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!
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. 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!