Ahhhh….. It feels good to be back!!!!
I’ve felt a burning desire to write again, like gasoline touching the flames in my heart, so here I am.
My last post was back in April when I was invited on Marketwatch for an interview…
But as the snow began to melt in Minnesota, and summer rolled in with hot and humid days, I felt like I had hit a mental wall and I needed a break from my computer.
I’d spent the previous three years, writing weekly on this blog.
I loved it, but I had gotten to the point where I felt exhausted all the time.
I looked at myself in the mirror and realized I didn’t need more money, fame, or page views to make me happier.
I was already happy.
I stopped myself and re-evaluated my life:
My kitchen was full of food. I live in a beautiful home. I have a good relationship with my wife. My net-worth has climbed above $300K. I have years of savings in the bank.
I realized I didn’t want more work in the form of regimented blog posts.
The thing I wanted most was simply rest, and a summer free from self-imposed writing and deadlines.
I save my money so that I never have to do what I don’t want to do. I save money so that I can buy freedom over my time.
So I gave myself what I wanted the most… I took the summer away from writing and just lived, felt, explored, and thought.
We traveled to Colorado to see family, and Washington DC to see our financial friends at Fincon…
I like to work with my hands on occasion. It’s a stress reliever for me, and I feel a sense of achievement building equity in my homes. So I did a few real-estate projects throughout the summer, such as: I built a shed in the backyard of my duplex, and learned how to do my own brakes and install a new front door on my rental property:
And we spent a bunch of weekends fishing and swimming a lot at our family cabin:
And I worked hard keeping the invoices going out, and the rent checks coming in at my 2 main businesses (promotional sales, and real-estate) so I could keep the cash coming in while I was out having fun in the sun.
I even learned how to buy my first nice car this summer after my 2004 Toyota Camry with 230K miles was rear-ended and totaled in July. Rather than putting a bunch of money into fixing up an old car, I decided to buy a “newer car” so I could spend the next decade not having to worry about buying another car. I eventually found this awesome 2018 Toyota Rav4 that gives me a little more space to haul landlording tools around while getting good gas mileage in case gas prices ever shoot into the stratosphere.
I won’t lie. It does feel awesome driving a newer, fancy car after rolling around in an older car for the last 7 years. I feel like a rock star when I pull up into parking lots and my appearance now matches the strength of my portfolio. BUT… it wasn’t fun writing the $20,000 check to buy the car with cash. That $20,000 check cleared out most of our emergency fund, but that’s what our emergency fund is there for. We’re currently working hard saving that $20,000 back up again.
“Buy Assets, Avoid Liabilities,” is the motto of our blog. So I was pretty happy I was able to buy the car with cash, and still have 95% of our net-worth invested into assets, Assets are what make you rich. Assets create wealth. The path to wealth is buying as many assets as you can (stocks, real-estate, investments) and as few liabilities as you can. (Cars, clothes, expensive homes with high taxes that steal money from you.)
By the time October arrived, I had gotten tired of traveling and having fun in the sun, I realized I wanted to write again. So here I am….
I’ve had to learn that it’s Ok to take breaks. I’m Ok to take a rest. Life doesn’t have to be 100% work and stressful deadlines all the time to get rich. The whole purpose of why we save and invest our money, is so that we can do whatever we want, whenever we want, and it’s Ok to take a break when you need one.
The best part of building financial independence is that you never have to ask anyone for permission to live the life you want to live.
So what’s next for us?
We’re going to keep working to get our net-worth to $500K in the next 1, 2,or 3 years. How are we going to do this? By being smart and frugal with our financial decisions, and keep re-investing the rent checks, sales payouts, and dividends that we receive monthly.
As Dr Frankenstein said when he created his monster, “It’s Alive!!! It’s Alive!!” That’s how I am starting to feel about my portfolio. It’s growing even when I’m not actively working on it! Compound interest is starting to take root. Now we just have to stay focused, on track, and let the investments grow.
I plan on writing over the winter more, so stop back and say hi. I’ll have a new net-worth update up soon, and I want to share the lessons I learned buying my newer car for $2,500 below its blue book valuation.
Writing is a long term goal for me, so I don’t have to kill myself meeting self-imposed deadlines along the way. I’m healthy, happy, and feel fulfilled. That’s always my ultimate goal and I am achieving that dream. Let’s keep the party moving forward, and always keep reaching for better, more-fulfilling lives to lead. Peace.
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