About Us

Welcome to Money Saved is Money Earned!

We’re Sebastian and Tawnya, co-bloggers who will help you unlock the secrets of the financial world. Keep reading to learn all about us and why we started Money Saved is Money Earned.

We started this blog so we could share our knowledge of finance topics in order to help others understand finance and reach their money goals. While neither of us are wealthy by family or work, we have been able to reach our money goals and become “rich” through savvy financial planning. Although we’ve both accomplished financial success, we are at very different stages in our life and come from very different backgrounds.

about usSebastian

I emigrated from India when I was 22 years old, and with just $15 in my pocket when I landed in Portland, Oregon. Although I had family in the U.S., I worked two jobs while going to school full-time in order to survive. Despite having a degree in economics from an Indian university, my accent and immigrant status gave me a label that was difficult to overcome, and my first full-time job was at an industrial area doing manual labor.

At first, I had to take any job I could get. I cleaned the PSU cafeteria after hours while attending college there, and also welcomed a summer job with the Portland Parks and Recreation as a maintenance laborer. This path is not unique, as I’ve had many friends (born both in and outside the U.S.) that did exactly what I did to survive the present and build themselves a good future. Since I worked multiple jobs and attended college full-time my weekends were reserved for homework and I had little down time in my first several years.

My mother taught me the value of hard work and perseverance, which I had to utilize to the fullest extent coming from another country. I reasoned that four years of sacrifice was worth it to build the future that I have enjoyed for decades. My motto is to keep walking until you find the open door, and if there isn’t an open door, to crawl through an open window. Through all this adversity, this attitude finally landed me a position in the finance department, and 30 years later I am an early retired Senior Financial Analyst for the City of Portland.

I have owned my home free and clear for 15 years, have had income properties, put three kids through college, and travel to India regularly, all without a six figure salary.

You’re welcome to read more about my story and experiences here.

about usTawnya

I, on the other hand, am a 33 year old Special Education teacher in the eighth year of my career. While I had a lot more family help than Sebastian, I have worked extremely hard to reach my goals and remain debt free.

I recently bought my first home (possible through a 20% down payment), have paid off all my undergraduate student loans (in 2 years), and was able to pay my way through graduate school while working full-time. I now proudly hold an Honors BS in Psychology from Oregon State University, and an MS in Special Education from Portland State University. I have also had a pretty successful writing career, first as a writing tutor at the Oregon State University Writing Center, and in recent years, as a freelance writer.

I have always been frugal, and in the last 7 years have held several part-time jobs (often at the same time) in order to help me pay off my debt, save money, and reach my goals quickly. Early on I realized the benefits of working hard and looking for savings wherever I could. Other than my mortgage I’m proud to say that I’m debt free.

Two Heads are Better Than One

Despite having different backgrounds and being in different life stages, we connect due to our outlook on life and finances. Between us, we have a wealth of knowledge and information about personal finance, retirement, student loans, credit cards, and many other financial topics. It is this wealth of tips and tricks that we wish to pass on to others, as knowing how financial systems work, and how to use the system to your advantage, is the key to becoming “rich,” as we have. Any Money Saved on every day expenditures goes right back into your pocket, where it becomes Money Earned, and it all adds up.

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