Introducing… Daughter!

Hello! Nice to meet you. I’m the kid half of the Father Daughter Finance blog. I’m a 20 year old college student majoring in Biomedical Engineering with minors in History, Arabic, and Chemistry. Yeah, I really like school. I also really like saving money, and it seems like those two passions are at odds in America’s higher education system.

Is a system that starts off college grads with tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt a broken system? Absolutely. But that doesn’t mean that all college debts are created equal. In my case, debt will not be created at all. As it turns out, people give away free shit all the time. Free college, a free gap year in an interesting place, and free private high school are some of my favorites from which I personally benefited. I’ve been very fortunate to have had these opportunities, but I made a lot of my own luck by making some sacrifices, keeping my ears open and my nose to the grindstone. Every decision I make, I want to make it with an eye to the future, especially when it comes to money.

If we’re going to be talking about the future, I guess we should start with the past. I grew up with very little direction in terms of money. Both my parents have worked full-time jobs pretty much my whole life, but even as a child I had a hunch there was more nefarious going on behind the scene of the family finances. As it turns out, there was! But I’ll let my Dad tell that story. Ultimately, I was determined to do a better job with my money, but I didn’t know exactly what that meant. Investing seemed intimidating- designed for someone much older and more knowledgeable than myself. I stuck to saving.

It recently occurred to me that there has to be a better place to keep my growing stash of cash than in my savings account. So I did what I do best: read. I opened a Roth IRA, but after capping out my annual contribution limit, I still had a chunk of change hanging out in my savings account. I kept reading, and I found FIRE. My stumbling into the world of personal finance has represented a paradigm shift in the way I think about the future. My future. I’m no longer asking myself questions like, “What if I have to live in a huge city on the East Coast for 40 years (gross) because that’s where most of the best jobs for my field are?” or “How much will I miss of my future children growing up if I have to work 40 hours a week… forever?” or “How do I reconcile my disparate passions within a single career?” The ability to re-contextualize these questions and others into a vision of the future where I am financially secure and independent has already given me more peace of mind than I have ever had.

However, even while I made these knowledge gains, I could still see my parents struggling with making solid financial decisions. I know that finance can be a deeply personal thing and that everyone’s story is different, so I thought it would be interesting to run my Dad’s story of later in life debt and planning for retirement with my story which is really just beginning. I think between the two of us, everyone regardless of their situation will find something useful in our stories which is profoundly meaningful for me.

I want this blog to connect my Dad and I, coming from two very different places, to the personal finance community at large so we can share our lessons and perspectives while learning from others. I want for both of us to be held accountable in reaching our goals, and a public platform is an awesome way to do that.

This blog is at its core a story about family even more than money and how the decisions we make can influence those we love. This is about building a team to lift each other up and sharing information and ideas. Welcome to our team!

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