Step 1: Internalizing the Situation

Let me start by saying this : It’s quite amazing to go through an MBA program. 

You walk in green as a cucumber and walk out a changed human being. I am extremely grateful for what the education has endowed me with, especially the power of organized self reflection. This blog and the changes I am making in my life are a direct result of the fine education. Irrespective of the cost, I will say this – Given the option to go back in time, I would still do this again.

The last 4 years out of business school has been exactly what the program sold me – continuous growth, increased responsibility, crazy hours and a changed life. I have been blessed to be able to partake in this journey.

Some changes however are not as welcome. Business school can be a giddy experience. Right out of school you are exposed to the high flying corporate life. For a while, you tend to forget who you are and where you came from. The material changes in my life are significant. I, like many others, have succumbed to the material influences that only business school and its after life can endow you with.

Let me back up a bit for context.

I grew up in a simple middle class family in India and moved to the US for business school. As I reflect on my life prior to business school and look at my life now, the changes are surreal. My earlier life revolved around going to work, coming back home, playing the guitar, watching a movie and studying for my GMAT or work. Instead of focusing on few things regularly that add value to my life, I have given in to the excesses of corporate life.

The biggest blow has been my student loans. Walking out of business school with $100K in debt, I stupidly paid only the minimums (aka cut throat interest) and instead indulged in material pleasures. As an international student, you are forced into student loans with 10% interest. Yes, you heard it right – ten freaking unbelievable percent.

The big change though happened sometime in 2016 when I came across the minimalists. My busy work schedule left me frustrated and forced me to think deeply about happiness and explore what made others truly happy. I started to realize that all my expensive purchases couldn’t make me happy. I had so many hobbies that I intermittently indulged in. (I did however fund each of these hobbies with the best gear that credit cards could buy)

Today, 4 years down the lane, I sit in the very same spot I sat as I walked out of business school – neck deep in student debt. I make good money at work. The fact though is that I am technically broke. My net worth is negative due to all of these student loans and excessive spending. I need to reel this back.

I have decided that enough is enough. 

It is time for a change. 

It is time to move TOWARD FI. 

It’s time to regain control over my life. 

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