Passion Project

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Return on investment.

Savings rate.

Annual inflation rate.

Multiple streams of income.

All these terms are running through my mind right now and I’m trying my best to understand and internalize all of them. I think I’ve gotten the grasp on a lot of financial terms and how they can conceptually relate to me and my life.

This is hard, considering I am not really a numbers kind of person. In fact, the only reason why I went the social science route in college was because I didn’t want to study math or science. I had such an allergic reaction to math when I was younger.

Funny, though, because now that I am older, I find all this stuff fascinating. On my journey to being debt free, I loved looking at the concrete numbers from my net worth and the amortization of my student loans.

For me, it all boils down to how you can use the financial and mathematical concepts to create an image in my head. I imagined a life without debt and now I am living it. That visual of life without debt-stress motivated me enough to get rid of my fear of numbers.

Right now, Financial Freedom is the overwhelming desire in my life. The freedom part is realizing that I don’t have to work for another person. Writing this blog has given me freedom and joy. It has become a passion project. Even though I am not making any type of monetary income in doing the hard work to maintain and write about so many issues, I love the idea of becoming a writer. Eventually, I hope to be paid for my time and work.

So, even as I learn all these financial terminology, the one thing that keeps me going is my passion project. I get up excited to think about personal finance. I enjoy going over all the issues involved with work and earning an income and how we live our life. I love looking at the hard-core statistics involved in planning retirement, especially the Monte Carlo simulations.

This is why I find all things related to money so interesting. There are so many aspects of our lives tied up with this concept, it’s sometimes hard to be very objective about anything regarding personal finance. Sometimes we forget that the personal part reflects the fact that we are all human and complicated and unique.

Conventional wisdom says anything regarding money must be coldly organized and categorized: My money needs to be sitting in a brokerage account earning at least 7% so that I can save 25x my salary, which would be enough to spend 4% in retirement.

Yet within these analytical, and even impersonal terms, lies the very fanciful jargon of passion project–terms that trigger idealism, morality, and even love.

How interesting, how thought-provoking.

Money: cold, impersonal.

Passion project: woo-woo stuff.

You can’t get any more touchy-feely/unscientific than the words love and freedom. I started blogging because I needed to look honestly at my numbers. I needed to know exactly how much debt I needed to crush. I needed to know the savings rate I need to achieve so that I will be able to retire. But as I’ve mentioned, cold, hard cash will fund the lifestyle of my choosing. The income I earn, the money sitting in my bank account, my retirement savings, all these reflect numbers that will eventually add up to my personal liberty–to allow me a life that I will love.

And, right now, I am enjoying this non-paid blogging.

It is zero money, but immeasurable joy.

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