Welcome to Champagne & Capital Gains, y’all!
This blog has been on my mind for years. YEARS. I have a passion for financial literacy and for taking advantage of arbitrage. You’ll probably see the word arbitrage a lot in my writing. Anyway, college, law school, life as a young professional, and anxiety got in the way of my blogging pursuits. Anxiety? Why? Well, I’ve followed personal finance blogging as it’s grown from a few of the now-giants (20somethingfinance anyone?) to what feels like everyone and their indebted younger cousin cranking out opinions, information, and stories about how to achieve financial success. It’s an overwhelming bunch of amazing content-creators, you guys. I mean honestly how many new people (me) writing about credit card points do we really need?
But I’ve always believed that my voice and perspective could provide value in the personal finance blogging space. And the lack of financial knowledge I encounter in my everyday life continues to shock me: from people who don’t know ALL Southwest flights have no change fees and are refundable (at least for credit) to those who keep ALL of their savings in a *gasp* regular – not even high-interest! – savings account (excuse me while I pass out on a couch Gone With the Wind-style). Sharing financial arbitrage advice with hapless friends and coworkers is almost a compulsion of mine. Turns out, that’s not everyone’s favorite. So. It was time to take this to the people who want to read the things about the moneys.
At Champagne & Capital Gains, I’m going to walk you through my financial triumphs and failures past and present, provide you with an assortment of financial information from credit card and cashback hacks to car negotiating and IRA strategies, and hopefully help you advance your own financial goals, whether that is FIRE (Financial Independence/Retire Early), "F-You Money", or just optimizing a couple of areas of your budget so you can spend more on your favorite designer handbags. Basically, I want to teach you how to have champagne with (or on, depending on your income) a beer budget, and then explain how you can use the savings to create wealth! Champagne. And Capital Gains.
A bit about my financial situation and me personally:
· I’m a young professional living in a major U.S. city with the holy grail of combinations: high salaries compared to cost of living.
· I work as an attorney, which is a demanding, (often, and in my case) high-income profession, and as such, some, but not too many, of my posts will be more relatable to high-income readers.
· I’m an 80s baby, single, apartment-dweller (which I share with the best/cutest dog in the world).
· You’ll be learning some fairly specific details about my debt, income and expenses through C&CG, so I am choosing to blog anonymously at this time. I would also prefer to develop my blog brand separately from my professional identity. That said, it’s not a state secret, and I want to be as open as possible over time! My goal is to create an authentic community without Champagne & Capital Gains populating officially with my full, legal name on the Google. Ya feel me?
· My student loan debt, which is entirely from graduate and professional school, is significant. Like more-than-the-average-mortgage significant. So significant that I almost titled and themed this blog "War Against Benjamins" because in my nightmares, hundreds of hundreds are chasing me, demanding everything I have and then some.
· My personal financial life is NOT 100% together. Finances are a learning experience for everyone, even personal finance bloggers, and I won’t pretend to tell you otherwise in my posts.
· I’m not here to outline an ideal plan for your whole financial picture. Many personal finance bloggers are all about creating FIRE and helping you start your own FIRE. A few of them do really intense things to get to FIRE quickly, like live on $10,000 a year and drive a rickshaw to work every day, picking up passengers along the 35-mile ride (always be #sidehustlin!) And that’s great! FIRE is a worthy goal I myself am pursuing to some extent. But:
· I’m just here to help you optimize what you’re already doing and learn helpful tools to build your own financial dream, whether or not that’s FIRE!
· A hallmark of the personal finance blogging world is the Who Has the Worst Car competition. I do not participate in that competition. Having a car that makes me happy is important to me, and I have chosen to spend money to that end. It is objectively a bad way to invest a large sum of money, but subjectively, it adds enough value to my life that at this point, I just don’t care. There will be an entire post about this.
· Y'all. I am not frugal. You will almost never hear or see the words “frugal” or “thrifty” in these posts. I love convenience (and not paying more for it). I like fancy things, but I like paying as little as possible for them. I’m glad there are people blogging about being #frugal and #thrifty, and I enjoy reading their posts and learning from their financial strategies. That said, finances aren’t one-size-fits all, and I want to occupy a different space in the conversation.
· I may curse occasionally, and while I learned correct grammar and sentence structure, I’m ee cummings-ing this bad boy. No writing rules here! Just the rule of compounding interest (and bad jokes).
So that’s pretty much it! ….y’all ready? Raise a glass to (financial) freedom! Let’s go.