Portrait phot of Hannah, the Real Person Budget's instructor.

Hi, I’m Hannah, the creator of Dough for Tomorrow. This site is for anyone who wants to learn more about personal finance, investing, paying off debt, and achieving financial freedom to live your ideal life. 

I started my path to financial independence shortly after I graduated college in 2018, after multiple nights of 2:00 am calls from my 24/7 on-call job (and those were on nights following my usual 12-hour work days). I decided I wanted to live my life according to my choices—not my employer’s, society’s, or anyone else’s choices or definition of success. I analyzed every book, article, and podcast that I could find on financial independence, investing, and saving (yes, I analyze everything— I’m an engineer). A little over a year later, I achieved a $50,000 net worth. 

This wasn’t because of any magic get-rich-quick schemes, but was possible by committing to a few principles: spend less than you earn, pay off debt, and invest as much as possible. This path is repeatable for anyone, but you must master your mindset. Creating a budget is easy—sticking to it is difficult. In this blog I will show you not only the mechanics of how to reach financial independence as fast as possible, but also give actionable ways to commit to lasting, wealth-building habits. 

When we are 5 years old, we are encouraged to be whatever we want. Our minds aren’t on money, or pleasing others, or taking the safe route. Our minds are on achieving our dreams and doing something great. 

As we get older, the message changes. We are encouraged to go to college, to go into a field that makes money, to get a “safe” corporate job. Success is defined as making enough money to buy the newest car and the largest house. If we are lucky, we may be able to retire in 40 years and enjoy the remaining few years of our lives.

In college I spent a semester studying abroad in Berlin and it was the most amazing experience of my life. Someone once asked me if I considered living there for a while, and I said, “In another life, absolutely.” Later, I reflected on my response. Why couldn’t I do anything I wanted in life? Because I needed to finish college, start my successful engineering career, and make the money I needed to survive.

I began reflecting on the fact that we all have only one life. If, at the end of that life, we decide we wasted time or regret how we spent our lives, we don’t get another chance. Why do we spend our entire life playing it safe? Why do we spend 80% of our waking hours at a job we don’t really like? Why do we waste time on anything we don’t absolutely love? Why do we accept living 5 of our 7 days wishing it was the weekend?

Because “reality” hits—following your passion doesn’t pay the bills. So we listen to the advertisements and tell ourselves we are “happy enough” and continue buying the new iPhone every year. 

But what if there was a way to get back to our 5-year-old self? 

I’m not saying we know our true purpose and calling when we’re five years old, but we did believe that we could do anything. There was never a doubt in our minds that we could do whatever would make us most happy. 

I have a new definition of success—achieve and live the life we really want and that makes us happy, made possible by financial freedom. To me, financial independence is not the escape from something, but the path to freedom and a full life. Financial independence is the freedom to choose our what, when, where, and why. To do what we want, whenever and wherever we want. To pursue a passion that pays nothing. To dedicate our lives to charity, to travel, or to starting a business. To live a life guided by “I choose to” instead of “I have to.”

I created this blog to share my thoughts and findings during my journey to financial independence, and to help you achieve it, too. It is reality that we need money to survive and to achieve the freedom of financial independence. My goal is to provide actionable, step-by-step information on saving, investing, and paying off debt that gives real results. My goal is to help you achieve financial freedom, all while living a healthy life and doing what makes you happy.  

Ready to start your journey to financial independence? Start here.