Well, I’m back! It’s been quite a while.
Obviously, I decided to take the summer off from The Declassified Dollar for reasons I’ll get into below. But, I couldn’t be more excited to start writing again and interacting with each of you. Also, there are some huge plans ahead for the blog that I’m pumped to reveal, so make sure you read the whole post!
What I’ve Been up To
Up to this point, I haven’t mentioned anything on the blog about my career, so I figured the re-launch would be a great time to share some more info about myself.
I’m 21, a fact that I didn’t want to share before because I figured no one would want to take financial advice from a guy so young. But, I think my age actually gives me the advantage of a unique perspective. Because I don’t have as much experience, I also have a clean lense through which I can view personal finance without the assumptions and misconceptions that build up over time. I can look at something and ask: “is this really the best way to do this?” when an older person would say: “this is just the way the world works.”
Right now, I’m a senior at the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut. If you haven’t heard of it before, it’s the same thing as West Point or the Naval Academy, but at the end of this year I’ll graduate as an officer in the Coast Guard instead.
During the summer, everyone at the Academy gets sent to various Coast Guard units around the country. I was on a 210 foot long cutter based out of Wilmington, North Carolina. The ship goes to sea for approximately 2 months at a time for anything from enforcing fishing regulations to rescuing distressed mariners to stopping drug boats smuggling cocaine to America.
Being at my unit was the main reason I stopped working on The Declassified Dollar over the summer. I didn’t want any distractions interfering with my responsibilities. Also, this summer was a good time to take a break and avoid burning out because I don’t want my writing to become a hassle.
Additionally, the past couple months have been a great opportunity to stock up on new content, so I’ve actually been writing quite a bit in preparation for the re-launch, and I’ve got some new plans to share soon that I’m really excited about.
First off, I think I’ve finally found my niche in the personal finance community.
I have no interest in being rich or watching some net worth number go up and up for the rest of my life. I want to manage my money well, sure, but having more and more stuff doesn’t make anyone happy. Honestly, I don’t even want to retire early – that actually sounds quite boring!
Instead, I’m going to focus on optimizing my finances so that I can be more generous in supporting causes I believe in. That applies in 2 ways:
- Living below my means so that I have more money to give away
- Achieving financial freedom early so that I can use my time to work on worthwhile projects, not just earning a paycheck
The advice I give on saving, investing, and money management applies across the board, so you can use this blog even if your primary goal is a higher net worth, early retirement followed by travel, or if you have no interest in supporting non profit organizations. But, my goal is to establish a community of individuals focused on optimizing our finances and living a generous lifestyle.
The second change will be in my posting schedule. I plan on continuing a weekly article that dives into a particular topic in depth. However, in addition, I’ll be rolling out a new feature called Thursday Thoughts. These will be short, easy to read, fun to write, and designed to change the way we think about money. Hopefully having new content on a regular basis will encourage you to check out The Declassified Dollar more often.
Finally, I’ve got an experiment planned, but it’s going to be a surprise, so you’ll have to keep checking in to find out what it is! I plan on starting in about a month.
That’s all the new info I have for you today. I’m excited to be back, and I hope you’re glad to have me back. Get psyched for some great new content, and share this post on social media if you want your friends to know The Declassified Dollar is back in the game. Also, check in on Wednesday for a special bonus post in honor of my first week back!