This is the latest in a series of interviews with fellow personal finance bloggers. Today’s guest is SF from Solving Finance.
Who is Solving Finance?
SF: I’m a 21-year old guy who emigrated from South Korea when I was 9 years old. I recently graduated college and hold a finance and economics degree. I just started full time work in July at a bank in the South.
I love playing tennis, chess, and basketball. I’m cheering on my boy Novak Djokovic in the US Open! It’s been an amazing series so far with far more twists and turns than I expected, which is why I love watching the Grand Slams.
I blog over at SolvingFinance. I graduated college early at 21 with a $40,000 net worth and want to reach financial independence before I reach 35. I want to reach financial independence because I want the option to retire at that age, not necessarily because I want to retire.
I talk about many subjects such as budgeting, investing, networking, living smartly, and more. Through what I write about, I know that I can reach financial independence and help others to do the same. If I was able to have a 5 figure net worth by the time I turned 21 with minimal income and no trusts or handouts, you can reach your financial goals with a full-time income!
Why did you start your blog?
SF: I have a HUGE passion for personal finance. There’s not a day that goes by without thinking about personal finance. It’s an obsession, really. After reading a shocking statistic that 47% of Americans wouldn’t be able to afford a $400 emergency bill, I knew that I wanted to change that statistic. If I could help just one reader with his or her finances, I will be content.
I wanted to start a blog ever since reading a lot of personal finance blogs that are out there and finally made the plunge 9 months after I told myself I wanted to. Better late than never right?
What are your favorite Blogs?
SF: My favorite blog of all time is financial samurai. Sam really changed my perspective on personal finance and a huge influence on why I started blogging as well. I was a very avid reader and still am before realizing that there’s a community out there. Now my favorite blog list has expanded to Retireby40, financially alert, 1500days, ThinkSaveRetire, and GenYFinanceGuy (There’s a lot more but to name just a few).
When did you first become financially literate?
SF: I would say when I was in high school. I think it’s important to be financially literate early on but the great thing about personal finance is that it’s never too late to start. High school is when I began looking to save everything I can, such as birthday money, gift money, or earnings from my tutoring jobs and minimum wage jobs.
I was able to save around $6000 in high school by saving aggressively, not buying anything that I didn’t need, and with my parents supporting my food and housing needs. Also, for some reason, I gain a lot of utility from working. My parents didn’t want me to work so early in life but I wish I started working at an earlier age. A little bit of communication could have solved a lot.
What was the last item you regretted purchasing?
SF: The last item that I regretted buying was a $600 Dell computer (actually $500 because I got $100 in cash back PLUS a brand new TV, so I figured what the heck). I haven’t opened the TV since I bought it in August 2015 and have used the computer once in my time here.
I bought it cause I didn’t like how long it took for Microsoft products to open in my Mac but it turns out I didn’t really mind it. $500 down the drain! The great thing about mistakes is that there’s always a lesson to learn from. Another lesson I learned from was Steve’s story about his mistake of buying a house too early and appreciated that he was transparent to share it.
If you died today, would your family be okay from a financial stand point?
SF: I am single. I have an employer sponsored life-insurance plan (that pays out approximately 100k) plus my cash balance that would go towards my brother so I think my family will be OK from a financial standpoint. No one depends on me for income, so that’s an added plus.
What are you teaching (or will you teach) your kids about money?
SF: I will teach my kids (hopefully that’s a long ways down the road!) to be frugal with their money and work for everything that they want. Entitlement is something I’ve been witnessing from my generation and that’s not something I want to teach. I’m shocked because one of my friends said that having a phone is a necessity in middle school, otherwise you could be held back socially.
She would have been angry at her parents if she hadn’t gotten her phone. I had my first flip phone in the 9th grade that I rarely used except to coordinate social gatherings. I upgraded to a smart phone now but I can’t imagine having a cell phone in middle school.
What’s your dream job?
SF: Professional sleeper ;).
In all seriousness, my dream job is to be an equity or real estate investor. I used to think investing was just about making bets and making money but there is a lot of thinking that goes beyond putting in a buy order.
It’s the competitive and always moving side of investing that I love and I could do it all in my house in front of my computer just after rolling out of bed!
What are some fun facts about you? (write in question)
SF: I have a brother whose first and last name is the exact same as mine. We went to the same high school and college so they would call us *first name* squared.
Also, the first word I learned when coming to the US was how to say “Hi” in Spanish. When I first came to the US, I went into English as-a-Second Language classes where they primarily spoke Spanish and they first taught me how to say “Hi” in Spanish. Good times.
If interesting in participating in the interview series please contact me.