My name is James and I'm 23 from the Washington DC Metro area. I have been a reader of ERE for nearly 2 years and read the ERE book about a month ago. I graduated in May with a degree in Business Admin. with a minor in Finance, and also spent the last year and a half focusing almost exclusively on investments and valuation for my minor. I currently work full-time for Marriott International at their corporate office.
ERE and My Goals:
This is where my story goes in an unexpected direction and will hopefully allow me to provide a new perspective to the forum. On 11/16/10, I will be attending the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) to enlist in the U.S. Army as an 18X Special Forces enlistment recruit and give my oath of enlistment. Hence, the user-name. I won't delve into details now regarding this, but suffice it to say I'm following a life long dream while working towards ERE. Assuming I make it all the way through the pipeline and serve out my time on an ODA, I don't know of any place else on this planet that I can get such a complete "renaissance man" level of training while getting paid at the same time.
This dream, along with some personal preferences, changes my timetable a bit. I hope to be completely financially independent in 10 years at the age of 33. The shortest enlistment for an 18X contract is 5 years due to the lengthy training leaving me with another 5 to continue to work and save aggressively. I can't determine now whether or not the military will be a continued career after my enlistment is up. Either way, I will make sure I have the finances to make any choice I want.
Included is a current copy of my personal finance documentation. I have actively documented my finances for the past year and 7 months, originating as an undergraduate project. The file is an Excel document that has been converted into PDF format for viewing. I understand some may be hesitant to open a file link posted on a forum, so I will try to include the highlights in this journal as text as I go along. I would appreciate anyone who does open the file to confirm its legitimacy for those who are hesitant. One last note, the accounting isn't perfect between the income statement and balance sheet and I have no intentions of trying to completely reconcile the two.
Coming up - Current personal finance highlights (Good and Bad), and my strategy for ERE.