Monday, September 29, 2014

One Crazy way to Increase Fuel Efficiency

A couple of years back, my buddy owned a Honda Accord. These cars are great. Fuel efficient, cheap insurance premiums, and they last forever. This is the kind of car a responsible man wants to own.

What my friend did next was something really admirable. 

In pursuit of getting better gas mileage, he started stripping his car of dead weight. His tool of choice. Hatchet, if I remember correctly.

Over the next couple of weeks, I started seeing parts of his car disappearing. Back seats. Gone. Glove compartment. Gone. Cup holders. Gone. 

He removed all the bottom carpet and padding. Using a hatchet, he tore all the plastic off the doors. Anything that made the interior look nice, he got rid of until the interior looked just like the inside of an aluminium can.

I've never done or tried this myself, but I would estimate the weight he removed from his car by at least 50 to 100 pounds. I don't really know how much gas he was able to save each week, but I'm sure he was able to notice a difference. 

Obviously, this isn't a solution for everyone. Only consider trying this if you drive a beater that you don't intend to resell. You don't want to do this to a luxury car. This will also be inconvenient if you frequently drive passengers. And of course, if this seems like too much of a dumb idea to try, the easy solution is to just trade in the car for a motorcycle.

However, if you are a minimalist or really frugal and you enjoy making modifications; go ahead and try striping your car. Just don't be dumb about it. Don't remove things that will make your car unsafe to drive like any mirrors, the airbags, seat belts, or different bolts and bars underneath your car. Don't make your car unsafe or illegal to drive. Don't endanger your life or someone else to get better gas mileage. Also realize that some weight adds value to your car such as spare tires, tools to fix your car, and other emergency supplies.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Lets all go to space

As a little kid, I was pretty big into action cartoons. Each day when I got home, I'd drop off my backpack and turn the tv on to see some DragonBall Z, Gundam Wing, or whatever else was on toonami. In between shows, toonami would air these motivational speeches/montages. I've linked to them below.

Space is the Place


To hell with fear

These bumps were were there just to fill up some extra time and build up hype for the shows but I saw these on almost a daily basis. Broken Promise (dreams) aired when I was 13 but the message stuck for a long time.

Choose the path you want to walk in life. Realize there will be multiple obstacles that will get in your way. Do everything you can to keep moving forward. Keep making progress.

I'd find myself watching the video up on youtube during my early 20s. Nothing in life is ever guaranteed, but you have to do the best you can and see what you can accomplish.

Space is the Place is the montage I was thinking about in the last few weeks at work. The whole idea of blasting off into space and leaving everything else behind kind of feels what it is like when you decide to go your own way and free yourself of whatever is chaining you down.

Whether it is an oppressive government, copious amounts of debt, a miserable job, a toxic relationship, or mind numbing pop culture; escaping that nonsense feels just like blasting off into space. Out in space, you are free to pursue your own interests further or seek new hobbies.

While there is some comfort to be found in materialism, empty relationships, and internet trivia; these are things that will keep a man from freedom.

Free yourself of what is holding you back and blast off into space. Choose your freedom and go and explore what is out there. While it may not be as grand as orbiting Mars, the world is a very interesting place. Sitting at a computer, you can look up tutorials on how to repair cars, edit videos, publish books, play a guitar, cook chickens, and everything else.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Lifetime Strategy

The most valuable thing in my life is my freedom. My time. Well, that is the second most important thing. My life and my health is the most important thing.

Life and health is never guaranteed though. Nothing is ever guaranteed, except for death.
When we die is not known. We can expect to die of natural causes and perish around the age of 70, 80, or 90. I could get cancer or some other life threatening disease and perish at the age of 40 or 50. In the worst case, I could get killed in a car accident tomorrow. This is the reality that we all face.

With that being said, I want to make sure I can enjoy my life to the fullest extent possible. How does a person do this? Pursue that which makes you happy. What makes you happy? That is different for everyone. If you don't know what it is that makes you happy in life, then at least try to avoid the stuff in your life that makes you miserable.

To me, that which makes me miserable is working. The kind of hell of commuting to an office each morning, working a minimum of 8 hours, commuting back home, and enjoying only a few hours to myself each night is what I want to avoid. It is my goal to try to get through life working as little as possible.

There are a couple of ways to do this. First off, pursue a life of minimalist spending. Don't take or commit to any obligations or liabilities that drag out decades into the future or indefinitely. By adopting minimalist spending habits, you eliminate or mitigate the risk of being unable to pay for the liabilities in the future. If you don't need the money to pay off the liability, you don't need to work for it. By keeping annual expenses down as low as possible, you also minimize the amount of pain you experience when inflation hits.

The second way to reduce your need to work is to accumulate a large amount of capital when you are young. Instead of racking up large amounts of student and consumer debt as a kid, work as much as you possibly can and accumulate a large amount of cash. If you do decide to go to college, make sure to pursue something with a high earnings potential such as STEM. Pay off all your debts then accumulate capital.

By getting into a good financial position in the late 20s or early 30s, you make the rest of your life that much easier. Instead of having to repay consumer debt, maybe you can cut back on your hours and enjoy much more leisure.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Scouting Techniques for College Students

One of the most important lessons any man will learn in life is how important scouting is. Whenever you have the chance to learn about a situation before hand, do it. You don't want to jump into something completely blind.

Most kids will graduate high school at the age of 18 then jump into college the very next semester. One of the biggest differences a kid is going to notice between high school and college is that in college, you get to choose your field of study, your classes, and your schedule.

First thing first, don't major in something stupid. What is a stupid major? Go buy Worthless by Aaron Clarey.

After you make sure you major in some sort of STEM degree, realize that your degree will require you to take a lot of classes that are a complete waste of time and money. You will take at least 2 years of core classes which must be taken before you can actually pursue your field of study.

With that being said, you still need to take these worthless classes and do well in them. You need to do this to maintain a good GPA which has some affect on your employment prospects after graduating but it plays a more immediate effect on merit based scholarships.

Some of these classes are unavoidable. I'm sure every single major requires 2 English classes and most majors require some sort of foreign language class. Two history classes are required. If I recall correctly, I think that psychology is unavoidable and you have to take at least one philosophy class.

Some of these classes, you will have a choice to take. In my college days, I had to take 3 classes that were a 3000 level class outside of my field of study.

These classes will have nothing to do with your major. So to make your experience as painless as possible, go ahead and follow the path of least resistance. Choose the easy classes that you can do well in and boost your GPA. Just make sure that those credits count towards your degree.

Before signing up for your classes, you get to see the time slot and the professor that teaches the class. This is where the scouting comes in. Make sure to gather intel on your prospective teacher by looking them up on If you are about to go to college or are in college and don't know about ratemyprofessor, bookmark this link now.

Rate my professor has been around since I was in high school. It has saved me on a few occasions. Most of the teachers you look up will be average. If you have the option to take a professor that is highly rated, you may want to sign up for those. Higher ratings tend to correlate with easier classes.

The biggest reason you want to use ratemyprofessors is to scan for professors that are absolutely insane. The difficulty of the exact same history class can vary drastically depending on who teaches it. If you find a professor with 20 ratings all rating the professor 1 or 2, make sure to avoid that professor. You don't need to make life harder than it already is.

I experienced this when I was about to sign up for an accounting class years back. I had the option to take it in the Summer but only one professor taught it in the summer. I saw 20 ratings off students just dumping all over her.

She was described as senile, retarded, argumentative, and contradictory. The comment that just absolutely broke it for me was that a student claimed this professor stated that debits went on the right and credits go on the left.

After reading all that, I decided to put that class off until the Fall where I could take a better professor.

You want to avoid getting an awful professor for a few important reasons. When I was in college, you were only allowed to withdraw from a class 6 times. If you withdrew from a class after 6 times, you would get an F for the class and that would tank your GPA.

The other real important reason you want to avoid withdrawing from a horrible class is time. If you drop a class, that is time that is being wasted. You have to get those credits sooner or later. In the case of a withdraw, you have to take those classes later.

The other scouting technique I want to briefly mention is getting the syllabus. Go to classes on the first day and make sure to get a copy of it. Unlike high school, in college, every graded item will show up on the syllabus. The point values for every item is listed and the schedule for every graded item is listed. Using the syllabus will let you track your current progress in the class and give you an idea of how much effort you have to put in to get a certain grade.

If you found this information helpful, please visit Academic Composition.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Five Minute Job Salary Research

If you find this information useful, please visit

Before deciding to commit to a college education, you have to have a general idea of what career path you want to pursue after college and if your major will lead you to that career path.

As the good captain said, you have to research starting salaries of the jobs you want to pursue.

10 years ago, this would have required an amount of effort. Today, you can just Google that information.

Take five minutes of your time and go to payscale and just type in different job titles into the search box. will give you the job title, job descriptions, the national average salary and a range of salaries to expect. Some job titles will be exactly what you expect them to be. A barista average salary is $8.69 an hour without much of a range. Other job titles might be kind of vague and the range might be kind of wide. The average salary for a Business Consultant is $67,000 but the range goes from $44k to $110k. The idea of doing research for job salaries is to get a general idea of what jobs you might want to pursue.

There is one caveat I would like to mention about payscale. When you search for a specific job title, you get the national average of mostly everyone with that particular job title. Most of the people in the field will have multiple of years of experience and were hired before the economic downturn of 2008 and the health care reform act. With that being said, it might not be easy or realistic to earn the national average salary as soon as you graduate from college. It may take a couple of years of work to earn the average annual salary.

Take some time to research job salaries. It makes lifetime planning much easier.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Excellent College Papers

When I was still in college, I took a number of classes which were not related to my field of study. Only 20% of the classes I took were my field of study. A number of my classes were related to my business field and then a good chunk of classes were completely unrelated to my field of study.

Luckily, most of my non accounting classes did not require the writing of essays. Usually, I just had to read the book, attend the lectures, and take a multiple choice test.

However, college papers were inevitable.

English 1
English 2
World History
Political Science

These classes are pretty much unavoidable in any college major. If I remember correctly, I had to write a total of 14 to 15 essays for these classes total. All this just to become an accountant.

With each essay taking up an estimated 4 to 6 hours each, it took me 56 to 90 hours to complete this nonsense.

Back in my college years, I wish I would have known about Academic Composition.

Alex at Academic Composition will write your papers for you at a good price. Alex is a professional writer with 10 years of experience and has written over 1000 essays.

Each paper is original so you don't have to worry about being caught for plagiarism.

Take it from my experience, life just forces you to jump through hoops every now and again. Go ahead and visit Alex here at Academic Composition if you are interested.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Are you mad enough?

I'd like to share one of my favorite channels. The Black Brigade.

If you haven't listened to them, go ahead and listen to a few of their podcasts and nightcaps.
I've listened to all of their stuff because I work several hours from home and I have the option to listen to podcasts while I manipulate spreadsheets.

The Black Brigade are very red pill. The topics covered include the state of our economy and how American is making decisions on foreign policies.

What separates them from other channels is they emphasis going Galt. Pulling away from this system as much as possible and preparing for the worst possible situation for our country. They also delve into the topics of prepping a little.

Earlier today, The Green Steelhead released the night cap linked below.

DT Nightcap #12

The concept of the video was that you have to get pissed off to get motivated to make changes to your life and improve your life. Obviously, there is stuff that is out of your control. The stuff that is within your control, you need to take charge of that.

This nightcap was the best pep talk I've heard in a while. Even though this isn't new or revolutionary information, it is good to be reminded of it every now and again.

I encourage everyone to listen to the DT Nightcap #12. Also check out their other podcasts.

Check them out here.

Good night.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Creative ways to build resumes

Intro: You can skip to the next bold heading to get to the point

The summer of 2010 was the worst time I ever had searching for work. I was fresh out of college with my degree in accounting. I graudated Magna Cum Laude with a cumulative GPA of 3.85. The biggest problem I had was the fact that I had no work experience at all.

At least I was prepared for it. The financial meltdown happened in 2008. The previous months leading up to graduating, I kept hearing from students around me talking about students not being able to find jobs and competing with graduated students from previous semesters.

At that time, I had to learn how to do the job search on my own. The most disappointing thing I experienced were how few jobs were available. I wanted to find some job relating to accounting. I wanted to be a staff accountant, work in A/P or A/R, send payments, or do anything related to accounting.

Each day, I would search for the accounting jobs available in my area and I saw a total amount of 5 or 7 job opportunities. The problem was made worse when most of those positions required 2 years of accounting work experience. Having a high GPA in your field of study meant little to nothing when it came to actually getting hired. The idea of getting a college student getting a job offer before graduating seemed like just a dream at that point.

During a 3 month period, I had to spam my resume on different job sites in order to find whatever work possible. Over that period, I must have sent out 50 applications without much luck. I got desperate enough to start sending applications to fast food places and just pick up a part time job to get some money coming in.

At this point, it was a common strategy for many of my peers to go back to school and pick up a masters degree. This was completely out of the question for me because I had no way to pay for tuition. I got through college with merit based scholarships but the same scholarships were not available for graduate school. I could take loans but I was completely unwilling to take the risk of assuming thousands of dollars worth of debt without a guarantee for employment at the end.

Spamming my resume wasn't getting me much success. Maybe there were things I could add to my resume to make me look like a more valuable employee.

How to build up your resume:

While browsing the internet, I thought about working for a common tax preparation company. The company taught an 8 week class which was a total of 84 hours and after the class was completed, you were guaranteed an interview. The price was good, it only costed $250. Even if I didn't get hired, I would have something to boost my resume and have a better chance at getting a different job.

I really had something to believe in with this company. If you got hired, you could keep taking additional tax classes to further specialize. The classes would be free if you were hired.
If you completed all the classes, you had the option of becoming an enrolled agent.

The funny thing is that I actually was hired by a different company during the middle of taking the class. My dad knew a guy who ran a small business and he had a similar background to me. He was a CPA and he actually worked for the same company I was trying to work for.

I worked for his company for 15 months before our contracts ended abruptly. I was unemployed again. At that point, I decided to look for another certification or achievement. My previous boss owned an insurance company and he was willing to pay for me to become an agent.

The cost of the class was only about $250. It lasted one week and was a total of 40 hours. The class was just like a college course. You learn about the different types of property and casualty insurance, what they cover, and different legal topics. After that is done, you go to a testing center you get a certificate if you pass.

On a separate occasion, I also paid for and took a class for life insurance. I got my license to sell life insurance and I was going to get licensed to sell property and casualty insurance until....

I found another job. As fate would have it, I didn't have to get into the insurance business and I never actually sold anything.

The job I took was a contract job that lasted seven months. By that point in my life, I had saved up a good amount of money where I could just take a few months off as a vacation.

I work as an accountant today. It took me 3 years after graduating college to become an accountant. I'm grateful for being where I am today because I was beginning to believe I would never become an accountant.

My boss encourages me to continue to collect certifications and increase my skill set. After doing a little bit of research, I found that it is possible to become a certified treasury professional.


To any student recently graduating college, I would encourage them to continue to expand your skill set. Including these experiences and achievements on your resume will show your potential employer that you are willing to work hard, continually improve yourself, learn new skills, and show your ability to adapt to new situations.

On top of all that, you can learn useful information from the classes you take. After taking the insurance classes, I learned how insurance works, what and why deductibles exist, what sort of events are covered by different types of insurance, and how different insurance policies are priced. After taking the tax preparation class, I learned how to receive more money in your paycheck by filling out a W-4 and I learned about the different types of tax benefits from investing in different retirement programs.

The other point I want to talk about is that taking these extra classes or certifications can broaden your perspective a little. I know that doesn't sound like much, but you can get more of an idea of what you want to pursue (or not pursue) in life. Life is an interesting experience. Go ahead and explore it a little.

Compared to a master degree, you can pick up smaller achievements at a fraction of the cost. Tuition for a master degree can cost tens of thousands of dollars while becoming licensed to sell insurance costs only a couple hundred dollars and take only a few weeks. Because of this, the rewards for the certifications/licenses may be smaller but the risks are also smaller.

I've taken classes for insurance and tax. These classes can be found easily online with a few Google searches.

For anyone pursuing the accounting/finance field, I'd recommend getting certified to use QuickBooks or a different accounting software.

If you pursue the IT fields, there are countless amounts of certificates you can pick up for C++, java, and html. Some may be more expensive than other. The IT field is where large amounts of money can be made.

Or if an office job isn't for you, the certificate training programs for becoming a mechanic, plumber, or carpenter only take up to 2 years.

The world is an interesting place. Go out and try new things. Its kind of like collecting achievements while playing Xbox.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Video games trained me for office work

Different men follow different paths in life. Some of us will become mechanics, others will join the army, people will work in restaurants, and a lot of men will end up doing desk work in front of a computer for 8 hours every day.

Enter the corporate world. Whether you become an accountant, analyst, sales executive, customer service representative, help desk worker…. Etc, your day will be very similar.
Show up early in the morning, grind through repetitive tasks for a few hours, take a lunch break, grind though more repetitive tasks then go home.

By repetitive, I do mean repetitive. The first two jobs I had, my job responsibilities never changed. I did the same thing every day.

As an analyst, I had to answer phone calls for customer service every day and process invoices every day to send out payments to day care centers. Each month, I processed and sent out more than 200 invoices.

My second job, also as an analyst, I spent 8 hours each day inspecting different cases checking if they had enough flood insurance.

Often times, I felt more like a robot than a man. Just shut the brain off and repeat a pattern.
I came to a sad but amusing conclusion one day while reviewing a home equity line of credit document.

Out of all the skills I learned while growing up, I learned the most important skill and ability to function in the corporate world by …….

Playing Final Fantasy 7

Actually, it wasn’t just Final Fantasy 7. It was Pokemon, Breath of Fire 3, Kingdom Hearts and pretty much any RPG video game.

All these games (first playthrough) required lots of grinding.

I guess I spent hundreds or thousands of hours smashing imps, tonberries, nobodies, zombies, and pidgeys just to gain experience find gold and advance the plot of the game.

I remember on Pokemon Red, the clock maxes out at 255 hours. 256 is a magic number in 8 bit video games because of the hexadecimal system.

Office work, repetitive office work, requires a lot of time and patience. You just have to sit there and do your work.