Author Topic: I am the luckiest person in the world and I don't want to screw it up  (Read 3931 times)

whitethunder

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 22
Hi! Thanks for sharing your time with me to read this post. I'm looking for advice on where to start: a friend introduced me to MMM and I realized I've been living a similar lifestyle on my own. It's great to know I'm not completely bonkers and to learn new ways to take things to the next level!

Here is a bit about me: I am male, 24 years old, 6" tall. I do like long walks on the beach as well, but that is not the point... :) I have 0 debt, own a 2015 Honda Civic, and am working as a schoolteacher in Canada. I studied music at a world-class University until 2016 and landed a job teaching French in September of 2017 right after graduating. I consider myself loaded with assets: I have kept myself in great physical shape, I have maintained my musical abilities at a high level while working, and I've landed in a fairly stable and fulfilling career with great benefits.

This is the direction in which I am headed. Everyday before work, I spend 1.5 hours refining or developing a skill. For the past 4 months, I would work on a variety of musical skills (sight-reading, songwriting, technical ability on the piano, vocal ability and stamina). I am now able to do that same work in much less time, and would like to add to my "habit-stack". In particular, I would like to improve my ability to make sound long-term decisions as is oh-so-characteristic of Mr. Money Mustache himself. My question is this: what would be beneficial to do for 45 minutes every day to further this goal?

Any advice, experience, or suggestion is appreciated. I'd like to make hay while I can, so to speak. Thanks for your time!

Bicycle_B

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1820
  • Mustachian-ish in Live Music Capital of the World
Re: I am the luckiest person in the world and I don't want to screw it up
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2018, 04:24:13 PM »
I like the approach.  Work lives are uncertain, as are growth paths; some MMM effort could revolutionize your freedom level over the next 5-10 years.  Repeated small steps are very powerful.

Start here:
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/02/22/getting-rich-from-zero-to-hero-in-one-blog-post/

Further ideas (may overlap with above):
1. Set up Mint, track your current expenses.
2. If you're not saving 50% of after tax pay, figure out how to do so.
3. Regardless of situation, make a game out of maximizing joy and cutting expenses in your 3 to 5 biggest cost areas.
4. Include taxes as one of the areas to maximize.
5. Start by researching a particular area, then make relevant moves.
6. Include cooking as a skill to practice.
7. One option is to practice mechanical skills such as home repair and car maintenance.
8. Look up house hacking and see if there are relevant strategies.  Depending on where you live, maybe find special situations of cheap rent, rather than buy.  Look for roommates/homeowners who will give a price break in return for the privilege of living with the musically talented?
9. Learn about investing.  Read:
a. MMM's posts
https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/05/18/how-to-make-money-in-the-stock-market/
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/02/17/book-review-the-intelligent-asset-allocator/
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/01/13/the-shockingly-simple-math-behind-early-retirement/
b. Jim Collins' take on life, stocks and FU money.
http://jlcollinsnh.com/stock-series/
c. In opposition to the "all stocks" philosophy, review portfoliocharts.com by learning all of the investment terms, and finding three investment portfolios there which have higher returns and lower drawdowns than all-stock portfolio.  Be sure to do this exercise for more than one country; the results vary by country.
d. Visit https://www.bogleheads.org/, read the "Start Here" section, and get advice about how a portfolio with less stock could have a higher return than one with more stock.
10.  Write yourself a personal investing plan and follow it.  Use Google if 9 above hasn't fully equipped you for this task.  Remember that where MMM has a thriving community based on the best thrift/life balance, Bogleheads specializes in the best detailed tactics for maximizing investment.  Just ignore their income standards and most of their consumer spending remarks.  :)

Whatever you do, keep up the gratitude.  And look for ways to share the joy with others.  I love the track you're on.


« Last Edit: January 02, 2018, 04:26:17 PM by Bicycle_B »

Meesh

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 90
Re: I am the luckiest person in the world and I don't want to screw it up
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2018, 09:21:11 PM »
Read, Read, Read. Read MMM, read early retirement extreme blog, and mad FIentist, learn about spending and happiness by reading happy money by Elizabeth Dunn, read about minimalism and how little we really need, and learn how to DYI as much as possible: cooking, active lifestyle to stay healthy, and basically teaching yourself new life skills so you don't need others to do them for you which both lowers your expenses and makes you more valuable in your overall abilities. Ex: You learn to fix your own car; now you don't need someone else to do it ever agian and you could in theory get payed to do it in your free time for the guy who never learned. You seem really interested in learning new habits and skills so learning to fix your own stuff seems it might be up your alley, sewing, house repairs, car etc.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2018, 09:47:59 PM by Meesh »

whitethunder

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 22
Re: I am the luckiest person in the world and I don't want to screw it up
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2018, 07:31:12 AM »
Thanks for the replies Meesh and Bicycle_B!

I've laid out a curriculum to move through for the next 12 months that involves a combination of gradual spending reduction (from reducing grocery bill to finding a new apartment); reading about money; test-driving a retired lifestyle during my vacation time; consulting experts including financial advisors family and friends who are good with money; and working to bring my girlfriend on-board.

I'm tracking my spending by putting receipts in a tupperware; I've considered Mint and I think I will use it once I've mastered the discipline of spending-tracking manually. Really appreciate the suggestions!

One thing I struggled with in the past has been drawing a line between living below my means and living like a monk. When watching this video I was reminded of the perspective that I'll need to make life sustainable and meaningful.
https://blog.ycombinator.com/dont-start-a-blog-start-a-cult-mr-money-mustache/

frugaliknowit

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1680
Re: I am the luckiest person in the world and I don't want to screw it up
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2018, 08:50:04 AM »
https://paulmerriman.com/

The site is full of free information on long term investing.  You might start with whatever podcasts interest you.  Paul Merriman, in my opinion, is the BEST teacher on long term/retirement investing (particularly at managing risk).  Explore and you will learn A LOT!

BuildingmyFIRE

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 94
  • Location: North of the Wall
Re: I am the luckiest person in the world and I don't want to screw it up
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2018, 09:21:58 AM »
I just started my path to FI about six months ago.  Here are a few thoughts for you:

1. Read The Bogleheads Guide to Investing.
2. Download the app Best Budget and use it to track your monthly budget (get the .99 cent version).  It helps you figure out where your money is going, and how much you've already spent that month in a certain category.  It also makes you think before spending.
3.  Take a look at your retirement account, and at the fees that are being charged.  This is an area where many people get a little glassy eyed.  Are you invested in an actively managed fund or passive funds?  What is the expense ratio on the account?  The Bogleheads book will go into these issues in depth, but you want to make sure that you're in passive index funds with low expenses. 
4.  Take up Yoga.  Seriously.  For many reasons.  There are some great 20-30 minute videos by Gaiam that you can do before work. 

I hope this helps!  Cheers!

zoltani

  • Guest
Re: I am the luckiest person in the world and I don't want to screw it up
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2018, 10:09:25 AM »
Damn dude, you're a tiny human, only 6" tall!?! That doesn't seem so lucky.

Reminds me of the stone hedge bit in spinal tap.

whitethunder

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 22
Re: I am the luckiest person in the world and I don't want to screw it up
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2018, 08:52:03 AM »
Thanks frugaliknowitl; that is exactly the type of source I'm looking for from which to learn.

Thanks BuildingmyFIRE! I have accounts with two different banks and I think I may close one today because of the fees.

And zoltani... I used to be 3 feet tall when I was 3 or so, but I kept the faith and doubled my height. I swear it works! I didn't get your comment about the Spinal Tap bit. Could you clarify?

BTDretire

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2806
Re: I am the luckiest person in the world and I don't want to screw it up
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2018, 02:32:27 PM »
Thanks frugaliknowitl; that is exactly the type of source I'm looking for from which to learn.

Thanks BuildingmyFIRE! I have accounts with two different banks and I think I may close one today because of the fees.

And zoltani... I used to be 3 feet tall when I was 3 or so, but I kept the faith and doubled my height. I swear it works! I didn't get your comment about the Spinal Tap bit. Could you clarify?

 The reference is a bit obscure, but I did get a laugh. Watch the whole 1 minute 44 seconds.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pyh1Va_mYWI

Shwaa

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 54
Re: I am the luckiest person in the world and I don't want to screw it up
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2018, 08:24:37 PM »
You spend 90 mins every day before work refining or developing a new skill?  Damn dude, you got the right idea.  That's dedication and not always easy to do.  Kudos

clarkfan1979

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1942
  • Age: 40
  • Location: Pueblo, CO
Re: I am the luckiest person in the world and I don't want to screw it up
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2018, 08:54:10 PM »
sleep and exercise.

whitethunder

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 22
Re: I am the luckiest person in the world and I don't want to screw it up
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2018, 12:07:21 PM »
Thank you so much for your replies. Zoltani, I got the joke aha. 6', I am 6'!

Here will be my daily routine for the next little while:

5:00 - Wake up, eat breakfast and prepare meals for the day
6:15 - Work out at home and get ready for work
7:40 - Leave for work (I walk)
8:00 to 4:00 - Work
4:00 - Learn about wealth-building (I made a curriculum for myself. The perks of being a teacher!)
5:00 - Relax and do whatever I feel like (see friends or girlfriend, call parents, go for a walk, listen to music, etc)
~6:30 - Practice the piano and write one song
7:30 - Get ready for bed
8:00 to 5:00 - Sleep

I will rehearse with a choir some Thursday nights from 7:30-9:30, and also visit friends, my girlfriend, or family on the weekend. I will do my best to leave Saturdays unbooked to allow myself time to rest from the week and research wealth-building, and also take a day off from working out. So Shwaa, every day I will be spending 1 hour working out, 1 hour researching wealth, and 1 hour writing music: it will be spread out, but this way I can spend 3 hours per day training, refining my skills, and learning. I used to wake up at 3am to get things done, and found that I had too little time to devote to my relationships. So now, the compromise is 5:00 with the self-improvement activities spread out during the day so I have more to look forward to.

Believe it or not, I am STOKED to see how this will play out. My girlfriend is supportive and would like to learn about setting goals in relation to FIRE. The song I wrote last night was about how I am so lucky to have the girl I do. Looking forward to the journey and the destination where I'll be able to make this all work even better.