Friday, September 28, 2018

Mission Accomplished....

Today marked the end of a 10-week accountability effort with Mr. 1500. And while you can head over to his website and see how much better he has done during this time period, I am more than satisfied with my results, having lost more than 7 pounds and 2 inches off my waist.

Start Date



Thursday, September 27, 2018

Life@Sea Training Update....

Ragnar continuing to shame me by ridding me of all excuses to knock out workouts on dry land….

Wednesday, September 26, 2018


There’s nothing like a conversation with a friend you haven’t talked to in a long while to motivate you through difficult patches and help refocus you on what really matters (thanks, Andy!).

And then I came across this quote from an old boxing trainer that reminds me that what I’m working on isn’t really all that difficult to begin with….

“To me, a fight is not a fight until there’s resistance. Until there’s something to overcome. Otherwise, it’s just an athletic venture. It’s an exhibition. I think life is like that. A doctor is not a doctor until he opens up this kid, a kid just like he’s got at home, and arteries are bleeding all over the place – it’s not in the textbook. And he’s gotta do it. He’s gotta figure it out. Then he’s a doctor. He’s a surgeon at that level. You’re not in a fight until there’s pressure. Resistance. Overcoming something.” – Teddy Atlas

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Accountability Challenge Week 8 Results (week 9 for me)....

Several weeks ago, me and Mr. 1500 embarked on a friendly accountability body transformation challenge, with our main goals being reducing our waist measurements, but also hoping to add a little bit of muscle mass along the way. This morning I finally hit my target goal of getting my stomach below 34”. The knowledge that I had to report on my progress to someone else each week was an excellent antagonist to my inherent laziness, ensuring that I stayed focused on my end goals.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Life@Sea Training Update....

Ragnar continuing to get his training sessions in regardless of the location, environment or tools (or lack thereof) available….

Monday, September 17, 2018

Weekly Retrospective....

What I’m reading:  The Book of Hosea (Bible), The Power of Broke by Daymond John (just finished) and How to Form a Nonprofit by NOLO

What I’m listening to Money Matters by Wes Moss  podcasts....

What I’m Working On: Me ….

Where I’m succeeding: Getting the ball rolling for my nonprofit ….

What I’m grateful for: Those who love me ….

Quote that has me thinking“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to acheive - the fear of failure.” – Paulo Coelho

What I’m excited aboutThe next three (3) point (.) two (2) ….

What I’ve been pondering: How to best help folks help themselves ….

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Accountability Challenge Week 7 Results (week 8 for me)....

Date 20-Jul 27-Jul 3-Aug 10-Aug 17-Aug 24-Aug 30-Aug 8-Sep 15-Sep
Weight 177 173.4 171.6 171.6 171.4 170.8 171.4 170.6 170.2
Waist 35.75 35.13 34.8 34.75 34.75 34.63 34.5 34.25 34

During the past 8 weeks I have had a friendly accountability competition with Mr. 1500 who, while enjoying early retirement, has committed to using some of the extra time he doesn’t have to spend reporting to a ‘job’ to get into better shape. And so far, I am pleased with my results, having shed almost 7 pounds and, more importantly, almost 2 inches off my waist. I had planned on stopping this challenge the end of September to muscle up some for the winter (my winter coat), but I will wait until I am officially under the 34” waist mark before disengaging…..more to follow…

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Favorite Financial Independence Books....

As the handful of readers who subscribe to this blog know, I spent all of 2017 living very frugally in an effort to completely get out of debt and have continued to live below my means and to learn additional financial lifestyle lessons the past 12 months. I also recently joined the F.I.R.E. (financial independence, retire early) community and am looking at retiring the end of 2021 to enjoy side hustles and running the nonprofit I am currently working on.

Earlier this year I responded to an article about being financially responsible on LinkedIn. In this response, I shared several books I’ve read, along with very brief (like a few words brief) summaries of the lessons I took away from each book.   After swapping book referrals with multiple friends recently, I thought I would share those books/thoughts with a wider audience, as well as what I specifically did in response to personally reading each one. I receive no compensation from sharing this list and beware ahead of time that individual readers might take a different message away from each book than I did.

1.     Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey: The gist of his message is to eliminate debt so that you can build wealth. I immediately signed up on Every Dollar to create a budget and track spending, established my debt snowball plan (although mine wasn’t in the exact same order as Dave's), and eliminated all excess spending (except for a mission trip to Honduras right after my son graduated high school – not the ideal graduation trip for most teenagers, I know, but well worth it).
2.    Retire Inspired by Chris Hogan: “Retirement isn’t an age, it’s a financial number” is the hallmark of Mr. Hogan’s message, which I totally bought into. His main message is that you need to be investing at least 15% of your income into retirement, which I have fortunately been doing for some time. However, his website chrishogan360 which includes a retirement calculator shows that it’s never too late to start building your retirement dream.
3.    Unshakeable by Tony Robbins: In his book, Tony focuses on how to maintain the wealth you've worked so hard to build by keeping it out of other's hands (money management fees and government taxes). Thanks to reading this book, I opened very low/zero fee accounts with Fidelity and Vanguard where we now invest a healthy portion of our bring home pay, started an FSA ($840 of tax savings for the year), as well as investing the bulk of my wife’s pre-tax salary into a 403(b) (savings of $2,100 a year).
4.    The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason: I actually wrote a summary of this book on my blog a while back: Richest Man in Babylon Summary, and if I was writing this post based on wealth of overall knowledge instead of order of impact, this book would head up the list. So if you’re looking for the ONE book to read on creating financial independence, this classic written 90 years ago is what I would recommend. Everything contained in every other book was written here, well before the others. “Seek to associate thyself with men and enterprises whose success is established” was my biggest takeaway form this classic, leading me to seek out multiple mentors.
5.    Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki: The quote (and main message I got from this book) that continues to echo in my head is: “The poor and the middle-class work for money; the rich have money work for them.” Retirement means I will need money working for me, since my side hustle and nonprofit will be more about value-add and less about income-add, so RDPD resulted in my increasing investments and looking for opportunities to diversify income.
6.    You Can Retire Sooner Than You Think by Wes Moss: A referral by a friend (thanks Dave) a couple of months ago, Mr. Moss really got me thinking about income streams (successful retirements usually have 4 or more streams) and thinking ahead of time about what I actually want to do in a few years when I retire more than a decade ahead of tradition.

There are a ton of great books out there, but this list keeps things simple (which is necessary for a man of limited intelligence like me) and easy to fall back on, as none of these writings are of great length. Feel free to comment and reach out to me with questions. And again, I receive no compensation for these reviews, so know that they really are my favorites.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Accountability Challenge Week 6 Results (week 7 for me)....

Sorry for the delayed update. I’ve been on the road a lot the past few weeks, so this comes a day late. As I’ve reported previously, me and Mr. 1500 , who was featured in a recent NY Times article on the F.I.R.E. movement I have joined, have a mini (just me and him) accountability group going on to track our weight and stomach measurements due to both of us not liking the way our guts were starting to look. And I’m happy to report that I’m continuing to make progress. This past week's improvements were mainly the result of getting back to intermittent fasting several days each week, which really helps with sleep as well as workout recoveries. More to follow….

Monday, September 3, 2018

Credit Card Trial Update....

Back on July 30, I posted that I was going to trial using a credit card for the cash back benefits. See HERE ....

And I was quite nervous, being that I had spent quite some time getting out of debt and avowing to NEVER run up credit again..

However, during this trial, I’ve racked up more than $100 in cash, or $125 in travel dollars (to be redeemed for hotels, flights, etc.). And I’m also closing in on a $500 cash-back reward, all for just spending $4,000 within 90 days.

And best of all….I’ve not paid a PENNY of interest, instead paying off my account each time it hits $1,000.

More to follow….

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Life@Sea Training Update...

My old Army buddy continuing to shatter all excuses I have for getting after it everyday…