After publishing my first couple posts, someone suggested that I read Mr. Money Mustache's blog. It took me about a month to read through all his posts, and I learned a lot. (For those of you who have never heard of him, he and his wife saved ~75% of their software engineering salaries and were able to retire at age 30). It never even occurred to me that I could retire that early. My parents are looking to retire in their early 50s, and I thought that was impressive. Even without the goal of super-early retirement, I'm still saving over 50% of my salary, but I could never verbalize why I was. Fortunately, MMM did it for me. It's because I want to be financially independent.
Do you remember the feeling when you realized you had taken your last final EVER? I do, it was something like, "I done with school forever! I feel like I could cartwheel all the way home!" That's the feeling I equate with financial independence. You're not required to do anything. You get to decide how to spend your time. For me, it probably involves moving to Florida with my future family and switching to a career that involves sports and/or budgeting. Could I be a personal finance manager for professional athletes? We all know they mostly suck at managing money. (See Allen Iverson and Curt Schilling)