Hey there! My name is Art, I’m a physical therapist who is not only passionate about health and physical fitness, but I also developed a passion for all things personal finance.
It all started when my wife and I were thinking about moving out of our parents’ homes and began looking at houses to buy.
Our initial excitement was quickly replaced by unhappiness when we realized that we would be back in debt from everything that comes with moving into this next stage of our life. Starting a family and buying a house meant a mortgage, child care expenses, and upgrading to more family appropriate cars (my coupe isn’t exactly baby-friendly).
After working so hard to pay off over $150,000 of student loans between the two of us, getting into more debt was not attractive at all. The way I see it, the majority of people spend their life doing work they don’t enjoy to pay for things they don’t have time to use.
While we love what we do as physical and occupational therapists, it comes with many financial, physical, and emotional drawbacks. With increasing work demands and future expenses on the horizon, we were going down the same paths as many of our burnt-out co-workers.
Knowing this, we refused to accept the social narrative many end up following. We began researching on how to not only save more of our hard-earned dollars but also to learn how to invest it. Upon our research, we stumbled upon the financial independence, retire early community (FIRE). We learned that by being smarter with our money, optimizing aspects of our lives, and doing things a little bit differently, we would have the option to no longer trade our time for money.
Learning that other fairly average income earning people have found ways to achieve financial independence changed the outlook of our lives for the better. I couldn’t contain my excitement and created Flexcents as a way to share it with as many people as possible.
Both my wife and I are now striving towards financial independence and are creating a life we cannot wait to live each day.
For more on our journey, check out how we went from being broke to financially woke, click here.
- My wife and I dated for 10 years before I proposed. I blame it on a 7 year PT program followed by my residency.
- I’m fairly athletic and strong, but my ability to move and survive in water is limited to a pitiful doggy paddle.
- I’m a night owl and a morning person – That is until I encounter the rare force of boredom, then I become a narcoleptic.
Other Places You Can Learn More About Me
Gettingcanned.com – Learn about my personal experience in overcoming Job-Related Identity Loss
Mindebt.com – Learn about my emotional and mental struggles while accumulating and paying off over $100,000 of student loan debt
My Major Money Moments:
May 2011: Graduated with my bachelors of science in kinesiology with $9,500 of debt. Saved $10,000 working throughout high school and college. I decided not to pay off my subsidized loans and use the money I saved to survive in grad school.
May 2014: Graduated with my Doctorate in Physical Therapy with $107,500 in student loans when totaling principal and interest.
July 2014: Enrolled in the Public Service Student Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program.
September 2014: Obtained my first PT gig, which was the best and worst thing that has happened to me.
December 2014: Entered Student Loan Repayment Under the PSLF program
July 2015: I finally proposed to my wife after being together for 10 years!
November 2015: Needed to leave my first job and decided to forget about student loan forgiveness.
December 2015: Transitioned from outpatient PT to working in a skilled nursing facility. Began paying off my student loans as aggressively as possible.
October 2016: Paid off my $115,000 student loan balance with help of very generous personal loans from family and no longer owe the federal government money. I also got married!
February 2017: Began learning about investing leading me to contribute to my 401(k) and IRA. Experimented with Robo-advisors and began using the free trading platform, Robinhood.
June 2017: Started a new job as a home care PT. I paid my wife back $10,000, effectively reducing my personal debt from $40,000 to $30,000.
July 2017: Finally achieved a positive net worth in cash and investments! I highly recommend personal capital as a money management tool to track your net worth and much more!
November 2017: My mom had difficulty accepting any money to pay her back, so I opened an IRA with her approval to fund the account until it reaches $30,000.
January 2018: Learned about the concept of financial independence and developed a plan to FI/RE by 40.
August 2018: I began doing something with my spare change and created something called “The free money game for investors“.
April 2018: The birth of Flexcents!
May 2019: Made an awesome $47,000 Investment In real estate and my family
April 2020: Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, we were motivated to adjust our budget which will make use $30,000 richer.
June 2020: I decided to start my own PT private practice! I guess I’m somewhat of an entrepreneur now?