Hey Thanks for stopping by! I'm Robyn Banks and here's my story:
I have been actively pursuing Financial Independence (FI) for almost 10 years now. I had no idea what FI (Financial Independence) or FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) was when I started my journey to being debt free at 25. I found myself unexpectedly pregnant with Toad and knew that I would be raising her on my own. I had no idea where I was going to live or how I was going to care for this child, but I was determined to make it work.
I was living with my grandparents and enjoying a fairly carefree life. I worked for a Big Box home improvement store full time, I went out with friends on the weekends and took awesome trips. I also had about $5000 I owed on a car I bought brand new in 2007, student loan debt of $4500, and let’s not forget about the wonderful credit card debt hovering around $8000. I knew before this new life came into mine that I would need to get rid of as much debt as possible. I didn’t need it suspending there waiting for me to get my life together while figuring out how to do this Mom thing.
Having my daughter in 2010 was the catalyst for me to change my financial ways because I knew I was the only income I could rely on. I made about 35k a year at my job. In 2011, I was eligible for low income housing in the same town as my parents. Rent in housing wasn’t much more expensive than living with family and I was at the point where multi generational housing was no longer working out. The subsidized housing however kept my expenses low.
I figured I would always be a low income, struggling single mom….because I didn’t know there was ever going to be another option for me. I hated those years of struggling and wondering if all the bills would be paid that month. I hated wondering if I had enough money that week for formula, diapers and clothes for a growing baby. I hated living in a space where the neighboring children had zero boundaries and would just take Toad’s toys. I hated that nosy neighbor at the end of the unit.
My FI journey is all about spending as much time with Toad as I can. I don’t want to have to play “Mother May I” with my boss to see her in a school play or concert. I don’t want to worry about losing my job because Toad has behavioral and learning issues that occasionally require me to be at school for her. I wasn’t looking for permission from anyone on how to spend those precious few young years with my baby. We only get them for 25% of their lives where they need and want us around. I want every stinking minute I can get.
So I started to make changes on how I was looking at money. I would tuck away as much extra as my meager salary would let me. I would find ways to make some extra with side hustles and squirrel it away in an online account.
Eventually, I taught myself a bit about investing and started planting those little money seeds there. Every step of my life since Toad was born, has been to reduce my expenses and debt so the money monster wasn’t circling overhead and I could spend more time with her. She is the WHY for my FI.
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