Lemur Journal!

Where are you and where are you going?
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Lemur
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Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by Lemur » Tue Mar 27, 2018 12:13 pm

trailblazer wrote:
Fri Mar 23, 2018 2:23 pm
Hi Lemur - I think you are building a very useful set of skills. With a Big 4 on your resume (even as a contractor) and your military veteran status, you can ramp up pretty quickly over the next few years to a much higher earning level. In my experience, firms like the Big 4 and related professional service firms place a premium on military status - most have launched initiatives to hire more. Not exactly the dream ERE employment, but I think you can get a higher salary and save more quickly.

Interesting to hear up your upwork experience. I've thought about playing around with this a bit but always seems like more trouble than it's worth.
Hey trailblazer,

Upwork is not worth it. Something that has crossed my mind is why trade more hours for labor. If I wanted to do that, I could just get a second job. I'm exploring setting up a business. My spouse is pretty successful right now with her business and I'm learning a lot from her. Once I finish my Master's degree (late this year) and some certifications, I think I'm going to start dedicating some time to starting a business. All proceeds will go towards bumping my savings rate...25% savings rate is good but nowhere near ERE good. For me, fundamentally, I have to be open to moving I think. I would love to either work completely remotely or find a way to work close to work.

Until I cover these fundamentals, my savings rate will always be dragged down even if I increase my salary by 20-30+ %.

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Lemur
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Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by Lemur » Mon Apr 02, 2018 7:53 pm

Keto + Intermittent fasting works really well for me.

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Lemur
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Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by Lemur » Wed Apr 11, 2018 12:23 pm

Very happy for my spouse. In the first quarter 2018, her business after COGS, Expenses, and Taxes is equivalent to what I make in my salary career (in 3 months). We've joked the past 2 years because I would always say "man one day you might make more money than me!" To see the reality is motivating for me given that I nearly have a Master's and my spouse started her business ground up while also raising our son at home (her college degree is irrelevant to her business). While my spouse is not fully on board with investing every dollar for early retirement purposes, her making good money has allowed us to collectively lower our expenses and allowed me to allocate more towards 401(k). It is very interesting because I've always been very risk-adverse but I have always admired the entrepreneurial mindset (could never pull the trigger myself) whereas my wife is a "go for it" attitude that I admire a lot.

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Lemur
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Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by Lemur » Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:40 pm

About that traffic ticket I finally went to court for (mentioned in the beginning of this log). Had my fine reduced from $570 to $295 (includes court costs). Also no points on my license. I brought in my driving record ($7 for an official copy) which helped proved my normally safe driving habits.

Finally can move on. Just finished up two college courses as well. Interestingly, in my one of my courses I got a "B" for the first time since high school. Was slightly annoyed (well it was my fought...I definitely did not study like I had in the past) but at the same time I gotta think what does it matter? An employer just wants to see the checkmark at the end of the day.

Also. I am 4 chapters into "Flight from the City" by Ralph Borsodi. Great book so far.

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Lemur
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Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by Lemur » Tue Apr 24, 2018 8:29 am

I think it would be an interesting exercise to count +1 each time I contribute $300 to investments. At a 4% withdrawal rate, $300 gives $1 a month for life ($300 * 4% = $12 annually or $1 a month).

I think I will start today...tomorrow I get paid my salary paycheck and an automatic contribution to my 401k should put me up 2 points.

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Lemur
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Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by Lemur » Wed Apr 25, 2018 7:54 am

$609.38 automatic contribution to 401(k).

I'd like to earn a point this year at some point that does not come from my salary job or GI Bill. I'll keep counting points until I get to 100 for the sake of this exercise. Also I rounded down for the sake of convenience because technically $609.39 is a little over 2 points.

Points: 2

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Lemur
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Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by Lemur » Tue May 01, 2018 8:49 pm

Started my garden.

Planted Squash, Onion, and Watermelon. I have successfully planted squash before (inside the square), but have failed at Onion & Watermelon before. Trying again this year. The onion is what is planted across the fence line. I'm also thinking I may need some type of barrier, a garden fence. We have groundhogs here.

The box is my first attempt at a compost pile...not sure if I am doing it right lol; I just through together a bunch of dead grass, leaves, and some table scraps (bananna peels, onion peels, etc.)

I have yet to read a single book on gardening or anything like that; just trial and error. I watched a documentary on Permaculture recently that I found interesting; maybe I'll pick something up.

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light_bulb_moment
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Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by light_bulb_moment » Wed May 02, 2018 3:48 am

There's a bunch of good, free gardening advice on YouTube. I've been getting into it myself lately, I'm a little further along the composing path than you, but not so far along the planting path :-)

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Lemur
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Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by Lemur » Sat May 05, 2018 9:36 pm

light_bulb_moment wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 3:48 am
There's a bunch of good, free gardening advice on YouTube. I've been getting into it myself lately, I'm a little further along the composing path than you, but not so far along the planting path :-)
Yeah Youtube has helped me learn the concept of tilling and prepping soil.

Whatever I am doing works with Squash works. The majority of my squash has sprouted. No signs of life for onions or watermelon though...will have to google what they look like when they sprout. Squash is very distinct but with other plants I think it is hard to tell if something is a a sprout or just a weed. I have never successfully planted any greens...perhaps for this reason? Maybe I'm pulling them out by accident lol.

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Lemur
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Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by Lemur » Sun May 13, 2018 4:32 pm

Points: 4

May 10 - Another automatic 401(k) contribution of $609.38

So just re-negotiated my salary despite only being at my job for 3 months...got a 12.5% raise. Pretty nice. Means more to the 401(k)!

2Birds1Stone
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Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Sun May 13, 2018 6:19 pm

Congrats on the raise, I really like your points system!

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Lemur
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Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by Lemur » Tue May 15, 2018 8:03 am

2Birds1Stone wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 6:19 pm
Congrats on the raise, I really like your points system!
Thanks. It could be more accurate if I was not lazy and decided to track decimals lol. One of my goals is to get a point that does not come from my salary or GI Bill. I doubt that will happen this year as I am only thinking about it and not making concrete plans.

On another note, my garden has successfully sprouted squash, onion, and watermelon (not seen in picture). I also planted potato yesterday. Also that amount of grass is surprising...I actually looked up recently how to properly remove sod so I will be doing that soon when I plant my next set of veggies (still deciding what I want to plant!).

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Lemur
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Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by Lemur » Tue May 29, 2018 7:27 am

Points: 6

May 25 - Another automatic 401(k) contribution of $609.38 +2
May 25 - Invested an additional $300 savings +1
May 26-27 - Went on a memorial day vacation; spent unplanned money which was about $300 including hotel + gas. So -1

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Lemur
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Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by Lemur » Wed May 30, 2018 3:09 pm

Lemur wrote:
Mon Apr 02, 2018 7:53 pm
Keto + Intermittent fasting works really well for me.
Been sticking to the intermittent fasting for a few weeks now. Noticing physical & mental health benefits. Did not stick to the keto part - I missed fruit, pastas, etc...and this stuff is cheaper and fits better with my goals. Meat gets pricy.

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Lemur
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Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by Lemur » Thu Jun 21, 2018 11:39 am

- My garden is growing nicely but I have been lazy at pulling weeds/grass to the point where my radishes are getting covered up. Squash is starting to bear fruit.

-Continuing to learn R programming language at work. Just a few months ago I didn't even know a simple function...now I'm writing basic scripts :) Very happy with my progress.

- Still plugging away to finish Master's Degree. Ugh Can't wait till it is over.

- It only took 4 years...but I finally managed to convince my spouse to invest some money. She put down $3k in a Roth IRA. She chose Roth so should could always pull out (contributions) if she changed her mind. I was arguing to do a tIRA to lower our taxes but I figure I did not want to push it lol. I see where she comes from though.

jennypenny
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Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by jennypenny » Thu Jun 21, 2018 2:38 pm

Maybe next time you can get her to split the contribution between a Roth and TIRA. It's a compromise and then she'd get to see the effect of a TIRA on your taxes.

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Lemur
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Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by Lemur » Tue Jun 26, 2018 7:47 am

Will try. I think I could try to persuade her to put the other $2,500 (if she so decides to contribute) to a tIRA. I think a Roth IRA is fine though. She may have plans to expand her business so we think it is best to be flexible the first few years.

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Lemur
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Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by Lemur » Sun Jul 01, 2018 5:48 pm

One of my watermelons sprouted :) I was excited to see it. On the bad news, my Squash are still more or less dying. Trying my best to get them revived but a few are dead for sure. Lesson learned here is to find a way to control grass/weeds that does not involved too much manual labor. I was all about manual labor until I started losing time (well overestimating the amount of time I had on my hands). I also got lazy and didn't maintain that area like I should've. I watched some videos on how some gardeners cover up areas with mulch, dead grass, cardboard, newspaper, etc..Pretty much anything that can cover up the areas from sunlight.

My job is still fun (never thought I would be saying this). Really enjoying automating my work processes with R. I'm also leveraging myself into more interesting work and successfully avoiding being promoted to management hehe.

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Lemur
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Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by Lemur » Wed Jul 04, 2018 3:38 pm

Lemur wrote:
Sun Jul 01, 2018 5:48 pm
One of my watermelons sprouted :) I was excited to see it. On the bad news, my Squash are still more or less dying. Trying my best to get them revived but a few are dead for sure. Lesson learned here is to find a way to control grass/weeds that does not involved too much manual labor. I was all about manual labor until I started losing time (well overestimating the amount of time I had on my hands). I also got lazy and didn't maintain that area like I should've. I watched some videos on how some gardeners cover up areas with mulch, dead grass, cardboard, newspaper, etc..Pretty much anything that can cover up the areas from sunlight.

My job is still fun (never thought I would be saying this). Really enjoying automating my work processes with R. I'm also leveraging myself into more interesting work and successfully avoiding being promoted to management hehe.
Out of the 11 squash I got growing, 2 I pulled (they were dead) which leaves me with 9. About half of those are wilting. Independence Day gave me a day off since I work for the government so the good news is I spent a good 4 hours in my backyard getting my Garden maintained. I pull all weeds and grass (by hand) and mulched around every vegetable plan with a mix of compost/leaves that occur naturally (I live next to a wooded area which is a nice benefit).

I'm positive now my wilting squash might revive. Weeds pulled, mulch to prevent new weeds, and I watered them good and placed good compost around the roots and watered with a "nitrogen tea" which is like a 5 gallon of bucket that has been filled with dead grass and water for a few weeks.

On my watermelon, she is growing fast! The one I had was a golf ball just a few days ago and now it is about the size of a baseball. I also have another watermelon that sprouted - its about the size of a pea.

Financial Status

I am at $99k. Very close to $100k saved up. Not bad for a 27 year old....I remember thinking a few years ago I wanted to have $100k before I am 30. Baring some catastrophic market downturn, it looks like that goal will be met. Actually, if I combine my spouses savings we're over $140k. At the moment, I do not count my wife's assets. Mainly because the money is tied up in business and my spouses goal is not to RE anytime soon.

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Lemur
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Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by Lemur » Thu Jul 05, 2018 3:42 pm

I always find it hilarious that my spouse is liberal until she has to pay quarterly taxes for her business; at which point she transforms into a tea-party don't tread on me ultra right-wing republican lol. Federal (15% for us) + State (7%) + Self-Employment (15.3%) sucks but it is what it is right?

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