Before launching this blog I had a long conversation with my spouse about how open we wanted to be and how much we were willing to share online. I knew that at some point I was planning on sharing my real identity so we had to consider that once that veil of anonymity was pierced all of our finances would be open to the world. In the end we decided to go ahead and be completely open and transparent for several reasons.
First, we wanted to share our personal path and story with all the details so that anyone reading could make comparisons to their own circumstances and find things that may be similar or that they could identify with that could be modeled, considered, or learned from (good and bad). We think the more unique voices that share their stories online the better, and we wanted to add our voice in the most honest and transparent way possible.
Second, anyone who knows who I am can easily go online and look up my salary, including my previous salary by year since I am a public employee in North Carolina. To be honest, I wish all jobs shared everyone’s salary whether the job is public or private because I think It would be one step to showing both systemic and individual inequities. Whether this would promote change, I don’t know because even with public knowledge of salaries at my university there are still a lot of pay inequities based on non-relevant factors…
Finally, and one of the main reasons we are willing to be open and share our complete financial picture and history is that we are already in the public space for a much different, larger, and more important set of issues. It is hard to imagine being more of a target (online and offline) than we already are from some groups, so sharing our financial details seems so small in comparison. More importantly we want to be a voice that can say that even with certain circumstances, barriers, and systemic challenges we are still in a position to pursue financial independence. Don’t get me wrong we still have benefited from certain privileges, and in some cases luck, but we want to acknowledge and discuss all of the elements of our journey, positive and negative, as well as what is a result of our actions versus luck or circumstance.
So with the background of why we are willing to share this out of the way, this is the first in a set of three posts where we are opening up about more than just our current income, expenses, and net worth. I wanted to share the history of our path as best as it could be reconstructed that got us to this point. In this post I am going to share our income history, is followed by a post about our spending and saving and a final post on our investing history.[Read more…] about Our Income History