When my grandfather was nearing his 90th birthday in 2020, he decided to gift each of his grandchildren $1,000 to invest. Investing made a big difference in his 90+ years, and he wanted the same for his grandchildren. He shared his investing wisdom in a family email newsletter called “Poppy Seeds.” The name came from what we called him (Poppy), his love for bagels, and the fact that a good seed investment will grow. After he passed away, I continued writing his newsletter to teach family members about investing.
Family members began asking about other topics as the newsletter format became more polished. Eventually, I expanded from investing to taxes, credit cards, and other money topics. This expansion snowballed into a bigger email audience and eventually into this website you are reading now.
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Let Me Fast Track You On The Road To Financial Freedom
I was lucky that my elders instilled money management values in me from a young age, and I started saving at 14 with my first paycheck. After graduating college, I had two excellent job offers. One from Vanguard, a suit-and-tie job in traditional finance, and one from PayPal, a growing financial technology company in the payments industry. I chose PayPal, and I’m happy that choice provided the space to continue optimizing money as a passion and hobby instead of as a career.
Upon settling into my first "real" job, I was overwhelmed with how many new accounts and acronyms came with the job. There was a 401(k) for retirement, an HSA for healthcare, and an ESPP for company stock. Including student loans that I suddenly needed to pay, managing finances was suddenly much more complex than checking my bank balance. The question I needed to answer was, "Where is my money going?" So I made a simple spreadsheet and updated it monthly with account balances. It worked so well that I still update that same spreadsheet monthly more than a decade later.
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