Sunday, December 15, 2019

Weekly Retrospective ....

What I’m Reading: Strangers to Ourselves by Timothy D. Wilson …

What I’m Listening To/WatchingWes Moss podcasts….

What I’m Working On: Terry College of Business CFP Program ….

Where I’m Succeeding: Planning ….

Where I’m Struggling: Leading …

What I’m Grateful For:  Every Day ….

Quote That Has Me Thinking: “Habits are the compound interest of self-improvement.”— James Clear

What I’m Excited About: The Future .….

What I’ve Been Pondering: The next 2.05 ….

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Kadar Quote....

A shark in a fish tank will grow 8 inches, but in the ocean it will grow to 8 feet or more. The shark will never outgrow its environment and the same is true about you. Many times we're around small thinking people so we don't grow. Change your environment and watch your growth. - Kadar

Monday, December 2, 2019


I recently posted our expenditures through the first 3 quarters of the year with a promise to update, by category, what those disbursements entailed. Thanks to paying off all of our debts a couple years ago, we are now in a position to enjoy life considerably more than before, when we owed the majority of our incoming cash to liabilities.

Through the end of September, we have spent about 12% of our bring-home pay on lifestyle expenses, broken down as follows:

·       Vacation/Travel: 47% of our lifestyle expenses went to 3 nice trips this summer, including Colorado where my son and I got to hike some nice trails and visit the MMM headquarters with Carl (Mr. 1500). We also traveled to  Boston and North Carolina.
·       Spending Money: 30% went towards expenses such as hanging out with friends, concerts (Aaron Lewis and The Muckers were both AWESOME!) and other excursions that didn’t fit neatly into other categories.
·       Clothing: We spent just shy of 7% of this category on clothing. We’re not fancy dressers so the majority of this went the basics, like underwear, socks, long johns, etc.
·       Self-Care (mainly the wife): This includes nails, hair (haha for those of you who know me), massages, etc. We spent just shy of 10% of our lifestyle expense here.
·       Gym (YMCA): 6% of our lifestyle costs went to our local YMCA, which we, in fairness, did not use as much as we could have/should have.

What is even more awesome is that the vast majority of these expenses were paid for with a 2% cash-back credit card (through Fidelity, which then allows us to invest directly back into our brokerage account), which paid us a few hundred dollars for traveling, hanging out with friends, going to the gym and taking care of ourselves, without us ever paying a dime of interest.

Next up will be insurance and medical expenses…..

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Weekly Retrospective....

What I’m Reading:  EntreLeadership by Dave Ramsey…

What I’m Listening To/WatchingGrantSabatier Financial Freedom podcasts …

What I’m Working On: Creating my 2020 Breakout Year Plan ….

Where I’m Succeeding: Relaxing ….

Where I’m Struggling: Breaking into real estate …

What I’m Grateful For:  An exceptional partner ….

Quote That Has Me Thinking: “Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.”— Kahlil Gibran

What I’m Excited About: The Future .….

What I’ve Been Pondering: The next 2.09 ….

Sunday, November 24, 2019


I recently posted our expenditures through the first 3 quarters of the year with a promise to update, by category, what those disbursements entailed. Thanks to paying off all of our debts a couple years ago, we are now in a position to give considerably more than before, when we owed the majority of our incoming cash to liabilities.

Through the end of September, we have been fortunate enough to give away 12% of our income, broken down as follows:

·       Church: 50% of our giving has went to our Church. Malachi 3:10 is a great reminder about God’s expectations here….
·       Other: 25% goes to various charities and people we see in need.
·       College: 15% of our giving goes to college tuition and expenses to help our son get through his education with zero debt.
·       Grandkid’s 529 Plans: 10% goes to us trying to get ahead on our grandchildren’s educations. The Georgia 529 Plan is a great resource for those trying to help others get a start on their secondary education.

It’s nice when debt isn’t a hindrance to being able to help someone in need from time to time, as well as being able to help future generations avoid mistakes I have made.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Weekly Retrospective....

What I’m Reading:  The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran (reread) and The Cashflow Quadrant by Robert Kiyosaki…

What I’m Listening To/WatchingChris Hogan podcasts…

What I’m Working On: My nonprofit tax filing (990-EZ) and CFP course….

Where I’m Succeeding: Sticking to the plan ….

Where I’m Struggling: Breaking into real estate …

What I’m Grateful For:  A relaxing, rainy weekend ….

Quote That Has Me Thinking: “You delight in laying down laws, yet you delight more in breaking them.”— Kahlil Gibran

What I’m Excited About: My son coming home from college tomorrow for a week .….

What I’ve Been Pondering: The next 2.1 ….

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Seneca Quote....

“Friendship produces between us a partnership in all our interests. There is no such thing as good or bad fortune for the individual; we live in common. And no one can live happily who has regard to himself alone and transforms everything into a question of his own utility; you must live for your neighbor, if you would live for yourself. ” — Seneca

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Quarter 3 Savings/Investments Update....

I recently posted our expenditures through the first 3 quarters of the year with a promise to update, by category, what those disbursements entailed. Thanks to paying off all of our debts a couple years ago, we are now able to invest or save approximately half of our income. YTD, this category is 45% of our bring home pay, which we hope will increase significantly the remainder of the year now that travel and helping prepare for a grandchild is out of the way 😊. And while savings/investments aren’t REALLY an expenditure, it’s one of the main categories we track, so here goes:

·       Retirement Accounts: To date, 42% of our savings/investments have been retirement account contributions. 30% of this money is invested in Vanguard’s Growth Index Fund (VIGAX) which returned 23.9% through the first 3 quarters and 30% is invested in a target date fund (VTHRX), which returned 14.3% during the same period. 25% of accounts are invested with a Fidelity total market fund (FSKAX) returning 17.8% and the remaining 15% is invested in a Fidelity total market bond fund (FTBFX) returning 9.7% to help even out market volatility. Get with your CPA or investment adviser to understand how to maximize tax-free or tax-beneficial investments to maximize investments and save your actual largest expenditure (taxes). This category will increase significantly during the last quarter of the year for reasons I will detail later.

·       Brokerage Accounts: We use Fidelity and Robinhood for our brokerage investments, which make up 35% of this outlay. For the Fidelity account, 75% is invested in FSKAX, a total market index fund returning 17.8% through the end of the 3rd quarter. 15% is in a 3 year CD returning a set 3.1% per year (not the biggest fan of CDs, but it was hard to pass up this guaranteed payout at a time when the markets were acting a bit crazy) and 10% is in a total bond fund (FTBFX), returning 9.7% through September. For our Robinhood accounts, we chose high dividend paying companies with consistent, year over year payouts. And, excluding Coke, we chose companies that were down at least 20% from 52 week highs but with otherwise solid financials. Through September we were up 20%, with Western Digital being our largest gainer (over 50%).

·       High Yield Savings/CDs: Our final 23% was put into high yield savings and CDs with Synchrony, an online bank. We are currently getting 1.9% returns on savings (was as high as 2.25%) and 2.65%-2.8% on CDs. We currently have about 8% of our net worth in cash due to looking for real estate opportunities (hopefully an announcement coming soon). Someone please tweet President Trump and tell him that negative interest rates aren’t in the best interest of most Americans.

Well, I hope this information is helpful to one of the two people who read this blog. I’d love feedback, questions, or even silly comments. Thanks for taking the time to read…..

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Weekly Retrospective...

What I’m Reading:  Set For Life by Scott Trench…

What I’m Listening To/Watching: Tim Ferriss podcast…

What I’m Working On: Closing my first commercial real estate deal ….

Where I’m Succeeding: Relaxing ….

Where I’m Struggling: CFP Course …

What I’m Grateful For:  Family ….

Quote That Has Me Thinking: “Success often comes to those who dare to act.  It seldom goes to the timid who are ever afraid of the consequences.”— Jawaharlal Nehru

What I’m Excited About:  This weekend’s Habitat for Humanity Build (see pic above) ….

What I’ve Been Pondering: The next 2.1 ….

Friday, November 1, 2019

January-September Spending....

Sorry for the late report, but through the first three quarters of 2019, we’ve had the following expenditures:

·       Savings/Investments: 45%
·       Giving: 12%
·       Lifestyle: 12%
·       Food: 8%
·       Housing: 8%
·       Extra Taxes/Insurance: 8%
·       Transportation: 4%
·       Education: 3%

I’ll follow up later with how, by category, these expenses break down.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Weekly Retrospective....

What I’m Reading:  Mind Hacking by Sir John Hargrave…

What I’m Listening To/Watching: JoeRogan podcast…

What I’m Working On: UGA Terry School of Business CFP course case studies ….

Where I’m Succeeding: Catching up on reading ….

Where I’m Struggling: Being me …

What I’m Grateful For:  Life….

Quote That Has Me Thinking“The worst kind of brokenness is the kind you don’t know you have.” – Amy Neftzger

What I’m Excited About:  Implementing the 5 Whys in my life ….

What I’ve Been Pondering: The next 2.2 ….

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Dostoevsky Quote....

“Every man has some reminiscences which he would not tell to everyone, but only to his friends. He has others which he would not reveal even to his friends, but only to himself, and that in secret. But finally there are still others which a man is even afraid to tell himself, and every decent man has a considerable number of such things stored away.” – Fyodor Dostoevsky

Monday, October 21, 2019

Weekly Retrospective....

What I’m Reading:  Stop Doing That $#!% by Gary John Bishop…

What I’m Listening To/WatchingStacking Benjamins podcast…

What I’m Working On: UGA Terry School of Business CFP course case studies ….

Where I’m Succeeding: Recent investment decisions (check out PETS today) 😊 ….

Where I’m Struggling: Avoiding ruts …

What I’m Grateful For:  A new family addition (see pic above).

Quote That Has Me Thinking“Without ambition one starts nothing. Without work one finishes nothing. The prize will not be sent to you. You have to win it.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

What I’m Excited About:  The future (again refer to pic above) 😊 ….

What I’ve Been Pondering: Finishing things ….

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Weekly Retrospective....

What I’m Reading:  The Bucket Plan by Jason L. Smith…

What I’m Listening To/Watching:  Mr. 1500 House Flip YouTube videos…

What I’m Working On: CFP course case studies ….

Where I’m Succeeding: Enjoying downtime ….

Where I’m Struggling: Staying focused on the case studies for the certified financial planner course .… we’re already doing so many of the things the course makes a big deal of, which kind of makes it like reading a book where you know the ending, but you still have to read every word…

What I’m Grateful For:  The small things …. had a yard sale yesterday. Only made $80, but it was nice hanging out with the wife and daughter in decent weather .... also got a check for $128 from our electric company (co-op) which was totally unexpected.

Quote That Has Me Thinking“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” – Soren Kierkegaard

What I’m Excited About:  Some garden ideas for next spring similar to the pic I posted above that I observed in Cartersville last weekend ….

What I’ve Been Pondering: How best to stay the course I have chartered while also enjoying the occasional off path ….

Friday, September 27, 2019

Investing Update...

As the handful of people who follow this blog know, I’m looking to retire early, like within a couple years early. With that in mind, I’ve been experimenting with a couple of different investment options as I decide on which ‘bucket’ approach I will use to fund my retirement:

·       75% index fund/25% bond fund mix with a Fidelity brokerage account. To date this year, I’m up about 16.7%, with nowhere near as wide a spread as you would think between the two funds, thanks to the excellent year bonds have had. Additionally, the index fund will pay out a dividend of close to 2% in December to add to the pot.
·       Dividend Investing: To date, using Robinhood, a commission-free online tool, I’ve bought into 8 different stocks that average dividend payouts of 6.2% per year. As you can see in the screenshot above, they’ve also observed solid growth year to date. In selecting these stocks, I chose companies that were at least 20% off of 52-week highs, paid a dividend of at least 4% and had solid financials (other than Coke, which I bought just because it’s Coke 😊).

Looking forward to how the rest of the year shakes out and will update more frequently in the future.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Quote That Always Really Makes Me Think....

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.“  Pierre Teilhard De Chardin

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Matt Kahn Quote....

So true….

Despite how open, peaceful and loving you attempt to be, people can only meet you as deeply as they have themselves. – Matt Kahn

Monday, September 9, 2019

Weekly Retrospective....

What I’m Reading:  Love Does by Bob Goff…

What I’m Listening To:  Afford Anything podcasts…

What I’m Working On: Relaxing ….

Where I’m Succeeding: Appreciating life more ….

Where I’m Struggling: Maintaining focus .…

What I’m Grateful For:  Being able to take 3 people close to me to the Braves game yesterday (pic of field above) and the fact that Matt Joyce hit a home run that won me $5 in food/drink at RaceTrak today 😊 ....

Quote That Has Me Thinking“Here's a sigh to those who love me, and a smile to those who hate; and whatever sky is above me, here's a heart for every fate.” - Lord Byron

What I’m Excited About:  An upcoming addition to the family 😊….

What I’ve Been Pondering: How what I am doing right now will impact the next 1, 5 and 10 years of my life ….