Welcome to Stop Buying Vowels, a personal finance blog in reverse.
Whereas many personal finance sites focus on skipping your daily coffee and putting the savings towards your mortgage, here I focus on strategies to eliminate the mortgage altogether so you can spend the following month’s check on as many coffees as you’d like. Focusing on the largest items in your life makes the largest impact, which leaves you more wiggle room in your daily spending.
Start with the following premise:
Each of us will earn a specific amount of money in our lifetimes. Right now this number is unknown to us, but it exists. Regardless of how this number stacks up against others, it remains true that the less you waste on items like interest payments, late fees, ATM fees and parking tickets the greater the amount left to spend on the things that enhance your life.
If that makes sense to you, I think this will be a blog you enjoy reading.
What you choose to spend the remaining money on is irrelevant to me. Your daily coffee or a luxurious car are not viewed as a waste of money here if those items make you happy. Helping you identify ways to maximize the portion of your total lifetime earnings that will go towards the things that mean the most to you is my focus.
Regardless of your current level of debt, I am confident there is something on this site that can help you take control of your finances going forward. What is important to realize, though, is that your financial situation as it stands today is the result of the financial decisions you’ve made up to this point in your life. Whether that situation improves or worsens moving forward depends upon the financial decisions you make starting today. Hopefully you will find some ideas and strategies here that can accelerate you on your path to financial freedom.
For those who prefer to know the person behind the site, my name is Chris Lessard and my interest in personal finance stems from a desire to work on my own terms. Working a 9 to 5 job until you turn 65 and retire has served as the template for young people to follow for as long as I can remember, but I think it is important to realize this is only one of many paths to follow. However, it becomes extremely difficult to choose your own path if you become burdened with debt early on.
Many adults reach the conclusion at some point in their lives that important financial concepts were not taught to them in school and that had they known better they could have avoided some costly financial mistakes. By that point it is very difficult to start on an unconventional path or work for yourself because of the bills that have already accumulated as a result of past financial decisions. One of the goals of this blog is to address some of the financial concepts that aren’t taught to young people growing up. With an understanding of basic financial concepts young people can better make the financial decisions that impact their ability to choose their own path in life.
After majoring in finance in college I went on to work for a Fortune 100 auto company where I did some collections work before spending the majority of my 5 years there in different capacities centering around Credit. During this time I also took the opportunity to get my MBA via night classes.
I then leveraged my Credit experience into a position at a private lending startup where I was given the opportunity to build out a credit model and gain firsthand experience launching a commercial lending operation. Over the subsequent 5 years I oversaw a loan portfolio that averaged several million dollars per month in new loans.
Yet as I progressed professionally, I struggled with the constraints of working for someone else. Managing employees can be difficult in any environment, and I found that even as I worked longer hours the majority of my time still went to managing others in one way or another instead of toward core actions that impacted the top & bottom lines of the business. I decided it was time for me to take back control of my time and my future. I had long been a saver and once my position could be filled I decided to make the transition to working for myself.
As I approach the 5 year mark of working for myself, I am once again noticing the desire building to take on something new, which has led me to starting this blog. While only a side project, I think there are many reasons why blogging makes sense for me.
First, the areas of credit and finance have always been of interest to me, particularly as they relate to how much of an impact they can have on quality of life. Personal finance, specifically, is an area that I find myself continuing to research in my free time, even after having spent 15 years immersed in related work.
Next, I think my unique experiences in the industry give me some credibility when discussing what I’ve seen, learned, and implemented in my own life. I am by no means an expert, but since I believe being in control of your finances leads to lifestyle flexibility I think it is valuable to share whatever I have learned with others.
Third, I have always enjoyed writing, and keeping a blog gives me an outlet to keep doing so. I am already used to writing marketing materials and case studies for my business, as well as contributing to local trade magazines, so hopefully all the practice will allow my thoughts to come through clearly to readers (should I attract any!).
Which leads me to my next reason; to this point I do not have a presence online. I have never been a fan of social media from a personal standpoint, but this site will require me to get more involved in order to try and build traffic. As a creative person, I am looking forward to trying some out of the box methods of driving potential readers to the site.
Lastly, I really enjoy following other personal finance blogs and watching as their authors try to grow their income streams. Having a location independent “job” has always been a goal of mine, and if I am able to land writing assignments or make income in other ways as a result of this blog it may eventually serve as a pathway to that lifestyle.
I hope I can offer something that positively impacts your financial outlook and moves you a little closer to financial freedom in your life. Thanks for reading.