About PWDW


Penny Wise Dollar Wiser is a personal finance blog and resource.  The purpose of this site is to help put us all on a path to financial freedom.  The focus is on money – specifically, how to make more of it, manage it, save it, and invest it.

About Me


Hi.  My name is James.  I am in my early thirties, married, and recently welcomed a new addition to my little family of now 3.

In 2008, when the financial crisis happened, I was completely unprepared for the events that will unfold in the months following it.

First, I was laid off from my job at a major global financial company as part of their cost reduction strategy (though the company eventually filed for bankruptcy in 2011 anyway).  Next, with no source of income, no savings, and roughly $29,000 owed in student loans, I had to turn to my parents for help and ask to move back home.  As I was trying to process my current situation and figure out my next move, my then girlfriend decided she wanted no part of my troubles and broke up with me.

It took me a few months to recover both mentally and emotionally, but once I did – I knew I needed to fix my life and my finances.  I started reading and learning about money management, investing, and entrepreneurship.

Over the last few years, I managed to pay off my student loans, saved up a decent amount (currently enough to last us several years if we had no income and needed to live off of it), invested in stocks and bonds to build passive income streams, and opened and ran a couple of successful businesses (both of which I eventually closed – the first because of a strained partnership and the second due to changes in market demands/trends).

While I did manage to accomplish quite a bit in the last few years, I also stumbled often and sometimes hard.  For example, I opened several businesses in the past but only two of them were successful.  I started Penny Wise Dollar Wiser to share my experiences with you – from what worked for me to the mistakes I have made along the way.

Current Status:  My wife and I are both employed full time.  My wife works for a small marketing company while I work for yet another major global financial company.  We both work because we don’t mind what we do but mainly because it allows us to earn more money to put towards other business ventures and investments.  Our goal is retire well before we hit 40.

With the birth of our son, my wife plans to quit her job so she can be a stay-at-home mom.  Thankfully, with all of the financial planning and measures we have put into place in the past few years, we can afford to lose her steady source of income.  Now it is just a matter of planning the when.