I met Adam, creator over at Crispy Cabbage, during summer of 2018. As soon as I read his blog, I knew I wanted to collaborate with him on something. His writing is great and his subtle, but incredible art sets him apart. I hope you enjoy his work as much as I do.
Hi Carl. Thanks for having me. I love this series! Thanks for giving us all a chance to tell our stories to a wider audience.
I was going to answer the bare minimum 10 questions, because that’s how I roll. But I noticed most bloggers chose to answer more. So, I decided to over-achieve and do 12. Needless to say, I did all the easy ones about pizza and beer to pad my total.
I hope everyone likes what I have to say…
There are approximately 476,492,292,928 personal finance blogs last time I checked. Why should we read yours?
Wow! Half a trillion. It’s an important topic, though. So, that’s awesome.
Hmmm. Why should people read my blog? Short answer… They shouldn’t. I’ve already got my one cult follower, so I’m g–.
What’s that? Cubert ducked out when I went on my extended break?
Okay, I’m in the market for a follower or two…
I can’t offer expert financial advice. And my site’s a little messy at the moment. The drawings are crude. It’s completely unprofessional. Shit… what’s the question again?
Here’s what I offer. Deep thoughts. Deep thoughts on personal finance and the future. Sometimes I talk about my future. Sometimes I talk about the Futurama kind of future… with robots and stuff and how that could affect yours and my money and how we approach financial independence.
I’ve only recently discovered that the futurist stuff is my reason for being as a personal finance blogger (as in yesterday when I started thinking about my favorite articles), so there are a lot of other random topics in there too. Hopefully, the articles are all fun to read. Hopefully, most of them make people think. But some will eventually just go away or get filed in a dark corner as I focus more on things like universal basic income and self-driving cars and blockchain and all the crazy tech that’s reshaping our world.
What is one post that you’ve written that you wish would have gone viral?
Citizen’s wage AKA universal basic income (UBI), it’s when people get paid by the government just for having a heartbeat. It would have been fun if this article went viral and generated some mildly heated conversation that eventually came to blows in some drunken bar brawl.
The citizen’s wage is something that needs more mainstream debate, especially in the personal finance community. We need to really understand both the benefits and the unforeseen ramifications well before the robot revolution. We should probably have a point of view on it.
I thought I knew what conclusion I’d come to before I wrote that article. Citizen’s wage has to be inevitable, right? Artificial intelligence will just become that good.
In my lifetime? Maybe. In the far future? Probably. But what I discovered by the end of that article is maybe we’d be jumping the gun a little if we pulled the trigger on that kind of social program so soon. Maybe a better safety net can happen more organically, born out of technological innovation. Maybe those safety nets are already starting to appear.
Regardless, it’s a fascinating thought experiment. And that article was truly a real-time debate between the colorful voices in my head. It’s true. I actually do have a unicorn named Gladys living in my head.
What has surprised you about blogging?
The sense of community. The support. I thought it would be a lot lonelier at the edges of the internet.
It may just be the personal finance blogging community, but I’ve met a lot of really great people blogging. I would not still be doing this if it wasn’t for that community and my desire to still be a part of it.
And I, honestly, haven’t given the social side much effort. I haven’t made it to any of the meetups, festivals or conventions yet. I suck at retweeting and commenting on all the great content out there. And I disappear from my own blog for months at a time.
You guys keep taking me back, though.
To quote the great Piston Cup Champion Chick Hicks from Cars, “No, you rock. And you know that!”
What is part of your blog that you wish you could do better?
Oh, there are several things. Here are a few:
Consistency. I really need to do better at consistently putting out content. Cubert deserves it!
Writing faster. That goes along with the consistency part. I thought I’d get much faster at getting down what I want to say after a few dozen posts or so. But it still takes a while for me to squeeze one out. And I always feel a little bad when I lock myself in the office for half-a-day scrubbing and rescrubbing the same 500 words it when I could have spent that time with my wife and son.
Being more social. Like I said, the personal finance blogging community is great, and I love being a small part of it. I need to contribute more on the social side, because blogging is much more than just writing.
Is there anything else you’d like to promote?
I’m really glad you asked, Carl…
I need everyone reading this on an iPhone or iPad to go to the App Store right now and download my Half Hour Hank productivity app. I’m leaving it free for some extra time after my New Year promotion, because I really want some extra feedback on it.
Let me explain something to you. This is an app I created to help people keep track of the endless list of all the random misfit projects in your life, especially if you’re a homeowner. It’s already a beautiful creation, but I’ve got a lot of thoughts on where the concept could go (more stats, prizes, etc.).
Feedback is so valuable. So if you do try it, let me know what you think. If you like it, leave a 5-Star review to help it get noticed. If you think it’s a dud… keep that to yourself 😉 Or, just email me and tell me why. If you really hate it, I guess I can’t keep you from leaving a horrible review and crushing my app development dreams.
Where do you live? Do you love it, hate it or just meh.
I live in the fabled Twin Cities of Minnesota in these United States. I hate the weather and have always wanted to live near a shining sea and/or purple mountain. But I live in the amber waves of grain part because I love the people, culture and general feel of this area (especially the Twin Cities).
Fun fact: Minnesota is known for its many thousands of lakes, but not many people know we actually have forest fairies and unicorns here, too (unconfirmed).
Another fun fact: There seems to be a pretty robust FI blogging community here, too. Could it be considered one of the hubs (second to Colorado, of course)? Probably.
I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because we’re a hardy, enterprising, boot-strapping breed. Maybe it’s because we have nothing better to do in the cold, dark winter but to ruminate about slow-travel someplace warm and blog about it. It’s -15 here right now. I’m gonna to have to go with the second one.
How old are you and do you have a family?
I am 40 years old and I am married to a wonderfully supportive, extremely talented, beautiful wife, who doesn’t like to be called Mrs. Cabbage for some reason (Geez, I picked a terrible name for my blog).
We have the most amazing super-smart son who is about to start kindergarten. He inspires me every day (doughnut face), and so much of this FI journey has to do with spending as much time as possible with him, especially in his grade-school years.
Are you leanFIRE or fatFIRE or fartFIRE?
I’m not sure I can be put into any of those categories. I am gassy. But, if I had to pick one, I’d lean toward leanFIRE. I see what you did there, Crispy. But I’m less than leanFIRE, really.
I got started a little late on this journey. I was terrible with money in my 20s and didn’t start to really earn a decent salary until I turned 30. When my wife and I discovered the FI movement in my late-thirties, the math said we had a dozen years or more to reach even the very edge of leanFIRE.
That’s fine. Being any kind of FIRE right around 50 is still really good. But by that time corporate life was already starting to wear on me and I had pent up projects, man!
So, I sold my wife on this idea of a runway retirement (emphasis on runway) with a much more digestible time horizon… 7 years.
During that time we’d pay down all our non-mortgage debt and build up a significant runway of highly-liquid, non-401k savings. Based on current spending and where we are right now, it looks like that’ll be a runway of 3-5 years.
Our plan is partly inspired by Ms. Montana’s mini-retirement. It’s about lifestyle design more than anything (What is my perfect Monday?) And having at least 3 years of cash in the bank feels like it would be enough for us to make almost any kind of permanent pivot towards our most ideal life.
We also still make significant contributions to our 401k plans. Even if we stop contributing in a few years, what’s already there should grow on its own to a pretty good-sized nest egg. Thanks to Keep Thrifty’s Retirement Freedom Calculator, I feel more than comfortable with that plan.
If your 18-year-old child told you this: “Parents, I want to go to a $250,000 school and study doorknob design,” what would you tell him or her?
I’d laugh. Then he’d start laughing. And we’d all have a good, hearty laugh together. Because it was joke. Just another zinger from a kid with a highly developed sense of humor.
Our ultimate goal as parents is to raise our son so he’d never ask that kind of question with a straight face. He’d already know the best way to be a world-class doorknob designer is to apprentice in Sandefjord, Norway with Godtfred Svaalgaard. And it would probably take much less than $250K to make that happen. Or, maybe Godtfred has a course or two on the internet to earn a solid certificate.
To me, doorknob design isn’t the funny part. Actually, there probably is a niche out there that can be filled by someone who’s really good at designing custom door opening devices. And the internet could help you find the subset of the subset of the people willing to pay up for those fancy knobs.
As a matter of fact, I’d be thrilled if, by the age of 18, my son knew down to that granular of detail what he wanted to offer to the world (the ability to open doors in the most luxurious way possible). We can only hope to raise him to have that level of clarity as a young adult.
It’s when people automatically think a paper degree from a 4-year institution (and the tens of thousands of dollars debt-hole that often goes with it) is the only path to success. That’s the funny part, to me. Funny in a tragic kind of way.
That may have been largely true in the past. But I firmly believe we’re quickly outgrowing the university 4-year-degree model. The level of student loan debt is just completely unsustainable and there’s increasingly more educational value elsewhere. Besides, smart pills are coming. Mark my words.
What travel destination is highest on your bucket list?
Tokyo, Japan. I find the Japanese culture incredibly interesting and Tokyo just looks like a fascinating city. I’ve always thought it’s where androids would pop up first, so that’ll be cool.
Oh, and the traveling through green sewer tubes and eating mushrooms thing…
If you were a dinosaur, what kind would you be and why?
Triceratops. Because they seem super tough. They can crush houses, according to this chocolate birthday cake…
They’re also gentle plant eaters, I think. I’m not a vegetarian. But I think the plant-eating part of the triceratops is a good metaphor for my generally laid-back, non-aggressive, live-and-let-live outlook on life.
And if you back me into a corner, I’ll come out SWINGING! (hard G, fool!)
Favorite beer? Favorite pizza place? (this is a throwback to the original series)
Summit Extra Pale Ale. Beer perfected. By a guy from North Dakota transplanted to the Twin Cities no less. Inspirational and delicious. It was literally on my list of reasons to move back to the Midwest. I won’t say how high up on the list.
As far as pizza goes, it’s really hard to screw up pizza. So, I’m going to go with kind of a boring one. Papa John’s. Delivered to my house by the dude in the green Toyota Prius (he’s always so friendly).
That’s it! That’s all I got. I’m pooped. If anyone wants to reach me, I’m over at crispycabbage.com
Thanks again, Carl!
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