Thursday Rant: One Week is Weak

I had an amazing and disturbing thought the other day. First, I must give you some background.

Work, work and work

5 minutes after she learned how to ride.

5 minutes after she learned how to ride.

As long as I can remember, I’ve always worked and worked hard. Before I was 14, I mowed lawns, shoveled driveways, delivered papers and various other hustles. As soon as I turned 14, I started at my first real job. All through high-school, I kept various part-time jobs. Over breaks, I’d get work through temp agencies or find seasonal jobs.

Same thing at college. I worked in the computer lab during school. On breaks, it was back to the temp agency. Some of the jobs were horrible.

I started my first real job even before I even finished my computer classes. I was studying mainframe programming and it was right before the year 2000, so demand for my new skills was crazy. Back then, if HR thought that a raccoon could write a line of code to help with the Y2K issue, I’m sure they would have been hired with a fat sign-on bonus. Actual raccoon code: Continue reading

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Yo ho, yo ho, an FI life for me!

What are you looking at?

What are you looking at?

Colorado summers are pretty great. The climate is dry, so the humidity doesn’t overwhelm you. The other thing I enjoy are the huge temperature swings. Even if the mercury climbs to 100 on a cloudless afternoon in mid-July, it isn’t unusual for the temperature to swing back down into the 50s at night. I love this:

  • I hate heat. If it was hot all of the time, I would go nuts. The cool mornings and evenings provide a pleasant respite from sweating profusely.
  • Despite my hatred of the heat, we hardly have to run the air conditioning. We open the windows at night and suck in the cool air with one of the greatest inventions ever, the whole-house fan. The house cools down enough in the morning that unless the weather is really hot, it stays pleasant throughout the day.
  • Back to the heat: Really, I cannot stand it. Hot, sunny days suck the energy right out of me. Working outside is misery. I love jumping on my bike, but I’m even more pathetic in the heat. I’m that guy going just fast enough to stay upright as I climb the mountain road (Hello 5 mph!).

The problem with my life now is that I start work at 6am. At the best time to be on a bike, I’m in front of computer screens typing away. This will all change soon… Continue reading

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10 Questions with The Butler Journal

Today is the 11th edition of our new periodic guest post series called 10 Questions. We have a list of 17 NEW questions we pose to fellow financial bloggers, and they are free to pick and choose 10 or answer all of them. Let us know if you would like to be featured in a future edition of 10 Questions. (If you have already answered the first set of 10 questions, please feel free to answer these new ones.)

This week’s 10 Questions are answered by Jason from The Butler Journal, where he blogs about his debt reduction journey. He graduated in 2008 with $71,000 in debt, and decided that just wasn’t OK. He wants to help educate people about college information such as financial aid and study tips.

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Tell me about your blog and why it’s great
My blog is titled TheButlerJournal.com. I talk to people about debt, college information and travel. I think it’s great because I show people that they can make things happen in life. I also want to motivate people and show them that they can get out of debt. I document my journey monthly on the site.  Below are some of my favorite posts:

31 Life Tips

5 Things We Should Be Taught in School

10 Things Every College Freshman Should Have in Their Dorm Continue reading

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Thursday Rant: Hate Mail Edition! (How do you like my Apple?)

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I normally don’t take pictures in the bathroom of restaurants, but when I do, it’s stuff like this

If your blog is read by more than five people, eventually you’ll receive hate mail and vulgar comments. I’m no exception. I have received emails from disturbed folks encouraging me to:

Go *f&? myself.

No thanks.

Go*f&? <redacted>.

No thanks to that either Mr. Disturbed Person.

And even:

Why don’t you &^%$ a cow and then after that, *&^% a ^$#@ while you’re *&^%?

Seek help random Internet troll.

Hate mail

It used to bother me a bit, but now I feel sorry for the senders. Continue reading

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I’m rich Baby! (And follow your Heart)

Growing up, I didn’t think much about what it meant to be rich. My family and I lived in a lower middle class ‘hood. My dad was an electrician. Our next door neighbor was a mailman. The guys who rented the house across the street were entrepreneurs (drug dealers). One day, the police showed up at their house and took them away. We never saw them again. But I digress.

Mike, the first rich person I met

I started programming computers right before the year 2000 and it was great. All of the old-time mainframe programmers (Hello COBOL!) were making big money fixing decades-old code. I was assigned to work with Mike.

Shortly after meeting him, I was convinced that he was rich. Mike made a little over $100,000 per year, had a new Corvette and was in the process of buying a lake house. Mike flew off to exotic locations frequently.

One day, I had a conversation with Mike that went something like this:

  • Me: Man, you’ve got it made!
  • Mike: What do you mean?
  • Me: You have a pretty nice life. Corvette, house on the lake and awesome vacations. Must be great!
  • Mike: I actually think I’m a bit poor. You should meet my brother Matt if you want to see rich.

Enter the 1%

Continue reading

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10 Questions with the Debt Free Guys

Today is the 10th edition (with new questions) of our periodic guest post series called 10 Questions. We have a list of 17 NEW questions we pose to fellow financial bloggers, and they are free to pick and choose 10 or answer all of them. Let us know if you would like to be featured in a future edition of 10 Questions. (If you have already answered the first set of 10 questions, please feel free to answer these new ones.)

Today’s post features David and John from Debt Free Guys. D and J live in my neck of the woods and I had a chance to meet them at a recent party. For some reason, time got away and I hardly had a chance to talk to them. This is unfortunate because they have some really interesting stuff to say. Read on to see!

Also, I wrote up a little piece for their Money Masters series. Find it over here on Debt Free Guys.

Finally, I liked the question and answers the D and J added at the end. No way I’d give up the 10 points either!

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Tell me about your blog and why it’s great.

D – I love the variety of our blog. We have so many topics that focus on how to really enjoy life and still get and live debt free. Plus, both of us enjoy sharing our personal experiences. We love our lives and want others to feel the same.

J – We enjoy writing and strive to have a combination of fun, funny and educational content. I like words, not a lot of words but the right words. I enjoy the writing process and putting our work out to the public.

Tell me how you’re going to change the world with your blog. Continue reading

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The Asset Class Battle: Update #1 with a side helping of Floccinaucinihilipilification

Last month, I mentioned that I rolled over $275,000 from an old 401(k) into an IRA. With the proceeds, I’m conducting an experiment. You may read the original post here and a short follow up here. Today, I update you on the experiment.

But before we begin…

Whoah, life is busy. Although we’ve been back from California for over one week, I don’t feel caught up yet. I’ve decided to change up the routine for the summer:

  • Playhouse: I’ve promised our girls a playhouse for over a year and it is time to get to work on it. This weekend, we’ll design it and hopefully start construction next week. I expect to get shut down by the village for some of the features I am planning:
    • Zipline: Hell yeah! What could possible go wrong?!?
    • Electricity: Indoor lighting, a doorbell and perhaps a glowing disco/mirror ball.
    • Climbing wall: Our children love the wall at the gym, so I’ll build a miniature one.
    • Solar power: Why pay for electricity when I can get it from the sun?
    • The girls have requested indoor plumbing, but this is as good as it’s going to get:
Sorry girls.

Sorry girls.

  • ???: Do you have any cool suggestions for me? I’d love to hear them! Since I’ll be designing the thing from scratch (store bought is so boring), I can do just about anything I want.
  • No more working on the real house: I’m taking the summer off. I need to spend time with the family now that the nice weather is upon us. I’m thisclose to finishing up the bathroom, but it’s still not ready for poop prime time. You’ll have to wait until September for the wrap up.
  • Blogging less: I’m going to cut back a bit. Ask the Readers will resume in the fall. The Rants will be sporadic.

My money goal (Denver E brings Sexy Back)

I was talking to a friend who goes by the name of Denver E. Denver E is in his 30s and has a portfolio of index funds. We were talking a couple months back and he had this to say about his investing style (sorry Denver E if I didn’t get your words exactly right):

I don’t invest in stocks, just index funds. It’s boring and not sexy.

However, Denver E is on the verge of Financial Independence. His boring strategy has earned him a pile big enough that he’ll be able to exit the workforce at half the age of the typical working dude or dudette. So, I think that Denver E is a bit wrong in his self assessment; having a big pile of money that grants you freedom is very, very sexy. Continue reading

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10 Questions with Marcia from Proceed Until Apprehended

Today is the 9th edition of our new periodic guest post series called 10 Questions. We have a list of 17 NEW questions we pose to fellow financial bloggers, and they are free to pick and choose 10 or answer all of them. Let us know if you would like to be featured in a future edition of 10 Questions. (If you have already answered the first set of 10 questions, please feel free to answer these new ones.)

Today’s post features Marcia from Proceed Until Apprehended. I don’t even know where to begin with this one. Marcia went a bit nuts and created all of her own questions. I thought this was quite awesome, especially the Harry Potter one.

Marcia is not only skilled with the words, but has some great stories to tell. She has experienced heart breaking tragedy, but has kept her head up and has forged ahead.

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So, your blog – what’s up with that?

Good question, I mean really – is there a need for more voices in the blogosphere? I asked myself that same question when I started writing earlier this year, and I’d have to say yes. Because the voice that I’m not hearing much from is my voice – a middle-aged woman in transition, trying to reinvent herself after life threw her some serious curves. And where else can you read about wealth creation, how your stuff traps you, and speed dating all on one site?

So, how does that relate to early retirement? Continue reading

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Performance Update 29/50: A new High in May (Where are the Cheetos?)

I’m still behind from my vacation, so no rant today. I’ll get back to my complainy ways next week. Today, do your best to enjoy my performance update for May.

My main goal is to build a portfolio of $1,000,000 in 1500 days with no debt*, starting from 1/1/2013. Every month, I provide an update on my status. My goal for 2015 was to get my portfolio up to $874,353. Because we saw exceptional returns in 2013 and 2014, I have already accomplished this. Let’s have a very late look at May.

Woweee!!

Yep, this month, I reached a new high. No, not that kind of high! Just because I live in Colorado doesn’t mean that I indulge in the recently legalized green stuff. Get your mind out of the bong people!

While I don't indulge in Colorado's newest cash crop, the same cannot be said for Spendosaurus.

While I don’t indulge in Colorado’s newest cash crop, the same cannot be said for Spendosaurus. In his altered state, he couldn’t find the Cheetos and had to resort to Froot Loops.

I’m talking about another kind of green stuff; money! In May, my investment portfolio reached a new all time high ($1,036,272). Life is good, even if only my portfolio and Spendosaurus are high.

I don’t even know my own friggin’ portfolio

At the Berkshire conference, Mr. PoP and I were talking investments:

  • Mr. PoP: You’re mostly in stocks, aren’t you?
  • Me: Well, I own stocks, but now, most of my investments are in safer assets like ETFs and mutual funds.

After the conversation, I started thinking and wasn’t so sure that what I had said was correct. I went back to the hotel room and checked my accounts. It turns out I wasn’t quite right. I have some things to say about the current state of my portfolio: Continue reading

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California Dreamin’

Please excuse my diversion from Personal Finance related stuff today. We’re on vacation, so I’m going to tell you about that instead. I wrote about the first part of our trip here.

Pismo Beach

On Thursday, we arrived in Pismo Beach. Pismo is a quiet beach town (on the week days anyway) that we really enjoy.

On vacation, one of my favorite things to do is explore on foot (the children would strongly disagree). On Friday morning, I threw some clothes on the kids and we started walking. We walked about 3 miles down the beach, stopping to take in various things we saw.

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Little 1500 did not like M. Skeleton Pirate one bit

Little 1500 did not like Mr. Skeleton Pirate one bit

We played on the beach. Continue reading

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