In the beginning

I don’t like budgets, strict rules, and lists to live by. These are all attempts at building maps to navigate the terrain. They’re recipes when I want to know the ingredients. I want to know the fundamental, underlying building blocks of life. I want to understand how the world works.

I don’t want the map, I don’t want the recipe. I want to make my own.  

I started this blog a couple of years ago but soon fell into writing the same generalized information everyone else was writing. Make your coffee at home, and do your best each month to save 70%, 50%,30%…, ok fine 15% is OK, put money in a generic ETF on the stock market and wait 10, 15, or 30 years. I soon recognized an alarming difference between what I was doing in real life and what I was writing.

So I stopped.  

If it was easy everyone would do it

I’m not interested in doing the same thing everyone else does. There are plenty of maps for that already. They take you down the interstate, to a couple of nights at the Super 8. Let’s go off-road. Let’s go on an adventure, to boldly go and boldly do what no one else around us will. We’re making our own road, with potholes and sticky situations. With a summit insight, a sunrise to watch -with those brave enough to meet us there.  

I drove up, but that’s not the only way to see this view

Are you the type of person that wants to sing out loud with the window down? Do you feel an urge to ante up, no matter the cards you’re dealt? Does everything in you scream to open a conversation with whoever is beside you? Do you want to truly live? Then this blog is just the thing for you.

For your whole life, you’ve played the game of Go Fish. You know the rules well, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. If these are the only rules you know you can try and work the odds slightly in your favor, try to understand the psychology of your opponents, or count the cards to get some advantage. But no matter what you do, you feel like the rules of the game limit you.  

What if you understood the fundamentals though, that it’s the cards that are the building blocks of the game. The four suits and 52 cards. Then all of a sudden you can use the rules to play a different game. A game that favors your strengths, and the cards you’re holding. 

An Ace In Your Pocket

In about 2 years I saved and earned enough to pay off my mortgage. This required reinventing the rules, going off the beaten path, and understanding the fundamental rules. So I could clearly see the problems, and devise a solution for each obstacle. It meant learning the advanced techniques fund managers use, to reduce risk and increase returns. It meant using the tax code in the same manner the 1% does, while earning a single average wage and raising a family of 4. It meant a year of sacrifice, seeing where the bottom of the puddle of spending we wade through each day truly was. And most importantly it meant learning Kaizen, good change, continual unending improvement, of self and every process needed to accomplish my goal -and have the goal have meaning. 


Unending improvement (Kaizen). 



SUIT. These were the 4 suits, the main subjects that I dug down to discover the fundamentals. To be able to discern the rules to play a new game. Each one needs the others to work as a system, to be a full deck. I aim to lay out the cards I have used, the ones I have discarded, and the ones I created(what are the possibilities if there are 53 cards in your deck?) Don’t let the cynics tell you what can’t be done. Amaze them with what can be done.

What’s Next?

What section do you want to work on? Let me know the cards you’re missing, and the ones you’re holding. Do you get anxious thinking about phoning the bank to set up an investing account, or do you already have some investments? Is your spending out of control? Would your spending be out of control if you didn’t have all this debt holding you back? Do you hand your taxes over to your friend to do each year, and always wonder if you’re leaving money at the table? Let me know what you want to read about in the next post in the comments, and any tips you have for me to make this blog better for you.

Your homework is to calculate your annual expenses. Try to be accurate within a few grand. Then times that number by 25. Write that down and save it.
Next, remove all the payments you won't have when you retire, like a mortgage, car loan, etc., and calculate your annual expenses like that. Multiply that by 25 like last time. Write that down and note the difference between the two numbers. We will use this in a future post.

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