Saturday Links! July 4, 2015

Mortgage as a Forced Savings Account to Build Wealth by Financial Samurai. An interesting way to think about your mortgage is as a savings account that you absolutely have to put money into. An upside to buying a house is that your asset will probably appreciate as you’re saving, but the downside is that your savings account probably isn’t very liquid.

What Would Happen If We All Stopped Paying Our Student Loans, Together? by Jennifer Schaffer, Vice. An interesting take on the student debt problem wich involves forming what looks like a “debt union”. Really, it’s about using a “debt strike” as a tool to promote social change, because there is definitely a problem that no one seems willing to address on their own.

Yo ho, yo ho, an FI life for me! by Mr. 1500, 1500days.com. “FI” stands for “Financially Independent” in case you were wondering; Mr. 1500 is on a 1500-day mission to build a portfolio large enough to retire on. He touches on one of my pet peeves about retiring early: people asking you if you’ll just be bored once you don’t have to work anymore. ABSOLUTELY NOT. There’s so much to do! I think people that are afraid of this are more likely to have this happen to them.

BONUS! What I’m listening to this week:

The late-90s Britpop resurgence had some gems in it, and not all of them were Oasis.

Photo: I grew this pineapple in my back yard. It’s huge! It’s almost like I’m living in Hawaii!

Saturday Links!

Permission to Let Go by Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus, theminimalists.com. These guys are pioneers in the minimalism movement, and they always find a nuanced way to tell you that it’s ok to let your stuff go, to live intentionally and simply, and to make room for what matters in your life.

The Great Mortgage Payoff  by marciab, Proceed Until Apprehended. I’m in the beginning stages of my own mortgage and I’ve been throwing a lot of extra cash at the principal. I’ve never really bought into the idea of “good debt” and it’s great to see other people who have kept going with the goal of being debt-free, even if it’s with something “good” like a house.

Is It Better to Rent or Buy? Mortage-vs-Renting calculator at the New York Times. I’ve written about my own house and a little about how I calculated whether to rent or own, and it’s good to see that this calculator also says that I should definitely have bought a place.

BONUS: I’ve been going a little old school this week.

Photo: It’s rainy season in West Palm Beach. We have two seasons here, “rainy” from June to October, and “dry” from November to May. Also sometimes referred to as “really hot” and “not quite as hot”. During the rainy season, you can expect storms like this every day in the afternoon for at least an hour. 

Saturday Links!

Living a more minimalist lifestyle is all about cutting out everything that’s holding you back so you can live the life you want to live. Everyone is different! Hopefully some of the interesting things I’ve read recently will inspire you as well.

Minimalism And The Pursuit of Happiness by a guest author at Becoming Minimalist. The goal of a minimalist lifestyle isn’t getting rid of stuff for the sake of getting rid of stuff. It’s about cultivating a life that doesn’t chain you to posessions, and making time for the things that really matter. Sometimes it helps to be reminded of this idea.

Check out this awesome living space. Have you ever seen something simpler? It even makes its own energy and recovers rainwater. Makes me want to sell everything I own and drive around the country with this little capsule.

How the Sunk Cost Fallacy Makes You Act Stupid by Michael Davidson, lifehack.org. Remember this the next time you think something like “But I’ve spent so much time/money on this, I have to keep it longer to get my money’s worth!”

6 Things Mark Cuban Says You Should Do With Your Money in 2015 by Stefanie O’Connell, gobankingrates.com. Mark Cuban is sometimes a controversial figure, but his advice on personal finance is spot-on. He worked his way into his billions, and his work ethic and attitude towards money is largely the reason.

Bonus! What I’m listening to today:

Photo: Downtown Miami from a few weeks ago when I drove across a bridge to Key Biscayne. 

Saturday Links!

Things I’ve read over the past week that I’ve found that are above and beyond the usual Internet. Enjoy!

Getting Rich: from Zero to Hero in One Blog Post by Mr. Money Mustache. I just stubled across this blog recently, and find the author to be a great person to financially look up to. Already retired, making his money work for him, and generally enjoying life. Everything I want for my own life!

What Does Your Work Truck Say About You? by Mr. Money Mustache. One of my favorites on his blog so far, it inspired me to finally cut the chains tying me to my own truck. My truck isn’t as bad as some of the ones he writes about, but it’s not ideal by any stretch of the imagination.

A Life Worth Waking Up For by Joshua Becker, Becoming Minimalist. Productive people always make time to exercise, because your body is the tool that allows you to do everything else. If it’s not your priority, everything else will suffer as a result. This blog post heavily references another article.

How A Year Of Extreme Frugality Changed Us by Mrs. Frugalwoods, frugalwoods.com. One of my favorite blogs out there, the Frugalwoods continuously break the mold of today’s spend-spend-spend culture. Case-in-point: they assume that any expenditure will make them poorer, and work from that starting point. Certainly not typical!

Bonus: What I’m listening to today!

Photo: A picture from my recent trip to California, a beach where a bunch of seals were hanging out. If you look closely you can see them!

Links for Saturday, 5/30/15!

It’s that time of the week again! The weekend, where I like to relax, work on my side projects, and maybe do some reading. To that end:

The Secret to Having a Simplified Schedule by Melissa Camara Wilkins, No Sidebar. We can focus on just the things in our life when we’re trying to simplify, but how often do we look at the things we do? Are we doing things because we want to or need to, or are we doing them to appease other people? It’s your time, and it’s ok to say no to anything that isn’t going to further your goals.

Don’t Buy This Ad by Sam Lustgarten, Frugaling. I seem to link to a lot of Sam’s articles, but they do resonate with me. Not only does he mention Volkswagen (I drive an old Beetle) but he hits on one of the biggest instances of doublethink in our culture today. It reminds me a lot of the “Unilever Controversy” too. Just remember: All companies want to do is make money, and they will do whatever they think will make the most money. That’s it.

Bonus: What I’m listening to right now!

Raggy Monster is a local band from West Palm Beach that I really dig. I try and catch any of the shows they do around West Palm! Really fun an energetic, and a very original sound.

Photo: Mt. Rainier as seen from the top of Crystal Mountain in Washington. I took this a year ago during my first time snowboarding.

Links for Saturday, 5/23/15!

To make a good blog, you have to read good blogs! It’s that sort of “you are what you eat” thinking with which I bring you other people’s blogs. A little late due to the holiday. So it goes.

Are You Making Good Decisions? by Allison Vesterfelt, No Sidebar. A simple guide to making decisions that should really be common sense, but somehow isn’t. (She sold me here: “When you ask people who are dying about the regrets of their life … they wish they would have spent more time with family and friends and less time at work.”)

Cuba Has a Lung Cancer Vaccine, and Now It Could Be Coming to the USA by Caroline Reid, iflscience.com. One of the few axioms I firmly believe in is “Trade Creates Wealth” and this certainly goes a long way towards proving my point.

YOLO for 80 Years! by Sam Lustgarten, frugaling.org. You may only live once, but you live for quite a while. No sense ruining the majority of it by making poor decisions in the beginning.

Bonus! What I’m listening to today, rockin’ it old school:

Photo: Seattle in spring. I caught it on a rare, non-rainy day during their 9-ish month rainy season. 

Links for Saturday, 5/16/15!

If I find interesting things throughout the week, I’ll go ahead and share them! Other people sometimes have great things to say.

Let’s Chat About Simplifying by Joshua Fields Millburn, The Minimalists. For me, The Minimalists are the face of minimalism, and give the most concise and clear reasons for why minimalism is a good thing and how to work it into your life. Basically, identify which things add value to your life, even if those “things” aren’t things at all. Get rid of everything else. This radio interview is a great intro to minimalism if you haven’t heard of it before, but also gets into some nuanced views on the movement.

21 Surprising Statistics That Reveal How Much Stuff We Actually Own by Joshua Becker, Becoming Minimalist. I’m an engineer, and as such can really appreciate using numbers to drive a point home. Joshua points out 21 facts that show us exactly what is has been going on with our stuff.

Why I Gave Up a $95,000 Job to Move to the Caribbean and Scoop Ice Cream by Noelle Hancock, Esquire. Noelle explains that you don’t have to have a busy life crammed with a career and lots of stuff to live a happy life. After all, at that point, what are you living for? Noelle basically turned her entire life into the vacation she was always dreaming about in snowy New York, and seems to be the better for it.

Is Buying Better than Renting? by Mr. Frugalwoods, Frugalwoods. I recently did some research on my own blog post about home ownership, and this was one of the most objective takes on the issue I found. Which side do you find yourself on? Is it the side you want?

Bonus! What I’m listening to this week:

Photo: I went to Santa Cruz, California to surf a month ago. It’s beautiful!

Links for Saturday, 5/9/2014!

I’m pretty new to the blogosphere here, but I read a lot of them. One thing I noticed is that most of them publish an article at the end of the week with links to other interesting articles they’ve read throughout the week. In what is apparently a blogging tradition, here are my week’s picks!

Why ‘Follow Your Passion’ is Bad Career Advice by Carolyn Gregoire, Huffington Post. As someone who’s spent their fair share of time in a cubicle, this really resonated with me. According to the article, better advice would be to try to build a sustainable career rather than following your passion. Reminds me of that quote from Office Space that there wouldn’t be any janitors if everyone had a million dollars and could do whatever they wanted.

Huffington on Sandberg: To Lean In, First Lean Back by Arianna Huffington, Huffington Post. Huffington’s comments about Sheryl Sandberg’s new book. I was drawn to the observation that the male model of success (based on power and money, according to the author) doesn’t work for women, but it also doesn’t work for men. Stress is up, and no one really benefits in the end, in my opinion.

Facebook Birthday Messages: Pt 1 – The Dunbar Number by Huw, No Surprise There. If you’ll allow me to indulge in some nerdy number analysis and stereotypical “engineers fumble with society” ungracefulness, the Dunbar number is the theoretical limit on the number of relationships a person can maintain. The author finds that even when someone has a huge number of friends on Facebook, they still only maintain relationships with a number consistent with the Dunbar number, based on how many messages are posted during birthdays. Pretty interesting correlation!

Shatter Your Definition of Success by Sam Lustgarten, Frugaling. I’ve followed this blog for quite a while now, and it’s always a great take on living a simpler lifestyle. The definition of “success” is outdated, and not likely to be relevant to as many people as it has been in the past. I completely agree.

Bonus: What I’m Currently Listening To!

Reminds me of spring 2005, right before I graduated high school. Nostalgia!

Photo: Sunfest 2015, an annual music festival in West Palm Beach, Florida. I saw Wilco from the “club” level that day. Pretty awesome show!