Barlotti in Boston II

Where are you and where are you going?
Barlotti
Posts: 159
Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2011 7:58 am

Re: Barlotti in Boston II

Post by Barlotti » Fri Jan 06, 2017 11:53 am

Hey Scriptbunny! I missed your message in my last log in! Yes, I think you're right. I should consider a smaller bathroom update. That is THE WAY.

Folks, I've been doing awesome with not spending this week. And it's a good thing, because according to my budget, I should not spend any more until January 14. I'm cutting costs! I cancelled my NYT subscription and gym membership. I've switched from Verizon Wireless to Puppy Wireless. I really oughta shop around for auto insurance.

User avatar
Chris
Posts: 592
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 2:44 pm

Re: Barlotti in Boston II

Post by Chris » Tue Jan 10, 2017 1:22 am

I discovered recently that my alma mater offers access to a bunch of newspapers via their library website using my old student login. It's convenient for getting access to paywalled articles from NYT and others.

Good move on switching mobile phone plans.

Barlotti
Posts: 159
Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2011 7:58 am

mid month itch

Post by Barlotti » Wed Jan 18, 2017 10:14 pm

@Chris, that's a good idea to see if I have online access through my alma maters, or the public library.

Hi all,
I'm checking my accounts ALOT. Starting to feel obsessive and dissatisfied. Checking my retirement account doesn't change anything. What be wrong with me? Discipline!

I'm going to try my best NOT to ruminate about my money, and to use the time wisely. For example, repaint my living room! Improve my communication skills! Learn how to program! Meditate! Get a second job!

I'm thinking that in about 5 years, I could have about $500K in retirement, and be mortgage free. I just need to keep the goal in sight. Without obsessing.
Last edited by Barlotti on Mon Jul 10, 2017 12:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

Barlotti
Posts: 159
Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2011 7:58 am

February 2017 net worth and January spending

Post by Barlotti » Mon Jan 30, 2017 10:18 pm

Condo 200000
Checking and Savings 16729
403b 107345
Roth 20145
Brokerage 0
Pension 10186
ASSETS 354405

Mortgage 109426
Credit card debt 18500
LIABILITIES 127926

NET WORTH 226479
My net worth has increased 3677 since I last checked.


SPENDING
Mortgage 861
Insurance 499
Household 362
Condo fee 337
Dining 225
Utilities 175
Auto 150
Credit card 122
Groceries 82
Health and Fitness 65
Home repair 38
Gifts 25
Cash 20
Charity donations 10
Medical 7

TOTAL $2983

I spent about $300 on a desktop computer, and about $500 on auto and home insurance this month. I elected to pay the premiums for a 6 months and a year respectively to save money. I'll save a few hundred dollars over the course of the year. There are a bunch of expenses that I don't expect next month. For example, I changed to a cheaper wireless provider (to save about $40/month), I cancelled my gym membership (to save about $65/month), I've reduced insurance costs (by about $20/month). I figure I'll save about $125/month with these changes.

I've got a lot of credit card debt cause I took out a 0% APR credit card loan in order to max out my 2016 Roth, get started on my 2017 Roth, and to fund my bathroom remodel. I know that some would consider this an absolute no no, but I plan to pay it back ASAP, and it's given me more flexibility. I've felt the pressure to get my condo into rentable condition for a long time. Ironically, now that I've taken out this loan, certain events have assured me that I will not be moving any time soon. I think I need at least another year to gussy up my condo for rental or sale. I don't want to rent or sell my condo, but I would feel more comfortable if my condo was in condition to rent or sell. Right now, the bathroom wall is missing some tiles, and there's a hole in my hallway wall (left open for electrical improvements to the bathroom). Walls need painting, ceilings need patching. Little stuff that takes a lot of time to finish. At least for me.

Barlotti
Posts: 159
Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2011 7:58 am

March net worth and February spending

Post by Barlotti » Mon Feb 27, 2017 10:53 pm

Condo 200000
Checking and Savings 17400
403b 111383
Roth 21969
Brokerage 0
Pension 10186
ASSETS 360938

Mortgage 109014
Credit card debt 17495
LIABILITIES 126509

NET WORTH 234429

My net worth has increased by 7950 since last month. Wow.

I'll list my February spending in an update over the next week.

Update March 1
Mortgage 861
Diningn 468
Condo fee 337
Cash 200
Household 200
Auto 180
Utilities 144
Vacation/Travel 92
Home Repair 49
Insurance 15
Medical 13
Misc. Expense 12

Total 2,575

I feel like I really splashed out in February so I'm pleasantly surprised to see that my monthly spending wasn't profligate. Scarcity and abundance are relative. Also, I cut my recurring monthly expenses by changing wireless service providers, cancelling my gym membership, and paying for my insurance 6 months and one year in advance.

I'm finding more joy in, and feeling less anxiety about, my job. I attribute it to my mindfulness/meditation practice. By being more aware of my body and mind, and practicing loving kindness and compassion, my capacity for joy, for work, for joy in work is increasing. It's trippy, as my awareness of self increases, my love and compassion for others increases. And with this, my awareness and understanding of, and empathy for, others (including animals) increases. My level of awareness is more and more resembling omniscience. It's obvious and yet hard to explain. There are some things that can't be known without direct experience. But then, once you know, you feel like you always knew, and that you just didn't recognize that you knew. Like I said, trippy. But it's wonderful.

I think that I started down this path with Vipassana meditation, which I tried out of curiousity. My exposure to academic research on sensation, perception, and cognition has helped, and I enjoy videos and podcasts on Buddhism, including the Bob Thurman podcast. And here is what I understand more profoundly every day. Life is precious, and "reality" is a matter of perception, which is so much influenced by the fleeting fickle mind. Imagine that so many of our actions, which determine the shape of our lives, is shaped by the fleeting fickle mind. No wonder Hobbes deemed life, "nasty, brutish, and short". But once you start seeing the fleeting fickle mind for what it is, life becomes less nasty and brutish, and the shortness of life, less bothersome. It is a revelation.

I don't presume that I am any expert on this stuff so I am curious as to what an advanced practitioner "gets". It's like unlocking content in a video game.

Barlotti
Posts: 159
Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2011 7:58 am

April 2017 Net Worth and March Spending

Post by Barlotti » Sat Apr 01, 2017 7:49 am

Condo 200000
Checking and Savings 16877
403b 113290
Roth 22234
Brokerage 0
Pension 10186
ASSETS 362587

Mortgage 108601
Credit card debt 15000
LIABILITIES 123601

NET WORTH 238986
My net worth has increased 4557 since last month.

I'll work on documenting my March spending in an update later. In general, I am feeling better than ever about life. I attribute it to spiritual growth. And that spiritual growth is interrelated with my money situation. It's not that money is required for spiritual growth, but that my financial house made it possible for my attention to turn to something besides money. My heart is brimming with gratitude for my life and its circumstances.

Update April 14 -- March spending

Mortgage 861
Dining 400
Condo Fee 337
Auto 287
Cash 206
Household 197
Groceries 189
Utilities 165
Vacation/Travel 145
Medical 30
Home Repair 28
Charity/Donations 10
Entertainment 7

Total spent $2868

My spending in March was a bit high. I knew I was spending a lot towards the end of the month. Why I did it? I felt like I "deserved" it. It's funny how that sneaks up on me from time-to-time. There's something telling there about how I feel about money.

Barlotti
Posts: 159
Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2011 7:58 am

May 2017 net worth and April spending

Post by Barlotti » Tue May 02, 2017 5:54 pm

Condo 200000
Checking 792
Savings 4580
403b 117994
Roth 23314
Brokerage 0
Pension 10186
ASSETS 356866

Mortgage 97751
Credit card debt 14300
LIABILITIES 112051

NET WORTH 244815
My net worth has increased 5829 since last month.

It's been a fine month. I paid down my mortgage to under $100K. I'm holding off on the bathroom remodel until next winter. This means I can't refinance my 5/1 ARM, on schedule to adjust in August, until next winter. I figure that the spectre of rising interest rates can only motivate me to pay down my mortgage.

April spending
Mortgage 861
Dining 506
Condo Fee 337
Utilities 85
Auto 83
Groceries 57
Cash 41
Entertainment 21
Vacation travel 17
Charity Donations 5
Medical 1

Total $2019

Barlotti
Posts: 159
Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2011 7:58 am

June 2017 Net Worth and May Spending

Post by Barlotti » Thu Jun 01, 2017 8:36 am

Condo 200000
Checking 2027
Savings 4560
403b 119048
Roth 23553
Brokerage 0
Pension 10186
ASSETS 359374

Mortgage 97751
Credit card debt 14300
LIABILITIES 112051

NET WORTH 247323
My net worth has increased 2508 since last month.

Doing good. I'm meditating a lot. Joined Cambridge Insight Meditation Center. I feel like I've entered the stream.

May spending
Mortgage 861
Dining 739
Condo Fee 337
Utilities 77
Auto 303
Groceries 15
Cash 240
Entertainment 7
Credit Card 300
Charity Donations 10
misc 131

Total $3101

Barlotti
Posts: 159
Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2011 7:58 am

SELLING MY CAR

Post by Barlotti » Tue Jun 20, 2017 9:39 am

At long last, after hemming and hawing, I am going to sell my car.

The car costs me $2K to $4K a year in insurance, maintenance, gas, and parking. Between public transportation, the walkability of my neighborhood, and ZipCar, I don't need a car. ZipCar now offers one-way rentals!

I could probably rent out my parking space for $100 a month and without a car, I'll get more exercise and eat less junk food. I believe this is what they call a virtuous cycle.

User avatar
Gilberto de Piento
Posts: 1086
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:23 pm

Re: Barlotti in Boston II

Post by Gilberto de Piento » Tue Jun 20, 2017 9:44 am

That's great! Let us know how ZipCar works out. I've often considered doing the same.

Barlotti
Posts: 159
Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2011 7:58 am

July 2017 net worth and June spending

Post by Barlotti » Wed Jul 05, 2017 10:51 am

Thanks Gilberto. I'll keep you updated.

Here's my July 2017 net worth.
Condo 200000
Checking 1100
Savings 5140
403b 121750
Roth 23745
Brokerage 0
Pension 10186
ASSETS 362221

Mortgage 96880
Credit card debt 14300
LIABILITIES 111180

NET WORTH 251041
My net worth has increased 3418 since last month.

June spending
Mortgage 861
Credit Card 554
Condo Fee 337
Cash 158
Dining 74
Utilities 30
Misc Exp 11

Total spending $2028

My spending this month was just fine. My net worth has topped $250K this month. That's nice. All in all, I continue to be quite happy. Summer is beautiful, and my life is balanced.

I do feel that I have entered a virtuous cycle. My thoughts, action, and speech are becoming more and more noble, and this results in a very peaceful life. Conflict, both internal and external, is disappearing, because I'm letting go of my expectations as to how things and people "should be". Conflict is a way of perceiving a situation. As my perceptions become more and more balanced, I perceive conflict less. Most times when people say something insensitive, hurtful, or unclear, it's because they're feeling uncertain themselves. By "uncertain", I include the need to reinforce ego or self-image.

Campitor
Posts: 427
Joined: Thu Aug 20, 2015 11:49 am

Re: July 2017 net worth and June spending

Post by Campitor » Wed Jul 05, 2017 12:53 pm

Barlotti wrote:
Wed Jul 05, 2017 10:51 am
My thoughts, action, and speech are becoming more and more noble, and this results in a very peaceful life. Conflict, both internal and external, is disappearing, because I'm letting go of my expectations as to how things and people "should be".
I'm curious on how you cultivated this outlook and what philosophical/psychological disciplines you may have studied to guide you on this path.

Barlotti
Posts: 159
Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2011 7:58 am

The fruits of meditation

Post by Barlotti » Thu Jul 06, 2017 9:58 am

Hi Campitor,
I took a ten day Vipassanna meditation course as taught by S.N. Goenka several years ago. It's Buddhist meditation, but very secular. It's also helped that I'm exposed to a fair amount of psychophysical research in the European scientific tradition. In my opinion, the Buddha (and others following him) have conducted a huge amount of observational psychophysical research.

I've been reading some of the Pali Suttas, and accompanying commentary by various teachers. In particular, I've been reading about dependent arisings and the meaninglessness of self, or "anatta". The teachings of Eckhart Tolle have helped. And minimalism has helped. Compassion meditation practices from the Tibetan Buddhist heritage have helped.

There were a few landmark events for me.
1. Through the ten day meditation course, I realized that there is a vast amount of sensory information that my conscious mind usually ignores. I also realized that my mind creates sensory experience, and that my mind is rather undisciplined and unpredictable.
2. Through minimalism, I realized that I am not the sum of my belongings. Most of what I consider necessary for my life is not actually all that important. This was an important step towards understanding self, which is the basis for understanding the meaninglessness of self.
3. Through compassion meditation, I realized that every single human being and MY CAT have a reality that is singularly important to them just as my reality is singularly important to me. This was an important step towards understanding the meaninglessness of self, or anatta. Comprehending anatta is an important step towards seeing any moment "as it is" (or realistically) without the prejudices of a wounded and defensive ego.

I'd really like to read the whole of "Critique of Pure Reason" by Immanuel Kant. I think Kant's theories of mind overlap with Buddhist philosophy. I find Kant's thesis about time and space being mind-made constructs fascinating. Especially in view Einstein's theory of special relativity. I also find Kant's thesis about the internal consistency of human perceived reality fascinating.

The thing about Buddhism is that what I "get" so far makes a whole lot of sense to me. There's some other stuff that I don't "get" -- like getting past the boundaries of time, space, and material form. But when everything around some of these esoteric concepts makes so much sense, I find myself very much intrigued by the stuff that doesn't make sense to me right now.

Not that I expect to reach enlightenment. The real reward for me is that I am REALLY enjoying life.

LiberateMind
Posts: 119
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2012 8:18 pm

Re: July 2017 net worth and June spending

Post by LiberateMind » Fri Jul 28, 2017 9:37 pm

Barlotti wrote:
Wed Jul 05, 2017 10:51 am
I do feel that I have entered a virtuous cycle. My thoughts, action, and speech are becoming more and more noble, and this results in a very peaceful life. Conflict, both internal and external, is disappearing, because I'm letting go of my expectations as to how things and people "should be". Conflict is a way of perceiving a situation. As my perceptions become more and more balanced, I perceive conflict less. Most times when people say something insensitive, hurtful, or unclear, it's because they're feeling uncertain themselves. By "uncertain", I include the need to reinforce ego or self-image.
Thanks for sharing this.Its very insightful

Barlotti
Posts: 159
Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2011 7:58 am

August net worth and July spending

Post by Barlotti » Sat Jul 29, 2017 10:10 am

@LiberateMind: You're welcome. Thanks for your comment!

Condo 200000
Checking 3775
Savings 5217
403b 125504
Roth 24136
Brokerage 0
Pension 10186
ASSETS 368,818

Mortgage 96880
Credit card debt 14000
LIABILITIES 110880

NET WORTH 257938
My net worth has increased 6897 since last month.

I find my net worth increase this month pretty incredible. The increase results from having a healthy sum in retirement savings, and also, owning my own home.

I'm still pretty chill, but I haven't been meditating as much, and I'm frazzled.

Barlotti
Posts: 159
Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2011 7:58 am

Re: The fourth anniversary of Barlotti in Boston II

Post by Barlotti » Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:54 am

August 2013:
ASSETS
Condo $180,000
Roth balance $9,638
403b balance $20,092
Nonretirement investment $6,420
Pension NOT VESTED

LIABILITIES
Mortgage $157,978
Credit card debt $750

Net worth $62,423

August 2014:
ASSETS
Condo $188,000
Roth balance $18,685 (+$9,002)
403b balance $53,061 (+$32, 969)
Non-retirement investment $9,685 (+$3,265)
Pension $3,292

LIABILITIES
Mortgage $141,822 (-$16,156)
Heloan $14,415 (+$14,415)
credit card debt $3553 (+$2803)

Net worth $114,147 (+$51,724)

August 2015:
ASSETS
Condo $188,000
Roth balance $25,980 (+$7,295)
403b balance $77,450 (+$24,389)
Nonretirement investment and emergency fund $12,522 (+$2,837)
Pension $7,000

LIABILITIES
Mortgage $133,028 (-$8,794)
Heloan $13,025 (-$1,390)
credit card debt $5,314 (+$1,761)

Net worth was $160,704 (+$46,557)

August 2016:
ASSETS
Condo $200,000 (+$12,000)
Roth balance $12,512 (-$13,468)
403b balance $93,812 (+$16,362)
Nonretirement investment and emergency fund $0 (-$12,522)
Pension $9,433 (+$2,433)

LIABILITIES
Mortgage $111,474 (-$21,554)
Heloan $0 (-$13,025)
credit card debt $622 (-$4,692)

Net worth $203,510 (+$42,806)

August 2017:

Condo 200000
Checking 3775
Savings 5217
403b 125504
Roth 24136
Brokerage 0
Pension 11484
ASSETS 370,116

Mortgage 96880
Credit card debt 14000
LIABILITIES 110880

NET WORTH 259236 (+$55,726)

My net worth has increased $55,726 over the last year, and $196,813 since I started keeping track four years ago. Also, I've become a minimalist and become very peaceful and very resilient through meditation. All of this seems interrelated to me: good begets good, and all virtuous paths lead to the same destination.

I've signed up for a weekend meditation retreat at a Zen monastery to explore the possibility of taking retreat for 3 months to a year. And I'll tell you why I'm interested in a long-term retreat. It's because I know there will be benefit. In my experience with meditation, I've found surprising insight at every step, but in order to gain the insight, I must take the step for myself.

It's a kind of wisdom that once gained, seems obvious. On some level, I always knew, I just didn't understand. AND my experience with Buddhist meditation, which is basically a practice of self-reflection, is unveiling Catholicism for me. For example, I am finally "getting" the stations of the cross: why as Catholics, we are taught to face the crucifix, to embrace the crucifix. It is an expression of the four Noble Truths articulated by the Buddha.

Notwithstanding the limitations of language, the sacred is the sacred, regardless of the tradition, regardless of the gift-wrapping. When I recall my meditation experience where deer and raptors started approaching meditators in Onalaska, Washington, I think of Saint Francis of Assisi. We are all in touch with the sacred, and I wish everyone could see that.

Jason
Posts: 1253
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2017 8:37 am

Re: Barlotti in Boston II

Post by Jason » Fri Aug 11, 2017 1:23 pm

Good job on your financial progress. I can't say I'm in agreement with your syncretism, but its nice that you are communing with the sacred.

Francis of Assisi was like the Dr. Doolittle of the Medieval period.

wolf
Posts: 588
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2017 5:09 pm
Location: Germany

Re: The fourth anniversary of Barlotti in Boston II

Post by wolf » Sat Aug 12, 2017 1:29 am

Barlotti wrote:
Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:54 am
My net worth has increased $55,726 over the last year, and $196,813 since I started keeping track four years ago. Also, I've become a minimalist and become very peaceful and very resilient through meditation. All of this seems interrelated to me: good begets good, and all virtuous paths lead to the same destination.
Great financial progress. If I have calculated correctly you have increased your networth by 27%. Does this mostly come from saving or investing? Anyway keep on going. :-)

Another statement stroke me as well. It is about "minimalist" and "meditation". That, IMO, is good for FIRE as well. At least it helps me being more content and aware. As you wrote you become more peaceful. It is always good to be happy and satisfied besides the FI-numbers.

Gotta read your journal. Also looking forward to hear more about your experiences in the Zen monastery and your retreat. I have done this for 10 days in Thailand and I don't want to miss this experience. It was insightful. Wish you all the best there.

Barlotti
Posts: 159
Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2011 7:58 am

September net worth and August spending

Post by Barlotti » Wed Aug 30, 2017 9:21 pm

Thanks Jason and MDFire2024.

Condo 200000
Checking 2475
Savings 1000
403b 126794
Roth 23892
Brokerage 0
Pension 11484
ASSETS 365645

Mortgage 96439
Credit card debt 8200
LIABILITIES 104639

NET WORTH 261006

My net worth has increased $1,770 in the last month. It's all good. It's all good.

Barlotti
Posts: 159
Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2011 7:58 am

October net worth

Post by Barlotti » Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:37 pm

Condo 200000
Checking 1167
Savings 1000
403b 130584
Roth 24041
Brokerage 0
Pension 11484
ASSETS 368276

Mortgage 94800
Credit card debt 6800
LIABILITIES 101600

NET WORTH 266676

Net worth has increased 5670 since last month

Post Reply