now?
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Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net