A Personal Finance Blog Worth Reading
Welcome to 20somethingfinance. My name is G.E. Miller. I am the founder, owner, and sole author of this independent personal finance site. Long story short: I went from zero savings and significant debt after graduation, to saving over 85% of my income in just a few years, without making a huge income. In under 2 decades, I reached financial independence status and I’ve chronicled every aspect of my journey on this site.
20somethingfinance is now 14+ years old and has become one of the most popular personal finance sites in the world. If you’re new here, you can find every post in the archives and subscribe to get all new articles sent to you, for free.
Also – don’t let the name of the site scare you off. If you’re not in your 20s, that’s OK. I no longer am either (but the site is stuck with the name), and 50%+ of the readers here are over age 30 anyways. Learning and sharing knowledge of personal finance is ageless.
Now, on to the more detailed and dramatic story on why this site exists…
The Best Years?
I have had some good luck and privilege along the way, but nothing has come easy. I grew up in a lower middle class, one-income family. I studied hard and worked my way through public schools. I worked throughout high school and college to help pay my way through a public university.
I graduated college firmly into a recession, with a business B.A. from Michigan State University. After 300+ applications, I finally hit the workforce and started making just $30k per year while working 50-60+ hours a week at a job that did not require a college degree. Financially, I had no room to breathe – my cell phone, cable, internet, utility, car, fuel, rent, insurance, credit card, student loan, and food expenses were eating all of my income. I had zero savings to speak of and significant debts.
With no escape in sight, I started to question whether this typical American work-spend-repeat lifestyle to keep up with the latest consumer indulgences was sustainable for me.
I had to do something. I realized that if I were going to have any shred of enjoyment in life, I needed to veer off of the typical life path. But my finances were holding me back. So what did I do? I started hacking them.
I got married and we had a cheap wedding – keeping the cost to under $2,500. I sold my heavily financed home and moved to take a higher income job. Instead of buying a bigger home, I bought a smaller one. I then sold our second car to get rid of the payments and started biking to work. I sold half of my personal belongings. I cut our phone bills by two-thirds and cut my cable bill. I became vegetarian, saved money on groceries, and we stopped dining out almost entirely once we learned how to cook. I maxed out my 401K contributions. I stopped trading stocks and started investing. I stopped paying for my company’s traditional PPO health insurance and switched to an HDHP and HSA, so that they started paying me. I re-worked my wallet and started using credit cards to my advantage. I switched to products and services that saved me a lot of money vs. ones that only took money away. I was reversing the consumer accumulation life cycle. “Stuff” and material status stopped mattering to me.
As a result, my income started increasing, while my expenses declined drastically. I eventually reached a personal savings rate over 85% of what I earned – 21 times the average U.S. savings rate of 4%. In short, my finance hacking was allowing me to save, in just two years, a higher percentage of income than most do cumulatively, OVER THEIR ENTIRE CAREER.
Was I Feeling Depressed and Deprived?
Quite the contrary. I felt excited, driven, and determined. Instead of fear and resentment, I started feeling empowered and hopeful about the future and was motivated to do even more. Financial independence became an inevitable path, not just a fantasy.
The downsides? There are none. I have easily adjusted. I have all the stuff I need and more. And I’ve become more creative, less materialistic, and much more satisfied in life.
I have a comfortable home, a great wife, and wonderful pets. My wife and I bike, backpack, travel, cook, entertain, we’re in good health, and we have zero debt. We’re not missing out on a thing that matters.
Let’s take this personal finance journey together. I’ve learned a lot over the years that I want to share with you. And I want to learn from you as well.
If you get fired up about:
- financial independence
- hacking your spending to boost your savings
- reducing wasteful consumption and minimizing your impact on the environment
- learning the basics of personal finance & sharing ideas with others
- being healthy, wealthy, well-rounded, generous, and setting your own path in life
… then you are in the right place.
You can start by getting new 20somethingfinance articles delivered directly to you (for free), via email:
You can also find every post in chronological order in the archives.
And check out this mega list of money saving tips/products I use here for some quick and easy wins.
~ Best Regards
Founder, owner, author: 20somethingfinance.com
If you’d like to contact me, please do so here.