016A: Ryan’s Backstory

As a holiday surprise for our listeners, we’re dropping THREE episodes at once! That’s right—you’ll be hearing all three of our backstories this week. Ryan, Chrissy, and Money Mechanic… who’ll be your favourite? 🙂

Ryan’s backstory

First Financial Milestone: Value

At age 15, Ryan’s father took him to PC Financial to open up his first chequing account. He didn’t know it at the time but this taught him an appreciation for “Loss Leaders” and the fact that great quality banking products are available for free or nearly so.

Second Financial Milestone: Minimalism

At age 18, Ryan enrolled in the Canadian Forces and served for 3 years (posted to CFB Edmonton). It is very typical in the military to be moved over and over again as assignments change and duty calls. Ryan was able to pack everything he owned (and all the “kit” or uniforms and gear) into two duffle bags, a rucksack and backpack. Owning more was seemingly impossible and frustrating to carry around, so he went without.

Third Financial Milestone: Ethics

At age 22, Ryan began working for RBC as a teller. The job was titled “Customer Service Representative” but really is a commission-based sales associate who acted on any sales unit he could find. Swiping through your debit or credit card, Ryan would see in front of him the “sale units” he was to offer to every single client, no matter the ethics. Ryan quickly got burnt out of trying to persuade financial illiterate people to make financial bad decisions and chose to leave banking on moral grounds and pursue an entirely different industry: trucking.

Fourth Financial Milestone: Entrepreneurship-ish

At age 24, Ryan obtained his AZ license (the Ontario designation for truck driving) and hit the open road. His original company didn’t pay all that well and Ryan found an opportunity to deliver food during the middle of the night that paid very well. The company advertised a starting average salary of $70k/year but through route planning, delivering in Downtown Toronto, and optimizing traffic patterns, Ryan was able to earn $109k in only his second year of truck driving! Ryan didn’t just take whatever the company threw at him – he made it his business (while still working for somebody else) to get the best routes possible and turned his $70k job into a much more lucrative career.

Fifth Financial Milestone: Optimization

At age 28, Ryan became a father. At this moment, the FIRE movement suddenly ignited inside him and he began to take seriously the expenses he took for granted all these years. Insurance plans were reduced or removed, cell phone plans we’re moved to public mobile, aggressively paying down the mortgage was a must, and so on. Ryan now spends $16k/year on average on his fixed expenses. This doesn’t include discretionary spending such as movie tickets or vacationing. Those expenses are rare and since they aren’t consistent (such as twice a year) he doesn’t include it in his FIRE number.

Where is Ryan right now? (financially speaking)

Ryan is relatively close to achieving “Lean FIRE” which is essentially a “Full-funded lifestyle change”. With only a year or so left of working as a truck driver, Ryan intends to early retire in 2021 and raise his daughter before choosing his next adventure, be it a job or volunteer work.

He currently lives in Kitchener, ON, with his wife and daughter (and hopefully soon-to-be more children!)

Episode links


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