Whats up Future-ers! (Ok I made that up) Glad you’re here and I'm happy to be able to tell you a little bit about myself! Tough to sum it up in a few paragraphs on the internet but hopefully you all will read all the other content on this blog and get to know me a bit better!
I'm just about to turn 28 and I have had the blessing to have quite the life so far, with many more adventures to come! I guess it only makes sense to start at the beginning...
I was born in Montana where my grandparents lived but only stayed there for a few months. My family was currently living in the Cayman Islands when they decided to have me, so I just needed some US citizenship and some good ol' USA health care and then we were back down to the island life. My father (Clay) was a SCUBA dive master on Grand Cayman and somehow convinced my mom to follow him down there from Colorado. My mother (Gloria) was working as a maid in a popular hotel there and my sister (Rachel) was going to elementary school on the island.
From the stories I hear, this was one of the highlights of their marriage. So, I think my personality was definitely a case of nature and nurture. For the first 3 years of my life, I hung out on the beach with my mom or went with her to work. Thought I was a little Jamaican baby and I was as brown as one. The blue eyes kinda gave me away. I unfortunately don’t have any memories of the Island. My sister has some being that she was 7 when we left. (don’t tell her but I’m a little jealous)
We moved back to Colorado where my parents had met originally. We lived about 30miles outside of Aspen, CO and my love for the outdoors and adventure continued to grow. What a wonderful place to live! As a kid, the woods were just a quick walk across the neighborhood and I got to go skiing and mountain biking all the time, I learned to kayak and the family went camping frequently. It was a great childhood and I’m so thankful for the opportunity to grow up there. I’ll fast forward through a lot of school and through my teenage years, you didn’t want to be around for those anyway… I’ll just say that living in a small town is great as a kid but as I grew older I got a little restless and I started hanging out with the wrong crowd. There was lots of partying involved and I was pretty unpleasant for most of high school, especially to my parents. I’m sure I’ll end up with a payback child (my mom says I was hers). I guess time will tell.
Luckily even during my wayward phase I kept my grades up and I got introduced to working on cars after I could drive. I decided I wanted to build racecars and I went to the Colorado School of Mines to get an undergrad degree in Mechanical Engineering. Had a small stint at Purdue University in Indiana trying to get involved in IndyCar racing in 2010 which didn’t pan out because race teams were closing their doors left and right after the 2008 meltdown. Probably for the best, as that sent me back to Colorado to finish out school.
I did well in school and ended up getting a job with an oil company in Bakersfield, CA after graduation in 2013. I moved out that summer and ran my car out of gas outside of Las Vegas in June. My first taste of the heat I would come to know all too well. I had to hide out under the highway in a culvert because it was the only shade for miles and it was 116 degrees outside while I waited 3 hours for a tow truck to bring me a few gallons of gas… What did I get myself into. People at my school had talked a lot of trash about Bakersfield but the job was good and with a good company so I decided to take a chance on it.
I’m truly glad that I did. Bakersfield is not as bad as everyone says. I think it is just like everywhere else, there are Pros and Cons to living in any city. Bakersfield provided me with such a great platform to start my adult life from. No one can argue that the transition from college life to the real world can be a little rocky. There are a lot of skills to learn and things to figure out. Often you lose your support structure of friends and family as you move or others move away for work. You have to approach it with an open mind and be confident in your ability to adapt and learn as you go. Luckily, I had already moved from home to school, school to Indiana (where I knew no one) and back again. I had traveled with my parents and friends during high school and college which throws you into the unknown often with a new language to boot. I had been to Russia, Spain, Portugal, Croatia, Mexico, Cayman, Puerto Rico, Dominica, Honduras and some other dive locations I’m sure I’m forgetting. I think traveling while growing up made me so much more resilient and it’s something I’ll make sure my children have the opportunity to do and get exposed to early and often.
I’m sure some of you can relate to the feeling of going from a broke college student to a gainfully employed adult… “ $#*!... what are these numbers in my bank account?”... And I really let the partying commence. I was going out to the bar every weekend. Hitting Vegas (5hr drive) with the boys. Generally suffering from immense lifestyle inflation. I was still holding on to a small piece of my frugality, driving a beat-up Saturn I bought for $3,000 because the car I drove out to CA bit the dust. I was definitely spending most of what I was making. Which is BAD since I started out just shy of $100k a year. Its incredible the capacity we have to feel we need and deserve everything we can get our hands on. I was doing it. All my co-workers were doing it. I’m pretty sure the whole US is doing it.
Bakersfield provided me a great job.. I work for one of the largest oil producers in California. I know… Booo Oil! Ya’ll Destroy the Earth!! Maybe we will get into that discussion somewhere on the blog but this intro is long enough without going into the diatribe of the good/evil oil companies. I work 40 miles from home and drive it every day. I leave at 5am and I get back at 5pm. Luckily, I work as an engineer so I can dodge many of the 100+ degree days. It was long hours but the work was challenging and taught me a lot about engineering and honestly, about adulting.
It wasn’t long before I met Allison, I had been in Bakersfield for a little over a year. We met at my companies Holiday party (We’re to PC to call it a Christmas party…) I didn’t have a date and one of my co-workers (Jenny) had some friends that she said wanted to come. So a blind date it was! I got all dressed up and we all met at my house prior to heading out to the party for the night. When the door rang I opened it and welcomed everyone in and Jenny made the introductions: “Matt, meet Belle”. Jenny had set Belle (Allison’s Bestie) up with me for the night, and Jenny was taking Allison. We chatted and had a drink while we waited for everyone else to arrive and soon headed off to the venue. Turns out in that ~30mins I had already determined Belle wasn’t the girl for me and me and Jenny had unofficially “date swapped”. I sat next to Allison at dinner and hit the photo booth and danced and we had an amazing evening together.
Then I bounced to Yellowstone for 2 weeks to vacation with my family for Christmas… But I sent her lots of pictures of snow and bison, and cayotes, and all sorts of geysers. I think I won her over with the pics. When I got back we saw each other at a friend’s party and I officially asked her out (to sushi, naturally). She couldn’t wait until Friday so she invited me over to her apartment for dinner on Thursday. I brought her a Plant, it went great. From that point on our relationship grew quickly. Soon we were spending every day together and it was just so natural like she was supposed to be in my life from the beginning.
Fast forward and we got married May 20, 2017. Now she is trapped, and she’s mine forever!!
Meeting Allison had a profound impact on my life. I think before meeting her I had always been short sighted. I was looking forward to what I wanted to do this week or this month. With no real plan for the future. I lived for the moment and went with the flow. After meeting the girl I was sure I was going to marry, my mindset shifted to the future and we started planning out life together. What did we want to do? where did we want to go? where would we live? would we have kids? Allison introduced me to Mr. Money Mustache and it was game over… I think I read his whole blog in a couple months. All 400 some posts. I had never heard of anyone living a life like that before. I grew up somewhat frugal and my parents were always responsible with money. We lived in the same house since I was 5, we owned used cars, my dad fixed everything he could himself. But MMM was on a whole other level…
I launched into full research mode… “how can I retire as fast as humanly possible?” was the only question I had in my mind for months. I started reading all the FIRE blogs I could find online and studying investing and frugality. I just had dreams of waking up at 7am with the sun in a tropical location and having the day to accomplish whatever I wanted. It was seductive and it’s still a similar vision I have in mind today that helps motivate and drive me to build our life in a way that supports freedom and early retirement.
The real blessing in disguise was the 2hr drives to work. I hated them so much when I started work and honestly, they are still not my favorite. I spent the first year or so listening to the radio… I knew every top40 song so well I could sing it backwards. After meeting Allison and the introduction to MMM, I got turned onto podcasts, and my world exploded. I started getting 2hrs of personal development coaching every day! Why had I missed this for so long?!? I started listening to Tony Robbins, Art of Charm, BiggerPockets, Model Health Show, Aubrey Marcus, Millionaire Mindcast, and others. I highly recommend you check some of those out if you’re interested in growth, health, real estate, and business (I hope you are since you’re here!)
I’m still on my Journey, I always will be. I’ve learned a lot about investing and we’ve started down the path to real estate investing and starting businesses. You can read about all of those experiences on the blog and hopefully we can help any of you on your path to finding your own freedom. Hope you enjoyed reading about a few parts and pieces of my life and if you have questions email me!
I’m Alli Owen! But I was born Allison Escovedo 🙂 I was born April 14, 1990 in Houston, Texas. I was raised by divorced parents in two very privileged households where I got to do awesome things like science camp, horse-back riding, guitar lessons, etc. I say privileged because while having divorced parents who lived thousands of miles apart was difficult, all of my parents (now I have four with the marriages) loved and supported me endlessly. I lived full time with my mom in Valencia, California (outside of LA), but my senior year of high school I moved in with my Dad in Katy, Texas (outside of Houston). My Dad has three kids with his second wife, Kim, and I enjoyed running around with them and getting to know them better that year. They are about 12-15 years younger than me, so when I was in high school they were really cute!!! After high school I went to the best university in the world, the University of Texas at Austin (HOOK EM BABY!!).
I struggled choosing a major in college. I think I changed my mind like 10 times. From geology to speech pathology to mechanical engineering to, finally, math. I chose math because honestly I would’ve been sad if I never took a math class again. I am one of those people who is curious about many things though, so settling on one major felt really alienating to all my other interests. I really wanted to travel but my Dad (wisely) said I had to figure out how to pay for it myself. So I worked as a waitress at BJ’s throughout college and saved about $5,000 by the time I graduated. Immediately I took off on a Euro trek with Dad for a few weeks. After that awesome time, I packed up my bags and headed to South America. I was signed up for teaching English in Southern Chile and that sounded like a great adventure. All I had to pay for was the flight and everything else was included! Unfortunately while I was there a traumatic experience happened and I had to cut my trip short (I talk more about that on my personal blog www.allio.co). I went home and lived with my Dad for a few months while I “figured my life out.” I applied for lots of jobs, but none seemed that interesting to me. I was feeling depressed but thankfully had received an acceptance letter to go to USC for graduate school with a full scholarship. The offer seemed too good to pass up, so I decided that January I’d start. But that was still 4 months away...what was I to do with this time? My cousin and their partner were currently teaching in Bangkok, Thailand and my mom suggested I go for a visit. So I took off for Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, and Singapore. It was there I began to heal from the traumatic experience and find my confidence again.
Graduate school at USC flew by and before I knew it I had graduated with a masters degree in Petroleum Engineering. I ended school with two job offers, one for the middle of nowhere Colorado and one for the middle of nowhere California. I chose California because the job was more suited to what I was interested in. It was there I met Matt, so I’d definitely say I made the right choice! In between finishing school and starting work, I had the privilege of backpacking Africa. I paid for my travels by working 40+ hours a week while going to graduate school full time. While in Africa, I climbed the tallest mountain on the continent, Kilimanjaro, and took a life-changing horse-back riding safari through the Okavango Delta in Botswana. Doing all this alone gave me even more strength and confidence in myself to do whatever I set my mind to.
These travel adventures really screwed me over in a lot of ways. Its really hard to go back to living a conventional, normal life after experiencing so much magic in the world. Being trapped to a desk 8 hours a day for 40 years just didn't seem attractive to me. I knew I was going to live an "unconventional life" but I just hadn't figured out how it looked yet...**SPOILER ALERT**(In walks Matt Owen into my life)
Since I had about $50 in my bank account, I knew I had to start working, so I packed up my bags and moved to ButtF*ck, California. Within the first month, I met Matt, and, well that’s when the real adventure started!
There are many stories I can tell about Matt, but since this is a finance and personal development blog I think I will share that part of our story 🙂 Initially I was attracted to Matt for his quiet confidence and adventurous spirit. He had swam with great white sharks, scuba dove in remote places, and snowboarded double black diamonds like a boss. Not only that, but he was ridiculously intelligent. Like the smartest person I had ever met. Now I see this both as a blessing and a curse because he sees through all my shit ;).
Before we met each other, we struggled a lot with caring SO much about what other people think. We spent a lot of money on dining out, travel, and for me, clothes (Stitch Fix was my JAM). We spent a lot of time drinking and partying and our monthly bar budget was in the $500 range (embarrassing to admit!). But once we started dating, we started envisioning the life we wanted. We wanted adventure, love, and playfulness. We didn't want to be constrained by 9-5 or a location, we wanted freedom! As we got clearer on our vision for our future, our old habits started falling away. Now we have a $0 per month bar budget and have learned to care less about what everyone thinks.
We haven't achieved all our goals yet, but I know our future will be on full of adventure, love, and joy.
If I zoom out on our lives, I can’t find a lot of things to complain about. Even though we have the goal of financial independence, we are enjoying each moment right now on the journey. Life is short, so we are choosing to live in this moment, right now...and not just waiting until we reach F.I. 🙂
It is my life’s mission to empower and inspire others to live their dreams and enjoy every moment of life. This blog is a blimp into ours, I hope you stick around and enjoy the wild ride! 😉
©2017. All Rights Reserved. Please note we are not financial professionals and this is only our personal experience.