C40's Journal

Where are you and where are you going?
Spartan_Warrior
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Post by Spartan_Warrior »

Sounds good. Yeah, I've done 20-rep squats before and definitely agree on the focus needed. Once I got up to 200 lbs or so I felt like I was losing the form in the final reps and not lifting as much as I could so went back to 5 rep sets. Now that I think about it, 20-rep deadlifts are probably safer than squats since you at least get a chance to reset any form issues at the bottom. Now I might have to try this myself.
My goal now is to get back to my personal records of 250x5 squat, 180x5 bench, 125x5 press, and 300x5 deadlift by June then switch to a higher volume routine with some aerobic qualities and get ripped for the summer. I haven't lifted in a while due to an injury last summer (car accident), then finding out I have radon in the basement at my new house and having to fix that, so I'm finally easing back into it. Best of luck!


George the original one
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Post by George the original one »

@C40 - Shyness... well, it's not totally gone, not by a long shot, but getting comfortable with one's public presence was a big help. So visiting a nude beach took care of that. Yeah, that's a little over-the-top for most people, but it worked for me.
Relationships... for me to feel comfortable about potential partners, the friendship has to be there. Good friends don't turn vicious on you unless there are some bizarre circumstances. Many people seem to turn their serious relationships into competitions or grudge matches.
On top of that, at some point you realize that just because you're not dating a particular person (maybe they moved away, maybe they're just not ready for a commitment) doesn't mean your feelings for them have been erased. And yet you can find someone new to care for... those new feelings should be complementary rather than competitive. Both sets of feelings can coexist, you just take care of the one that's present. And if you can have coexisting feelings, then it's okay for others to do so, too. Their actions will reveal whether you're a match or not.
I find I click *immediately* with the right kind of women. They always turn out to be literate, life-long learners, but may have attended the school of hard knocks rather than a college (college would be my first choice). If I'm not clicking, then I'm in the wrong crowd. The problem of getting together was usually one of timing... are they available, am I available, are they looking for commitment?
My wife and I have only been married a decade, but we met in 1984 in college. Our friendship continued, we dated in 1987-89 timeframe, but she wasn't ready for commitment, so we stayed friends while dating others and sometimes each other when the stars aligned. Then in 1999 I took her on a trip and she moved in a couple months later. We married in 2001 when the tax laws became favorable, but we already felt married earlier.


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C40
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Post by C40 »

Thanks George.
And for today, some pictures. (Because there just aren't enough pictures on the forum)
Last weekend I got pretty close to having my fridge organizing/setup complete:



- The Vitamix I ordered about a month ago is working great. If you've ever wondered how much power it takes to blend the fuck out of something, 1,380 watts is enough. I've been blending up and drinking all kinds of fruit and vegetables, and enjoying it immensely. I used to really love drinking the Odwalla or Naked juice, but it was terribly expensive ($8 for half a gallon). I haven't done the math, but I'd guess the stuff I make costs me 10-25% as much. And it's not pasteurized!
- I wanted to focus on my diet this year and I have been doing so. I think I originally had the goal of reducing my food spending, but after thinking about it more and doing some reading, I've decided it's probably worth spending a little bit more to eat what I believe is very good for me: Tons of fruit and vegetables and a moderate amount of meat and eggs. So I'm eating almost entirely what most currently call a Paleo diet. It wasn't a big change for me, the primary difference being that I was previously eating a significant amount of rice and beans, and some cheese.
And some more pictures... I've been thinking more and more lately about a house / real estate. My thoughts are divided between before and after retirement - thinking before of buying one of the smallest houses in town I can find - something like this (and then filling up the back yard with a garden and chickens)



And the other half of the time I fantasize about building something a bit like this, out in the boonies:

































And using one of these bad boys for when I need to go into town:






ExpatERE
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Post by ExpatERE »

"If you've ever wondered how much power it takes to blend the fuck out of something, 1,380 watts is enough"
I think this might make a great ad! You should contact Vitamix and see if you guys can work something out :-)
I like option two on the housing. I'm thinking the same...


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C40
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Post by C40 »

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JANUARY 2012
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INCOME:

Take home pay: $3,086

Extra Income: $91

Sales: $39

401k Contribution: $1,644
SPENDING:

Home Expenses: $570

Food: $318

Transportation: $178

Entertainment: $137

Cycling: $0

Other: $-125
ERE PROGRESS:

Income: $3,216

Spending: $1,078

Put in after-tax Savings: $2,500

401k Contributions: $1,644

Savings rate: 80%
INVESTMENT INCOME:

Interest on 401k: $4,250

Interest on Savings: $1,177
Special spending:

Protein Powder: $95 (~year supply)

Car insurance, 6 months: $141

Birthday Gifts received: $125 cash
Pretty good month. Investments went up a bunch.
Read some books:

Rich Dad, Poor Dad - Kiyosaki
How to win friends and influence people (not quite done)
The Beauty Detox Solution - Snyder (came with Vitamix blender)
The Paleo Diet for Athletes - Cordain, Friel
Automatic Millionaire Homeowner - Bach

I wanted to setup work at a CSA farm this year in exchange for food (and learning). I spoke to the farmer, but he said he doesn’t do that anymore after too many people were flaking out. So my gardening adventures will have to wait until I have a yard I can use, or will be limited greatly to what I do in pots indoors. I did find myself wondering if it would be possible to find someone in town who would let me tend a garden in their yard. There are a lot of old people here so there might be some willing to let me garden in their yard as long as I give them some of the food. I don’t know a lot of people in town so finding the right person would be the hard part. So for now I’m going to grow some spinach indoors. Planted a few seeds today, we’ll see how that goes.
I’ve been thinking more about homes and real estate. There’s a small house for sale a block from where I live. It’s been for sale for quite a while, at $70,000. I might go look at it and give them a low-ball offer. I want to learn about finding and buying foreclosed homes. After a couple of the books I read this month, and seeing examples like this MMM thread it seems that this is good stuff to know about.
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George the original one
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Post by George the original one »

Holy crap... in a year you managed to go from 3 years saved expenses to 9 years' worth! Doesn't look like you're slowing down, either. As good as the real estate market is for buyers right now, you might be better off by just continuing what you're doing for another year before delving into real estate.


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C40
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Post by C40 »

Yep it was a pretty good year. I think as with most folks who are relatively new to ERE and already have some savings - when looking at net worth in years of expenses, the number shoots up as you reduce your spending.
In 2011 my net worth went from $80k to $130k, and my spending went down from ~$2,000 per month to ~$1,250. A 60% increase in savings and a 40% reduction in spending does nice things for your numbers. :-)
My chart for Net worth in years of spending uses my total savings divided by my average spending over the last six months. My spending went down halfway through the year, thus the big rise for the next six months as the 6-month average dropped. At the end of 2012, I expect to have 12-13 years of expenses.
On the real estate purchase, I have a lot to learn before pulling any trigger, and that alone will probably delay any purchase for some time. It would wipe out my non-401k savings. If I make a good choice/get a good deal, and increase the home value, it could pay off the next time I move for work. I'd consider my time spent improving the home a hobby -- one of those good kind of hobbies I'm trying to pick up
I will probably end up waiting a while through - about a year or more. Or maybe I'll just wait until the next time I move for work.. (I don't know when that will actually be... it might just be 1-2 years from now). For now, my apartment now is only $500/month so it's not like I'm losing big by not buying a home.. (but I just might be keeping myself from a big win)


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C40
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Post by C40 »

---------------------------------------
FEBRUARY 2012
--------------------------------------
INCOME: $4,906

Take home pay: $3,576

Extra Income: $346

Sales: $29

401k Contribution: $984
SPENDING: $963

Home Expenses: $529

Food: $283

Entertainment: $113

Transportation: $38

Cycling: $0

Other: $0
INVESTMENT GAINS: $708

401k: $557

Savings: $151
ERE PROGRESS:

Savings rate: ~75% *

Net worth increase: $4,318

Years of expenses: 9.5 years

Years of expenses at 3%APR: 12.5 years
No special spending this month. Finally got my expenses under $1,000. YEAH!! My food is high because I’ve been eating almost only vegetables, fruit, chicken, and eggs. I was already eating a lot of this before, but also a lot of of rice and beans, and some oatmeal. The $346 extra income is T-shirt sales from Redbubble for January and from Cafepress for December and January. So far I'm at a bit over $200 per month. The sales of my designs so far will taper off over time so I plan to make more.
March will be a big month on income because I'll get three paychecks instead of the usual 2. I also got my yearly bonus, which was about half as much as last year. I'm planning on dumping money into a Roth IRA. Hoping I can put in two year's worth ($5k for 2011 and $5k for 2012) right now... not sure if you can do that for a Roth.
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STRENGTH TRAINING

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Making nice gains so far.

Chins - bodyweight only x 17
Overhead Press - 90lbs x 8
Bent-Leg Deadlift - 170lbs x 19

My grip is limiting on the deadlift. Working on improving it by doing extra grip/hand strength training after deadlifting.
Baselines back in October were:

Chins: 13
OHP: 80lbs x 6
BLDL: ~140lbs x 20

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CELL PHONE

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Got a phone from work and cancelled my service. Had a $65 ETF, and after this I’ll have a $75/month cost drop off.
At work, the whole management team got phones as well. People look at them at times in meetings. Some of it is checking our emails and schedule (work stuff)... Of course, we also use the phones for non-work stuff. During the unimportant parts of some meetings I’ll check how much money I’ve made that day from investments and side hobbies. Today I realized what some of my coworkers do with their phones for their non-work use. It’s playing Words with Friends. (Scrabble).... I think it’s kind of funny knowing they are playing games while I’m doing something a little bit different.
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TAXES

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Did my taxes. Totals for 2011:
Gross Income: $82,000

Spending: $23,411

Taxes: $20,936 (not counting sales tax)
Without the Payroll Tax Holiday my taxes would've been about $22.5k. In 2012 my taxes will be more than $5k above my (other) spending. Something about that just doesn’t feel right. Not sure whether to consider it that I am over-paying for services, or that I’m pre-paying for future services (since my taxes may be much lower in the future)
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VACATION PLANNING

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I'm starting to think about what to do during my work vacation time. I spent the last few years using most of it for bicycle racing or long training days. I’m not interested in doing something expensive. Some options:
Go where friends or family live (California, Portland, Colorado, NY/Toronto, etc.)

Go on a trip along with a number of friends

South America, if I can get a cheap flight?
I would like to go bicycle touring but I sold my touring bike a year ago and don’t want to buy a new one at this moment. I’ve been thinking about going hiking instead. Maybe part of the appalachian trail.
There’s a park near where I live with some trails long enough for multi-day hiking, so I think I’ll try it out there first.
Anyone have other ideas?
At this point I’m more interested in doing fun/adventurous things rather than going to certain places (other than South America, mainly for the purpose of exploring whether I might like to live there). I think I’ll make a list of potential flight destinations and start trying to see if/how I can get cheap flights there.
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CHARTS

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jacob
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Post by jacob »

Hey, if you promise not to thrash it, you can borrow my touring bike. It's a 21" converted MTB (Trek 800, steel frame) with butterfly handlebars and Jandd racks. It doesn't have lights or fenders though.
Dunno if it's your size, but as far as I remember, it just might be.


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C40
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Post by C40 »

Thanks for the offer Jacob. If the bike touring idea grows on me I might check if it would fit me. I don't know MTB frame sizing, but I think that might be a tad big for me, but maybe still workable...
I'd probably buy a touring bike if I decide to get serious about it. Heck, maybe I could buy my old touring bike back from the guy I sold it to. When he bought it he was sure that it fit him ok, but I thought it was too big for him,.. maybe he's also figured that out now.


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C40
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Post by C40 »

A couple hobby updates and another milestone:
1 - I contacted the guy I sold my touring bike to. He's still sure the bike will work for him and he's preparing for a cross-country tour (in his late 60s). He said I could rent it from him to use for touring of my own. I think he'd rent it to me at a fair price so if I don't like the hiking I might try that
2 - I've been looking into Backpacking and I'm going to try it out to see how I like it. I'll try it out on some of a trail nearby. I live very close to a good stretch going through a state park, so I'll start there. I won't have to buy a whole lot other than a backpack and a few small things. It's so warm out now that if it stays this way I'll go on a weekend as soon as I can get the gear sorted out.
3 - I passed $150,000 net worth. Sweet.

Image
(the property category are just more investments that don't work on mint)
Last edited by C40 on Sun Jan 12, 2014 9:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

sshawnn
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Post by sshawnn »

Nice progress on the finances. Your graphical postings are enjoyable.
On what site did you find your boonie house images? Thats seems like a nice set up. It seems to bridge the gap between too big and Tumbleweed.


ExpatERE
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Post by ExpatERE »

Nice job on the net worth!!


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C40
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Post by C40 »

sshawn - Small House Style. Might have gotten some of the pictures from a different site as I think I've seen this house elsewhere also.
http://www.smallhousestyle.com/2012/01/ ... e+Style%29


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C40
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Post by C40 »

---------------------------------------
MARCH 2012
--------------------------------------
INCOME: $11,508

Take home pay: $9,344

Extra Income: $145 (shirt sales)

Sales: $750 (sold a camera lens)

401k Contribution: $2,019
SPENDING: $1,519

Home Expenses: $523

Food: $243

Entertainment: $39

Transportation: $45

Cycling/Hiking: $651

Other: $0
INVESTMENT INCOME: $-1,245

Interest on 401k: $-969

Interest on Savings: $-276
FI PROGRESS:

Savings rate: 92%

Net worth increase: $13,751

Years of expenses: 10 years

Years of expenses at 3%APR: 13.3 years

FI Ratio: 31%
------------------------------

NOTES

------------------------------
Income: This month I got my yearly bonus from work. Got $3,500, which is less than last year. I also got three paychecks, so it was a big month. My year to date savings rate is 87%. It's high because I got my yearly bonus in March. The YTD # will go down throughout the rest of the year but I'm on great track to achieve my target of 75% for the year.
Gardening: I got a parks and recreation book in the mail this month. I saw in it that there is a community garden in my town and I could get a 10x10 plot for the year for $10 and a $50 deposit for a water key and keeping it free of weeds. So I plunked down $60 for that and now I get to learn how to grow some food! (The $60 is in the food category)
Hiking:** I bought some hiking/backpacking stuff:

A backpack
A 45 degree sleeping back (one that is light and packs small)
Pants
Other smaller things

I Went for a four hour hike last weekend with the bag loaded up to see what it is like. I enjoyed it. I think in April or May I’ll take a few days vacation to hike the park near me. It has a 30 mile trail with camping sites along the way. I think I’ll park at one end and go out and back.
Brainwashed Coworkers: I went along with 5 others from my factory to visit a plant in Canada. One of our supervisors came with us. He is a little bit different in a number of ways. One of them being that he listens to music using a portable CD player (instead of an MP3 player). One of the other managers brought it up and said or implied he should buy a new mp3 player. I said that he has no reason to buy anything new since he already has a music player and it still works ok. The best explanation that the 2 others in the conversation could come up with was that “everyone else has one now.... “
Camera Lenses: Sold my Nikon 17-55 2.8. I don’t really ever use it. Now I just have a Nikon 50mm 1.8, and a Nikon 10.5mm 2.8 fisheye. These work well for much of what I shoot, but I also want to get a wide angle prime - something like 20mm or 24mm. That should be everything I need for now. If I eventually get into wildlife photography I’d also get a 200mm or 400mm(?)
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jennypenny
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Post by jennypenny »

@C40--I look forward to your journal entry each month more than any of the others. I think it's not just because your numbers are always inspiring, but you have the best looking journal with the best graphics. Maybe your semi-ERE job could be journal consulting :)


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C40
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Post by C40 »

Thanks jennypenny :-). I'm officially available for hire as a journal consultant as of today!
---------------------------------------
APRIL 2012
--------------------------------------
INCOME: $6,079

Take home pay: $4,322

Extra Income: $63 (shirt sales)

Sales: $100

401k Contribution: $1,694
SPENDING: $900

Home Expenses: $542

Food: $188

Entertainment: $46

Transportation: $99

Cycling/Hiking: $0

Other: $25
INVESTMENT INCOME: $1,473

Interest on 401k: $1,162

Interest on Savings: $311
FI PROGRESS:

Savings rate: 90%

Net worth increase: $6,970

Years of expenses: 11 years

Years of expenses at 3%APR: 13.6 years

FI Ratio: 33%
------------------------------

NOTES

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Income: Higher than normal due to $1,200 tax refund.
Spending: Pretty normal month. About $100 for car maintenance supplies (oil, filters, headlight bulbs, wiper blades). I really like having my spending below $1,000. If I have a bare bones month it will be $750-800.
YTD savings rate is 88%, so I’m well on my way to making my goal for the year of 75%
My shirt income is dying off because my designs were for a game and interest was waning. Then the game company (I hope it was them) made an infringement claim on many of my designs, so it will drop to nearly zero. I’ve been meaning to make more designs but haven’t gotten around to it. I think this is something I might do more of in the winter.
I read A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy. It seems like a nice intro to Stoic philosophy. It appears Stoicism matches very well with my personality and how I’ve been changing as I’ve gotten a bit older.
I’m starting to read works of the old Stoic philosophers themselves. First Letters from a Stoic (Seneca). I think I will also read Enchiridion (Handbook) by Epictetus and Meditations by Marcus Aurelius. After listening to a Librivox audio recording of this book about Alexander the great, and learning a bit about old Roman coins because of a post by Sky on this thread, I’ve became interested in this period of history.
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C40
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Post by C40 »

One other thing - I've started looking for a book about the history of money, particularly about using Silver and Gold for money or for storing wealth (ideally back to at least year 0) So far I haven't been able to find much. Any suggestions?


KevinW
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Post by KevinW »

That is a pet topic of Milton Friedman's so you could try one of his books. Free To Choose discusses the history of hard money briefly, but I imagine there's a more thorough treatment somewhere in his extensive bibliography.


Dragline
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Post by Dragline »

@C40 You might find "The Ascent of Money" by Niall Ferguson interesting, although it does not focus so much on silver and gold. It was turned into an educational series that you can watch here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Xx_5PuLIzc
Note part 6 is a separate video.
I found "The Science of Money" by Alexander Del Mar, published around 1870, to also be quite interesting and different from most discussions. Del Mar was in the US Treasury Department during the days of the Greenbacks. It's a freebie -- here's one version: http://www.forumancientcoins.com/dannyj ... %20Mar.pdf
"In Gold We Trust?: The Future of Money in an Age of Uncertainty" is a new book by a contributor to the Economist that came out a few weeks ago. Its an e-book and will cost you a couple bucks. It discusses the issues more in today's framework, although I think its deficient in some ways.


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