Wednesday, June 13, 2012

My Modest Middle of the Road

At the end of this current month my wife is about to join a super ultra-fit and elite club among us frugal fury fighters. I’ll certainly delve further into this when the time comes but for now I’d like to explore a bit on how I got here, specifically regarding career track and monetary availability.

Neither I nor my wife come from wealthy family backgrounds. There has been no exorbitant windfall that has propelled us through our baby steps nor give us a shot in the arm to kick start retirement. My wife is from a small farming community in the Mid West and needless to say her last name was not Monsanto. I am from the suburbs of Los Angeles, my father took early retirement and was a stay at home dad while my mother worked full time. Neither of our family of origin households were “high up,”on the federal tax income brackets.

And guess what? We’ve pretty much been the same boat as D.I.N.Ks. My first job out of college was in New York working as a lowly peon for the US State Department. From there when I came to the windy city I temped for my current employer, a global bank, and after being hired on full-time have bounced across a few different departments in a span of about five years.

We are more or less right in the middle of the Federal Income 25% tax bracket. No windfalls. No silver spoons. No “wealthy” relatives. No golden parachutes. Three years ago I looked up at my personal financial disaster and decided that I did not want to live like everyone else. So my now wife and I got on the same page financially. We made the decision to live on a written and agreed upon budget before the start of every month, live on less than we made and to erase debt from our lives.

No magic pills. No sophisticated investing techniques. Armed with our planning and sheer will power, we are on the verge of becoming a debt free couple. On a statistical middle of the road household income we have made financial peace for ourselves.

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