Financial Independence Interview-Adam Chudy
It was not long ago that I had the pleasure of being involved with today’s guest interview and something he called the index card challenge. It was a great idea to take all of the complex ideas we use in our everyday finances and condense our ideas to one simple index card. I loved the idea so much this index card is taped above my dresser and piggy bank(everyone has one of these still right?!). Reading over Adam’s interview and website you can tell he is a smart guy who has been heading the right direction from day one. He has goals and a plan to get there. Although I am going to call him out for not being on our list of Financial Independence Day bloggers! Today we will let it slide as this FI Interview that needs to be shared with the world!
Who are you and tell me about your reason for setting a goal of FI?
My name is Adam. I write over at AdamChudy.com. I started writing about a year ago for a few different reasons. Some of my favorite blogs have always helped me clarify my own thoughts on topics and taught me a lot. I wanted to see if writing could force me to better a thinker and build a community of people around me who wanted the same thing. I’ve always been a huge believer in The Side Hustle and this blog is one of the ways I’m getting my grind on.
I set a financial independence goal for 2 primary reasons:
- Security & Resilience – I never want to be reliant on a single source of income like a paycheck or worried about how I’m going to take care of myself or the people I care about.
- Control of my Time – Anyone who has spent time in a cubicle or any job they don’t particularly care for, want to own their time. I want to be able to work 16 hour days for a project or take a month off to go to the beach and no one be able to dictate that to me.
Who got you started and who motivates you on your Financial Independence journey?
My story starts back in Arkansas, growing up in a middle class, entrepreneurial household. My father was an accountant (by degree) but always hustling, eventually starting a variety of his own businesses. Unfortunately, by the time I was headed to college, the entrepreneurial dream came crashing down, we lost our house and went bust. Luckily I’ve always been a believer in going the extra mile so when I found myself on my own for college, I changed plans, stayed in state, and went on a full scholarship (read a few of the ways to do that yourself here).
Those experiences also made me swear to never struggle for money and be “safe” and protect myself. Well before I found the FI community, thought about retirement, or had a real plan, I was living below my means and had a high savings rate. I’ve always viewed financial independence as the ultimate (and early) goal.
After college, I jumped into the corporate world. I work in corporate finance and strategy for big oil down in Houston. It didn’t take long for me to realize I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life in an office, cubicle or corner office, and that reinforced my desire to get up the net worth curve fast.
I don’t know if anyone in particular motivates me beyond my own experiences, but some great blogs like Mr. Money Mustache and Early Retirement Extreme (among many others) showed me in the past few years how much faster you can do this than you think. I also enjoy the community of FI bloggers out there that I interact with daily.
Do you have any debt? If so do you have a plan to pay this off before FI?
Luckily I’ve managed to avoid most debt. College was free, I paid off my car (that was a terribly dumb purchase) and I pay off my credit cards monthly. I do have a mortgage, but at the incredibly low rate of 3.25 on a 30 year (plus to tax right off), so no plans to pay it off anytime soon. I’m much better served investing the cash for dividends and capital appreciation.
What planned income streams are you working on towards FI and Early Retirement?
Right now I’m highly paycheck dependent, but working to change that. We max out our 401k’s and IRA’s so the dividend income builds every quarter. The blog brings in a small (really really tiny) amount of cash flow. Rental properties are in our future, but the real big push at the moment of our e-commerce business. We’re trying to build a real and lasting brand, primarily using Amazon FBA as our sales channel. It hasn’t been an overnight success (but we Keep Stacking Bricks), and our sales climb every month. I think it has the real potential to replace my paycheck over the next few years.
What are your plans during early retirement? (Travel, special projects, part-time work)
General, I want time to pursue the dozens of skills and hobbies I’d like to learn, travel, and just enjoy life. I’m a huge traveler, so if I suddenly found myself financially independent tomorrow (because we’re currently childless), I would imagine we’d become pretty nomadic for the time being. I play the points game and think of myself as a bit of a travel hacker (that SouthWest Companion Pass changed the game for us in 2015/2016) I love the blogs of people out living the dream in RV’s, boats, or just backpacks and seeing the world up close. I’d love to do that for a while before settling somewhere for a time.
Beyond that, the stack of books I’d love to read (and write about) gets longer every day and I can’t seem to catch up. I’d love to write more in general. Find time to keep gardening. There’s also a million hobbies I’d like to pick up and learn to do that never seem to fit in my current daily schedule.
I’m sure once the time presented itself there’d be no end to the things we would discover about ourselves and enjoy doing.
Did you enjoy the Financial Independence Interview and want to be included in our new series? Please reach out to EvenStevenMoney@gmail.com to be part of some very special company of Financial Independence bloggers.