My name is Long and I’m the author of this blog. I write about personal finance, nursing, food, and my life. I’m angry about my past, but am hopeful about the future – so I work hard to make life better.
A Look Back
Originally meant to be a chicken coop, I grew up in a shack that was built onto a detached garage. My family lived in the tiny makeshift building that had cement floors, concrete blocks for walls, and a roof made of corrugated tin.
Both of my parents worked hard to move up the economic ladder, ensuring that my needs were met, but they were not without fault. I was subject to extreme demands and often savagely beaten.
At the end of high school, I enlisted in the U.S. Army and attempted to simultaneously attend college. But shortly after starting school, the terrorist attack on 9/11 happened. I interrupted my education and spent a good deal of time on deployments for combat operations in Southwest Asia.
After I got out of the Army, I worked full-time as a police dispatcher and returned to school to finish my university education. I thought things were going to be easy from then on out, but life was just getting started.
Just as I was about to wrap up my undergraduate education, my father was diagnosed with cancer and my mother suffered a debilitating hemorrhagic stroke. Although I struggled with the experiences of my childhood, I put my feelings aside to help them. This meant that I had to be responsible for their finances, health care, legal matters, provide oversight for a small business, as well as handling day to day issues.
Somehow, during it all, I managed to maintain my job and took a few classes at a time until I became the first in my family to graduate from college – a full ten years after I began. But, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in finance after the 2008 financial crisis didn’t prove to be such great timing.
I stayed at my job for more years than I cared for, and with the weight of the world on my shoulders, I became increasingly stressed out.
Changing Your Life Takes Time
I started a personal finance blog called Budget For Wealth in 2011 as an outlet for my passion and to help foster my entrepreneurial spirit. Little did I know that the things I learned while building my own website would be the catalyst that would make my dream of working for myself come true.
On a bad day, I quit my job – giving me the push I needed to start my own business. Leveraging my education and experience, I began building websites professionally and consulting for small businesses. Taking the leap finally gave me the time I needed to foster the projects I cared about the most, build my own sources of income, and spend time with my family.
Then, in late 2015, my first born daughter got sick. The experience scared me and caused a paradigm shift in my life. The fear of losing a child initiated a period of reflection and motivated me to return to a life of service – with the goal of having great personal impact in the community. After some research and consultation with my family, I decided that I wanted to become a nurse practitioner.
More About Me
I started my journey to become a nurse at the beginning of 2016. Since I have been putting most of my time and effort towards my education, I combined my personal finance blog with my personal one. I use this blog as a platform to teach others what I have learned, keep myself accountable to my goals, as well as to serve as my personal therapy.
I enjoy home improvement projects, learning to garden, playing with my kids and dogs, and eating at foodie friendly restaurants with my wife.