I Saved Some Money, Accumulated So Good

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

Post by wolf » Sun Jun 23, 2019 11:28 am

what does the red/blue/green line stand for?

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unemployable
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Re: I Saved Some Money, Accumulated So Good

Post by unemployable » Sun Jun 23, 2019 11:38 am

Jason wrote:
Sun Jun 23, 2019 11:24 am
I mean, "Dollars"? How about "Assets" or "Investments" or "Savings" or "Net Worth" or just "Money" as at least that maintains the Time vs. Money dichotomy.
All those have different meanings. "Dollars" to me, in the context of that chart, means anything counted in M1 or M2 money supply. (So bank-type instruments but no stocks, hard assets, bitcoin etc.)

I like the use of six significant figures on a hand-drawn chart myself.

Jason
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Re: I Saved Some Money, Accumulated So Good

Post by Jason » Sun Jun 23, 2019 11:44 am

I should really STFU and graph at this point.

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unemployable
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Re: I Saved Some Money, Accumulated So Good

Post by unemployable » Sun Jun 23, 2019 12:11 pm

MTFU, M for "math". Not a bad life motto to adopt.

Cheepnis
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Re: I Saved Some Money, Accumulated So Good

Post by Cheepnis » Sun Jun 23, 2019 1:12 pm

Hahaha I'm really glad my chart is such a hit with you guys.

@Jason, I thought and still think making the y-axis "DOLLARS" is funny. Besides, since I'm tracking three different figures it would simpky be too clunky naming it "INCOME/SAVED/SPENT".

@wolf, green is total income, blue is total saved, red is total spent.

wolf
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Re: I Saved Some Money, Accumulated So Good

Post by wolf » Mon Jun 24, 2019 12:54 am

well done then !

Jason
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Re: I Saved Some Money, Accumulated So Good

Post by Jason » Mon Jun 24, 2019 7:47 am

You should take an old sock, sew in some buttons, and create a hand puppet to narrate videos explaining your graph. Use a really high pitch, annoying voice. Show and tell like. As if Mr. Rogers had an ERE segment. "If you invest your weekly, nickel allowance, based on a conservative return of 5.4% annually, you'll have seven cents in three years." Or whatever it turns out to be. Tell them a million dollars. They're kids. Who gives a shit.

Cheepnis
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Re: I Saved Some Money, Accumulated So Good

Post by Cheepnis » Sat Jun 29, 2019 9:27 am

End of June Update

The #'s

Income: $4460.26
Spending: $851.39
Savings Rate: 80.91%

Spending

Rent - 250
Costco - 110.66
Golf x2 - 65.75
Record Store - 57.97
Gas - 45.76
FunMobile Parts - 43.7
Winco - 38.71
USPS passport fee - 35
Italian Date Night - 35
Internet - 35
Breakfast with Dad on father's day - 32
Engine show registration fee - 30
Passport photos - 19.90
Phone - 17.47
New Belt - 15.99
Burrito - 8
Costco Food Court - 5.48
Driving Range - 5

Ending up $18.39 over my average monthly spending target for 10k/y which I feel pretty good about consider the above average discretionary spending and a few small unexpected expenses like the passport fee* since we hadn't planned our trip yet! As noted last update the trip will send me over my 10k/y goal, but I'm still going to stick to that goal discounting the trip and with the trip I'm hoping I'll clock in 1k or more below my total spending for 2018. To meet that goal I'll need to spend less than $11,969.74.

*the state department check hasn't been cashed yet, so that'll show up on the end of July update.

July Forecast

July is going to be a jam packed month. End of the month is the engine show and we're flying out for Dublin the day after that because my dad graciously offered to pack up after the show by himself. Next weekend I'm heading back home for final FunMobile touch-ups and I've got 8 other engines over here I'm working on getting tuned up. I've also got some car maintenance I need to perform. It's throwing a knock sensor code and the valve cover gaskets are shot. I already put a salvaged knock sensor in it 3 years ago and it lasted this long. I guess it's time for a new one. And finally I'd like to get out for a couple more rounds of golf.

On good friendships and conversation

What makes a good friendship? Or good conversation? Sometimes I think that I need to me more people with my interests. I'm coming to think that's a flawed line of reasoning, though. It's all too often I meet people I "should" get along with if you were to look at basic descriptions of us on paper, yet I have no fun talking to them. Of course interests can be shared by all sorts of disparate personality types, but sometimes I think I'm the black sheep of any group I'm ostensibly a part of. I like the Phish, but I don't smoke pot. I like old farm engines, but I live in a city and lean left. I'm a plumber, but I have a degree and come from, for all intents and purposes, a different world than all my coworkers. I'm an American, but live frugally. I'm a millennial, and generally limit my TV watching.

I'm aware that many of those are stupid distinctions got get hung up on. Nonetheless, I never feel fully a part of any group. How does my social interactions within a group effect my feelings of belonging? Lately I've been pondering if I don't feel part of those groups because the conversation isn't satisfying or the conversation isn't satisfying because I'm not part of those groups. Part of the problem is I don't know what a fun conversation would look like. If I could model my friendships and conversations on anything it would be on my relationship with my brother. Not only do we have similar interests, but we're interested in talking at length about them. And there's enough familiarity between us that we're not relying on conversational crutches like certain universal topics or ubiquitous teasing and such.

Is it reasonable to expect every day relationships to be like that? Of course not. Unfortunately it seems that adult life in modern society restricts time enough that it creates a barrier to building that sort of relationship from the ground up. So what does a good every day friendship look like? I still don't know. I think I'd like to figure it out. The one criteria I'm pretty sure of is a small group setting. 2-4 people. The inherent competitiveness of large groups shuts me down in the same way I described last update regarding golf/sports. I do not have the energy or inclination to make my voice/personality/opinions heard in large groups when people are vying for the limited supply of visibility/prestige within the group.

Jason
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Re: I Saved Some Money, Accumulated So Good

Post by Jason » Sat Jun 29, 2019 10:14 am

Cheepnis wrote:
Sat Jun 29, 2019 9:27 am

Or good conversation? Sometimes I think that I need to me more people with my interests. I'm coming to think that's a flawed line of reasoning, though. It's all too often I meet people I "should" get along with if you were to look at basic descriptions of us on paper, yet I have no fun talking to them.
I just had an interesting conversation with an elderly Korean lady who saw me standing on the sidewalk. She asked me what I was doing. I said "Those wild turkeys don't play around." She said "I know." Turns out, she grew up with a wild turkey in Seoul as her brother wanted to become a veterinarian. She told me how she used to have to walk outside to go to the bathroom and I said "I know someone in Switzerland who shits in the woods." It was a nice conversation. She told me how bad South Korea is now. I said "Be careful of the wild turkeys because it would be a shame for you to come all the way from Korea where you grew up with a wild turkey to end up getting pecked to death by one here in America." She agreed. You just have to be open to these type of things.

Cheepnis
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Re: I Saved Some Money, Accumulated So Good

Post by Cheepnis » Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:01 am

@Jason, never change

Lacking Ambition

Thank you to @PoorButWealthy bumping their journal I found the blog Lacking Ambition. I've spent the last couple days reading it and I'm about halfway through it. It's very inspiring and I love love love the name. LA particularly piqued my interest since he worked a union job in manual labor and you don't see very much FIRE writing from that perspective.

One thing the blog has really drove home for me is the need to play the hand you're dealt. If Mike ever goes into how he became a lineman I haven't read that far yet, but once he was there and had the opportunity for his employer to pay his college tuition he went after it. And when he got laid off during the great recession he used his savings to invest in property at the bottom of it. $23,000 cash purchase + ~$7,000 fixing it up to then renting it for $800/m?!??! If I were to scale that ratio to my time and location I'd have to be renting out a small 2bed/1bath house for over $5,000 per month! Not possible in the land of inflated housing markets and far less inflated renting markets.

Neither of those are options for me, but that's okay. I do have a killer living situation that allows me to spend somewhat frivolously in some areas while maintaining a high SR and I have a good job that I'm still 2 years out from maximizing my income at. The downside is my job is tightly coupled to a booming economy. Once the shit hits the fan (again) all the money being invested in the city will dry up, half complete projects will shutter up, and I'll likely be laid off.

However, there's also a little upside. Being a union member in good standing and awaiting a new dispatch while on the OOW (Out of Work) list I will qualify for unemployment without any of the job searching requirements. I'll qualify as long as I don't turn down a call to work, which I'll be unlikely to receive since there won't be any work. At my current spending level I'd still maintain a >50% SR while on unemployment too!

Of course it's not guaranteed I'd get laid off. Some guys didn't work a single day in '09 and '10. OTOH there are plenty of people who didn't miss a day of work between 2008-2011. Mostly they're the favorites, family members, or the exceptional workers. I'd like to think I'll fall into the last category. That's no guarantee to lift me above the first two categories though. I'm really kind of excited for it all to shake out. I'm prepared for it now and by the time it actually happens I'll be even more prepared. A little built in time off would not be so bad at all. It's nice not being over-extended.

Cheepnis
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Re: I Saved Some Money, Accumulated So Good

Post by Cheepnis » Sat Jul 13, 2019 8:54 am

July Projects

#1

I forgot to mention that I'm also replacing a window in the apartment this month. The kitchen/living area is all one big room with two large windows on either side. They're single pane, original to the house c. 1962, and do not open. There is no ventilation in the living area besides a small window above the kitchen sink. A couple years ago there was a water leak in the parents house that required extensive remodeling and in the process they replaced a window. For shits and giggles I asked dad to measure it and it turned out to be the same size! So now we've got a double-pane and open-able window on one side! I need to paint the new trim outside and install the inside trim then that project is finished.

I'd post a photo but the forum still won't let me embed an image. I actually did a little research on the error message this time and it's a common problem. Most information I found is information for forum operators, not users, and has to due with various bugs in the phpbb platform. I'd guess that's not the issue here considering the plethora of images in other folks journals. I wonder how other folks are able to post so many photos.

#2

Car maintenance is happening today. Upon further investigation what I initially thought was bad valve cover gaskets turned out to be a completely torn front driver side outer CV boot. So knock sensor and axle swap in t-minus a couple hours. After this I'll have had both hubs apart so I think I'm going to get an alignment done once I finish this.

Weekend Work Commitments

My brother is down in my neck of the woods for one of the larger annual local attractions and is coming over afterwords tonight. We're going to play golf tomorrow morning. These plans have been on the table for a few days and unfortunately just last night I was invited to a poker party at The Company owner's house. It's definitely something I should show face at, but it means I'll be abandoning my brother for the evening. He was understanding, but this is another one of those situations that's really frustrating about work. Even though I don't have any major career ambitions I'm choosing to abandon my brother, somebody I love and is extremely important to me, just so I can kiss up at an unofficial company social.

Being invited is, of course, a good sign. But I almost wish I wasn't because being invited will make a no show a negative. I'm not a particularly good socializer so I plan on using everyone's favorite social lubricant. I'm quiet and reserved sober, but am ironically goofy, extroverted, and extremely charismatic when I'm drunk. The plan is to get a little drunk, let the owners have a good laugh (as much from the shock of my personality change as anything else) at my expense, and hopefully tuck away a positive memory about me in their subconscious. I'm basically a master manipulator guys.

Still excited for golf with my brother though, just wish I didn't feel like I needed to do this thing tonight.

Cheepnis
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Re: I Saved Some Money, Accumulated So Good

Post by Cheepnis » Tue Jul 16, 2019 9:16 pm

The weekend work commitment went as planned. After getting into the flow of things it's never as bad as I imagine it will be. Still wasn't my definition of a great time, but it was tolerable.

Reading

Reading has dropped off a cliff (again) since the beginning of June. Busier weekends, when I normally get most of my reading done, plus the GF now being home in the afternoons since school is out has led me to slacking off. FWIW I did read all of Lacking Ambition and caught up on a couple Nat Geo's* that had accumulated. This week GF is away visiting her best friend so I have no excuses.

Last night I got halfway through "A Crude Look At The Whole". It's, ironically, a quick "primer" on complexity and kind of a funny follow up to "The Black Swan." I'm not exactly sure how to square many of the concepts from each book, they often seem at odds with one another. Sitting on deck are "Complexity: A Guided Tour" and "Mao's Great Famine". In the Dugout are one I saw recommended here, "Thoughts of a Philosophical Fighter Pilot" and one I saw recommended from a go-to political blog, "Moneyland".

*Long-standing x-mas gift from my mom is a NG subscription.

Practice

I've been thinking a lot about practice lately. Intense, thoughtful, dedicated practice is not something I have consistently partaken in since I ditched my musical endeavors around 6 years ago. Practice isn't fun. Sitting down to repeatedly give your undivided attention to skills or muscle movements you're bad so that you can become less bad isn't enjoyable. For continual improvement you have to remain in the realm of the unknown. It is often frustrating and difficult.

Paradoxically the greater your expertise at any given skill the longer you have to practice in order to maintain that level of skill AND the longer it takes you to improve in ever decreasing increments. It's a double-wammy. It takes longer practice to prevent losing the capabilities you've achieved and after that per-requisite is met it takes longer to make incremental improvements.

I think the act of deeply practicing a skill like an instrument, or perhaps golf, is a good in and of itself. If I were to get really serious about my golf game and hit the putting green/driving range 6 days a week for multiple hours I think, despite the I'll never be a professional golfer, that I'd be better for it, and not just at golf. Practice is such an introspective, multitudinous, and self-reflective activity that I think you gain all sorts useful skills that help you with incorporating new information or concepts, identifying weaknesses (self-diagnosis), and refinement.

Anybody who has ever played an instrument knows that the sound you hear from behind the instrument is entirely different than the sound from in front of the instrument. The type of deep, focused, practice I'm talking about really helps people figure out how to identify their blind spots and become more neutral observers of themselves in any given situation (or at least situations closely related enough to their particular area of practice).

All this rambling to say I'd like to spend a little more time in the shed. Golf is definitely an option, though not the cheapest. Since I haven't been reading as much the past 6 weeks I have started doing yoga a bit more consistently. I mentioned it way early in this journal but I really need to stick to a consistent yoga routine. My body feels so much better and it definitely helps counteract much of the abuse it gets from work. The last two weeks I've been doing a 45-60 minute routine from the YouTube channel Five Parks Yoga each day after work. I like her videos because there are lots of them, with lots of variation, and they're difficult enough to provide a challenge, yet easy enough I can actually do them.

I'm making leaps and bounds currently because I'm starting from Yoga Skill -5000. My flexibility is shit, my core is shit, my balance is shit. After two weeks my flexibility is shit - 0.5, my core is shit -1, and my balance is shit -1. So that's fun. It'll become more fun if I keep with it and get past some current physical limitations that will take quite a while to get over. We'll see. I've never been flexible but I've been better than this.

Scott 2
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Re: I Saved Some Money, Accumulated So Good

Post by Scott 2 » Tue Jul 16, 2019 10:53 pm

Do you every take any in person yoga classes? I find it one of the easiest ways to socialize. People tend to be very welcoming.

Cheepnis
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Re: I Saved Some Money, Accumulated So Good

Post by Cheepnis » Wed Jul 17, 2019 2:25 pm

I have before, though not in quite a while. Having a group of people will be helpful and motivating once I hit my first major barrier to improvement and I'll need to do some research to find a place with the right combination of location, price, and schedule.

Cheepnis
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Re: I Saved Some Money, Accumulated So Good

Post by Cheepnis » Tue Jul 23, 2019 7:22 pm

Reading

24. A Crude Look At The Whole
25. All New Square Foot Gardening

I think that most recent book could have been reduced to about 1 sentence: "Ignore the row spacing instructions on seed packets". On to...

26. Mao's Great Famine

Apple Season

I've got a short list of transparent apple trees I've spotted around town and every year around this time I head out and grab me some delicious apples. There's one just a few blocks away in the parking lot of a bar, one by campus, and another near a place I used to rent. The best tree is the one on campus and I got about 75% of these apples from that one. I'm not a huge apple eater but these are the best damn apples I've ever had. Great for baking too. I made a bit over a gallon of apple sauce last night and am baking a pie tonight.

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These images worked!

Engine Show

This weekend is the engine show. I spent last weekend building some new skids for a couple little Briggs & Stratton engine exhibits. My Grandfather helped me build two setups just like this when I was around 10-11. I made new ones because the old ones were old and worn. All from salvaged wood of course. The black one is a 1941 model WMB and the blue is a 1952 Model 5S. The black is powering a squirrel cage (it's the best fan I'll ever have haha!) and the blue is on a small corn mill.

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Trip

Directly after the engine show we're heading out to Ireland and Scotland, should be fun.

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