Finances & Money

Clever Dude is now officially OLD!

Today is my 30th birthday. I’m not as old as I look (well, the same decade). This means that I am now officially old to the younger generation and thus I have no insight into the problems that kids, teens and twenty-somethings face, right? Yesterday, when I was 29, I could definitely relate to the problems of someone in their twenties, but now I’m too old.

I guess I have to start talking about retirement more. And start shooing the kids off the lawn. Wait, I already do that. Man, I’m old.

Looking back at my Twenties

I constantly feel like everyone else is doing so much more than me. I have friends with beautifully arranged homes. Friends touring remote parts of the globe. Friends starting their families, or even having their third kid. Friends well-advanced and respected in their careers.

But this morning, while sitting on the toilet, I reflected on what I accomplished in my twenties (in no particular order):

  • I met my soulmate at age 21. We got engaged when I was 22.
  • I got married at 25. Surprisingly, compared to my friends, I was actually one of the first to get married. My parents, however, got married in their early twenties. The sign of the times I guess.
  • I ran and finished a marathon at 28. I was slow, but I finished with only 5 months of training (and no running prior to that).
  • I visited Ireland twice. Once with a friend and once for our honeymoon. Oh, and I’ve been to Canada which makes 3 international trips total.
  • I completed half of a masters degree. Last week was my last class of the summer and exactly half of the classes I needed to take.
  • I went skydiving at 22, just before 9/11 happened.
  • I graduated from college and got a great-paying job at 22. It took me an extra year as I changed majors in my senior year. And that job was a springboard for getting even more pay once I left due to the knowledge I gained.
  • IĀ  attended the Pope’s mass in DC. So now I can skip that if we ever visit the Vatican.
  • I (we) bought a house at 26. Just a year after getting married, we bought our first house. Too bad it was near the height of the housing bubble.
  • I’ve touched almost a half-million lives through this site. Well, I’m rounding up from about 400,000 unique visitors since I started this site in June 2006. By the way, I was 27 when I launched Clever Dude.

There are hundreds or thousands of other notable instances in the last decade, but I’ll keep those for my stories in future articles. But now that I’m 30, what do I have planned?

Looking forward to my thirties

Well, I’m not actually looking forward to being in my thirties, as age 40 is just on the other end of it. But I do get to look forward to a mid-life crisis where I’m justified in buying an expensive sports car, right? But seriously, here are just the few things I have on tap for the next few years:

  • I expect to finish my masters degree when I’m 31 (next year)
  • I expect to be debt free (except the mortgage) sometime in my thirties. I’ll be writing a post soon about a change in debt repayment plans, which is why I didn’t give an exact age here.
  • We’ll make a decision on having kids. Right now, kids (whether biological or adopted) are on hold until I finish my degree. Also, we’re not sure whether we want to have kids at all, but sometime in this decade we’ll make the decision. I hope.
  • Find a job I enjoy. I really don’t enjoy my current job at all, and I really don’t like government contracting either. I have leads on what I think is the perfect job (at least in the IT field) for me, but I’m waiting on a position to open there. Once there, I’d like to stick around for a long time.
  • Lose 30lbs, and keep it off. I’m tired of being fat, but I’m also just tired. I need some extra motivation to get up off my butt and achieve this goal!
  • Launch an automotive-related site. I have the site all ready for content, but I’ve just been too burned out to write anything. Personally, I like cars more than finances, so I’d like to spend more time on that site in the near future.
  • Hit 1 million visitors on this site. At my current rate of growth, I’ll hit that mark in another 1.5-2 years, but I’d hope to get there a little faster.
  • Increase side income. I get some decent income from my various websites to help pay down debt, or take a vacation, but I’m always looking to increase that revenue in case something happens to either of our day jobs.

Those are just a few of my goals for the next decade.

What did Stacie get me for my birthday?

I specifically told Stacie I didn’t want any gifts or parties for my birthday, but she went out and got me something anyway. Actually, she got me 3 gifts.

– The most special, and one that I’ve been looking forward to, was chocolate chip cookies. They’re my favorite food of all time, and I easily go through a dozen at a time, as long as I have milk (see weight loss goal above). She made about 4-5 dozen last night.

-. As an unexpected gift, she got me two Wii games:Lego Star Wars and Thrillville. I’m looking forward to some downtime to play these games, as well as our Wii Fit, but with the olympics on, we’ve found it hard to take our eyes off the TV!

Thanks Stacie! And thanks to all you readers for making this site a success. I can attribute some successes in the last 2 years to your own input via comments, guest posts and direct emails. Keep them coming!

About the author

Clever Dude


  • Happy birthday, old man! I was just thinking the other day about how I’m just a year and a half away from the same milestone.

    For a 30-year-old, you’ve got a decent personal resume built already! It’s great to see that you’ve enjoyed your life so far.

  • Congrats! I just turned 32. DH and I similar to you & your wife I think. Trying to be debt free in 4 years, don’t have kids, we started our own business and we LOVE our jobs. Although I think with your goals you were “old” a long time ago!

    It’s great to hear that you and your wife and actually thinking about whether or not you want to have children. I think so many people just go ahead & do it because everyone else does and it’s the next logical step. DH and I decided not to have kids when we first got married (10 years ago) and we always encourage people to really think about it before they do it. We’ve had a few people tell us they wish they had, and if they had it to do all over again they wouldn’t have had them. Kudos on being a responsible adult!

  • Happy Birthday! This is my favorite blog on Personal Finance / Frugal Living. Best of luck with everything. As a 25 y/o, I can say you’re old! LOL

  • Congrats, from one Leo to another!

    My 30th is 5 days away. It’s going to be relatively low-key because I’m terrible about organizing friends stuff and because, like yours, it’s in the middle of the week. I think we’ll have a games night at our place the Sunday afterward.

    I, too, am looking forward to my 30s. I blame too much Sex in the City — I think we really come into our own in our 30s.

    Hope you have a blast and enjoy a chocolate cookie for me!

  • Hey old man — happy birthday!! What am I saying, I’m 38…that makes me ancient.

    Skydiving – that’s awesome! My wife and I did that a couple of years ago. Scariest thing I ever did, stepping out of that airplane. Once I was out though (no turning back, right) it was an awesome experience!

  • Happy Birthday Mr. Dude (Hey, you’re old now, you deserve the “Mr.”) šŸ™‚

    I’m 28, turning 29 next year, and well… 30 will be there before I know it. I can relate.

    You have a great blog and I truly enjoy it. Keep up the great work! And good luck on all your goals for the next decade.

  • Happy Birthday – that’s a pretty impressive list of accomplishments. Keep up the writing and I think you’ll be surprised how quickly you get to your traffic goals.

  • Happy Birthday Dude!!

    Please allow me to make one assumption that you left off your list. At 30 I realized that I had what I had and I was where I was. I have grown and I have made my life better (and those around me).

    The things you list are quite material. Take another perspective (on thats not in your bathroom) and focus on the little things that make your life better. Health, a decent job (whether you like it or not), a wonderful wife, and a pretty cool blog.

    I have those things too. You can change everything else in my life but as long as I have those things, I’m set.


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