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Archive for October, 2012

Costume economics

October 30, 2012 Leave a comment

I spent this weekend hanging out with some of my favorite people in the world.  After cooking some amazing meals together, playing some rousing rounds of charades, and tromping through a pumpkin patch to find just the right jack-o-lantern, we ended the day evaluating the costumes of hundreds of dressed-up 20 somethings.

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Categories: Enjoying Life Tags:

Growing your skillset by volunteering!

October 26, 2012 Leave a comment

When I meet people who seem to know how to fix just about anything, I am always impressed by the depth and breadth of their knowledge.  If you don’t work as a handy man, how do you learn the ins and outs of construction and repair?  Back in college, I stumbled upon a way to learn new skills that you can use your whole life, for free!  It’s called volunteering and it changed my life.

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Categories: The Master Plan Tags: ,

Elevators are a lot of fun when you rarely use them

October 25, 2012 Leave a comment

Remember when you were a kid, riding the elevator up and down, amazed by the magic column of buttons that took you wherever you wanted to go?

I work on the fourth floor of an office building, and whenever I step onto the elevator in the basement, and am magically transported 4 full stories, I get a little nostalgic.  I know this may be a little unconventional, but when I decide to use the elevator, I’m always amazed…

For the most part, I take the stairs.  It seems irrational to get into a box and use electricity to lift me four floors when my body is entirely capable of doing in myself.  In fact, it’s awesome for my body every time I choose the stairs.  The first time I did it, I got a little winded, but now I can scurry up them like a champ.  Why wouldn’t I build great exercise like that into my day?

Sometimes I see others waiting at the first floor for a lift up, and I say hi as I walk past them to the stairs.  They sometimes do a double take when I pass them again as they are stepping out of the elevator on the fourth floor

 I am always confused when I’m walking with coworkers, and they want to take the elevator down two floors!  Every time I laugh a little on the inside about how ridiculous their choice is and go along with them (so as not to seem rude).  I hop on the elevator with them and enjoy the experience.

So anyway, the point is that if you rely on yourself to accomplish stuff most of the time, easy and mindless activities like riding an elevator can even become treats on occasion. 

 

Categories: Enjoying Life Tags:

My Transportation Budget: How I sliced my commuting budget it half

October 24, 2012 4 comments

Driving is bad for your soul

Have you every made a bad choice just because everyone else was doing it, even though you knew it was a bad choice to begin with?  When I moved to Chicago, I decided to live 30 miles from where I worked.  I did it because everyone else was doing it… and here’s the story of how I have attempted to mitigate this disaster.

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The Magic Money Box that doubles your cash every 10 years

October 22, 2012 Leave a comment

How many times have you been told that it’s important to start saving for retirement as soon as you enter the working world?  I had heard this conventional wisdom over and over again, but I never really believed it… that is, until I ran some of the numbers myself.

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Categories: Investing Tags: ,

Airports need Psychiatrists

October 18, 2012 Leave a comment

Tremendous Travel

I LOVE airports!  I enjoy airports almost as much as I enjoy visiting new cities and exploring.  Every time I fly for business or pleasure, I’m reminded how spectacular my life is.

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Categories: Cutting Spending Tags:

Quick financial wins – you gotta start somewhere!

October 18, 2012 1 comment

Manufacturing Motivation

A while back, before my financial mindset shifted, I had a lot of trouble connecting small amounts of money to long term prosperity.  Saving a dollar at the grocery store didn’t seem to correlate with retiring early.  I had no incentive to begin seriously saving/investing money because the two concepts were orders of magnitude different.

In order to get motivated, I made a few small changes that yielded short term, tangible results.  I call this my list of quick wins.  None of them really “moved the needle” in terms of my net worth, but they were necessary steps.  They helped me link short term savings to long term savings; tiny to life changing.

As Bob Marley said “If you don’t start somewhere, you’re gonna go nowhere.”  Truer words were never spoken.

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