No Magic Silver Bullet
To preface I want to start by saying no, I didn’t invest in cryptocurrency early and got lucky. No, I didn’t come from a rich family and have no expenses. Unfortunately, my knowledge of the Markets and investments were really limited during these years, so I didn’t make it on investments.
Sorry if this is going to disappoint you but I did it the old fashion way of saving my money in a savings account. I’ve done a shit ton of mistakes in my adult life, most of which come from trying to take a shortcut.
My intention by writing this is to outline how I did it, it may not work for everyone but hopefully, you can take a few tidbits with you to help you on your savings journey.
My First Job
After graduating with a business degree from St. John’s University I got a prestigious job as a busboy at the 3 Michelin star restaurant Le Bernardin in NYC. The amount I made after taxes $800/ week; about a $44,000/ year job for anyone out there doing the math.
This was temporary of course until I went to law school or figured out what I wanted to do with my life.
Working here was the best worst experience of my entire life. I saw all my co-workers miserable with their work situation. What I didn’t understand was why they would get into debt purchasing $10k-$20k Panerai watches, $600 Gucci loafers, and then complain about how much they make (100k + for the waiters). Not me, nothing in the world is worth my freedom.
I made the vow that I will buy my freedom.
So for 18 months at Le Bernardin, I saved half my check every week. That left me $1600 for monthly expenses and $1600 to save.
Funny how easy works become when you have a strong why
At the end of my first job at 22 years old, I saved $28,800. (18 months x $1600 = $28,800)
The next $71,200 in 3 years
The Next three years we I experimented with a few “flash businesses”.
The first money maker was buying wholesale waterproof phone cases and selling them on eBay. If you’re interested in the story leave a comment in the blog section and I can get into the financial details. The margins were great and help me convert 5k into $25,000 over the span of 7 months.
This evolved into selling chargers, power banks, e-vaporizers, and even men’s underwear.
Alibaba opened a whole new world to me. I would spend my nights talking to Chinese manufacturers learning how to buy and sell products from overseas.
It was and still is super exciting, the most important part was that I won more then I lost.
At this point, I also worked corporate sales job that made me on average $75,000/ year. My sales commission was always put away, and my living expenses always stayed around $1600.
After three years I accumulated $100,000 through saving and businesses.
For some reason, I fantasized those 4-5 years how crazy my life would be if I had $100,00 Cash in the bank account. All the things I could invest or take chances with.
It was pretty anti-climactic. I realized with $100,000 I now just entered the minor leagues and can wait on the bench in hopes of playing the game.
This is when I realized that it wasn’t the $100,000 that excited me, it was the game I had to play to get it.
Now the game just gets bigger and I’m trying to get to the major leagues.
Setting Higher Goals
I notice many of my friends overspending on stuff they don’t need and then complaining they have no money.
Not sure why they do this. Possibly because they want validation for working at a place they aren’t totally excited about? Maybe because they want to show off to friends and family?
What people do with their money and why they spend it is none of my business. I just hate to see them unhappy or feeling trapped and complaining about not having money.
I have the same feelings too, as social creatures we want to be accepted. We want to be special, and we want everyone to treat us special. Sometimes a nice car or a nice pair of shoes will do that. But it’s temporary and the novelty wears off.
For this reason
I always audit why I choose to purchase something ($1,000 or above). Why do I want to buy this? Will it make me happier? Do I want to show off to my peers? Can this benefit me long term? Is this an investment or a liability? Does this align with my financial goals?
Please give me feedback
I’m trying to work on my storytelling skills through writing and speaking. That’s why I plan to write at least one blog post a week that I can repurpose into a video, and possibly a podcast in the future.
Any feedback is very helpful. I’d love to hear your stories too.