Welcome! I’m Josh Styles, I’m 28 years old and I am on track to be retired by 30 years old. I’ve learned that money is a powerful tool that, when managed appropriately, can help you accomplish your goals and provide for the people you care about. Through budgeting and frugal choices, we can live free of financial burdens. In 2015 I graduated with my MBA in Finance & Management from a top university in Boston, Massachusetts with over $118,542.87 in student loans (undergraduate + graduate school). Just to make matters worse when I had originally started my undergraduate degree in 2008 it was right before the financial crisis hit. Student loan interest rates were still high (13% was my highest) because the economy was still booming. After finishing my undergraduate degree in 2012 I was sitting with 8 different federal loans (un-subsidized & subsidized) with fixed interest rates between 5-8% and one private student loan from Citizens Bank for $14,743.67 at a fixed rate of 13%. I remember the exact amount on this one because I felt like I had received it from a loan shark. I was the first to graduate from college in my family and lets just say since my parents didn’t plan for it. I had no choice but to borrow from none other than uncle sam.
You see, I graduated from college with a debt problem. A better term that could also describe it is I graduated with a mortgage that I had to pay back to the US Government. One that I could not refinance for lower interest rates or declare bankruptcy from. I’m sure just like myself most millennial’s can relate to me on this. We were told you need to go to college to get a degree in order to get a high paying job so that you can be successful. Now after graduating and entering the workforce when looking at that sentence I can pick it apart in so many ways. The first is you don’t need to have a college degree to get a high paying job. The second is a high paying job doesn’t mean you are successful. The third is going to college and getting a degree has nothing to do with how successful you are or will become. What I have learned is with hard work, networking to get to know the right people, getting control over your personal finances and striving towards a goal will push you more towards success.
I have laid out my blog into four core sections. Think of the blog as a road map to financial freedom. No matter where you are on your financial road map check out the Start Here section as I will tell my personal experience on how I got started and how I took control of my personal finances. It is loaded with how to get started guides to help put you on the right path. After you have developed a plan to get started you’re going to need to Start Saving. I don’t mean saving money as in depositing money in the bank where you will earn .01% interest but understanding your daily spending habits and getting them under control. After you have started down your path to financial freedom the largest wall you will have to climb over is Paying off Debt. This could be student loans, credit cards, medical bills, mortgage debt, car loan payments, personal loans anything with an interest rate that is higher than you could make by investing. We are really going to focus on paying these off. Not all debt is bad debt but it will hold you back from achieving personal financial freedom. Now that you have picked up good saving and spending habits you can start to think about investing the extra money you have and its always to better to Invest Early. In the last part of the blog you can give yourself a pat on the back. Congratulations you now think before spending any money, paid off your debts, the investments are giving you a passive income and your ready to Retire Early. So what do you plan on doing with the rest of your life?
Want to know how I came to the decision to move to Asia with $2,500 in my pocket at the age of 24 years old with $118,542.87 in student loans and now claim that I will be retired at the age of 30? Well you will just have to keep reading to find out and your best to Start Here.