Where did all the money go?

In response to this January post by Mr. Fire Station, I pulled out my old tax returns and, amazingly enough, actually have all of them going back to my first job sacking groceries at sixteen years old in 2003.  In true math-nerd fashion, I plotted it all out on a Excel spreadsheet and figured up that I have grossed $349,318 in my working life!  I literally had no idea that so much money has passed through my slippery fingers!

You know you remember Duck Tales! 🙂

The breakdown between the “stages” of my working life:

  • 6% during my high school days (3 years)
  • 17% following high school (I got an associates degree that I do not utilize and eventually went back to school to obtain my bachelors in nursing – 4 years)
  • 11% during university days (3 years)
  • 66% since graduating in May 2013 and started my nursing career in July 2013 (approximately 2.5 years)

My investment accounts currently sit at approximately $29,000; that is 8.3% in relation to my total grossed income (unfortunately, I’m not sure what my total net income has been.)  Throughout high school, I regret to say that I didn’t invest/save a single penny.  It wasn’t until 2007, when I started working at Walmart, during my time in junior college, that I invested $1,450 in Walmart stock through payroll deduction.  I sold it within the year to pay some bills while attempting to sell insurance for a few months.  After that, it wasn’t until 2012-2013 that I started investing again while working as a Certified Nurse’s Aide and attending nursing school.  While my investment records are incomplete, it appears I had a little over $2000 at that point.  Therefore, the majority of my investing has come about in the past 2-3 years, bringing me to where I sit now.  Over the next couple years, that percentage will actually decrease as my investing is at a crawl right now as we pay off our debt.  However, our overall net worth will increase as our debt disappears so it still works out in our favor!

So I can’t help but wonder where all of that money has gone over the years…

Obviously, there has been plenty of wasteful spending throughout the years.  However, there has also been a ton of priceless memories with my wife tied to the outgoing of that money, as well, of which I would never take back for all the money in the world.  As the saying goes, hindsight is 20/20, and it’s easy to think about what sort of financial situation we could be in if at least some of that money would’ve been utilized differently. Bright Future #Sunglasses #quote: Inspiring Quotes, Bulletin Board, Bright Future, Inspirational Quotes, Funny Quotes, Funny Stuff, 5Th Grade, Favorite Quotes, Classroom Ideas However, I choose to not dwell on my past financial blunders and frivolous spending and, instead, look forward to the bright and prosperous future before us.

Have you completed this or a similar calculation?  If you’re comfortable in doing so, please feel free to share your story in the comments below…or in a post of your own and ping back to this and Mr. Fire Station’s article.  Also, if you’re not already one of my amazing followers, don’t forget to follow along with our family as we make our way towards debt freedom, financial independence, and ultimately early retirement.  We’d love to have you along for the ride, get to know you, and learn from you along the way!  Have an awesome day!

-Frugal RN

8 thoughts on “Where did all the money go?

  1. I just ran these numbers for myself a couple nights ago, and like you I was shocked! Shocked at what I’ve made in my lifetime, and shocked that I have very little to show for it right now!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know! When I tallied it up the other night, my wife and I both said…”where the hell’d it all go?!?” lol. It’s true and a little sad. We own all the “stuff” in our house but we don’t own a home (which we’re more than happy about right now,) our car, or even my wife’s education at this point. That is my gross total so obviously Uncle Sam got some chunk of it; but still, it’s crazy how quickly it all adds up. The point is that we, like you and your family, are on the right track now and things will only improve from this point forward. Thank you for commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I had the exact opposite — so many huge gaps in my income over the years, thanks to school/grad school/motherhood! I ended up amazed I was able to survive at all! So I’m taking today to be thankful I have a job now that pays the bills & comes with benefits, so I can finally start making up for lost time.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Absolutely! I’m so incredibly thankful every single day for the situation we are now in. I have been fortunate enough to discover a career that I truly love; thankfully we figured out this whole personal finance stuff early in my career, allowing us to catch up on the lack of investing earlier in life. I love your positive outlook on things! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. When you do the calculation and see how much you earn over time it is staggering! With that in mind, keep investing as much as possible. Over here at the Surprise Millionaires we know that consistent and gradual increases in investing builds wealth. You are now set and on your way to realizing a bright future. 🙂


    • Thank you so much for stopping by and for your kind words! It really was mind blowing to see just how much money has passed through my/our fingers over the years. Slow and steady definitely wins the race; however, as soon as our debt is paid off, we will certainly be kicking it in rabbit mode! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh my goodness…I am tempted to go back and do such a calculation, but I think the shock factor may be just too much to bear. It’s amazing how much money I’ve spent mindlessly since starting to work at the age of 15. Quite honestly, I just didn’t know any better. Not to mention, the only savings I did generate in high school all went to college expenses, as well as moving to a city for my first job out of college. It seems every life phase has its series of expenses that follow suit! What a great mindset to hold to look forward to your bright future. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for stopping by! It really was an eye opener. While my dad always told me I should be saving, there was never any depth to the how and why behind it. I had never even heard the term “compound interest,” let alone have an appreciation for the true beauty that it can be when working in your favor. Like I said though, there is no use in dwelling on past mistakes, only good in learning from them and correcting your course from here on out. I’m just thankful for the knowledge I now have that I will be able to pass on to my son…maybe he’ll hit his FIRE mark before he’s even my age (29!)

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s