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SustainableHappiness Journal

Posted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 1:50 pm
by SustainableHappiness
Hello ERE-ers (that is a lot of er)

Mid-20s Corporate Ladder Riser
Working in CPG (Consumer Packaged Goods), i.e. the anti-thesis to ERE and MMM. Yes, I am aware of this and it is partially the reason for my pursuit of ER.
ENFP...Energetic and I don't like people telling me what to do
Searching for and sometimes finding or glimpsing sustainable happiness (if it's sometimes is it sustainable? goooooood question).

Goal is to negotiate a better home-based work situation or go on a 8 month unpaid leave when DW and I have our first child. Depending on how that goes will decide whether or not to return to full-time work based on side hustle viability and how I feel after becoming a parent (will I want more buffer, or will I want more time reading the entire Redwall and Harry Potter series to the babes?)

Currently saving 60-75% of income, extra sidehustles include teaching part-time at a college and a couple rental properties (more detail on that in next post)

Keep on rockin'.

Re: SustainableHappiness Journal

Posted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 1:53 pm
by SustainableHappiness
Writing about the situation below is, for some reason, what has finally spurred me to start a journal on here.
A Big Pitfall of Landlording + Flipping

A couple years ago DW and I purchased 2 duplexes (our first homes) that were in an interesting situation which therefore netted us a very intriguing positive cashflow situation.

The interesting situation was that the houses were illegal. That is, they had fallen prey to a stupid Ontarian bylaw that automatically merges adjacent properties together if the ownership of both properties falls under 1 persons name after the passing of another person. E.g. A kid lives in a home next to their Mom and Dad’s home, the mom and dad pass away and leave their house to the kid. The kid doesn’t know about this bylaw and has a shitty lawyer who doesn’t correct the situation before the properties merge together. The kid now has to perform a severance which has an upfront cost of $2000 just to submit the paperwork to the city.

We purchased from the kids who also happened to hate landlording, felt the severance would be too much work and cost, had privately mortgaged the property out to a buyer who proceeded to go bankrupt and default on their mortgage…Boom, we get 2 properties for the price of 1.25 properties with a large cash flow buffer after taxes!

Boom, we also embark on a 2 year 9-layer of hell journey through the severance process as well as some other interesting adventures including, removing bedbugs (bad), removing cockroaches (bad), removing 2000 lbs of garbage from 1 unit (bad), DIY plumbing (good), DIY furnace repair (good), evicting bad tenants and finding good tenants (both), dealing with 1 city and 1 county engineering, planning and land divisions, committees, departments, etc. (both).

This all leads to the worst thing that has happened yet. We’ve discovered our 1 duplex was not legally made a duplex (i.e. no permits were used) and therefore we have to remove the basement kitchen to make it uninhabitable costing us ~$800 per month lost rent…This isn’t even the bad thing.

We also have to evict our single best tenant who has been living there with her disabled son for 5 years who is unlikely to be able to afford a similar unit in the area without some luck on their side.

I always treat my tenants like clients; with the outlook their problems are not mine, unless they become my problems (i.e. not paying rent). The experience of making a tenant cry as an action I am taking in order to comply with the legal code in my area and enable us to sell the property has revealed that I am not cut out for landlording.

DW and I will be selling the houses as soon as the severances are sorted out and much to the confusion of our family and peers renting a basement apartment instead of purchasing another home. We’ve already moved into the basement and are happier already.

Re: SustainableHappiness Journal

Posted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 9:42 am
by SustainableHappiness
Trying to determine my favourite way of capturing a monthly recap. I’ve decided to start with the basic numbers and if it feels like I want to include more in the future, will add on as desired.

9.33 Numbers of Years in Hopper
25 Ultimate FI Goal
0.39 Years accumulated per month on Average

As mentioned earlier we are unlikely to push hard to the FI finish line, and by push hard, I mean stay in a good paying role I find mundane >50% of the time.

I will likely stay until housing obligations are dealt with (or our baby pops out at the end of summer), as the current situation could result in unexpectedly large amounts of capital which I would rather pay with firehose cash flow than dipped into da bank. After that, the plan is to explore other avenues of income including, a typical millennial excursion into an online business, dog-walking, personal training, digital marketing contracts, etc.

Biggest Fear: Running away from my idea of running away from my comfortable (yet deeply unsatisfying) job.

Second Biggest Fear: Realizing that my deep dissatisfaction is a result of my own immaturity or personal failings rather than a corporate career structure.

And if all you ever do with your life
Is photosynthesize
Then you deserve every hour of these sleepless nights
That you waste wondering when you're gonna die

Re: SustainableHappiness Journal

Posted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 7:07 pm
by SustainableHappiness
I found ERE after finding MMM, I enjoyed it and then after a month or so of reading and discussing a couple articles with siblings/wife that the approach was a too extreme. That was a couple years ago and I stopped reading through every post, but for some reason it held on in the back of my mind. Damnit I am so glad it did, because I revisited it a number of months ago and got deeper into systems thinking, web of goals, etc.

Awesome, Awesome, AWESOME!

Following a plan set out a couple years ago (which happened to jive well with systems), we've moved within 5k of my work and dropped down to one car (DW still drives 10 minutes for the time being), I now am in the fortunate situation where people at my work think I am crazy for biking and walking in the dead of winter both to work, and then to my gym at lunch a couple blocks away. They think I am crazy, yet it only takes me 1.5x-3x longer and I am becoming fitter and more durable in one fell swoop...I also sometimes show up a little later for work and still get sympathy and approval simply because I am doing something 'hard' and cold. What was I going to use that extra 15 minutes for? Hammering out an extra spreadsheet of POS data about Sku X at Banner Y? Fuck no.

Reviewing some of the other journals on this forum is interesting. It helps me understand alternative living arrangements that I could not see from my old perspective. It also makes me except I am relatively boring in taking a well-traveled road to where I am (well, the savings focus is a little rarer, but the undergrad -> MBA -> 9-5 route is not). Thank you in advance for your typed out life experience.

Re: SustainableHappiness Journal

Posted: Sat Mar 18, 2017 11:47 am
by SustainableHappiness
Here is something sweet and skill-inducing, although I feel some here may bawk at the fact we will be paying for this, but hey, you do you, I'll do me. I am organizing a friends bachelor party and have decided on a relatively cheap skill-based drunken excursion into the woods with real zombies!

Itinerary includes:

Archery lessons
Tactical Yoga
Survival Gear 101
Making Shelters

Then on the Sunday they do a zombie outbreak where you have to survive with your friends. Even if I don't end up using the skills, at the very least many bags of wine and various other liquors and beers will be consumed and a fantastic time will be had by all.

Now, from my frugality metric, is it worth working a few extra hours to pay for this weekend on my journey to FI? Yes, since creating something of similar quality/value for 15 guys for a weekend would likely cost way more time and effort than paying someone who has already achieved economies of scale in this department.

On this note, it is also a good idea of ERE-ers who have pre-existing applicable skills and a good space for a business like this (i.e. forests, campgrounds, a couple log cabins to fit 15-30 people). for 15 people it will be $5k for the weekend + meal costs for the group for 1 meal (split between 2-3 people) and your alchohol intake. After overhead (paying the zombies, assuming they aren't volunteers) and paying the other instructors (I think there are 3-4) I would assume the owners take home a couple grand at least per weekend. I assume the business model is akin to owning a prized wedding location with less capital costs (maybe).

Bad ass.

Re: SustainableHappiness Journal

Posted: Sat Mar 18, 2017 4:14 pm
by Eureka
Tactical Yoga?

Re: SustainableHappiness Journal

Posted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 8:22 am
by SustainableHappiness
Tactical Yoga?
No bet is on gimmicky title, because just saying Yoga at a Zombie survival camp doesn't sound cool enough.

Re: SustainableHappiness Journal

Posted: Sat Mar 25, 2017 7:44 am
by Jason
Tactical Yoga is where you situate yourself in proximity to the person you're trying to impress without fear of farting in their face.

Re: SustainableHappiness Journal

Posted: Sun Mar 26, 2017 8:11 am
by Eureka
Ha! The tactical yoga sidetracked me. What I wanted to say was: nice start of a journal and really sad to read about your landlord adventures. Hope you get rid of the houses without further hindrances.

Re: SustainableHappiness Journal

Posted: Sun Mar 26, 2017 12:27 pm
by Jason
I couldn't even follow those laws. Upon first blush, they seem like a remnant of primogeniture.

But holy crap, that landlord experience broke the seventh seal of suck. Evicting a lady with a disabled son? Damn. I can see it now. Poor, weeping woman walking little, innocent Tiny Tim down the dangerous streets of Ontario after SustainableHappiness evicts her out of their apartment. She, forced to sell herself to sailors in alleyways while poor Tim begs for stale bread every morning. I'm thinking there is going to be a shitload of supernatural visitations on Christmas Eve in that basement apartment this year.