Reader Profile – Rob from Financial Sprout

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Ask the Readers, financial planning, Help A Reader, Financial Sprout, Reader Profile, Reader ShowcaseToday, in the ongoing Reader Profile Series, we’re getting to know MPFJ.com reader and enthusiastic commenter, Rob, from the site, Financial Sprout. Let’s all give Rob a big round of applause for sharing his life with us and listen to his story. Enjoy!

Also, if you’re interested in sharing your own financial story/journey with us in a reader profile of your own, just shoot me a quick email, and we can get the ball rolling! 


1.PLEASE TELL EVERYONE A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF (BACKGROUND, EDUCATION, FAMILY SITUATION, ETC).

My name is Rob, and I am the founder and chief writer for Financial Sprout, which presents finances from a teen’s perspective.  I am currently 17 years old, and a junior in high school in the top 10% of my class.  I plan on going to college to double major in Finance and Music Performance (preferably at IU).  I come from a large family of 9, so I really know how to be frugal, and I love to share with other people how to stretch their dollar

I currently live in the rural cornfields of Indiana, where I work my job as a corn detasseler for a hybrid genetics company (in the summer), and perform odd jobs.  Other than that, I am currently trying to transform my blog from a hobby into a full time job to get me through college. 



2. What Got You Interested in Personal Finance at a Fairly Young Age?   

I started to get interested in personal finance after my brother, who has his masters degree in finance, gave me a Dave Ramsey book to read when I was about 13, called “The Total Money Makeover.”  I then became more interested as I started taking classes in school like Accounting, and especially when I started to listen to the Rich Dad Poor Dad podcast on my IPod.  I guess you could say that my brother was a big influence, because he thoroughly supported and cultivated my interest in finance.  

3. How Did You Get Started Personal Finance Blogging?

To be truthful, I started my blog to make money.  That same brother that got me interested in finance owns a few financial blogs himself, and helped me start my own.  I figured that the income it will generate within a few years will help me get through college, and possibly get a huge head start on investing.  I also wanted to help other teens out there, who might not have have very much financial sense, to get a head start on thinking about finances and investing.

4. DESCRIBE YOUR CURRENT FINANCIAL SITUATION (WHO WORKS IN YOUR FAMILY, HOW YOUR INCOME IS, YOUR EXPENSES, ETC.).

I obviously still live with my parents, so I am not fully independent; nonetheless, I still have financial responsibility.  My father is currently a truck driver for a dairy farm, hauling milk from the farms to the processing companies.  My mom works part time as a CNA at a home health care company and goes to cosmetology school full time.  The biggest of our family’s expenses is the mortgage to our home large enough to house our large family.  Although having a big house is great, it tends to eat away at your paycheck pretty quickly!

5. WHAT ARE THE CURRENT FINANCIAL CHALLENGES YOU ARE FACING (SAVING, PAYING OFF DEBT, STUDENT LOANS, MERGING FINANCES AFTER RECENTLY BEING MARRIED, ETC.)?

Currently, my largest personal expenses are gas, private lessons, and car insurance.  

I drive a ’93 Cadillac El Dorado, which is a sweet car, but it only gets about 15mpg.  I pay about $20 a week to a week and a half for gas, just to drive to school/ church and back.  Recently, I just started to get private saxophone lessons, which are $20/hour, so that cost me about $80 per month.  Since I’m a 17-year-old boy, the car insurance companies must think I’m made out of money because they’re charging me $85 a month for liability insurance!  Per month, I have about $200+ in expenses, which is quite a bit when you don’t have a traditional job.  I make ends meet by working odd jobs for people like tiling in a bathtub and painting people’s houses (just a few things I’ve done recently). 

6. WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE FUTURE (RETIRE EARLY; BUILD YOUR CAREER, ETC.)?

My biggest goal in life is to go to college absolutely free!  I already have a “21st Century scholars” scholarship, which pays for 100% of the tuition to any Indiana public university.  I plan to earn more scholarships and grants to cover books, room and board, and other expenses.  I also need about an extra $6,000-8,000 in scholarships to use to purchase a professional tenor and soprano saxophone for my music studies.  This should be very possible with my current academic standings.  After college, I plan to start aggressively investing, since I will already have no student loan debt, and retire early.  


7. WHAT’S YOUR BEST PIECE(S) OF FINANCIAL ADVICE AND/OR YOUR GENERAL PHILOSOPHY ON PERSONAL FINANCES?

My philosophy is to live within your means.  

You can still retire early even if you only make $15/ hour.  It’s all about balancing your expenses.  If you don’t make much money, then you should coupon, plan out meals, don’t eat out, etc…  Live frugally, and you can use the money you save to invest towards your retirement.  If you still can’t set aside money then do some side jobs to designate towards investing, so you are always contributing.  Save so that you can invest more, or as Dave Ramsey says, “If you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else.” 

Comments

  1. Wow I had no idea that you are only 17! You definitely have it all together and are doing awesome 🙂
    My recent post Novica Giveaway

  2. Wow, so young and you it all figured out already. So impressed. Good job and keep doing what you're doing Rob.
    My recent post Being Broke Sucks, But It Forces You to get Creative

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