Saturday, June 28, 2014

Choose Freedom

After health, the most important thing to me is my freedom.

The last time I can remember being truly free was when I was four. I could do what ever I wanted as I pleased. I never had to do anything I didn't want to.

Then my parents told me I would have to start going to school.

Over the last year, I've heard about a movement called MGTOW (men going their own way).

After viewing several videos, I can summarize the movement as follows.

It is a philosophy where you abandon women. You don't pursue them, they aren't anywhere close to the most important thing in your life.

It is apparent that many men in the movement have been screwed over in the past by women and these videos and blog posts are created to provide younger men with the knowledge to prevent them from making the same mistakes.

The divorce rate in this country is more than 50%.
Around 70 to 80% of divorces are initiated by the women.
The US legal system prefers women over men and in turn screws over men in family courts.
It is possible for college age girls to get away with false rape acquisitions which will destroy a man's repuation.
The list of risks just keeps going on.

All this stuff is just common sense to me. I've grown up during middle school, high school, and college hearing stories about divorce, single parent households, and lives being destroyed.

I also knew that getting involved with another person would cost  a lot of money.

Children require time, effort, and materials. They eat lots of food, need clothing, diapers, and medical costs.
Child care isn't cheap.

Even building a family will take a lot of resources.
More people means more living space is necessary. Houses need to be furnished. A minivan or SUV might be needed.

What all this comes down to is sacrificing your freedom for someone to love.

Freedom. Money requires work. Ever since I was little, I had a vague suspicion that work might suck.
And I was right.

What I don't see enough of is men wanting to free themselves of working a corporate job.

Having to wake up at an early hour, endure traffic, sit at an office for 8 to 10 hours a day, endure the frustration of dealing with other people, and enduring traffic to get back home is one of the worst kinds of hell I can think of.

Yet, most men will put up with this for 40 years.

If there is a pure reason to go your own way, I think this is the reason.

The avoidance of work seems like the true motivation for a man to try to live as much of a minimalist life as possible.

Don't buy houses you can't afford.
Make sure not to buy something stupid like a BMW, Mercedez, Lexus, or Porche.
Don't go to college for a worthless degree.
Don't take any unnecessary debt, burden, or risk you don't have to.

Of course, money is necessary to function in this society.

Most men will have to endure some time in the corporate world. But by keeping spending down to the bare minimum and rejecting materialism, it is much easier to save more money in order to buy your freedom.

With some proper planning, you can free yourself from having to work.

Finding Multiple Sources of Income

Just by living in today's economy, each man deals with risk every day. Job security isn't as strong as it was decades ago.

For this reason, I'd encourage everyone to think about different ways to find more sources of income.

I've been a skateboarder for more than ten years. When I was a broke high school kid, it was important for me to find skateboards at a cheap price.

I found a website online where you can buy decks whole sale. You could get 10 decks for $145.

Less than $15 dollars a board was the cheapest offer I've ever found for a skateboard. On the same website, a single deck would cost at least $22 to $23.

I decided to spend $145 on 10 decks and would try to sell each board for at least $20.

I did a little bit of advertising on craigslist but I've only managed to sell the products in person.

After 7 months, I've sold 4 decks for a total of $85.

It doesn't seem very impressive, but I didn't really put that much effort into doing so.

So far, I just need to sell 3 more decks to break even and every other sale will be for profit.

Once everything is sold, I'll have made a profit of $60.

While not as successful as I anticipated, it was still a fun thing to try.

I'd encourage everyone to at least try an idea they have. See if it can make some money.

Get a PayPal Account Now

With the economy getting more and more unstable, it is very useful for a man to go looking for multiple sources of income in addition to his job.

It is possible to find a little bit of freelancing work online. Usually, some of the gigs require very little effort but the hard part is finding them.

In order to collect payment for your services online, the easiest way to collect and send payments to people over the internet is PayPal.

With a PayPal account, you can receive and send payments with just email accounts.

You don't need to worry about security about your credit card numbers. This is probably the biggest appeal to PayPal.

If you want to fund your PayPal account with your credit card or checking account, you have the option. Conversely, if you want to withdraw money from your PayPal account, you can have the balance transferred to your bank.

And if you do a lot of online shopping, you can just use the amount in your PayPal balance. A lot of online merchants accept PayPal.

I would recommend everyone who reads this post to create a PayPal account. Do it now even if you don't have an idea how to make some easy money online.

It is important to do it as soon as possible because getting the chore out of the way will remove a hurdle later down the road when you do have an idea of making money online.

Every obstacle is a deterrence from an idea. Removing as many obstacles will give the idea a better chance at success.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Minimalism Versus Prestige

A few weeks ago, I came to the realization that if I had planned my life out properly, I could have saved up $100,000 by the age of 26 just by working minimum wage jobs.

When I bring this point up to my mother, she always brings up that college is not a waste of time. She says that is it important to be "well rounded" and to be "educated".

I had to tell her that idea was a load of.

This is what the average American is led to believe. You won't have a fighting chance in the real world without a college degree. This is what I grew up believing in high school.

I told her that the education system in this country is garbage. Going to college doesn't necessary makes you more intelligent.

The kid that goes to college for a degree in sociology can rack up $20,000 to $200,000 in student loan debt depending on how dumb the kid is.

Who is smarter? The kid at the age of 22 with a net worth of $60,000 from working at Wendy's for 6 years; or is it the kid that majors in some worthless degree while accumulating $50,000 in debt with no real job prospects except to work at Wendy's?

Education is an investment and should be looked as such. Evaluate the return and also evaluate the COST.

After point this out, she then asks why I always bring up the worst possible outcome of college. Why not compare minimalism to going to college to become a doctor.

Becoming a doctor is a really useful skill/trade. After all, you don't see a lot of broke doctors.
There is just one problem with becoming one.

The cost of the investment is really high and takes a very long time.

It is much faster for a man to accumulate $100,000 in life by working minimum wage than becoming a doctor.

In previous posts, I made the calculations that a man can save up $100,000 by dropping out of high school at the age of 16, working 40 hours at minimum wage for 10 years, and keeping expenses down to the absolute minimum. A kid can have $100,000 by the age of 26.

In contrast, if a man wants to become a doctor, he is going to have to spend a lot of time preparing to make money.

First you have to graduate high school at the age of 18. Already, this is 2 years you cannot work 40 hours a week. At this point, his counterpart has saved up $20,000.

An undergraduate degree is required. That takes roughly 4 years bringing up the man's age to 22.
At this point, his counterpart has saved up $60,000.

After college, a man would have to spend 4 years in medical school. This brings his age up to 26.
Only after completing med school can this man become a doctor and start making real money. However, this man would have most likely accumulated $50,000 to $150,000 in student loan debt. This man will have to work a few years to pay it all off.
At this point, his counterpart has saved up $100,000

Now, just because a man becomes a doctor, he may have to go through more training if he wants to specialize in a given field like brain surgery, heart surgery, or emergency medicine he will have to go through another 4 years of training.

This brings his age up to 30.
At this point, his counterpart has saved up $140,000.

Consider this before considering becoming a doctor.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

How to retire by the age of 30

To retire by the age of 30, you have to pursue a life of minimalism.

This means changing your outlook on life and adjusting the stuff that you want.

The most important thing you want is your time and freedom. What this means is that you don't want to have to work (W-2 employee) anymore.

This means that there are certain things in life that you must avoid.

1. Having children
2. Getting married
3. Homeownership
4. Higher education
5. Car ownership

You want to avoid this stuff because all this stuff requires money. Money requires work. And work sucks.

By avoiding a family, marriage, children, homeownership, higher education, and car ownership, you avoid

1. The costs of raising children
2. The costs of marriage and the risk of divorce (losing your property)
3. Mortgage, rent, utilities, property tax
4. Student loan debt
5. gas, insurance, maintenance for cars

Living a life of minimalism may be too extreme for most people.
This philosophy is going to be most helpful to people that just absolutely hate working.

Remember that getting all the stuff listed above is a trade off. Houses cost money. Earning money costs your freedom.

Maybe you don't want to live with your parents until you are 40. That's okay, you can forgo having children or getting married and still live a life of comfort. You will have to make more money over your lifetime though.

However, if you decide to forgo all of it, it is very much possible to keep your annual living expenses to about $2000 per year.

It is possible to earn more than $2000 per year by doing nothing. The only problem is that you need to have about $100,000 first.

------------ is a bank that still offers CDs that offer an APY of 2.3% per year.

$100,000 would yield $2,300 per year.

The tricky thing getting that $100,000 before the age of 30.

This isn't impossible. Anybody can do it with enough drive, motivation, hard work, and discipline.
However, getting that $100,000 requires avoiding most the stuff I listed above.

In an earlier post, I did some calculations. If a 18 year old kid avoids college and does the following

1. Work a minimum wage job for $7.50 an hour for 40 hours a week for 4 years straight
2. Finds a work site where he can walk or bike to
3. Live with his parents to keep his annual expenses down to $4080 per year

By the age of 22, the kid would have had $42,720 saved in his bank account.

To get this process done even faster, the kid could drop out of high school at the age of 16. He could try to work 50 hours each week. He could try to keep his expenses down to $2000 a year.

At what every age you reach $100,000, you can throw that money into a 2.30% CD to earn $2,300 per year.

You can maintain your life of minimalism living only for yourself. At that point, you can choose to keep making money. But the magical thing is that you won't be dependent on being a W-2 wage slave.

This is just a general strategy. It is no guarantee. There is no guarantee that ------------- will consistently have an APY of 2.30%. The product itself is FDIC insured so there is no risk of losing your principle. There is a risk however if the dollar collapses and your CD becomes worthless.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Life without Driving. Try to Avoid Driving as much as Possible.

For any young employee today, I would encourage him to find a job position that allows him to work from home or at least find a job location with a very short commute.

The job that I have today requires me to commute 20 miles one way to get to the office.
Because of horrible city traffic, I find myself waking up too early to avoid morning traffic and working well past the evening to avoid rush hour.

The total time I spend driving per day is 80 minutes (at best) to more than 2 hours (at worst).

In 2011, I spent $4,000 to $4,500 on gas and insurance combined.

Considering that in 2011, my total expenses for the year was $7,600; gas and insurance accounted for more than half of my living expenses that year.

Where I live, public transportation is completely useless to get to my office. It is more expensive and takes longer if I ride the transit.

The $4,000 of expenses only included gas and insurance. When owning a car, there are other expenses that add up over time.

Taking the car in for service can cost a few hundred dollars depending on what has to be fixed.
Parts have to be replaced such as the tires.
Regular maintenance includes oil changes and replacement air filters.
Ad valor em taxes have to be paid each year so you can get a tag to legally drive.
Emissions have to be done each year.

When I do retire, I'll make sure to stop driving my car in order to save a few thousand dollars each year. Doing so will drastically limit my mobility, but I think the added freedom of needing less money is worth it.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Ramen Noodle Index

When it comes to lifetime financial planning, one easy starting point is to estimate your lifespan.

After that is done, a good place to start is estimating how much food you might need for the rest of your lifespan.

I like to look at it in terms of food rather than dollars because it is impossible to predict future levels of inflation.

If an economic meltdown were to happen, I would assume that people would have to buy the cheapest food possible in order to stay alive.

Even though it may not be the cheapest, the food that immediately comes to mind is ramen noodles. Last I checked, one package costs 18 cents at walmart.

Making the assumption that a man would need to eat 3 packages of ramen noodles to keep from going hungry in a day, you can simply multiply the estimated days you have left to live by 3 and multiply that amount by 18 cents.

In my case, I expect to live another 62 years so I have an estimated 22,630 days left to live.

Under the worst possible conditions, I would need 67,890 packages of ramen to feed me until my death.

The cost of that amount of ramen noodles in today's dollars equal $12,220.20 (not including taxes).

Where I live, taxes on groceries is 2%. So taxes included, the lifetime supply of noodles comes out to be $12,464.60.

Theoretically, $12,500 can buy a lifetime supply of food for a man in his 20's today. However, eating nothing but ramen noodles for life would significantly shorten a man's lifespan so the lifetime supply of noodles may be a lower amount.

I do not actually recommend buying a lifetime supply of ramen noodles for health concerns and the fact that even noodles have a limited shelf life.

This is just a good starting point to determine how much money you will need in a lifetime.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Love and Finances

One of the oldest cliches I've heard is the following phrase.

"You can't buy love"

I really hate this statement. This statement may be true, but it has always implied that love is free.

Love isn't free. It's not even cheap.

I like to look at love as a resource like phone service, groceries, or clothing.

Men want it, and women supply it.

As a little kid, I believed in love at first sight simply because I didn't know any better and thought that real life worked like Disney movies.

Growing up, my dad always told me that a women would just come up to me and a process would start where we just start dating or something.

This doesn't happen. The real world does not work this way.

In order to find love, a man has to

1. Find women
2. Approach women
3. Get women to spend time with him
4. Build attraction
5. Keep attraction going
6. ?????
7. The love probably happens at this stage

Doing this will take time, effort, and money.

Pretty much, just about any exposure to the pursuit of love will cost time/effort/money.

In regards to finding a women, a man may occur expenses like

1. Online dating sites
2. Costs related to night clubs, buying drinks, paying covers
3. Dinners
4. Movies
5. Nicer clothing

In regards to having a girlfriend, a man may occur expenses like
1. More dinners
2. More movies
3. Recreational activities
4. Birthday gifts
5. Fuel costs from extra driving
6. Contraceptives
7. Vacations

Not included is the opportunity cost for a man to spend the time working or expanding his skill set.

In regards to having a family, a man will occur expenses like
1. Extra housing
2. Children
3. Consumer spending

When it comes to love, a man is going to pay for it one way or another. Either with time/money or effort. Most likely both.

However, a woman's love an affection is one of the most important things to a man.
And it is like than when hormones start raging from the age of 13 until a man starts needing help from special colored pills in his late 40's.

While it is very difficult, it is important for a man to decide how much love/affection he wants and how much time/effort/money/resources towards it.

Keep in mind, the less love/affection a man decides to pursue, the more money he will be able to save.
Or the less money he is required to make.

If a man really wants to find love in life, it is going to take work.

This means that finding love involves sacrificing some of your time/freedom.

Maybe you are a pure MGTOW, you don't pursue women at all in order to keep the maximum amount of your time and freedom.

But if you do want to pursue love and affection, I would recommend getting into a very good financial position first and make sure not do blow your resources during the pursuit.

Take the time in your 20's and establish yourself as much as possible. Save up several thousand dollars.
In your 30's, you may have a easier time managing your finances.