Barlotti in Boston II

Where are you and where are you going?
Barlotti
Posts: 154
Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2011 7:58 am

November net worth

Post by Barlotti » Tue Nov 01, 2016 9:35 am

Thanks flip711. I'm glad you enjoy the journal!

Condo 200000
Checking 443
403b 99513
Roth 12103
Brokerage 0
Pension 9897
ASSETS 321956

Mortgage 110257
Credit card debt 507
LIABILITIES 110764

NET WORTH 211192

My net worth increased by $1559. The net worth increase is on account of my monthly contribution to my 403b.

UPDATE on Nov. 23:
It's almost Thanksgiving!! Woohoo!! I'm looking forward to refinishing my medicine cabinet. In celebration of Thanksgiving, I'm starting a weeklong spending fast. There's nothing like a good fast to make a person grateful.

Sometimes, I like to do a middle-ish of the month inventory to remind myself of where I stand, and to motivate myself to keep it up. So far this month, I've spent $2,691, and I don't need to spend any more.

Condo 200000
Checking 423
403b 101847
Roth 12115
Brokerage 0
Pension 10041
ASSETS 324426

Mortgage 110248
Credit card debt 1650
LIABILITIES 111898

NET WORTH 212528

Barlotti
Posts: 154
Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2011 7:58 am

December net worth and November spending review

Post by Barlotti » Tue Nov 29, 2016 9:25 pm

I am coming to the end of a week long fiscal fast -- spend no money. It wasn't perfect, I went to a Chinese restaurant for Thanksgiving dinner with my hunny bun and spent the $20 he gave me. I also bought a DeWalt oscillating tool for $23, a Black Friday deal. And I bought cat food and cat litter. But other than that, nada, nothing, zip. I feel really nice. I mean, I feel really grateful for my comfortable home and full larder. Listen, I didn't stock my kitchen for this fiscal fast. I just started, and after a week of eating REALLY well, I still have loads of nourishing food. And I have gallons and gallons of fresh and delicious water on demand. Now what do you think of that? Am I not lucky? Are YOU not lucky?

Condo 200000
Checking 1489
403b 101815
Roth 12090
Brokerage 0
Pension 10041
ASSETS 325435

Mortgage 109848
Credit card debt 60
LIABILITIES 109908

NET WORTH 215527
My net worth has increased 2999 since I last checked.

Also I will be tracking my spending from last month. I took a break for awhile, but my spending crept up. I want to get back on track. I spend roughly $4,000 a year dining out, $4,000 a year on my car, $4,000 a year in unaccounted for credit card debt, $2,500 a year in travel though I never feel like I travel. If I just keep fiscal fasting for the next year, I'll be about $15,000 richer.
Mortgage 901
Auto 352
Credit Card 337
Condo fee 337
Dining 237
Utilities 151
Household 142
Charity/Donations 75
Groceries 75
Health and Fitness 63
Misc. Expense 32
Entertainment 30
Medical 29
Insurance 18
Home Repair 15
Vacation/Travel 12

TOTAL SPENT $2811

I am proud of how little I spent last month. I think I can save $1,000 this month if I spend no more than $300 on food and all other non-recurring expenses. I will try my best.
Last edited by Barlotti on Thu Dec 01, 2016 10:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Chris
Posts: 528
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 2:44 pm

Re: December net worth and spending review

Post by Chris » Wed Nov 30, 2016 2:40 am

Barlotti wrote:Listen, I didn't stock my kitchen for this fiscal fast. I just started, and after a week of eating REALLY well, I still have loads of nourishing food. And I have gallons and gallons of fresh and delicious water on demand. Now what do you think of that? Am I not lucky? Are YOU not lucky?
I go through a pantry destocking toward year-end as well. It is a good feeling, harnessing already-purchased items and using a little creativity.

You're right: very lucky.

Barlotti
Posts: 154
Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2011 7:58 am

Abundance

Post by Barlotti » Thu Dec 01, 2016 10:59 am

Hi Chris, I am so much happier when I appreciate what I've got.

I was talking about "wealth" with work colleagues who immigrated from Eastern Europe to the U.S. as adults. One work colleague spent her childhood with her parents, brother, and grandma in a two room apartment. Grandma had one room, and she, her parents, and her brother occupied the other. My father spent his early childhood in one room with one light bulb, and one blanket. I believe there were six of them at the time. The family eventually grew to eight surviving members. One died in infancy. My mother also lost a sibling. Their generation's survival rate was much better than my grandparent's generation. My maternal grandma lost ten siblings out of twelve. My maternal grandpa and paternal grandma grew up with no siblings, because they each lost a young parent.

Meanwhile, I get to grow up in an idyllic university town in Idaho with ZERO crime. I never go hungry. I never experience death. My mom shares cautionary tales about bandits and lepers, and teaches me, at a very young age, to hide my jewelry and clutch my purse while out and about.

The wealth of "developed" nations is unprecedented. I hit the jackpot to be born at this time in history, in this country. Deep down, I know it. And yet I have to remind myself. Incredible.

Barlotti
Posts: 154
Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2011 7:58 am

A meeting with retirement advisor

Post by Barlotti » Wed Dec 14, 2016 5:27 pm

I met with the retirement advisor for the large company that handles my hospital's 403(b), and I have some good news.

The retirement advisor, for the first time EVAH, said that my projected retirement income exceeds my projected retirement expenses by about $1000 a month (corrected for inflation). Yay! It's pretty good considering that six years ago, I had negative net worth and virtually no retirement savings. She knows that I want to FI by age 52, and knows about "the movement".

So, I thought I'd revisit "The Millionaire Next Door" formula, and my ratio is 0.6, which puts me solidly in underaverage accumulator of wealth territory. I guess it's not too surprising. Really, if I'd saved an extra $15,000 a year over the past six years (it was technically possible), my ratio now would be at least 0.85. This would mean that in a year or two, I would be an average accumulator of wealth (AAW), solidly. As it is, it will take me about four years to reach AAW.

I think the next landmark will be having my projected retirement income exceed my projected retirement expenses by about $1600 a month. The excess would cover what I'm cautiously expecting from Social Security.

The landmark after that will be having $200,000 in manageable retirement assets. For whatever reason, I've decided that I can get a retirement advisor with fiduciary duty to me, once I've reached that landmark.

Anyhew, it's important to me to identify and celebrate these landmarks. Keeps me motivated.

Barlotti
Posts: 154
Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2011 7:58 am

Should I pay off my mortgage?

Post by Barlotti » Sun Dec 18, 2016 9:36 am

Hello friends,
I hem and haw about whether or not to pay off my mortgage, and am, once again, considering refinancing my mortgage. I would like your thoughts on what I should do.

THE WHY
I set my mind to pay off, or pay down, my mortgage without refinancing it, and then something or other causes me to reconsider. This time, the financial advisor I met with (see my last post), has me thinking about refinancing to a 15 year mortgage this summer. She personally experienced HUGE interest rate gains while she was under contract to buy her first house, and perhaps refinancing makes sense from a numbers perspective.

THE LOAN
Currently, I am in the fixed rate period of a 5/1 ARM. With an interest rate of 2.49% percent, my mortgage payments (principal and interest) are $639. In September 2017, the mortgage interest rate will adjust to at least 2.75%, or at most 4.49%. The mortgage interest rate can go as high as 7.49%, and can increase NO more than 2% a year. The interest rate is determined by adding 2.75% to the index, which is the weekly average yield on United States securities adjusted to a constant maturity of one year (I don't know what that means! Is that the one year index?).

THE BALANCE
$109,800 (The starting balance about 4 years and 4 months ago was $162,000)

Update: I crunched the numbers using this web calculator http://tcalc.timevalue.com/all-financia ... lator.aspx

Yes, I should refinance to a 15 year mortgage this summer. As it is, my mortgage interest rate is set to re-set to 4.5% and I will be paying about $397 a month ($300 after tax deduction) in interest Sept. 2017 to Sept. 2018. If I refinance, I will pay about 308 a month (231 after tax deduction) in interest. In the first year, I'll see about $840 savings in interest. Remember this future self!

halfmoon
Posts: 582
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:19 pm

Re: Barlotti in Boston II

Post by halfmoon » Sun Dec 18, 2016 11:44 am

Barlotti,

When you're closer to refinancing, don't forget to shop around and compare all the costs versus interest rates (you should get estimates in writing). There's no reason you have to go through the original lender. A no-fee refinance will typically have a slightly higher rate.

Also: when calculating the benefit of the mortgage interest deduction, look at your itemized deduction total without the mortgage interest. If your non-interest itemized deductions aren't over the standard deduction threshhold ($6300 for a single taxpayer in 2016), you're not really getting the full tax benefit of the mortgage interest deduction. That could be an argument for paying off the mortgage as quickly as possible.

Barlotti
Posts: 154
Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2011 7:58 am

January net worth and December spending

Post by Barlotti » Thu Dec 29, 2016 11:03 pm

@Scriptbunny, crikey, mortgage rates are going up quickly!
@Halfmoon, that's a good point about itemized deductions vs. standard deduction.

Condo 200000
Checking 4579
403b 105005
Roth 13039
Brokerage 0
Pension 10186
ASSETS 332809

Mortgage 109837
Credit card debt 170
LIABILITIES 110007

NET WORTH 222802
My net worth has increased 7275 since I last checked.

Mortgage 901
Condo fee 337
Household 194
Credit Card 159
Utilities 152
Groceries 132
Dining 118
Auto 90
Health & Fitness 63
Home Repair 37
Cash 23
Insurance 18
Education 15
Entertainment 14
Bank Fee 3

TOTAL SPENT $2262

I did pretty well in December. My net worth has gone up a fair amount, and I controlled my spending. I didn't pay for parking. I ate at home, and packed lunch, mostly.

I'm feeling frustrated tonight, because I feel like I don't have enough money to do what I want -- namely, fix up my bathroom, save for retirement, and augment my emergency fund. I am tempted to take on credit card debt (0% APR, 3% transfer fee), but the idea of credit card debt is annoying too.

The truth is, I've wasted money. I'm not a big spender, but I'm also not THAT frugal. It's really sinking in. I choose how to spend my money. If I spend my money eating out and on parking, I can't rewire my bathroom AND fully fund my Roth IRA. Argghhhh!!!!!

I should practice patience and contentment, and take one thing at a time. I'll put some money into the Roth, and some money into the savings account. No need to rush.

UPDATE: the next day, Dec. 30, 10 am
Funny how less stress can equal more savings
It occurred to me that my kitchen remodel has made it a whole lot easier to cook at home. I have counterspace to cut and chop, and I have a dishwasher to help keep the counter clear. Also, I have this beautiful, quiet sanctuary of a kitchen that I like hanging out in. What does this mean? I'm not looking for rest and relaxation elsewhere.

I am very sensitive to my environment. I do believe that spending money to make my home more calming and uplifting is a good use of money for me. A good home environment improves my focus, and makes me more productive. One thing that really impacts how my house feels is wall color and lighting. In my kitchen, I have canister LED lights on dimmers. I also have undercabinet lights on different switches. The lighting effects my mood hugely. If I turn up the canister LED lights and turn on the undercabinet lights, I feel energetic. In the evening, I like to turn down the overhead lights, and turn on a standing lamp with yellow tones. I feel cozy and more relaxed. I'm starting to think that money spent on good ambient lighting would be money spent wisely.

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Chris
Posts: 528
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 2:44 pm

Re: January net worth and December spending

Post by Chris » Fri Dec 30, 2016 10:10 pm

Barlotti wrote: I'm feeling frustrated tonight, because I feel like I don't have enough money to do what I want -- namely, fix up my bathroom, save for retirement, and augment my emergency fund.
...
It's really sinking in. I choose how to spend my money. If I spend my money eating out and on parking, I can't rewire my bathroom AND fully fund my Roth IRA. Argghhhh!!!!!
1. How large of an emergency fund do you really need? If your monthly cashflow is large enough, your credit card can fund emergency spending (due to the grace period). Also, you have a Roth which you can draw from if absolutely necessary (withdrawal of contributions is tax-free).

2. Are you expecting a 2016 income tax refund? Maybe that could take care of your bathroom rewiring...

Barlotti
Posts: 154
Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2011 7:58 am

Happy 2017!

Post by Barlotti » Sun Jan 01, 2017 11:36 pm

Hi Chris, thanks for your questions, which have created some perspective for me:
1. How large of an emergency fund do you really need? If your monthly cashflow is large enough, your credit card can fund emergency spending (due to the grace period). Also, you have a Roth which you can draw from if absolutely necessary (withdrawal of contributions is tax-free).

2. Are you expecting a 2016 income tax refund? Maybe that could take care of your bathroom rewiring...

Answer to question 1: My need for an emergency fund is less because my life's risk profile is low. I have access to good public transportation, my expenses are low relative to my income, I only have to pay for my own emergencies, and not others', I have access to good public transportation (I live within ten minutes walk of the redline "t"), and I share certain "house" expenses with 44 other condo owners.

Answer to question 2: Yes, I'm expecting a 2016 income tax refund, and have already factored that in.

Happy new year to all!

I feel SO good about life. It's taken some practice, but I feel that I have been given this great gift. I have been set here on earth with a good mind and a good heart and I want to spread joy and make something beautiful. Friends, I love Beethoven. I love his exuberance. His music embraces life and beauty and human capacity. One time, I went to hear Beethoven's 9th Symphony in Boston's Symphony Hall, and while listening to the Ode to Joy, I looked up at the beautifully decorated hall and at the neoclassical statues lit from underneath, and I cried thinking, "THIS is what human creativity and ingenuity can create!"

Take a deep breath and a minute to appreciate something of beauty on this first day of 2017. Wander outside and feel the soil, the air, and the goodness of being alive!
Last edited by Barlotti on Mon Jul 10, 2017 12:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

Barlotti
Posts: 154
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.

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Chris
Posts: 528
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: 154
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: 154
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: 154
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: 154
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: 154
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: 154
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: 154
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.

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Gilberto de Piento
Posts: 898
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: 154
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: 230
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: 154
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: 111
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: 154
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.

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