Lifestyle Deflation

Wanna date yourself? Start talking about landlines, corded phones and beepers. I had all three and spent a disproportionate amount of income on them back in the day. Every self-respecting busboy needs a beeper! Owners of the German restaurant paid me $2 per hour plus a share of waiter’s tips for a total of $5 per hour on average. A beeper cost $50 so I had to bus tables for 10 hours just to buy it . The service was $10 per month so add another 2 hours of work. Of course what teenager would ever look at this rationally? Continue Reading

Real Estate Moves

One night back in 2009 we were driving on I95 to visit family in New York. As we passed yet another cop sitting in the median I had an idea: what if I could mark a cop’s location on the GPS map and share it, in real-time, with the cars behind us? Imagine how valuable would it be to have this information as you drive? As you approached the police trap your GPS could flash a reminder to check the speed. Smartphones were becoming widespread so how hard would it be to get them all connected? I had no clue how to get that idea off the ground so I filed it under “someday” and forgot about it… A few years later I learned about Waze – an app that had this and other crowdsourcing features built-in. Google bought Waze for almost 1 billion dollars in 2013.  Continue Reading

Pura Vida 2020

Ever since our son was born five years ago I’ve been thinking about The Great Escape. Something changed at the hospital when I held him for the first time. There is a clear line – the Before and the After. Everyone said it would be life changing but I didn’t understand just what that meant, for me. I didn’t think it would be this life changing. Something clicked that made me realize what really matters in life. The job, the career, the house, the material possessions all took on a different meaning. The concept of Enough made its first appearance. Escaping the rat race became The Mission. This year we will pull the trigger on something that will change our comfortable suburban 9-5 life forever. Continue Reading

Where Do We Go From Here?

To summarize last post: feeling burnt out at work, no one knows how much time they have left, time is more important than money… At least after you have investments working for you. The only reason these conversations are even possible is because we’re slowly closing in on Financial independence (FI). Two decades of work and (mostly) smart investment decisions are finally paying off. Years of prioritizing savings over spending should soon make having to trade time for money optional. So what’s the plan? Continue Reading

Easy Money

This is the easiest $250 dollars I’ve ever made. There’s just not that many (legal) ways to make $250 in 15 minutes – guaranteed and without any risk. No wonder it’s trending on Slickdeals and other deal sites. Read on if you want money for nothing… I’ll share a trick that makes this as painless as it gets, something I haven’t seen mentioned anywhere else. Continue Reading

Cost of a Speeding Ticket

I got my first speeding ticket shortly after buying a car back in 1999. I was pulled over on college grounds by campus police for going ten miles over the limit. I pled guilty and paid a fine. Somehow this traffic violation never showed up on the driving record so my insurance stayed the same. That worked out because I could barely afford to keep a beater Toyota Paseo on the road as is. This experience caused enough anguish to never want to be pulled over again. Almost twenty years of driving later that first ticket is still my last (knocks on wood). Continue Reading

Reevaluate

My best friend – let’s call him John – lives on Long Island, New York. Recently John hit a rough patch, deciding to separate from his wife after just two years of marriage. They don’t have kids or own a house together so it should be pretty straightforward, financially, to go through a divorce. As it often happens after a major life event, John is ready to make some other changes in his life. This story is about two small but financially significant changes that transpired. Continue Reading

When it Pays to Shop

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Black Friday and Cyber Monday are over and the packages have been appearing on our doorstep daily this week. I don’t shop a lot but some deals are just too good to pass up this time of the year. I’d never drive out to a store to fight over some trendy consumer product but I’m all about doing a bit of shopping from home. Continue Reading

The Perception of Old

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If you’re serious about getting ahead financially you probably don’t want to be driving a new car. Most self-made millionaires, the ones that had to work for their money, drive older cars. It’s common knowledge yet most people prefer a short-term thrill of buying a new car over a long-term reward of becoming financially independent. Where I live, the majority of cars on the road look like they just came off a showroom floor. Sure, you see cars from the 90’s and the early 2000’s but it seems that they are a minority nowadays. Continue Reading