The Cold Shower - Discovering the Joys of Minimalism and Frugality


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My Closet: An Introduction

Or what if I need to buy a spare part for my camera or computer that you can only get by delivery? Sometimes I have to wait many months before I know I can receive something like that, or generally just embrace the idea I mentioned above and not buy new stuff. Travelling with more junk is a hassle anyway. And of course I never get postcards, although I'm a technology buff and find paper inefficient, part of it is simply because I can't receive it since nobody ever knows where to send it. For bureaucratic issues though, I simply use my parents' address in Ireland and my dad scans any important letters to me.

You need an address somewhere for official purposes bank account etc. I do strongly believe in the benefits of minimalism , but even after several years of it there are times when I wish that every decision I made to purchase something that wasn't food or a plane ticket, had to factor in how big or heavy it is, for when I need to take it on the road with me and check it in.

Here in Berlin for instance, I've had access to a printer and a scanner it was already here in the furnished apartment , and it has been so incredibly convenient!! I'd also like to buy a sturdy tripod I have one, but since it's the lightest one I could find it doesn't reach eye level without being propped on chairs.

Sometimes people will buy me a lovely memento of the place I visited, or a present of some kind, but sadly I can't accept it, or I do since turning it down would be a huge insult in many cultures but have to leave it behind as it's way too big or heavy. Forgetting about stuff for a moment, the very people that I travel to meet, sometimes make it very hard for me to get to know them. In many places, knowing that you will leave in a few months immediately invalidates any possibility of friendship, which is a terribly frustrating aspect that I have to deal with way too regularly.

This is especially true with romantic relationships that don't even get started more on this in a separate post, coming soon, since many people have been requesting this , even though the same person may cheerily tell me that she dated her last boyfriend for just a few weeks. As well as this, people presume that a traveller must have only superficial friendships and not take me seriously because of this.

Everyone is down to earth if you give them a chance and see their human part, rather than some caricature you may have of them in your mind. Luckily, I have changed my job frequently enough to make the question of what I do interesting for most of my travels working in a youth hostel , or as a translator , or English teacher etc. I don't actually want to talk about language learning all the time; I see learning a language as a means to an end to talk about other stuff. Generally, I've found that what you do for a living really doesn't matter when getting to know someone, unless you happen to really want to talk about it right now.

The catch is that I have to constantly be getting to know new people, since I move around so much, so I much prefer to talk about that other person, or some common interest we share, so that I can have varied and more interesting conversations, rather than go around the world to give the same soliloquy the entire time. That's why I gave a TEDx talk that's easily accessible to everyone; so I wouldn't have to give one every single day in social events!

Those who know about my blog always invite me out when I travel through their town to talk about language learning… but I would generally do specific meetings with a bunch of people to do that or give a private coaching call , so that the rest of the time I can talk about anything else. My long-term friends and I pretty much never talk about language learning stuff, including my polyglot friends. My most recent conversation with Moses over Facebook was about silly t-shirts for instance.

It's a challenge because people do want to hear interesting travel stories or about how my job works, but behind the Jason Bourne-esque image of every traveller is just a normal guy trying to make new friends. It's a little exhausting to try to convince people of this on such a regular basis, when they first meet me, but when I do it's always worth it and I can stop introducing myself to new people and help a particular new friendship flourish. While there are many problems involved with not having consistent friendships in the one place I stay in touch with certain people and meet up with them several times a year, so I do indeed have deep friendships, just not where I happen to be a lot of the time , one is when you really need a helping hand.

For instance, when I was travelling Egypt this year, the day I recorded this video why I look like crap and don't do anything more than nod politely I had eaten something that would keep me bed ridden for an entire week. I lost 5kg 11lbs in my first couple of days probably all water; I know this because where I stayed had a weighing scale , due to the worst case of vomiting and diarrhoea that I can remember ever happening. And I had to spend this entire week absolutely alone — nobody to make me feel better or bring some food or medicine to me.

Shortly after I arrived in Taiwan, I found that I could get very affordable laser eye surgery and went for it, but needed someone to bring me home after it, since you are effectively blind for a few hours from light sensitivity. Since I didn't have a friend in the world within thousands of kilometres, I had to go for the rather pathetic solution of hiring someone to come find me and drive me home, and walk me up to my apartment.

There have been times when I could really use a bit of emotional support that you can't really get in a Facebook chat window, or even in a video Skype call. Many years for instance, I never would have even known it was my birthday apart from notifications that people have written on my Facebook wall. Those who depend on their friends a lot in situations like this would find lone travel very hard, but it does definitely make you more independent and self-reliant. These are important skills, but we do need other people more than we would care to admit.

I don't feel lonely so much , but it does happen. I always prioritize making at least one deep friendship in each place I visit ideally more of course , because I have seen the dangers of ignoring the human aspect — I have met a couple of long-term travellers who simply lose the ability to empathize with other people, because they never get the chance to care for anyone for long enough. I never want this to happen to me, and go out of my way to try to really get to know and help people so there is always some human connection, and that I perhaps leave a place better than how I found it.

When I do have good friends around even though it may not be the case most of the year, I definitely have people I can rely on that I see every few months , the favours they do for me are always truly appreciated. It makes life so much simpler when you have a helping hand for things that you could never ask of a stranger. The benefits of their long-term friendships are definitely one of the biggest things that I see settled people take for granted, and when I do have it, I cherish it because I know very well what it's like not to have this a lot of the time.

In Berlin, I've also had access to a piano — it's the first time in my entire travels that I've had a piano where I live. The sooner the better. Being that I took your Earn 1K course-I already make money on the side and close to maximizing my investment ladder.

Being that I took your Dream Job Course-I am lining up my next role in the field I want at a negotiated salary that fits for me. Invest it in building a prototype for a web service. It would go directly to pay down my 25k second mortgage, which I plan to have paid off completely by this time next year! Some of the cash would be dedicated to putting together professional materials packages to provide free-of-charge to potential clients.

I would use a portion to take out referees to lunch or coffee, and do the same with some people in my city from whom I am seeking informational interviews. There are a couple of targeted workshops coming up from our provincial small business body regarding pitching services to our provincial government, and I would register for those workshops. Lastly, I would get myself a compact data projector many of my workshops involve presentations with visual displays. Individually, these are all small items that I can budget for, but as I am also saving up for the arrival of my first baby, every penny counts.

Thanks, and good luck, everyone. I would take some of it to move back home and then put my kids in daycare. I would stick the rest into a savings account and go back to work. Just know it would go towards me starting my new life with my kids. He graduated from college 2 years ago and since then we have put any extra money tax returns, bonuses, gifts of money etc. And I opened a savings account to hide a few bucks away for rainy days or for future investments to come.

Maybe I have the one icecream for the month as a treat. And I know I will keep it up, because I am stubborn as a donkey. Taking a real vacation would be such an amazing break for both of us! I am all for Roths and patent searches, and shoes and stuff, but really, I would do these few things. I am trying to get together a down payment to buy my first home. I would use this to continue adding to that pile.

Every extra bit will help to keep my interest rate and monthly payment low! Upon receipt of payment I will deposit this into my online brokerage for trading in the intermediate term to take advantage of recent volatility. Everyone loves midgets and I believe the networking benefits of hosting a great party will be worth my dollar investment.

I would use it to invest in my art business buying materials, vendor payments, shipping art pieces, etc. I make and just started selling abstract art and need to get it noticed, so I need money to be a vendor at fairs, to showcase art at galleries, and for travel. It will add as a nice backdrop in your web chats. I would use the money to help fund a startup.

The money would speed up what I am already working towards. I would give the money to my mom to help pay off her mortgage. My dad was sick for most of his life and recently passed away. Nonetheless, she was able to send all of us to college, and I am now proud to say we are all college graduates and better people because of her and her sacrifices. If I won 1, I would also by myself a watch for work and a pair of prescription sunglasses for the summer. I would save for that! Thanks for all you do! I am looking to buy a house within the year and want to improve my credit score :.

Very simple: Deposit the check to my ING direct savings account. Then when Earn 1K opens up for the next time I will use this check to pay for the course. I have the next steps laid out to be completed over the next 3 months and this would allow me to speed up the process. Looking forward to reading more comments as well! I would use the money to finally try and invest in the stock market! I would use it to go on a trip to Fiji to assist with some of the disaster relief from their recent floods and look for social entrepreneurship opportunities on how I could continue to assist the relief.

Buy two plane tickets to attend a business and networking event in San Diego, CA. I would pay down debt so that I can have more options in the future like say taking a Ramit class. So I would use the money to help my sister and her 3 kids with a summer of fun. You see, my sister wants to join a local beach club. The kids would have something to do all day and my sister would finally be able to relax! I would also be on the membership and get to bring my wife along.

This money would help a lot of people in my family have a fun summer and without paying for going out of town airfare, hotels, food, etc. Would this be an investment? The money is for a summer of memories for my niece and nephews. Less stress for my sister and drinks in the sand and sun with my wife. But to be one of chosen person you would have to gave value to this money by buying plant and put it all into garden where everyone can learn and see where really money grooves.

In effort of mans hand. I would put half towards my credit card and the other half, I would split between my savings and vacation fund. Savings would be nice too! But I think it would make the most sense to use the money to increase my earnings capacity…i. Boring, but true. Fortunately, I am not sick but a close friend of mine is sick. The extra 1K1 will help me pay off a portion of the medical bills. Our health should be our number one priority. Sometimes we take this important topic for granted. Hello, My answer is different.

I am getting married this weekend and going on our honeymoon in 2 weeks to Ireland my dream and Italy. We have budgeted very well for the wedding and I negotiated pretty well to not go into debt. I would love the money for our honeymoon for nice wine, tours, hotels, romantic dinners, etc to enjoy a nice trip together as husband and wife! I would use it to start paying my parents back after all the help they gave me throughout college.

They deserve it more than I do. Too bad this is more like a lotto random drawing. Good luck to the rest of you. I recently checked my credit report for the first time and discovered that my parents never paid for my tonsillitis years ago AND I was unaware that the bills were in my name. I would add it to my emergency fund matching the 1, I have managed to save since I started it in February.

Well after reading I will teach you to be rich! I would definitely get my brokerage account started and run that Lifecycle Fund. I would Automatically contribute to my new fund by rerouting some of my savings. I was actually saving for the lifecycle fund minimum so that money could be allocated for the fund and my money could start growing. I would then use the rest for backlink building to my products that are ranking on the first page of Google, but to push them even higher to position 1! When that particular account reaches a certain point, I am using the money to begin my real estate investing.

I would spend it on your Earn1K course — planting a money seed that would grow into a mighty money tree. In process of buying a house, since I have all bills covered plus paying extra, no cc debt, and auto payments to all my retirement and investments and long term contracts and revenue streams going, most likely I would literally just use it toward some of the appliance costs for the new house. I would use it pay off my credit card debt and any leftover money would put towards my student loan payments. Why would I expect such a high return?

To weed out the dweebs. His teeth are in pretty bad condition, and we have been meaning to get a start on fixing them for several years. He has been working very hard in school, and I think it would be great for his self confidence and health! And it would be a good incentive to get with the program and start fixing them! It would be dumb to waste it paying for some expense.

It will be important to identify the point of greatest leverage in your business or personal life. I believe that whatever wealth I can attract right now is limited to whatever state I allow myself to be in. The other big asset to invest in would be in people. I would convert it to UK pounds using xe. An overpayment in British terminology is paid against purely the capital of the mortgage, meaning the interest as calculated daily will decrease a little! I will use it to buy the productivity suite you recently had on sale.

If I can get that on the same sale price, then use the remaining money on the preliminary earn1k course. I would pay off the last of my student loan. Honestly, I would spend it to go visit friends across the country. I would buy a plane ticket or train depending to visit friends in California, North Dakota, Oklahoma and other places depending. If I had any money left I would save it up so after college is done I will have a little money to try and live on my own.

Win-win all around. This would take another significant chunk out from them, taking me significantly closer to being debt-free. Not to sound like a sycophant, but I would put it into the Vanguard Roth Ira I just opened thanks to reading your book. Spend on paying off bills. Invest in necessary materials for my business. I would use this to pay down debt! I have a plan to be debt-free by Spring of and this would help advance me towards that goal much faster than I can currently manage.

Thanks for the contest opportunity! I would send it right to the credit card I am working on paying off by the end of the year. I hate being in debt, but we had some medical expenses that we are now paying off. I would pay off that student loan and not be broke every month.

15 MONEY SAVING TIPS 2019 - Frugal Habits - Save money - Stay on budget

Thanks to all for the new learning! Guess what I plan to do! It would temporarily join my emergency fund and later this month or next, be used to help pay to have my house painted. Why breakfast at your office? As a year old cleantech entrepreneur, I aim to pick your brain and eat your discarded muffin bottoms.

So, do you take your coffee with cream or sugar? I would use all of it to pay down my credit card debt, which is the highest-interest loan I have. Training can be hit or miss I know but I already have some personal projects that I am working on and a list of questions to ask during the hands-on part of the training so I think with this preparation I will get more out of it than normally. I will talk to you on available courses from you or your friends, on how to start own business with my background. It would go into my Brazil trip fund. I would pay off my existing student loan, which in already in the process of doing, before going back to school this fall.

I would use it to complete market and product testing for my startup, which is already gaining traction. They are always happy to help me out and play for food or much less than what they should but their generosity only makes it more difficult for me to ask for their kindness. Anything left over would be set aside for the next time a similar project came along in which the budget was not sufficient to pay all those involved what they are worth.

We are both extremely motivated and willing to do what it takes to get this going. Wether we receive this dowery or not it will go and we will work other jobs around this to accomplish our mission. The objective of this project is to provide a way to meet the needs of the community as well as serve one another. Goals Using a web based tool similar to Craigslist or message boards, people in need can post their needs or have needs posted on their behalf by staff in a safe, secure and private way so that others can find ways to meet them.

Our intent is to help others to meet the needs of the body through service, goods, and contribution to specific needs. Solution Working with fellow everyday angels, we build a web tool whereby those in need can post their needs and we help facilitate the meeting of those needs both in body and through the technology of web based tools and e-commerce.

Common Sense for College by Frugal Dad

A person posts the need to the board. Once accepted, that need is shared with any member of the community board without personal Information attached. If in the form of tangible goods, they can bring it to an EveryDay Angel Outpost school, home, church, community center. Upon receipt, we will notify the person in need that the need is met and they can come to pick it up. They can then choose to send a message or thank you to the individual who helped meet that need if they wished to do so. For services, a person will choose to meet the need and given contact information so that they can help the person in need.

Financial contributions can be given to a general fund to help facilitate large needs and also as micro funds that can build towards needs of specific need requests. We want it to be as close to a one to one transaction as possible. We believe that new goods except automobiles instead of used goods will alleviate problems with broken things neither passed on to one another nor having to deal with repairs and delivery of items.

I would legally change my name to Ramit Sethi, pat myself on the back and walk around town knowing I am in good company, then suddenly regret the decision, and pay to have it changed back. Unfortunately, the NCAA does not allow a school to cover any of these expenses for prospective athletes. Helping to provide the kickstart to an education for one of these young females would not merely change her life, but, more importantly, likely save it.

Without an education, the majority of these young ladies will die by the age of 45 or Why females? The answer is due to simple exponential math. I like your style. Great offer! I just need a bit more money first. So this money would be quite welcome! We paid mine off this month, hers will be paid in full in less than 12 months, and we will have our house paid off in about 41 months…. I would take a cabinet making course or two to and learn how to build furniture for fun and profit. Hello Ramit — having paid attention to your wisdom — I am already debt free!

I spent it already towards a vacation to glacier national park! Half of it would pay down our auto loan. The other half would be put into finishing our basement. I would use around for filling out the paperwork to start my own company, another for setting up a web page for that same company and use the rest for testing of business ideas paying for lunch with interesting people and stuff like that.

The purpose of the company would be to enable me to study for an extended period and also take a few weekends abroad with my girlfriend. I will first of all pay the registration fee for this online working from home job. I will invest half of it in business,part of it help the needy. Later the balance will clear my debts. Pay bar dues and buy a new Adobe design suite to help start my advertising mini-agency on the side. I would put it to my schooling. I would either give it to my dad because of how much he has helped me financially, or I would put it directly to my student loans.

Would not you wonder to whom will you gonna give that money?

How to Be A Minimalist Debt Destroyer

I would come to San Francisco from Turkey to meet with you! So as a new graduate I could take your personal advices and discover San Francisco! That could possibly be made easier if the have work unions or some kind of organization, so I could hit up the owners directly and convince them to invest in their employees. This could also in the future be videotaped and sold in DVD, once the market starts to get depleted. So visiting the Grand Canyon.. Yeah the Grand Canyon. We just sent the state registration in for the business name and will start contracting with vendors as soon as we receive the registration papers back.

Extra capital would be fantastic and really speed up the process. Frankly, I would use it to help pay off my student loans. I have known quite a few entrepreneurs over the years and the ones who have succeeded are typically the ones who are doing what they love and loving life while they do it. Their debts are manageable and meticulously well planned, with few exceptions. My belief is that acts of generosity can start a chain of people helping one another out. Ramit, I would out all of it towards my credit card debt. Either that or towards my future engagement ring payment that will be made on a credit card.

Either way, its going towards new or old debt! Goal is debt-free! From what other folks have said about its effectivenes, it would be the best investment I could make with it. And whatever money I had left over from doing that I would use to get any tools I could identify to get more or better use my time. Time is far more valuable than money, so any free money I get will be invested in getting more time! I am always looking for new ways to diversify my portfolio.

The extra money erik help in doing this. With the thoughts of having my money work for me, you could say I am already thinking rich! Exploring all options. Will soon get my PhD degree. Planning to be a day-trader after that. I know :. Technically a swing trader but never mind the minutiae. No paper trading- went live from day one and am net-positive after 5 years. Learnt the tricks of the trade by investing my own money for the last few years. I have been there and have survived the game and made some money.

Most of all loved every bit of it. Only recently I found a steady rhythm in the way I trade which made me take the leap. You know it when you see it. I will do a small time job initially to pay part of my bills. The rest has to come from trading. Any money I get will go into my trading account. Thank you. I would take my 10 year old son to Washington, DC for a 4 day weekend train there and fly back. Maybe go out to a nice dinner and save the rest for my next real estate purchase.

Boring I know haha. Then pay for a dental x-ray to make sure my tooth is okay and that I am healthy to start a new job. Then I will be set to start my dream job. I would spend a portion to purchase books re finance — to learn about business statements etc. Pay off credit card debt. That attitude may be why I have credit card debt in the first place. I would use the money to pay down Back Taxes. The Interest and Penalty are more than what I owe.

This is killing me. Following your wisdom, I am finishing paying off my credit card debt. I have been doing a ton of research on the right type non-toxic, combination of different sizes, cheapest method of purchase of memory foam mattresses. I would build my own platform bed, order the mattresses…and actually wake up feeling rested and ready to go in the morning. I am building the initial technical skills to begin freelancing in client based film work using techniques you outlined on Chase Jarvis Live. I will used the money to hire an experienced DSLR shooter on craigslist for a multi-week learning project to get me up to speed on the skills side of the business.

I would use it to: 1 Pay for a couple of extension courses at a community college 2 Pay for membership at a freelancer site to supplement my current income 3 Buy some work clothes 4 Save the rest! I would use half to pay off existing debt, and the other half for something cool like… a new shed for my back yard..

I recently found her after 52 years of wondering if she was still alive and if she would want to know me even if I found her. One thing I want to do is hire a professional photographer so I will have pictures of the moment we finally get to see each other in person. And by the way, all of this happened after both of my adoptive parents passed away on the same day last August and I found my adoption papers while cleaning out their house. As part of the new garden program, the 5th grades will sell herbs as part of their regular fundraiser. I would invest the money in a pattent, for a medical testing device, that I believe would do extremely well.

In an effort to earn more money for the family and teach my two young sons about money I would buy a pair of dogs that would be good family dogs and whose puppies would be easy to sell. I would be able to teach my sons about biology and responsibility by having them help take care of the dogs. I would also teach them about money and marketing by having them help sell the puppies and count the money. I would also teach them about saving money and tithing by setting up a bank account for them and having them give some to church or a good charity.

I hate doing vacations on a small budget. Hi Ramit! Ramit, First of all, thank you for putting this opportunity out there. Here is a rough idea of what I would like to do with the winnings. I would use it to take my children to Washington DC. My youngest son wants to see the white house and the capital and he is only 7.

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Then use the money to buy in. Sound Good? I stumbled upon a book by one of my favorite role models in the writing and health field, Dr. Roni DeLuz. After following her program from 21 Pounds in 21 Days, I reprogrammed my tastebuds and my belief systems subsequently. My life goals changed so much. I felt like I was turning into Gandhi. I would spend the money on company software for the insurance company that I currently sell for.

The money I am saving up to buy a sailboat with with to sail around the world and raise awareness of individual power and provide real help to people who need it wherever they may need it. I would buy hardwood floors for my house. I would take myself and my boyfriend to Alinea in Chicago, and use the extra funds to get two three day passes to Lollapalooza for myself and my brother. I would invest the money in the new business that I am currently help create and need the extra cash to get it off the ground.

Knowing my daughter, she would save half of it. I tried to teach her well. I would use the money for boosting my business. It has always been my dream to start a film company and I have been doing commercials for businesses for a while now. But I need some capital to form my LLC get business cards and really boost my business. But if I did win that is what I would use it for.

click And I would try to save some of it and buy stock with Apple or HP or Dell, depending on which one is the best choice. I would invest in people. The return on investment in people is big on the front end and grows exponentially as they in turn invest in others. So I would donate the money to a local organization that provides food and housing to those at the bottom of the barrel of life. I would spend half on re-doing our apartment to make it more organized and functional. The other half would go to the laptop fund. I would buy presents for my wife for her birthday and invest in myself more a Udemy course, etc.

The rest of the money would go towards my planned trip to Nicaragua to help feed the many starving children. This is the charity website I support. I would buy a couple bicycles for me and my family, and then buy some food, a whole stock pile of it. I would do the boring thing and put it in my Roth IRA. I had a long job drought so I have not gotten to contribute very much to it lately. I have a job, now though I am using the techniques in Dream Job to improve my standing and prepare for the next one in a year or two.

Pay of my student loan and keep some to have a night out with the girl for once instead of studying.. I would buy call options on Apple stock. I would use the money to pay for 3 months supply of a drug I use. My insurance is in the donut hole, meaning I pay double for the cost of the medication. The balance would go in my checking account. I would re-direct a third of that money towards my Roth IRA, the other third towards savings, and the last third towards printing promo cards to send to advertising agencies to promote my photography work.

Use a thousand to fly out to San Francisco or New York for a couple of days and say thank you in person to the brilliant man who wrote the check and changed my life over the last year or so. Woop Woop! That way I would be a month ahead. Give or take taxes on items! I would invest it with kickstarter. I started a small business about a year ago selling gourmet crackers that also happen to be healthful.

I am plugging along getting the business going while my husband generously puts bread on our table and provides me with some cash infusions for the business. I realize that I need to take the business to the next level and outsource some things. I would put it toward a new synthesizer keyboard that sounds so much better than the 13 year old piano keyboard I currently use. It would add depth and expression to performances because it sounds so incredible. I would definitely use the money to pay off my education loan! And that debt off will spur me to do a career switch into social enterprise work.

I would use it to buy more video equipment. I am growing the business and more capital would be helpful. I have had to take some money out of it for some unexpected expenses, and my balance is not as high as it once was. The Blendtec is the sportscar of blenders. Or like the convertible car lovers dream of. If you ever wondered what cooks dream of, I tell you Ramit, they dream of Blendtec.

Invest it in myself by hiring a personal running coach to help me reach my goal of qualifying for the Boston Marathon as part of my larger goal to run a marathon in every state! I have 6 kids, 3 of us live in a room I am renting.. I know I can get an apartment for a few more bucks per month.. I would use the money to help us get a bigger place..

I currently just got hired for a temporary position so I would use the money to help pay for transportation to and from work, daycare fees, and Bills rent, utilities, student loan , add to my IRA account and restart my emergency savings account. I would be torn in between putting it on my car or getting everything else ready for my new baby.

I would also take my wife out for a romantic dinner at her favorite Spanish restaurant. And the penny for my thoughts! I would take my little brother on a trip to San Francisco to reconnect with his childhood friend and introduce him to the tech community!

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I spent the money on having my product designed. It helps parents break free of the so they can start living their lives now and, most importantly, spend time with their kids while they are young. I would invest in myself by enrolling in local college to acquire up to date skills to be of more interest to hiring managers! Long term it provides woohoo with marketing budget and more profitability.

Even longer term it gets me closer to the bigger purpose faster of making fitness accessible to everyone and creating awesomeness. I would pay down my PLUS graduate loan. Put it into a new account and redirect my student auto-loan withdrawal there so that I can keep it off of my radar for a few months. I currently use my work computer or the free computers at the library for all of my personal computer needs. It seemed silly to spend money on something that was a going to be outdated in a few years and b has been available for free.

I have a game in development. I want to pour all this money into hiring an artist to create some game art so it can get to market faster. A low priced stock more speculative than I usually buy. Hopefully it will do well. I will pay for 12 weeks of private pilates lessons. Becoming healthy and fit are more important than anything else to me right now.

I would use it to pay off some of my student loans! Put some of the money in my savings 4. Buy some shares of a municipal bond fund. Purchase some dividend paying stocks 6. Go out to dinner with some friends! As a single Mom, of three boys, I would take them on the Disneyland trip I have been promising them since the divorce happened three years ago. They have been good at listening to me say no to toys, fast food and other non essentials so we can save up.

I need someone there who can navigate the intricacies of investing and hiring in that country. I will reinvest the interest again in the same FD. My dream is to be a Group Travel Organizer. I would also be able to launch my business and start doing some marketing to have my first group travel within 3 months. Having someone to guide me always pushes my work along much faster and makes me more dedicated.

So, invest in your course, get my own dream job faster, pay down ALL my student loans faster. Much better investment than just paying down one loan. I would use the funds to hire a consultant for web site creation and monetizing a digital product. I would like to start a blog related to being a top performer in law school, how to get a big firm job and career consulting for law school graduates. For the few the succeed, however, the opportunities are endless. I am one of those who succeeded and know exactly what to do to get where I am. I just have no idea where to start on creating the project, website and platform.

Compare LED prices at Amazon. A few minutes of math could lower your energy bill. Read to the end! I explain why all the negative comments on the FIRE community are wrong and how the community is saving the economy and societal values, not destroying them. I could have written more to clarify, but I was over 2, words already. The concept we now know as the FIRE community has been around for a long time under different names. Frugality and minimalism come to mind.

Talking with grandpa they held many of these values 70 plus years ago without a fancy name to make it cool. Roth Get Rich Slowly put frugality on the map. Then Pete Mr. Money Mustache showed up the game changed radically. It struck a chord. Some loved the idea and took to it like ducks to water. Others called BS and think Mustachians are ignoramuses. What kind of person would you want to work for? Someone dedicated to doing good work and is a team player or someone saving and investing every dime so she can blow this place the first chance she gets? Employers and those with a side gig, who would you rather have as a partner or employee?


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The dedicated individual or the guy itching to scream out the door? They are terrible employees, friends, co-workers, mates and even business owners. As a group their goal is to amass barely enough to pay the bills with a frugal lifestyle and dump the rat race to dick around all day! The community attracted me due the similar philosophy. With decades of experience in the accounting profession running my own practice I started to burn out.

Like traditional employees I started to feel drained and wanted a different path. Over the years I set up countdown clocks to mark the date and time I planned my exit. As each date approached I chickened out. The thought of selling my business made me nauseous. What I really loved would be gone so I stayed. I also convinced myself I could milk the business for a lot more cash than a mere sale. The DIY tax program you see on this blog was something I always wanted to make viable. My goal was to meet Pete and strike a partnership with him.

Pete, the ever gracious man he is, said no. He was willing to give my business a push, including the DIY tax program. Ah, yeah. I had no idea what a million pageview blog could do to my tiny office in Phuket, Wisconsin. I planned on some added emails, expecting most of the action to hit the tax software and the blog. Ill prepared, my business suffered under the strain.

I lost clients as fast as I added them. I stood the real chance this would spiral completely out of control and grant me my dream of retirement whether I wanted it or not. Every skill I possessed was no match for my epiphany. For the first time my little world was exposed to a much wider audience. After serious soul-searching I realized I was doing exactly what I wanted to do. It was enough with the countdown clocks and retirement. And account I shall do. When my left foot was pointed to the door it showed in my performance and attitude.

My original thought to milk the business for all it was worth came tumbling down when new clients poured in. New clients expressed concerns with hiring my firm if I was soon to quit. I had to lie and say I was going to stick around when my heart said otherwise. Once my attitude changed the results followed. Slowly I turned the corner. I wore out countless employees and killed myself working seven days a week during tax season.

There were no other alternatives. The client list is growing and we are getting work done in a timely manner for the first time in years. Business is good and getting better. Employees are finally staying and enjoying their work. The workload is heavy but not drowning the entire team. Technology I refused to consider in the past has been implemented, saving hundreds of man actually a lot of woman hours.

Accuracy is up, stress is down. What looked like it would collapse a few years prior was starting to be fun again. I blame it all on Pete because taking responsibility for my own actions is too much to ask. Pete made it look easy. There was actual work involved. Pete sold me on an idea. The people calling BS on Pete had a point, in my opinion.

The economy would collapse! Chicken Little was never so proud. He had a rental property at the time. Played with a construction business for a while until he experienced partner problems. And eventually started his very successful blog. Sure, he spent more time with his family, the important stuff. He also became extremely efficient with his time. Somehow spending less than you earn would destroy the fabric of the universe. The sun would dim; birds would fall from the sky. Hey, look! There goes Chicken Little again.

The oft repeated complaint is stupid at its best! When has saving and investing ever been bad for the economy? The age you retire has nothing to do with how the broad economy will perform! Pete had a property and business early on. Later his blog added millions to the national and worldwide economy with no end in sight.

There is a new kid on the block taking the FIRE community to another level. Gwen Fiery Millennials took the retirement knee at 27 with grand in assets! What the hell is the matter with that kid!? Gwen started to feel my Mr. Money Mustache moment. There is a certain accountant in the room who ditched traditional work in his early 20s after a whopping 14 months on the job to start his own practice. You see, Gwen accumulated a couple hundred K and recently purchased her second rental property. Investment property can produce enough free cash flow to live a frugal lifestyle with a very low net worth!

Small amounts of investment property can leverage to a very comfortable income stream. By my late 20s I owned income property too. Now comes the serious question. From the viewpoint of the world at large according to the numerous negative comments on her MarketWatch article she is nuts and it never will work. She will fail if some of the comments are to be believed. This concept of only traditional working environments producing value is flawed.

Richard Branson runs a coterie of businesses technically under the Virgin brand. The work is done by thousands of employees. Steve jobs never wrote a line of code yet built from the ground up the largest company on the planet in the computer industry. Imagine the same reasoning applied to Jobs or Branson and it becomes silly fast. Of course Jobs provided value before his early death. Of course Branson provides massive value around the world. What a lazy good-for-nothing group of miscreants.

To have the audacity to save and invest so you can cash in your chips before the clock strikes 40 and gallivant across the continents is the height of arrogance. Traveling and sharing your adventures so others can enjoy their more limited adventures is actually providing value! Travel blogs are not new. Mark Twain wrote several travelogues. I think we can all agree Twain provided incredible amounts of value to society. It comes down to personality types.

But if you want to travel you should! There is nothing wrong with following your bliss. The world is a better place for it. Imagine how boring this place would be with thousands of weaselly accountants running around and no one else. Pete continues to expand his impact on his community. I still stamp out tax returns and advice at a rapid clip. D is back at the helm at Get Rich Slowly. Jim Collins is a force behind Chautauqua.

Small businesses were started at a rate of over , per year in the early 80s. Job growth and wage increases fueled that economy. Today we struggle creating , businesses per year. The FIRE community is the only one I know of that encourages people to step out of their comfort zone, leave their job and start a side gig.

Side gigs are what we call business creation. Every business with rare exception started as a side gig. Apple started in the garage of Steve Jobs. A common story. There are times thinking like an accountant determines how much of your hard-earned money you get to keep and how well your investments perform. Time is more important than money by a long shot and plays into the equation every time. This past week my oldest daughter asked if I would be helping with her tuition for next semester.

My daughter persisted, finally mentioning she wanted me to know about her tuition if I wanted to use a credit card to accumulate bonus miles or cash back. The whole family knows my love of these bonuses since they are tax-free and nothing motivates a tax guy like a five figure tax-free benefit. I shrugged at the suggestion of getting another credit card for a bonus. Yes, tuition is nice spend to generate lots of cash back or miles.

I did just that earlier this year. Another credit card with a required spend would be a nice added bonus. However, I only undertake the process when I feel like it. Some days I am in full hack mode and other times I could care less. It comes down to time. Tracking spending on a certain card takes a small amount of time. Earlier this year I went crazy on the system. I used several new cards to generate thousands in cash, free hotels rooms and miles. I hate traveling and business travel will take years to consume all the benefits I amassed this year.

Like I said, I went ape. I also discovered selling tradelines a year or so ago and decided that looked like fun if not tax-free. After mild research and a few hiccups the ride started producing a revenue stream. The numbers were nice, even if taxable income. Selling tradelines requires more time tracking each card involved and assuring you have at least something on each card involved. It started becoming a pain in the tail real fast. My attitude changes over time. When I stop enjoying the process I go do something else; when my deviant nature bubbles to the surface I am all in.

Until it grows old again. There is a danger in the FIRE financial independence, retire early community. We tend to research to the nth degree as we seek to maximize results with minimal risk. But minimal risk may not be acceptable risk! As I went crazy on selling tradelines I ended up with one credit card cancelled. Plenty more where that came from. The danger part of tradelines was wasted time. Owning a business means I have plenty to spend on.

Putting a few transactions on a dozen cards started being a real time consumer, however. With tradelines you need to track when an authorized user is added to the card and when to remove them. The money is good, no doubt. Selling tradelines on a few cards can add a few hundred to the mad money account. A dozen cards can reap up to a thousand every month; sometimes more. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush they say.

And they are wrong! Free money from credit cards is a lot of fun, but your time is more precious! I will still harvest tradelines and credit card bonuses when I feel like it, but this is the boy in me playing. Or maybe it is! Picking every bone clean that happens in your path is insanity! Not only is time precious, but what you could do with that time can easily make more.

Life is too short to waste on every hack. You must be careful which hacks you pick and choose. The real danger comes when you only consider maximizing rewards in other areas of life. An alcoholic drink now and again is fine for most people. But if you get confused with mild stimulants you can get in deep quickly. The jails are full of people who maximized pleasure without concern for long-term consequences. Not to mess with your head, kind readers, but sex is good a few times a week, too.

Seven times a day might sound funny, but you can do real damage. Bad choice of words. And now we get to the real risk of maximizing results applicable to everyone in the FIRE community. Every accountant knows or should know leverage is the best way to spike results. Public corporations do it all the time. XYZ, Inc. Leverage is a double edged sword with the edge cutting you enjoying the advantage.

You see, leverage has a built in cost. Interest is owed on each leveraged dollar, win or lose. Break even is a loss with leverage. Investors figure this out early on. Here is where it gets bad. If the investment declines the loss is also magnified! The worst part is staying power. Everyone knows broad market declines happen. Everyone should know the market always comes back given enough time. Interest is accruing every day you have an outstanding balance on the loan.

The market can outlast you when you use leverage. Without leverage, all you need to do is wait. An individual stock might go down for the count. It happens. But the overall market is a reflection of the long-term growth trends of the whole economy. In time the market will reflect the continuing growth in technology, productivity and economic growth.

Most people use leverage at a far greater level than what is allowed to buy stocks, bonds and mutual funds. I can hear your screams of innocents. However, I bet you borrowed money at least once in life on an investment virtually guaranteed to lose money: a vehicle loan. Leverage is leverage. And leverage accentuates gains and losses. An auto loan creates the same leverage a stock investment does.

The only difference is the size of the loan and the guarantee the asset will decline in value. There is another leverage I bet most readers have used: the mortgage. But how can you afford a home without a mortgage, you protest? You might not. What I want you to think about is the amount of leverage you are taking on and the potential consequences.

Real estate tends to be a good investment, except for As bad as the housing market was in and thereabouts, the only people who lost their home to the bank had a mortgage. Think of it this way.

We will ignore closing costs and other items that muddy the water. In most cases you are okay as long as you are current on your payments. That is a whole different issue. What does happen when you have no equity in your home is it requires you to come to closing with cash to sell the darn place. It removes the selling option for many people. Massive leverage is common historically in real estate. In my office landlords are the number one group to declare bankruptcy. They are also the same group who has the highest net worth. It all comes back to leverage. Those who abuse or overuse leverage find themselves in too deep to wiggle.

When you lose the ability to move financially you are in death spiral. Even if you survive there will be significant damage done. I hear business owners and those willing to cheat on their way to FI brag about a method they discovered to generate massive income and net worth growth. Before the words are out of their mouth I know they read a news article on using leverage to spike returns. The article probably highlighted a major corporation using leverage to maintain and grow returns.

With rare exception it ends badly and our victims need to start over or at least re-walk part of the path toward FI. Accountants love to talk about efficiency and maximizing returns.


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  • And it is true I want you to think like an accountant. Abusing leverage is one of these ideas. I would never, repeat, never recommend a client to borrow funds to invest in the stock market. This includes option strategies to spike investment returns. Side bar on options: Options are not bad in and of themselves, but most people use them wrong. I have no problem using an option to buy a stock a lower price and collecting premiums or replacing a sell order with a covered call.

    However, if you use an option to buy stock you must have all the cash on hand. Otherwise you are only disguising massive leverage. The bad kind. Stay tuned. Back to our show. A car loan is leverage and not the good kind either. I understand a loan is sometimes necessary. When you have debt on a wasting asset all nonessential spending stops until the debt is gone. The home mortgage is a bit different. I make exceptions to the rules for mortgaging a property, but only after careful consideration.

    Once again, remember It never happens until it does. If your accountant tells you to leverage your business or investments, take caution. When he a woman would never recommend such a stupid strategy explains how leverage maximizes your gains, grab your wallet and run like the wind. If your accountant, or anyone else, encourages excessive leverage on real estate or business, or any leverage on an equity stocks, mutual funds, et cetera position, remember the words of the dearly departed George Carlin:. Take him to the curb in front of your house and stand him there. If you come back in two weeks and he is still there you have a stupid kid.

    I talk about using credit cards as a tool to better manage your finances and those juicy bonuses they offer, tax-free. But what if something goes wrong? Identity theft drips from the newsfeeds. Unauthorized charges happen. There is a way to protect yourself. But if the dispute goes wrong there are still options short of arbitration. By Josh Wilson, creator, blogger, and personal finance junkie. Usually having a credit card is no big deal, either, but then life interferes?

    The most common complaints about credit card companies include: billing disputes, identity theft, and account closure. Contacting a credit card company to file a complaint can seem daunting, but most complaints can easily be handled with some research and a phone call. The process is similar for most credit card companies, but there are a few things to remember when filing a credit card complaint.

    Evaluate the charge or discrepancy. You may have to look up the location or call various merchants when trying to figure out if you made a purchase there. Contact the merchant or credit card company.

    The Cold Shower - Discovering the Joys of Minimalism and Frugality The Cold Shower - Discovering the Joys of Minimalism and Frugality
    The Cold Shower - Discovering the Joys of Minimalism and Frugality The Cold Shower - Discovering the Joys of Minimalism and Frugality
    The Cold Shower - Discovering the Joys of Minimalism and Frugality The Cold Shower - Discovering the Joys of Minimalism and Frugality
    The Cold Shower - Discovering the Joys of Minimalism and Frugality The Cold Shower - Discovering the Joys of Minimalism and Frugality
    The Cold Shower - Discovering the Joys of Minimalism and Frugality The Cold Shower - Discovering the Joys of Minimalism and Frugality
    The Cold Shower - Discovering the Joys of Minimalism and Frugality The Cold Shower - Discovering the Joys of Minimalism and Frugality
    The Cold Shower - Discovering the Joys of Minimalism and Frugality The Cold Shower - Discovering the Joys of Minimalism and Frugality
    The Cold Shower - Discovering the Joys of Minimalism and Frugality The Cold Shower - Discovering the Joys of Minimalism and Frugality

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