Thie middle of April is a Big Deal in my world.
The trees have nearly finished blossoming, which means my allergies will soon go away. We're seeing more of the sun, which means the worst of my seasonal depression is behind me. Yesterday, on the 14th, Kim and I celebrated seven years as a couple. And today, on the 15th, Get Rich Slowly celebrates thirteen years of existence.
That's right: This blog is now a teenager.
In the Beginning
When I started Get Rich Slowly, I had no idea what it was going to become. I had no grand plan or vision. I just wanted to write about money while accomplishing three goals.
- My primary goal was to document my own journey as I dug out of debt and (I hoped) eventually learned how to build wealth.
- My secondary aim was to help my family and friends get better with their money too. (Although, truthfully, in my entire social circle, I was probably the person with the worst personal finance skills.)
- And, third on the list, I wanted to make a little extra money with the site. I figured if I could make a few hundred bucks with it, I could pay off my debt a little sooner.
On 26 April 2005 — a year before I started this blog — I published an article called “Get Rich Slowly!” for my personal site. Here's what I wrote:
Today's entry is long and boring. It's all about the keys to wealth, prosperity, and happiness. Over the past few months, I've read over a dozen books on personal finance. Recurring themes have become evident.
These books have embarrassingly bad titles, seemingly designed to appeal to the get-rich-quick crowd: The Richest Man in Babylon, Your Money or Your Life, Rich Dad Poor Dad, Think and Grow Rich, Wealth Without Risk, etc.
Some of the books out there — most of them? — really are as bad as their titles. Others, however, offer outstanding, practical advice. The best books seem to have the same goal in mind: not wealth, not riches, but financial independence.
According to Your Money or Your Life, which I consider the very best of the financial books I've read, “Financial independence is the experience of having enough — and then some”. More practically, financial independence occurs when your investment income meets or exceeds your monthly expenses. Financial independence is linked to psychological freedom.
How is financial independence achieved? Again, the best books all basically agree. (To some of you, this will be common sense, stuff you've known all your life. To others, like me, this kind of thinking is a sort of revelation.)
Here, then, is my personal summary of the collected wisdom found in these books.
“It's nearly impossible to get rich quick without luck,” I concluded after summarizing all of these money books. “Getting rich quick is a sucker's bet. There's only a slim chance that you'll have the sort of luck that's required. You might as well play the lottery.”
Instead, I thought the underlying message of these books was simple: “It is possible to get rich slowly, however, with no risk, and with no luck. All that's required is patience and discipline.” [Read more…]