My Personal Finance History
Based on requests, I thought I would give you more information about my personal history. My life's choices has a lot to with my journey to financial freedom so I think its important to know more of my background to better understand how I got to where I am today.
I graduated with a BS degree in Computer Science in December 1998. I was just like any other college student, broke, but I was blessed enough to have the support of my parents to pay for my tuition and basic living expenses while I worked to get my degree.
Rather than entering the workforce like most of my graduating peers, I opted to stay and get a MS degree in Engineering. I was luckily offered an assistantship at the university which gave me free tuition and a stipend (roughly $12,000 a year). I was again blessed to have my parents agree to continue to pay my health insurance premiums during this time.
While in graduate school, I purchased my first car, a newly used Nissan Sentra. I put $5,000 down (my life's savings) and I received a loan from my parents to pay for the remaining amount (roughly $7,000).
In addition, while I was in graduate school, I started a dot com business with my brother. We spent several years and roughly invested $8k of my savings in the business which we finally shutdown and sold off most of our assets in 2004 for a sizable loss.
In August 2001, I finally entered the real world and have been working at IBM ever since. I began paying close attention to my finances after reading The Millionaire Next Door given to me by a professor towards the end of my grad school career. As I entered the workforce I realized my limited financial means at the time would limit my choices in the future and I wanted to do something about it.
Since 2001, I have made steady progress in my increasing my net worth. I paid off the car loan from my parents and purchased my 1st house in 2002. In 2005, I rented out my house and and bought a 2nd house in 2006. In 2007 I rented out my 2nd house, took an international assignment in China, and finally married my longtime girlfriend. Once we get back to the US in 2008, we will begin looking for a new home.
Here is a chart of my monthly net worth since I started working in 2001:
I left graduate school with a signing bonus and moving allowance that accounted for the majority of my $14k net worth in July 2001. As you can see I have been steadily improving this number to a more reasonable net worth today. Hopefully this streak will continue for many years to come.
Updated: December 2007
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