I Saved Some Money, Accumulated So Good

Where are you and where are you going?
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Cheepnis
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Re: I Saved Some Money, Accumulated So Good

Post by Cheepnis » Sat Apr 13, 2019 8:27 am

Quick Update

This weekend I'm visiting the parents so I can work on the FunMobiles. Between traveling for the contest and probably two weekends this month making the trek to my hometown this is going to be a terrible month for gas expenses.

I got a good bit of preliminary work done last night so we can get them moving again today. In total I'm into this project $215. That includes powder coating the wheels and new tires for the little FunMobile and a couple cans of spray paint to touch up the far better wheels on the big FunMobile.

The apprentice contest went well, but I didn't place this year. All my dimensions were spot on and I was finished with the project quickly. All in all there's not much I'd change and I really would like to know what, if anything, I got docked for. I'm thinking the most likely possibility is I had a leak when it was put on test (I didn't get to see it on test).

Next update will have some FunMobile pictures, yay!

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Cheepnis
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Re: I Saved Some Money, Accumulated So Good

Post by Cheepnis » Sat Apr 20, 2019 8:47 am

Reading

Man, my reading has fallen off a cliff the past few weeks. I've been gone on the weekends and have been running more errands than normal (for FunMobile related things) during the week. It's being gone on the weekends that really did it I think. Most of my reading comes in large chunks of my Sat/Sun mornings with maybe 50-100 pages M-F evenings. I'm disappointed I'm falling behind my goal, but at least it's more due to lack of time than lack of will. It won't be getting any better the next two weeks either.

Driving

Between the apprentice contest and FunMobile renovation round 1 I've already spent over $100 on gas this month! I'm reprising my last two weekends of travel this weekend - to help my brother move - and next - for FunMobile renovation round 2 - so the fuel category is looking pretty dismal. All this weekend travel/errand running has significantly raised the amount of time I'm spending in my car and it's getting on my nerves. Cars are so uncomfortable and wasteful and it's endlessly frustrating being stuck in traffic when I'm driving around town. I swear I spend more time not moving than moving in the damn thing. And I really dislike sitting for such an extended period of time on my weekend trips.

If my job didn't require me to be mobile at a days notice I'd be rid of the thing. In the mean time I have it, therefore I use it, and subsequently get annoyed at how imperfect a solution it is to my needs. I do this to myself.

FunMobiles

Got them out, gave them a bath, and stripped them down last weekend. This is a pic of the larger one after we rolled it out.

Image

As you can see it is not in the best of shape. That is a 1926 6hp International Harvester engine. We're rebuilding the "cab" and "bumper", repainting lots of it, and fixing lots of little broken bits. I did end up having to source new - to the FunMobile - rear tires on this one, which was another $80, but one had some nasty cracks in the sidewall and wasn't holding air well at all.

I do have a picture of the smaller one, however the forum keeps telling me it cannot verify the dimensions of that image and to check my url. I'm not going to take the time to figure that out right now.

Side Hustle Project

I haven't made much any headway on this. Was planning on doing a bit Monday night and then cut myself bad at work that day and had to get stitches, which put my most useful digit on my dominant hand in a splint. I still got a few pieces preliminarily glued together that night, but that's all.

Something I want is a small workspace (i.e. a small shop) for my projects. I was reading some of Granola Shotgun on my breaks this week and in one comments section there was a discussion about 100%/80% solutions and how that last 20% often holds a disproportionate cost. I don't need a 100% solution for my workspace. All I really want is 1) a place I can not only work on things but leave those things set up*, and 2) a workbench with a vice so I don't have to jury-rig some hokey-ass shit together to get stuff done.

*currently do all my projects in the driveway, which means I normally try to knock a project out in one day so I don't have to take everything down and set it back up again.

Unfortunately I'm unwilling to buy a house in the current market here. Ultimately I'm not sure I ever want to buy a house, but there are some parts of owning one I could definitely make use of.

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Cheepnis
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Re: I Saved Some Money, Accumulated So Good

Post by Cheepnis » Wed Apr 24, 2019 9:44 pm

Been doing lots of thinking about my social and mental health since last night. At apprenticeship "school" last night I made the decision, much to my chagrin, to enter a political argument. I don't like doing this because there are very few in the union who aren't 100% in love with our president and it (among many other things) makes discourse difficult. Normally I shut up and try to tune out when discussion turns political but if it gets too ridiculous I can't help myself but call the ridiculousness out.

Last night's ridiculousness was that we (as in citizens* of the USA) should start shooting illegal immigrants if they're caught attempting to cross the border. Seems a pretty clear human rights violation and a clear case of a punishment not fit for the crime to me. I wasn't interested in an actual discussion of immigration policy, and I made that clear, but I called that idea out as being fucked up. As always, the situation devolved from there. I'm partly to blame seeing as I'm really bad at intruding in a conversation on a heated topic and keeping my lid on, but also I don't even know where to begin in a situation like that.

*The conversation started with mention of the vigilante border security stuff in the news

The entire idea of shooting another human being for standing on a different patch of dirt than I deem satisfactory does not compute on a fundamental level. To me there are many complicated moral and philosophical questions involved in any discussion of borders, but a border being worth a life is certainly off the table.

Anyway, it went as you'd expect. Tensions and tempers high. As with any time I am in a similar situation I've been on edge all day today. Depending on the severity of the argument there's always a day or two cool down after such an event. It really drives home to me how my mood and general mental health are really tied to the people I'm surrounded with. Unfortunately, currently having chosen to be a wage slave, I'm mostly around coworkers who I have extremely little in common with across many different metrics.

I would say I'm suffering from having very few people I respect, admire, or otherwise would like to emulate in my every day life. This is absolutely compounded by my current lack of friends and my (as yet) life long poor social skills. The anxiety I feel after a clash isn't so much different than the standard background anxiety I normally experience except it's several of orders of magnitude more acute.

I need to figure out how to surround myself with more people I would be proud to consider my peers. Part of this is absolutely addressing my social deficiencies and habits and part of this is also learning to bolster myself against the generally negative, bitter, and angry culture within the union and construction at large so I don't take those same feelings home with me. I'm unsure if those two things can even coexist. Closing myself off in half my life so I can open up in another half seem mutually exclusive upon first bluff.

MidsizeLebowski
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Re: I Saved Some Money, Accumulated So Good

Post by MidsizeLebowski » Thu Apr 25, 2019 12:00 am

Certainly feel you here. I've found it helpful to focus on mutual interests with coworkers/clients who I'm in flat disagreement with (typically political/ethics oriented). It has been helpful in times of inflammatory remarks like "shooting immigrants" to reflect upon the emotions/states in others which drive such an absurd worldview- certainly in that individual's case a sense of inadequacy/greed/deep internal fear- conjures more of an amused sympathy rather than argumentativeness.

It does sound like you'd benefit from a peer group which represents a bastion of sanity given your work environment. Obviously this forum fills that role for many of us as best it can.

I've found pursuing hobbies/attending events which attract compassionate or "integrated" -for lack of a better term - individuals to be quite refreshing and have made several close friends doing this. For me it's been in gyms and gardening workshops/courses which have provided the best social experiences and lasting friendships. What interests do you have that might attract the type of individuals you'd like to surround yourself with/would respect and admire?

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Cheepnis
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Re: I Saved Some Money, Accumulated So Good

Post by Cheepnis » Thu Apr 25, 2019 7:04 pm

I do opt for the mutual interest approach (though those are still few and far between) and never bring up politics myself. But even if I find a common interest with someone who I know holds similarly immoral views I don't really take much comfort in it. That common interest might provide something to talk about at lunch, but it feels like a rather flimsy level of connection in the face of something far more important.

I have all sorts of interests. Dance, gardening, cycling, exercise, chess or some volunteer opportunities are all things I'd be willing to try. I need to get out and actually try one instead of talking about trying one.

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Cheepnis
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Re: I Saved Some Money, Accumulated So Good

Post by Cheepnis » Sun Apr 28, 2019 8:38 pm

End of April update.

The #'s

Income: $4,303.36
Expenses: $1,323.71
Saving's Rate: 69.25%

Spending

FunMobile project - $362.89
Rent - $250
Car Insurance - $210.23
Gas - $157.3*
Groceries - $130.63
Eating out - $121.84**
Internet - $35
Seeds & Sprouts - $23.29
Phone - $17.54
Phone charging cord - $12
Movie Rental - $2.99

*Drove at least two hours away every weekend this month
**4x eating out with a total of 7 meals served. Took people I was staying with when I was out of town out for food as a thanks

Spending is obviously way up. Thankfully, all the major FunMobile Expenses are past and having my 6 month car insurance premium this month certainly doesn't make the number look any better. Taking those away I spent $750.59, which is right in the ballpark I'm shooting for. Gonna bring May in under $600 to bring my yearly average back in line a little better.

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Lemur
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Re: I Saved Some Money, Accumulated So Good

Post by Lemur » Tue Apr 30, 2019 8:42 am

@Cheepnis

You just gave me a a flashback to some of my co-workers while I was in the military....the people you surround yourself with have a large impact on your mental state. Obviously it can't be avoided (well unless you quit/resign) if it is at work. If your values are much different than the people around you, I would advise to simply start disengaging with them for your own sanity. You're not going to be able to change them. OTOH, if you must one leadership strategy you could apply that I learned to get people to start thinking about why they think a certain way is to simply ask questions and listen...it can be difficult if this is an emotionally charged subject but the best way to get someone to think about how they feel/think about a certain thing is for you to ask questions and listen...don't agree nor disagree or show any emotion towards the subject...just let them rant....plant a seed.... but then follow up with more questions and target certain areas of thinking....the goal here is to make it feel as if they came up with it themselves.

My life went much better mentally when I left the military and joined a new career surrounded by different people. The new people I'm surrounded by are your typical middle-class corporate office life individuals, but they're far removed from the ignorance I used to have to hear on a daily basis. Consider a change in scenery if you get the opportunity.

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Cheepnis
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Re: I Saved Some Money, Accumulated So Good

Post by Cheepnis » Thu May 02, 2019 10:34 pm

@Lemur, I like your advice on asking questions. Hopefully the next time I find myself in a similar situation I'll have the mental wherewithal to remember it and give it a try. Many times the conversations start innocently enough and slowly devolve into crazy-town and all the while I'm attempting to ignore it until I just can't anymore. Perhaps interjecting earlier in decline with a more neutral tactic like you suggested is a better response if I can't physically remove myself from the situation.

Unfortunately a change of scenery isn't in the cards for a while. I owe the union A LOT of money if I terminate my apprenticeship. The money is my "tuition" which I (and all union members, even journeymen) pay in the form of a few cents/hr allocation in our total package. All in all my union school tuition will cost almost as much as my undergrad, which is completely insane considering it's far fewer classroom hours and the hours are spent doing, with only a few exceptions, absolutely nothing. I digress...

---

NW

The 30 days from Mar. 31st to Apr. 30th saw, including contributions, an 8.5% increase in my NW. My returns were almost more than my contributions, which is kind of a cool threshold to be approaching.

Reading

I'm back on the reading train. I returned The Guns Of August deciding to not fall victim to feelings of sunk cost fallacy and get past the log jam it was creating.

13. Persepolis Rising
14. A Guide To The Good Life - The Ancient Art Of Stoic Joy

And currently reading

15. Thinking, Fast And Slow

I didn't know anything about stoicism prior to reading A Guide To The Good Life, but I think I've been a partial stoic for some time. The book really galvanized some half formed thoughts that have been rattling around in my mind for years - namely that my ability to be in control of my own expectations is an amazing tool to have available in the face of so many external circumstances that are out of my control. I don't think I'm going to actively practice the philosophy, but I've got some new tools and thought processes I can play around with in the future.

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Cheepnis
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Re: I Saved Some Money, Accumulated So Good

Post by Cheepnis » Sat May 11, 2019 8:17 am

Reading

15. Thinking, Fast And Slow
16. Move Your DNA

on to...

17. Tiamat's Wrath

Bonus

I got a 21.5% bonus (of my ytd gross) this week. I've mentioned that I've been given much more responsibility than my position as apprentice would indicate. I've been confident I'm knocking it out of the park and have had a suspicion that I've been putting this particular project I'm assigned deep in the black. This seems to be a confirmation of that and the bonus was a very pleasant surprise.

It's also not something completely unexpected. Bonuses are not a foregone conclusion in this industry - like they seem to be in others - so I'm unsure what the etiquette here should be in terms of a response. This isn't a mega-corp and I'm on the first name basis with the issuers (read: company owners) of the bonus. I feel a quick written thanks would be appropriate, OTOH I presumably earned this by making them a lot of money so maybe all they expect is more of the same? I don't think a quick email Monday morning would hurt anything. I'll also need to give a quick thanks to my direct boss who undoubtedly advocated on my behalf.

The shit was taxed out of it putting me on track for a 4 figure return, so I'll probably be upping my allowances in a couple months.

Side Hustle

Today is the day! I'm building some record crates. I finally have no other obligations and these suckers are getting made and sold! It's also going to be a beautiful day here so some nice time outside will be great for the neighborhood crate builder.

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Cheepnis
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Re: I Saved Some Money, Accumulated So Good

Post by Cheepnis » Fri May 17, 2019 9:44 pm

Reading

17. Tiamat's Wrath
18. The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius

on to...

19. A Brief History of Homo Sapiens

If I had to guess I think stoicism will become increasingly meaningful to me. Of course some tenets pair nicely with the ERE mindset, but even before finding ERE or MMM I was already inadvertently practicing several parts of the philosophy. I'd been ruminating on some things enough since reading A Guide to the Good Life that I decided to read some stoic source material. Seeing it explicitly written out has really given me a better idea of the benefits that I can gain through my actions and thought patterns.

The parts of stoicism that I see most in myself are on the material side of the philosophy. E.g. I've long drank primarily water since it's the only liquid we need regularly. Realizing that the judgement I make about whether or not consuming soda positively or negatively impacts my life is separate from the act of consuming soda was a pivotal moment for me. It's not if I have or don't have soda, it's what I think about having soda or not having soda that matters. Long ago I decided I'm not missing anything by not drinking soda. And besides: water is delicious.

The part of stoicism I would like to work on is tranquillity. I think I have a perfect environment at work and around coworkers to practice in. Keeping my inner experience tranquil in the face of instances like I described several updates ago is definitely something I need to work on for my own mental health. My response is, again, separate from the situation and dictated primarily by myself, but putting that into practice on a moments notice will take work I think. It's good to have goals.

Side Hustle

I've had a few bites on the record crates, but haven't reeled one in yet. I see flimsy POS crates sell in "big box" record stores (for almost as much as I'm asking) no problem so I still think these will sell eventually.

Music

Last year the Zappa Family Trust released the 4 shows (in full) from Decembers '73 that are the source material for Frank's most heralded live release "Roxy & Elsewhere". These shows are kind of a holy grail sort of thing, but I wasn't gonna dish out whatever ridiculous sum ZFT wanted for the box set. Well, lo and behold, the library has it! I went and picked it up tonight and have it blasting as I type this. My GF is gone tonight so I'm indulging my introversion by blasting music and typing about it to strangers on an internet forum I haven't been a part of that long! This is what I call a good time! It's been very interesting comparing the tracks from "Roxy & Elsewhere", which had some studio spit-shining, to the unedited cuts.

In other music news, John Zorn, who's an avant-garde jazz saxophonist and composer*, is releasing a box set of LP's from several different projects of his. Two are projects I've never heard before and two are projects I know and love. It's $100 + shipping and I want to so bad, yet seeing as FB is what made me aware of this it would irk me spending $100 because an algorithm knows me so well. These would get heavy play time, but I also know that I'll live fine without them. The bonus from last week has been floating in the back of my mind as a justification. That's lame though and I know it.

*he's extremely prolific and his music runs the gamut from small jazz group interpretations of Jewish folk music to instrumental hardcore punk, so much of it is extremely great

Fun Frugal Fact

My lifetime shaving bill is $0 if we don't factor in however much electricity it takes to charge my electric razor. I inherited an almost new Norelco right after puberty from my Grandpa and it's still going strong over a 15 years later. The blades are definitely not as sharp as they once were so I need to clean them every couple shaves.

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unemployable
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Re: I Saved Some Money, Accumulated So Good

Post by unemployable » Fri May 17, 2019 10:16 pm

Cheepnis wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 9:44 pm
Reading
If I had to guess I think stoicism will become increasingly meaningful to me. Of course some tenets pair nicely with the ERE mindset, but even before finding ERE or MMM I was already inadvertently practicing several parts of the philosophy. I'd been ruminating on some things enough since reading A Guide to the Good Life that I decided to read some stoic source material. Seeing it explicitly written out has really given me a better idea of the benefits that I can gain through my actions and thought patterns.
I'm the kind of guy who is naturally inclined to stoicism, and over the years I've sort of happened into many of its tenets. But recently I've been looking into it more actively as a whole philosophy and have found it quite redeeming.

For example, I believe I must undertake a major life transition in the next year or so, which I will discuss further in my own journal entry. I accept that however unpleasant it may be, it will happen, I will be prepared for it and will have the necessary agency to execute it from a position of strength and come out ahead. I feel stoicism has given me these powers.

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Cheepnis
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Re: I Saved Some Money, Accumulated So Good

Post by Cheepnis » Sat May 18, 2019 1:46 pm

Good luck on your forthcoming upheaval and I hope all goes well on that front. I'll be sure to offer any words of encouragement once you post in your journal.

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