My name is Ryan and this is my story so far…

I’m 31 years old and getting a late start in personal finance and investing. Luckily with a little research and lots of saving, I should still be able to earn early freedom from the working world. I love my job, but I want the option of working when I want to and not the added pressure of needing money to survive. I plan to use a dividend growth strategy to build passive income that I can one day live off of.

I grew up in the great plains of the Midwest, dropped out of college, and moved to Los Angeles at the age of 23. I served tables while barely getting by, and on the side I learned hands on about my passion for film making. When I was 28, I finally got my foot in the door in post production and am now working my way up as a television editor. My rate isn’t amazing yet, but I no longer live paycheck to paycheck. One big challenge is job stability. I’m freelance and a lot of times I’ll do gigs for 4-6 months at a time and not have work for a while in between. For this reason, I built an emergency fund to cover one year of expenses and with everything else I save, I purchase high quality dividend growth stocks with the plan to hold onto them forever.

Saving money is the most important part of my plan, and sometimes that can be hard while living in Los Angeles. I constantly observe friends and colleagues spending money on the latest tech, fashion, and cars that they bring home to their tiny studio or one-bedroom apartments. I refuse to accept that the meaning of our lives is to work in order to earn money in order to buy things we don’t need. I want my time for myself. I don’t want to have to work to live. I wish as humans we wouldn’t care so much about possessions, status, and competition and instead focus on loving each other and taking care of our planet. I know, I know, if only things were so easy… It may sound strange to be against a lifestyle and yet invest in it, but I have no qualms. I can’t change the system and if this is the game I have to play to own my own time, I’m going to win.

This blog will document my journey. I hope it will help keep me passionate about investing and saving, and I’m looking forward to learning all I can.

To learn more about dividend growth investing, read Dave Van Knapp’s dividend growth investing lessons.