Star*Bucks ERE Journal

Where are you and where are you going?
Star*Bucks
Posts: 110
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2014 10:27 am
Location: California

Re: Star*Bucks ERE Journal

Post by Star*Bucks » Thu Aug 06, 2015 12:08 pm

July 2015 Update:

Image

Current Debts:

None - $0

Current Assets:

Cash - $3,400
Home - $70,000
Car - $2,500
401K - 64,300
IRA - $10,300
HSA - $3,300
Roth IRA -0

Total Assets - $153,800

July was pretty mellow, good amount of O.T. still chubby and trying to lose weight for vain and health reasons. I'm in a big rush so I'll update a more detailed post with next months reporting.

Star*Bucks
Posts: 110
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2014 10:27 am
Location: California

Re: Star*Bucks ERE Journal

Post by Star*Bucks » Tue Sep 01, 2015 5:44 pm

August 2015 Update:

Image

Current Debts:

None - $0

Current Assets:

Cash - $5,600
Home - $70,000
Car - $2,500
401K - $64,018
IRA - $10,212
HSA - $3,276
Roth IRA - $0

Total Assets - $155,606

So let’s get the uneventful stuff out of the way. My stocks have all fallen, but my net worth still increased by $1,800 over last month due to my contributions. As you can see I had a little over $5,500 in savings so my plan was to at sometime in September deposit the max contribution to my 2015 IRA. This is very significant because it would have been the first time I’ve contributed to an IRA during it’s actual calendar year. I found myself in the past couple years depositing my contributions for prior year IRA’s in March or April of the following year.

I began the month of August very bright eyed and optimistic. I was studying the feasibility of living on a boat and looking at some beautiful catamaran sailboats. I was almost infatuated I guess because I was reading everything blogs, free ebooks from the ibooks store, youtube videos, and sailing association websites. All the fun came to an end 2 days ago when my 2000 Honda Civic broke down. To be more specific the automatic transmission is stuck in 4th gear. When at a stop trying to accelerate is so painfully slow due to not having any of the torque from gears 1-3, the engine roars like your trying to race someone but the transmission just very slowly moves the car. I pulled the codes from the computer and after a short talk with the guys at my local Autozone they said I need to take it to a transmission shop. Could be a simple solenoid or could be a completely wrecked transmission, (SH~T!) So yesterday after limping my car home from work, I reserved a rental a car in order to drive down to the Bay Area and grab my sisters van for the interim. In order to stay civil I will keep my experience with the rental car place short. The reservation was for the cheapest car possible which was $37 per day but then since I was taking the car on a oneway trip to San Jose there was a drop off fee of $35? WTF is that about? I asked the lady that took my reservation what the fee is for and she stated it’s because the car is part of the local fleet and there is a cost they have in trying to get it back up to the local area after my rental. Well, the car they gave me had Ohio plates on it and that leads me to believe it’s not part of the “local fleet” and the fee is just another way to stick their fingers deeper into my wallet. Another thing was there was check engine light on, the car wasn’t cleaned (looks like they flipped it to me right after another person returned it) the gas tank was half full instead of completely filled which makes it a complete bitch when returning (I returned it 3/4th full) also the vehicle had 45k miles on it. I paid for all the insurances as well so this 1 day “cheapest” rental came out to $110 plus the cost of the additional gas I “gave” to them. I wish I could have just taken the train down. Alright so now I have wheels again I went home and to bed because I had to work grave shift last night. When I got off work at 8am I began my drive to the Bay Area in the midst of the commuting masses (some of you will understand the magnitude of this traffic, it’s horrendous) So I finally get to the Bay and my sister told me hey btw the van failed it’s smog check and it needs to pass smog within 2 weeks, OMFG as if I didn’t have enough to deal with on my Civic. I literally walked back into my house 30 minutes ago, made myself the biggest White Russian I’ve ever seen/made.

The whole drive home I was contemplating just trashing the Civic since it’s 15 years old and getting something new. I rely on my car for work and missing days is not an option especially now with the projects that are happening. But then again I think, the last new car I bought was the 2014 Nissan Altima in Jan of 2014 and it was 22k out the door. Man that’s a lot of money, I could spend nearly 2 years retired/backpacking S/E Asia with that amount of money. I could always buy a smaller car like a Corolla and there are some dealerships with specials to get rid of the 2015’s to make room for the 2016’s. I just really hate having to get a loan again. 2.5 years ago I had no money saved at all and I had a lot of personal debt and a car loan. During this time I paid off all debts and including a total of 2 car loans (one new and one used) plus put away about $83k in retirement accounts. I was really looking forward to seeing how fast I could stash cash away with out any loans on my back. I’m going to be weighing the pro/cons here and making my decision up. Really messed up my mojo but c’est la vie.



Goals for September:
-Figure out Transportation issue
-Continue to work out
-Find second gig or an account for my company
Last edited by Star*Bucks on Fri Jul 01, 2016 1:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Star*Bucks
Posts: 110
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2014 10:27 am
Location: California

Re: Star*Bucks ERE Journal

Post by Star*Bucks » Sun Oct 04, 2015 8:16 am

September 2015 Update:

Image

Current Debts:
Visa $2,278

Current Assets:
Cash $8,379
Home. $70,000
Car. $0
401k $66,979
IRA $9,206
HSA $3,276

Total Net Worth $155,562

Alright, so I'm starting this post a few days into October which I dislike doing but have been very busy. Stocks were down again last month, they have recovered a bit the first few days of this month but still down overall. I removed the Honda Civic from my Mint account which was an immediate $2,500 reduction in Net Worth. Total overall Net worth has dropped by $54 this month over last.

The big problem for me last month was my car. I ended up selling it to cash for junk cars and they gave me less than $300 for it. It was giving it away at that price but it was taking room up in my one car garage and I wasn't going to spend anymore money on it. I spent the first 3 weeks of September driving my sisters Honda Odyssey van and I did some final work on it which included a oil change, replacing 4 brake lights & 1 headlight, deep cleaning the interior, passing smog check, fixing windshield washer fluid hose which had a huge hole in it, degreased and washed the undercarriage due to oil residue dripping on exhaust causing smoke, replaced rear wiper blade, and r&r of rear brake light housing which had a crack in it (got another one from pick n pull) All in I spent about $200. After cleaning the undercarriage I checked for leaks and couldn't find any? So I gave back the Odyssey and swapped it out for the 07' Camry on my day off. So far I have done an oil change on it about $25 spent in parts. I've already ordered some items from Amazon to get the Camry 100% up to date on maintenance but that will be on Octobers post.

Also at the beginning of September my iMac stopped working. I spent days trying to get it back up and running and I've come to the conclusion that it's the GPU that's out on it. I purchased my iMac in the summer of 07' and I wanted it to last me 5 years. It has been a great machine and lasted 8 Years! I'm not putting anymore money into it because I'm sure other parts are ready to go as well and the new hardware has come along so far. So I purchased a Macbook Pro Retina display and with my brothers military discount of $100 off I spent just over $1300. Here's hoping I get 5 years out of this one. I went with the laptop even though I would have really preferred to go with a desktop like the new iMac 27" but I need to be mobile especially if I get any accounts for my business or if I start traveling as I hope to soon do. The silver lining is that I was able to get all my old data/files from my broke down iMac by removing it's hard drive and purchasing a usb enclosure for $22 off of Amazon! Now I'm able to use my old 1TB hard drive as an external back up drive.

Future plans for my transportation needs are currently going to be to drive the 07' Camry for the remainder of 2015. Just to get me past the holidays and property tax time in December. So by January I would like to give the car back to my family so they can have their back up car again just in case they encounter any problems with their primary vehicles. Right now the plan is to go for a 2016 Toyota Camry, I've been quoted a little over 18k for the base model version. By that time I should have about 10k to put as a down payment. I hope I run into a much better idea before that time comes but as for right now that's the plan. If I do go that route the bright side is I won't have to worry about car problems for years just maintenance.

With all this stuff happening in September I had no chance to go to the gym or even give a F about what I was eating. At one point the scale said 225! I've never seen that number before. Today 10/04/15 I weighed in at 222 and Octobers main focus will be to eat a much more wholesome/healthy diet and hit the gym. This time not just weights but plenty of cardio. I also plan on doing a tune up on the Camry, changing the dirty air filters and getting the transmission fluid flushed since it looks/smells burnt.


Goals for September were:

Figure out Transportation issue (Accomplished Temporarily)
Continue to work out (Failed)
Find second gig or an account for my company (Failed)

Goals for October are:

~Start losing weight & improve diet
~Complete Camry's maintenance
Last edited by Star*Bucks on Tue Mar 01, 2016 12:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

sky
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Re: Star*Bucks ERE Journal

Post by sky » Sun Oct 04, 2015 11:28 am

It is great to see how you are improving yourself financially and in other ways. Continuous improvement despite minor setbacks.

Star*Bucks
Posts: 110
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2014 10:27 am
Location: California

Re: Star*Bucks ERE Journal

Post by Star*Bucks » Tue Oct 06, 2015 12:19 pm

sky wrote:It is great to see how you are improving yourself financially and in other ways. Continuous improvement despite minor setbacks.
Thanks Sky, it was definitely the hardest month I've been through so far during this ERE Journey...
Last edited by Star*Bucks on Tue Oct 06, 2015 12:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Star*Bucks
Posts: 110
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2014 10:27 am
Location: California

Re: Star*Bucks ERE Journal

Post by Star*Bucks » Tue Oct 06, 2015 12:53 pm

So far this month I've been drinking green juices. My most recent juice I made consisted of cucumber, lemon, ginger, kale, and granny smith apples. Comes out tasting good and surprisingly fills me up. I'll try to have one 32oz glass of fresh juice daily. So far down 1.5 pounds.

I've also been thinking about the new car purchase in January of 2016, and how I had planned on putting 10k down and financing the rest (18k plus tax, license, reg) but now I'm having second thoughts. I may just use the 10k to fund my 2015 & 2016 IRA's and just finance the car outright. By doing that I could simply focus on paying down the car principle in 2016 instead of trying to do multiple things (i.e. fund ira, has, & pay down principle on car). I'd be able to fund my HSA in 2016 hopefully with my tax return or by doing some overtime.

This change of plan came to mind by one goal I had at the beginning of 2015 which was to have 100k+ in retirement/HSA accounts by the end of the year. I can achieve that by funding both 2015/2016 IRA's in the beginning of January, but if I use that money for the downpayment on the car then my goal will be short that amount. My mother worked for the same company for over 30 years and she would contribute between 0-10% depending on what her circumstances were at the time and when she retired she had 110k in her 401k, my father wasn't such a good planner so he retired with zero in 401k. They are good to go now due to having a house that's paid off and collecting social security but I wish they would have saved more. To think I'll be at or above 100k with just a little over 3 years of focus makes me quite happy. I don't really blame my parents for not saving as much as they never really made good wages and it was quite expensive growing up in the Bay Area and having kids. I'm lucky as I don't have any kids and very few needs. Hopefully I'll be able to save enough by the end of the year to be able to fund 2015/2016 IRA's and 2016 HSA, so my focus could be left simply on paying that car off. Damn I hate the fact I gotta buy another car...

Star*Bucks
Posts: 110
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2014 10:27 am
Location: California

Re: Star*Bucks ERE Journal

Post by Star*Bucks » Thu Nov 05, 2015 12:57 pm

October 2015 Update:

Image

Current Debts:
None

Current Assets:
Cash $7,961
Home. $70,000
Car. $0
401k $72,459
IRA $10,453
HSA $3,276

Total Net Worth $164,239

Net Worth increase of $8,677!!! That’s the best month to date since I started this journey. My stocks recovered a bit and I didn’t have any large expenses in October. I was at my all time high in weight in September at 225 pounds and now I’m down to 218. Not as big of an improvement as I would have liked but I’ve been very busy at work and getting a decent amount of overtime. I will go into more detail in next months reporting.




Goals for October were:

~Start losing weight & improve diet (Ongoing)
~Complete Camry's maintenance (Ongoing)

Goals for November are:

~Continue losing weight & improve diet
~Complete Camry's maintenance (Transmission fluid flush and detailing the interior)

thrifty++
Posts: 641
Joined: Sat May 23, 2015 3:46 pm

Re: Star*Bucks ERE Journal

Post by thrifty++ » Sat Nov 07, 2015 6:03 pm

Hey Starbucks. I enjoy reading your journal. Especially since you started out your ERE journey close to where I am now and you have made progress so quickly. Looking at people on here who already have $700k or so can seem daunting when I haven't been able to see them document the earlier stages of their journey.

I have a suggestion re your weight loss plans. It's not necessarily overly ERE because of the cost but I find it very effective. Every single workday I eat a fresh "vege stack" with about 180 grams of meat. I will buy whatever I can throw into it based on price (whatever is in season/on sale). So this week its broccoli, lettuce, cherry tomatoes, gherkin pickles, cucumber, jalapenos, red capsicum, avocado, canned baby corn, canned baby carrots, and canned five beans. That's just this week but it changes every single week based on what's on sale. I try and buy fresh where possible but often a couple of canned items is required to ensure I have enough food for the week without spending too much. I always check the nutrient list on cans to ensure the sugar content is low (like less than 4%). I also put a small amount of cheese on top (this week's cheese on sale is Gouda). Sometimes I dress with a little bit of lemon juice or vinegar but usually nothing is required. This week canned chicken is on sale so I am eating a 180gm can on top each day. I make the salad early each morning (takes 10 minutes). This practice from shop to eat has become so ingrained that I basically do it on auto pilot with no inconvenience whatsoever and it takes bugger all time. So much so that I now find it more inconvenient and annoying on those very rare occasions where I have to go buy lunch somewhere. You will notice that there are no shit carbs in this meal and it is nutrient dense as. Its not cheap to eat like this but I think worthwhile and definitely loses weight and grows muscle. The secret is to have enough veges in the stack and enough meat that you don't need to eat shit carbs.

Sorry to hear about your car. I wonder if it is an option for you to get to work by walking, public transit or by cycling? Seems that would be super efficient if possible by losing weight, getting to a destination and back and saving loads of money all at once. I haven't owned a car for over three years and I find now that I really dislike being in cars and regularly turn down lifts from other people as a result. I find it much better for my spine health to be upright when transporting myself somewhere. I enjoy walking so much more.

I look forward to watching your progress.

Star*Bucks
Posts: 110
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2014 10:27 am
Location: California

Re: Star*Bucks ERE Journal

Post by Star*Bucks » Sun Nov 08, 2015 11:16 am

thrifty++ wrote:Hey Starbucks. I enjoy reading your journal. Especially since you started out your ERE journey close to where I am now and you have made progress so quickly. Looking at people on here who already have $700k or so can seem daunting when I haven't been able to see them document the earlier stages of their journey.

I have a suggestion re your weight loss plans. It's not necessarily overly ERE because of the cost but I find it very effective. Every single workday I eat a fresh "vege stack" with about 180 grams of meat. I will buy whatever I can throw into it based on price (whatever is in season/on sale). So this week its broccoli, lettuce, cherry tomatoes, gherkin pickles, cucumber, jalapenos, red capsicum, avocado, canned baby corn, canned baby carrots, and canned five beans. That's just this week but it changes every single week based on what's on sale. I try and buy fresh where possible but often a couple of canned items is required to ensure I have enough food for the week without spending too much. I always check the nutrient list on cans to ensure the sugar content is low (like less than 4%). I also put a small amount of cheese on top (this week's cheese on sale is Gouda). Sometimes I dress with a little bit of lemon juice or vinegar but usually nothing is required. This week canned chicken is on sale so I am eating a 180gm can on top each day. I make the salad early each morning (takes 10 minutes). This practice from shop to eat has become so ingrained that I basically do it on auto pilot with no inconvenience whatsoever and it takes bugger all time. So much so that I now find it more inconvenient and annoying on those very rare occasions where I have to go buy lunch somewhere. You will notice that there are no shit carbs in this meal and it is nutrient dense as. Its not cheap to eat like this but I think worthwhile and definitely loses weight and grows muscle. The secret is to have enough veges in the stack and enough meat that you don't need to eat shit carbs.

Sorry to hear about your car. I wonder if it is an option for you to get to work by walking, public transit or by cycling? Seems that would be super efficient if possible by losing weight, getting to a destination and back and saving loads of money all at once. I haven't owned a car for over three years and I find now that I really dislike being in cars and regularly turn down lifts from other people as a result. I find it much better for my spine health to be upright when transporting myself somewhere. I enjoy walking so much more.

I look forward to watching your progress.
Thanks Thrifty! I appreciate you reading my posts, I can't tell you how much it helps to write stuff down. I can see where I F'd up and I can see where I did good, and can make better future plans just by reviewing old posts. Wish I would have done this a lot sooner. Looking at the people on here with massively larger net worths is kind of difficult but good as well, gives me more motivation to catch up.

I've been struggling with my weight a lot. I do believe the carbs are my weak point and I'll give your diet a go this week. I do have a mostly sedentary job so I really need to focus on moving my body more as well, whether at the gym or jogging around my neighborhood. As far as the car thing, I wish I could give it up but I have a 40 mile roundtrip commute to work. Also I'm really thinking about jumping off the deep end here in a few months and selling everything I own including my house and living very minimally in whatever car I purchase in January. There is a guy on youtube who lives out of his Prius! If you search for "Hotel Prius" you will find how he does it. This would give me access to money locked up in equity to invest and make it start working for me as well as give me more money on a monthly basis to invest as it's not going to bills, utilities, property taxes, etc. This would also free me up to travel more which is my passion and what I hope to do full time when I FIRE.

BTW I subscribed to your journal and just began reading it. I have Christchurch New Zealand on my bucket list. A friend shared pictures and videos from his vacation there and it looked absolutely beautiful!

thrifty++
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Re: Star*Bucks ERE Journal

Post by thrifty++ » Mon Nov 09, 2015 2:02 am

Good luck with your weight loss plans. I also eat raw oats for every breakfast because it's got no added sugar like most other cereals and is high fiber (as well as cheap!). I don't mind its blandness. Alternatively I eat wheat bix which is similar but with wheat. I'm not sure you have that product in USA though.

Star*Bucks
Posts: 110
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Location: California

Re: Star*Bucks ERE Journal

Post by Star*Bucks » Wed Dec 02, 2015 3:26 pm

November 2015 Update:

Image


Current Debts:
None

Current Assets:
Cash $10,438
Home $70,000
Car $0
401k $75,165
IRA $9,638
HSA $3,457

Total Net Worth $168,698

Net Worth increase of $4,459

I got a second job!!! I am very happy to say that I've found a company that wanted to hire me for my talents/experience and they were willing to work with my schedule. I hope to work 20-40 hours per week with them going forward. I haven’t received my first check yet since I started working with them late in the month but I’m very optimistic about things. I hope it works out. I’ve splurged on myself a bit during the Black Friday Cyber Monday weekend. I purchased a lot of the things on my list of travel essentials at very good prices. I basically spent all the money I earned from my first week working at the new job on these items.

-New Osprey Backpack (lifetime warranty)
-Packing Cubes
-International All in One Travel Charger
-Dry Sack by Osprey as well
-Columbia Water Proof Packable Rain Jacket
-Couple pairs of Merino Wool Socks
-Anker Battery Back up (help keep phone charged while on the go)
-ScotteVest Hoodie

Total spent on everything was just under $400 and that’s a bargain for what I got. For anyone who isn’t familiar with ScotteVest clothes I recommend checking them out especially if your traveling. They specialize in hidden pockets in their clothes so pickpockets will have one hell of a time trying to get my stuff. Realistically I still have $500-$700 I still need to spend on travel gear. Things I still need to buy are:

-More travel clothes, preferably Merino Wool
-Headlamp
-Quick Dry Towel or referred to as a Pack Towel
-Flip Flops for showers in hostels
-Small First Aid Kit
-Small Fold Out DayPack
-Travel Sized Wet Wipes
-A Unlocked World Phone so I can simply buy a sim upon arrival to a country
-Camera - GoPro with Sim Card or if the World Phone has a really good camera I could make due with that.

I plan on traveling with only a carry on bag to make my journeys easier and cheaper. My first trip will be some time in the second quarter of 2016 and chances are it will be to Thailand. I think it’s a great choice for a starter country as there are many western backpackers there and the exchange rate is very favorable.






Goals for November were:

~Continue losing weight & improve diet (lost one pound)
~Complete Camry's maintenance (Transmission fluid flush and detailing the interior) Failed!

Goals for December are:

~Finish the year off strong and try to hit or get as close as possible to my 2015 goals that were set out early on in the year.
~Work as many hours possible
~Continue to lose weight
~Pay Property Taxes

Star*Bucks
Posts: 110
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Location: California

Re: Star*Bucks ERE Journal

Post by Star*Bucks » Sat Jan 16, 2016 9:21 am

December 2015 Update (late update)

My net worth was almost the exact same as in November even though I received my Vanguard dividends (including LT & ST Cap Gains) all my paychecks and contributions to 401k. Net worth did not rise due to having to pay property taxes and an unexpected $600 repair on my sisters van. Her alternator went out and I was driving her back up vehicle, so I felt obligated to pay for her repair. If I had the van myself I could have fixed the van by just purchasing the new alternator myself for $180 and spending an hour replacing it, but such is life. Another reason there was no increase in net worth was due to the market pulling back a bit.

Net Worth Increase: Stagnant $0


2015 Year End Recap

Net Worth at the beginning of 2015 $124,786
Net Worth at the end of 2015 $168,698
Total Net Worth increase of $43,912

I reviewed the post I made on Jan 03 2015 and I had projected saving $42,850 in 2015 and I was actually able to save $43,912 a difference of + $1,062. Since I will have to purchase a new vehicle in 2016 it will push back my hopes of saving $42,850 for 2016, but I’m not changing that projected number ($42,850) for several reasons.

I will not be helping my family members this year financially and will instead only give advice and leave it up to them to take initiative and responsibility in their actions. (obviously this does not include emergencies)

I will have a newer vehicle that gets better gas mileage and since it’s new will not have to keep buying parts and doing repairs.

I am working a second job now so income will already be increased to help off set new vehicle expense

Most of the things I have wanted/needed I already have now. So spending should be low this year. Most of my travel gear has been purchased, my new macbook pro few months ago, so I don’t see any significant expenses in 2016.

Goals for 2015 were:
~Increase my 401k Balance by 25k (employee+employer contributions) DONE!
~Have my 6 pack back (would be first time in over 15 years) FAIL
~Take a International Vacation FAIL
~Build more meaningful relationships FAIL
~Focus on my business and in acquiring accounts FAIL
~Max Out 2014 & 2015 Traditional IRA Contributions DONE!
~Max Out HSA Contribution DONE!

Notable Accomplishments in 2015:

-Maxed out my 401k contribution for the first time 18k!
-Maxed out my Traditional IRA within the same calendar year for the first time
-Working 2 jobs (only since November 2015) and seeing the progress go faster, even though net worth isn’t moving up in dollars it is moving up in sheer number of shares I own since I am purchasing at lower prices and the market keeps going down.

Annual goals for 2016

-Max out 2016 IRA
-Max out 2016 HSA
-Contribute the max to 401k
-Take an international vacation
-Focus on health and losing weight
-Look into Uber & Lyft as side income


Goals for the month of January 2016

-Max out 2016 IRA
-Max out 2016 HSA
-Purchase a 2016 Toyota Corolla or other well priced car with good gas mileage and high resale value.
-Get in the habit of going to the gym
-Find a hobby or any way to relieve stress

thrifty++
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Re: Star*Bucks ERE Journal

Post by thrifty++ » Sat Jan 23, 2016 4:08 pm

$44k is a great annual net worth increase. The market has turned to shit atm and I am sure that will get better. I cant see why the USA needs to be so affected by China's meltdown. USA only exports 1% of its GDP to China I was reading. So it seems like just a panic reaction. In fact it seems like the world is channeling investment back into USA so the USA might end up doing well over the medium term since the USA is again seen as a "safe haven". Also the USD has skyrocketed since China started having issues so if you think of the international buying power of your assets now they have probably increased more than the loss from the stock market drops. Especially if you think about geo arbitrage ERE

jacob
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Re: Star*Bucks ERE Journal

Post by jacob » Sat Jan 23, 2016 4:47 pm

thrifty++ wrote:I cant see why the USA needs to be so affected by China's meltdown.
Free QE money caused a lot of margin/leveraged speculation in emerging markets. When emerging markets fall, you have to sell your "good stuff" (that's not getting called) to cover the margin calls. Also with the Feds raising rates, US speculators need cash to pay back their leveraged loans which are no longer as cheap. They'll sell whatever they believe is overvalued.

PS: Watch for gold and bonds. As long as correlations hold, i.e. they move in reverse with equity, things are likely alright. If correlations break down, it means that the system is getting squeezed (call on cash) and we're all in trouble, I think this is the way to distinguish between a cash crisis and a whatever-crisis.

thrifty++
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Re: Star*Bucks ERE Journal

Post by thrifty++ » Sat Jan 23, 2016 7:09 pm

@Jacob - I don't actually understand what you are saying. I don't understand all the terms. What is QE money? What "good stuff thats not getting called" are you referring to being sold? Do you mean stocks that have gained large capital gain increases? What do you mean by a call on cash? Does that mean people are wanting to hold cash and nothing else?

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Re: Star*Bucks ERE Journal

Post by jacob » Sat Jan 23, 2016 7:27 pm

In order of question marks:
1) QE means quantitative easing. It's a program that several (almost almost significant) central banks have engaged in which they buy government bonds from regular banks by writing out credit. In return, regular banks have invested this money in stocks. As a direct consequence, stocks have gone up whenever some major central bank (US, EU, Japan) have engaged in QE since 2009. When the US stopped QE in 2004, the markets consequently and predictably when flat.
2) Because a majority of investors are now "price-insensitive", the majority does care about fundamental valuation. Furthermore, the majority is leveraging their bets. This means that the "good stuff" is "whatever has gone up" over the past years.
3) Stocks or any kind of "risk" strategy. Google risk-on/risk-off.
4) If someone is investing on margin, which can be material, i.e. 10-100x, if they lose 10% of their position, they would have to sell most of it to post cash security at their broker.
5) No. The driving factor in this highly leveraged and price-insensitive market is short term ( weeks--months) movements. It has little to do with any desire to hold certain things.

PS: To continue this discussion, if desired, it should be moved to a thread of its own to avoid screwing up SBUX's journal.

Hankaroundtheworld
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Re: Star*Bucks ERE Journal

Post by Hankaroundtheworld » Sun Jan 24, 2016 7:39 am

Star*Bucks wrote: Goals for 2015 were:
~Increase my 401k Balance by 25k (employee+employer contributions) DONE!
~Have my 6 pack back (would be first time in over 15 years) FAIL
~Take a International Vacation FAIL
~Build more meaningful relationships FAIL
~Focus on my business and in acquiring accounts FAIL
~Max Out 2014 & 2015 Traditional IRA Contributions DONE!
~Max Out HSA Contribution DONE!
Lol, it looks like the "easy" goals were successful but the difficult ones failed. Not a critic, but recognizable, for the difficult goals it requires change of lifestyle and that is always tough, you almost need to re-program yourself. Good luck with reaching this in 2016 :-)

Star*Bucks
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Location: California

Re: Star*Bucks ERE Journal

Post by Star*Bucks » Wed Feb 03, 2016 6:14 pm

thrifty++ wrote:$44k is a great annual net worth increase.
Thanks Thrifty! I was surprised to see that number as well; When I retire and backpack around SE Asia or S America I plan to live on approximately 15k a year; so in essence in 2015 I saved up the equivalent of 3 years of retirement. I'm shooting for more this year :D
Hankaroundtheworld wrote: Lol, it looks like the "easy" goals were successful but the difficult ones failed. Not a critic, but recognizable, for the difficult goals it requires change of lifestyle and that is always tough, you almost need to re-program yourself. Good luck with reaching this in 2016 :-)
Hank am I that transparent? lol I am painfully introverted/shy and it's very difficult to get over it. I've even drove to the gym before and while in the parking lot saw it was busy and drove right back home. It's a sort of social anxiety I guess but I am aware of my problem and I am working towards solving it. Hopefully 2016 will be a step in the right direction.

Star*Bucks
Posts: 110
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2014 10:27 am
Location: California

Re: Star*Bucks ERE Journal

Post by Star*Bucks » Wed Feb 03, 2016 6:19 pm

January 2016 Update:

Image

Current Debts:


Current Assets:
Cash $1,497
Main 401k $73,990
2nd 401k $754
IRA $18,101
HSA $6,471
Home $70,000

Prior Months Net Worth: $168,698
Current Net Worth: $170,813

Net Worth Increase of $2,115

I’m glad my net worth increased even though my investments have gone down considerably. Working 2 jobs isn’t for the weak and I am thankful this next week job#2 has slowed down a bit and I won’t be working full time hours at my part time gig. I am hating the idea of purchasing another vehicle and I’m over thinking this whole process. I think I’ve finally come to my senses and decided to buy a used hybrid vehicle 3 to 4 years old with low miles and definitely something bigger than the Corolla. I sat down in a 2016 Corolla this past weekend and I’m too big of a boy to be in one of those daily. January 2016 marked a first for me in that I was able to max out my IRA & HSA for 2016 right at the beginning of the year and won’t have to worry about it; Feels Good! Whatever vehicle I end up with I do not plan to put any money down and I’m sure my interest rate will be great since I have been working to build my credit score for some time now and it’s a strong score. I will be paying double to triple the car payments monthly regardless of the interest rate and hopefully will have enough left to start investing after tax dollars for once.



Goals for the month of January 2016 were:

-Max out 2016 IRA DONE!
-Max out 2016 HSA DONE!
-Purchase a 2016 Toyota Corolla or other well priced car with good gas mileage and high resale value. FAILED
-Get in the habit of going to the gym FAILED
-Find a hobby or way to relieve stress FAILED

Goals for February 2016:

-Purchase a vehicle and give the van that I’m borrowing back to my sister
-Get into a routine with fitness and nutrition
-Find a hobby or way to relieve stress

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jennypenny
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Re: Star*Bucks ERE Journal

Post by jennypenny » Thu Feb 04, 2016 8:24 am

Why are you trying to buy a new Corolla? There are plenty of good used ones available, and if you have to finance, rates are favorable on used cars right now.

I would think a used Corolla rental should be pretty easy to find. We've bought used rental cars twice with no problems (once from a dealer's rental unit and once from Enterprise). This article has more info.

thrifty++
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Re: Star*Bucks ERE Journal

Post by thrifty++ » Thu Feb 04, 2016 1:37 pm

Yes I also am wondering why you are buying a new car.
I dont have a car now and dont need or want one but previously when I did buy cars I always bought a used one for about 3.5k/4k and they were always fine. TBH buying a new car sounds like throwing your hard earned money down the toilet, especially when you are so unhappy about doing it. :)

Star*Bucks
Posts: 110
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2014 10:27 am
Location: California

Re: Star*Bucks ERE Journal

Post by Star*Bucks » Tue Mar 01, 2016 12:26 pm

February 2016 Update:

Image


Current Debts:
Credit Card $ 1,016
Auto Loan $18,167



Current Assets:
Cash $1,499
Main 401k $75,911
2nd 401k $757
IRA $19,357
HSA $6,465
Home $70,000
Car $21,139

Prior Months Net Worth: $170,813
Current Net Worth: $175,945

Net Worth Increase of $5,132

So I finally took action and purchased a brand new 2015 Toyota Prius Two (the base model) Toyota has excellent deals to get the 2015's off the lot and I took advantage of their $3,000 manufacturers rebate as well as haggled the Internet/Fleet department. I got the car for just under 19k (more than $6,000 below MSRP & $5,000 below invoice!) and out the door with tax, license, & registration it came out to $21,600. I purchased it halfway through the month of February and I'm seeing huge fuel savings! I will report more on the fuel savings in next months update since I'd like a full month to compare with prior months. I highly recommend the 2015 Prius to anyone who is in the market for a new vehicle. It comes with 2 year or 25,000 miles free service/maintenance, which is basically 5 oil changes and 1 or 2 tire rotations. I was able to get a 2.79% interest rate through my credit union and now I'm deciding if I should be gung ho about paying it off fast or if I should just invest more. My monthly payment is approximately $380 and my first payment wasn't due until April but I went ahead and made an initial payment of $3,500.

I don't think I mentioned this but I dumped Comcast last month and went to a internet only plan with another company. I'm saving $62 per month now although there is a 2 year agreement with termination fee, but I don't plan on changing/cancelling service. If something were to happen and I did need to cancel the contract the termination fee is only $150 so as long as I stay with them over 3 months I'm good.

My best single month Net Worth increase was back in October of 2015 and it was $8,677. It's not going to be easy but I would really like to see a 5 figure increase in one month to beat my best month ever. Let's see how March goes since I know my quarterly dividends get paid in March.

Goals for the month of February 2016 were:
-Purchase a vehicle and give the van that I’m borrowing back to my sister DONE!!
-Get into a routine with fitness and nutrition FAILED
-Find a hobby or way to relieve stress FAILED


Goals for March 2016:

-Read the owners manual for the Prius & get to know how to use it better.
-Start exercising preferably at the gym or home workout if no time to visit the gym
-Complete 2015 Tax Returns

George the original one
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Re: Star*Bucks ERE Journal

Post by George the original one » Tue Mar 01, 2016 6:12 pm

> I was able to get a 2.79% interest rate through my credit union and now I'm deciding if I should be gung ho about paying it off fast
> or if I should just invest more.

Good rate, however interest rates are not the only cost of car loans. Very often the lender requires insurance above & beyond what you might choose for yourself (e.g. you might choose no comprehensive, no collision or collision with high deductible).

Star*Bucks
Posts: 110
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2014 10:27 am
Location: California

Re: Star*Bucks ERE Journal

Post by Star*Bucks » Fri Mar 04, 2016 2:34 pm

jennypenny wrote:There are plenty of good used ones available.
a used Corolla rental should be pretty easy to find. We've bought used rental cars twice with no problems (once from a dealer's rental unit and once from Enterprise). This article has more info.
I spent a lot of time considering this option but having 2 jobs and very limited time I really wanted to go for new. Buying used (for me) is extra effort in taking the car to a mechanic to be inspected (unless it comes with a good warranty) also I have been working on older used cars in my household and I'm just done fixing stuff. Luckily I found a pretty good deal and I am planning for this to be the final car that I ever own :)
thrifty++ wrote:Yes I also am wondering why you are buying a new car.
I had to weight the options and it just made sense Thrifty, and I am very happy with the choice, got an awesome deal :)
George the original one wrote:Good rate, however interest rates are not the only cost of car loans. Very often the lender requires insurance above & beyond what you might choose for yourself (e.g. you might choose no comprehensive, no collision or collision with high deductible).
Yes actually that's what happened to me back in 2014 when I purchased a 2014 Nissan Altima and financed with NMAC, but this time I financed directly with my credit union and they didn't have any requirements what so ever :)

Star*Bucks
Posts: 110
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2014 10:27 am
Location: California

Re: Star*Bucks ERE Journal

Post by Star*Bucks » Fri Apr 01, 2016 12:27 pm

March 2016 Update:


Image

Current Debts:
Credit Card $513
Auto Loan $11,753



Current Assets:
Cash $1,497
Main 401k $83,798
2nd 401k $1,270
IRA $21,362
HSA $6,870
Home $70,000
Car $21,000

Prior Months Net Worth: $175,945
Current Net Worth: $193,531

Net Worth Increase of $17,586 Best net worth increase EVER!! WOW!

March 2016’s Net Worth increase is the equivalent of 40% of the total Net Worth increase in all of 2015. I knew it would be a good month and I thought I would hit a 5 figure net worth increase but didn’t think it would be this good. So I don’t work a second job any longer but I had 1 full and 1 partial weeks check from my old job, then it was a 3 paycheck month with my main job. I was cashed out remaining vacation from last year since this company doesn’t let you roll it over. Also dividends were paid out and lastly I received my tax refund which wasn’t much ($400). The next 3 paycheck month is September and dividends are being paid out in September as well. Hopefully I can try to crack this record then (I’d be happy with any 5 figure increase).

Mint App gives me a budget of $170 for gas based on the average of my past usage and in March I spent only $70 which is a savings of $95. This is especially good because I did more than average driving. I started going to the gym again and running errands, going jogging at the nice trails near Nimbus Dam and Folsom Dam. I’m still fat but I feel much better, I’m not getting winded quickly like I did when I first started and I hope I keep this momentum.

I splurged on a new pair of shoes and a nike hoodie, both were on sale and cost a total of $125 combined.




Goals for the month of March 2016 were:

-Read the owners manual for the Prius & get to know how to use it better. Fail
-Start exercising preferably at the gym or home workout if no time to visit the gym Done
-Complete 2015 Tax Returns Done


Goals for April 2016:

-Look for a second job

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