Hello, and welcome to Finance Abilities, my personal finance blog.  My name is Robert and my goal for this blog is to share real-world, easy to understand information on the financial aspects of life in order to help my readers make smart decisions with their money.  But my mission with this blog isn’t totally altruistic, I am also researching and writing about finance to help myself continually improve my own financial situation. Although I am a pretty serious personal finance nerd, I realize that there is always a lot more to learn, and I believe that the best way to learn is to share information with others.      

I have been working very hard on getting my own finances ship-shape over the past 5-10 years, and I have learned a lot.  When I finally finished my formal education, I emerged from school with student debt in excess of $150,000 and was forced to get really, really good with my finances right away.  In the four years since graduating, I have completely paid off my six-figure student debt, fully funded a personal emergency fund, saved up a down payment for a house, and have gotten a good start on my retirement savings.  

I have only been able to accomplish these financial feats by consistently trying to making smart decisions with my money and learning as much as possible about personal finance and investing. I want to keep making progress, and also help my readers make some of the same solid financial decisions I’ve managed to make.  

I’ve always been frugal, with a tendency to save rather than spend. Still, I’ve made quite a few pretty costly financial mistakes in the past (and in the not-so-distant past). My goal is to keep making fewer mistakes and more good decisions when it comes to my finances so that I can keep moving closer to financial independence. In this blog, I hope to share a lot of what I’ve learned and what I continue to learn about personal finance, so that you and I can move toward financial freedom together!

My ultimate goal is to reach financial independence in the next 10 years and have the freedom to live however and wherever I choose. I think financial independence is a goal we should all strive for, whether or not we intend to retire early. I’ve gotten a solid start on my financial journey in recent years, but I still have a long way to go.

We all need a catalyst to help us get serious about gaining control over our finances.  For me, the catalyst was being forced to face my huge student loan balance. My hope is that reading this blog can be the catalyst for some of you to start making important financial changes and master your money skills.  

I hope you enjoy the blog, and thank you for visiting!