It’s Friday, so time for Let’s meet Financial Feminists. This week I have the pleasure of introducing A Purple Life.
While her awesome purple hair instantly drew me towards her, I was then captivated by her energy and the secret blog she’d been keeping for years. Not to mention her impressively low yet keto food budget.
Handing over to A Purple Life
Please introduce yourself and your blog
Hi! I’m A Purple Life and I’m planning to retire next year at age 30. I started writing my blog privately 4 years ago when I began my journey to financial independence. It was meant to catalog what I was doing and the steps I took to reach my early retirement goals. Six months ago I made the blog public and added the goal of helping anyone interested find their own financial freedom.
What sort of finance blog do you write?
My blog is pure lifestyle. It follows my journey to financial independence, the mistakes I’ve made and the lessons I’ve learned along the way. I’m hoping that once I retire it can help other people see that early retirement can be possible.
How would you describe your current stage of life?
As I’m typing this I’m 29 going on 70. Seriously, many people have told me I act like a stereotypical old woman: staying at home with a blanket and a book are on my top 5 favorite things to do.
As for my stage in life, I’ve been working in a high-stress marketing career for almost 8 years and have felt burnt out more than once. Luckily those times usually aligned with me getting laid off or quitting. Then the (f)unemployment began! I think of my life stage as vacillating between times of hardcore work and leisurely travel. I’m currently sprinting towards early retirement in less than 2 years and am heads down at work as a result.
What are your dreams and plans for the future?
As I mentioned, I want to retire in less than 2 years at the age of 30. When I started my blog the numbers said that I could retire in 10 years at age 35. That was the original plan. Since then, I’ve almost doubled my salary and almost halved my spending as a result of using domestic geo-arbitrage. My time to retirement was cut in half as a result.
I absolutely love planning so I’ve written out everything I plan to do to prep for retirement. I’m hoping that spacing all of these items out will help me feel less overwhelmed with everything I have to do and also distract me from focusing on how much time I have left.
As for my dreams: I want to spend more than 2 weeks a year with my family and the people I love. I’ve been increasing this steadily since I realized that was a dream of mine. Luckily, my remote work situation allows that to happen (though it is taxing working in a different time zone as a client service worker).
I also want to travel WAY more than the few weeks a year that I receive as vacation. This world is huge and gorgeous and I have only seen a tiny fraction of it. So that’s what I plan to do in 2 years: enjoy the people I love and this big beautiful world of ours.
Feminism & Society
What is your brand of feminism?
I’m not sure I have a brand of feminism. Based on how I look (black woman with facial piercings and purple hair) I’ve been called a “rebel” and “hardcore” based on my appearance alone. Inferring either label purely based on how I look is silly to me. But as a result of how I look, people tend to think I’m militant in my beliefs when I’m just trying to have a conversation and understand multiple perspectives.
How do you feel about privilege?
I think privilege is a definite piece of financial success or failure. I’ve been told before that I didn’t experience privilege because I’m a black woman (instead of a white male) and had to explain that privilege is not just racial or gender specific.
Despite my gender and the color of my skin I had a lot of advantages growing up. My mother and biological father were engineers. Even though they divorced and it was just me and my Mom until I was 8 years old, she was able to put me in private schools and put my education first.
She paid for me to attend a prestigious college, which allowed me entrance into the job world when my peers from other schools were struggling to find work. An alum was actually the CEO of the company I wanted to work with and responded to my email – that’s the only reason I got a job right out of college while a lot of my friends lived at home for months or years. I had enormous advantages that helped me to be in the position I am today.
Please share your top 10 blogs you follow with us.
- Millennial Revolution
- Splurging On Freedom
- Root of Good
- Our Next Life
- 1500 Days
- Four Pillar Freedom
- Mr. Tako Escapes
- Fiery Millennials
Is talking about money feminist?
I think it is because it helps level the playing field. Talking about money in the US is (seemingly) more taboo than discussing sex or religion. This lack of conversation around money is one of the reasons the status quo continues. For example, the lack of salary transparency in this country (and many other factors) allows an employer to pay two people who do the exact same job vastly different amounts.
I’ve always been open about money and my ‘numbers’ so when a coworker recently asked how much I made, I told her and her jaw literally dropped. She is doing the exact same job and making $35,000 less. Having this discussion gave her the ammunition to ask for a higher salary.
I think talking about money is also important to combat the stereotype that ‘women aren’t good with money.’ I’ve literally heard this as an excuse multiple times from women who are explaining why they won’t get their finances in order. Like all skills, financial literacy is mostly a matter of education. If someone has been told they’re naturally bad at something they are less willing to learn and change their situation. Speaking about something as taboo as money and providing examples of the amazing women out there who are masters of their money is a good start.
What is one awesome thing in your life now?
Friendship. I make annual goals for myself and one of the main ones was to nurture the friendships I have and make new ones. Making new ones has been shockingly easy since launching my blog publically. The financial independence community is so welcoming and easy to talk it’s insane. I assume this is because we already have this huge, weird thing in common. As for existing friendships, I have made it a priority to have weekly and monthly hangouts with the close friends I do have.
For example, I went from speaking with my college roommate and dear friend once every few years to weekly, despite her living in Argentina. I have a weekly supper club with my friend and now neighbor where we cook something new together, chat over wine and sometimes watch an old (or hilariously bad) film. It’s the highlight of my week and before we made it a priority we would only hang out perhaps once a month despite living a few blocks away from each other.
I also host a monthly event with a larger group of friends that has been happening for almost 2 years now. Previously we would all get sucked into our busy lives, but since I’ve been putting my relationships first, I’ve added immeasurable joy to my life.
How can people connect with you?
The Blog: APurpleLife.com
I’m excited to hear from you!
Ms ZiYou Back Now
Thanks for taking part and sharing A Purple Life – I loved your answers!
If you identify as a feminist – female or male – and would like to be featured on Let’s meet Financial Feminists – please get in contact.