Investing in Yourself is THE BEST THING EVER

self investment over time

So you want to be awesome?  Maybe rich, famous, fit, smart, superhero-esque, an amazing cook, a musician, a master mountain climber, an old school blacksmith.  Whatever it is you want, there is only one way to really achieve it.  It all boils down to appropriately utilizing your time and resources to invest in yourself. In my humble opinion, one of the greatest things a person can do in their life is invest in themselves.  Successfully doing this can pay dividends and advance life in a myriad of ways.  In what ways, you ask?  Well, here is my back-of-the-napkin analysis of what investing in yourself can improve: Mental health Physical health Financial health Familial health Time management Career opportunities Relationships Happiness Chances of getting the F#$^ out of a job or life you hate (Which can also be tied to all of the above!) A final and often ignored benefit to Continue Reading →

My wife quit her job to be a stay at home mom

stay at home mom-2

Stay at home mom– A crippling blow to financial independence, or a blessing in disguise? Well, that didn’t take long.  My son spent all of three months in day care before I caved and let my wife quit her job.  It’s been a tough adjustment for me mentally.  Letting my wife quit goes against my belief that both husbands and wives should earn income.  However, given the nature of this post, it’s obvious that life isn’t so straight-forward. That said, I can’t help but look on the bright side of the whole ordeal – Everyone in the family is much happier! My Pre-Baby Mentality Prior to having kids, I always said that my wife would work too, and she’ll be the one to pay off her student loans.  To her credit, she’s a hard worker and for the last couple of years has been putting 50% of her earnings towards Continue Reading →

The Best Way To Use Your Bonus (Hint – Minimize Taxes)

bonus-money-gift-ribbon-present

One of the great perks of being a corporate stooge is that many of us are eligible for some type of annual bonus.  Most folks take their bonus money and run, choosing to treat themselves with it, sometimes burning up the money before the check actually clears.  Personally, I prefer to put that money to work and to use it to push myself closer to my early retirement goal. Most of us know blowing the money on a new purse is not the best use of it.  What can we do to make smart use of that additional income? How Is A Bonus Taxed? First, we need a basic understanding of how a bonus gets taxed in order to fully utilize it. A bonus is considered supplemental income, which is compensation received on top of ordinary earnings.  Your regular paycheck is considered ordinary income. Ordinary income is taxed based on Continue Reading →

My Small Victory – The Standing Desk

never sit down never surrender

Today is a day that will live in cubicle infamy.  After six months, multiple conversations with “the powers that be”, and an EOHS assessment – I have been given a standing desk. *Pause for applause* Never mind the fact that multiple people before me already received their own (in a much faster time frame I might add).  I still consider it a small victory, because it did require a bit of driving on my part.  The biggest hurdle to overcome is the trite baby boomer mindset of, “I never had such a thing, why do you need it?” While that thought process has its place in life, I don’t believe this is it.  Society has progressed from a health and fitness standpoint in the last 30-50 years.  People used to smoke freely in enclosed public places.  We now know that second hand smoke can be just as bad as first Continue Reading →

Death in the Family and What We Can Learn From It

RIP Headstone

Last weekend we had a death in the family.  My aunt passed away after her two year battle with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, aka Lou Gehrig’s disease).  She was my dad’s only sibling. It was a really rough way for her life to end.  Over the last two years she slowly lost her ability to talk, swallow, feed herself, and move.  In the end, she died because she could no longer take any more nourishment.  It’s terrible to say, but I think it was a merciful death.  Losing all ability to move or speak, and being force fed to stay alive, is nothing short of horrible. For those morbidly curious individuals, you can learn more about ALS from the ALS Association. She was 68 years old, which isn’t really THAT old when you think about it.  If she retired around the current average retirement age of 63, that would have Continue Reading →

He’s Finally Here

It’s been quite a while since my last post.  Life has been a little crazy and, quite frankly, I have not used my free time in the most productive way possible.   I’m going to try and do better though. Now — about four weeks ago it finally happened.  My little boy was born.  He was a solid 7lbs 9oz with a nice head of hair.  It was clear from the start that he was my baby, since we look near identical.  The whole process was pretty slow, as labor started mildly on Saturday afternoon and continued into Sunday morning.  At that point, contractions were bad enough that my wife said it was time to go in. We were admitted around 9am, and from that point it was just a waiting game.  After some water breakage, painful contractions, an epidural, and an hour of pushing he popped out at 11:19pm.  My Continue Reading →

The Secret is Out – There’s a Baby a Brewin’!

My wife and I got married last October, and after the wedding we decided to forego birth control and try for a baby.  I’m 30 years old, and we are in a good spot economically.  I told her if we wanted kids; let’s get rolling.  I don’t want to be 40 years old with a newborn!  No offense to those that go that route, it’s just not for me.  I want to have a kid while I still have the energy to keep up with it. Neither of us expected this quite so soon, but that’s life.  At first I was pretty floored.  I’ve never felt particularly ‘fatherly’ or paternal.  I could always see myself being happy with or without kids.  Needless to say, we weren’t really trying that hard yet.  Sounds like nature had different plans though. In late January she seemed a little off, and I quipped, “You’re Continue Reading →

To Dream or not to Dream

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a dreamer. When I was a kid I used to think about running around, being a super hero and beating up bad guys. As I’ve matured, so have my daydreams. In college I thought about traveling the world, eating amazing food and finding a kick ass job that fulfilled me while still allowing me to feel free. In the last few years my dreams have shifted to living a good, simple and relatively stress free life. I want acres, a nice family, close friends and financial security. Don’t get me wrong, I still want the kick ass food and (a little) travel. Travel is a slightly lower priority on my list now though, but there is no debate about the food! Good food is a must have in life. I spend a fair amount of time ‘dreaming’ about these things. To Continue Reading →

What Do You See In The Mirror?

What do you see when you look in the mirror?

When you look in the mirror, what do you see? You don’t have to answer this to anyone but yourself.  However, you should answer honestly. This doesn’t only mean that you’re honest about the present; you have to be honest about your future as well. By that I mean, what direction are you headed in life? This isn’t meant to be a pity party exercise. It shouldn’t involve depression, self-hatred or low self-esteem. It just means you’re not fooling yourself into thinking everything is great when it isn’t.  It means not hiding behind a false reality, and that you are introspective about yourself and your circumstances. So what’s the point in going through this? Why shouldn’t you remain oblivious to the reality of your situation and live “happily”? For some people, they can keep on living that way and that works for them. If you’re visiting this site, then you Continue Reading →

Quarter Life Crisis…Cubicle Life Crisis…What’s the Difference?

cubicle life sucks

What’s a Quarter Life Crisis? I had never heard of a quarter life crisis until after the term cubicle life crisis was created (by me). While there are obvious similarities between these “stages of life”, to me there is also a lot that differentiates them if you read between the lines. According to Wikipedia, a quarter life crisis is defined as “a period of life usually ranging from the early twenties to the mid-twenties, in which a person begins to feel doubtful about their own lives, brought on by the stress of becoming an adult.” The gist of a quarter life crisis is that it involves young adults, and the anxiety and uncertainty that comes with transitioning to a fully independent adult. Typically people that experience a quarter life crisis have difficulty obtaining financial independence from parents, starting families earlier in life, and have deep questions regarding their chosen path Continue Reading →