Sunday Shorts 02

Last week finally brought a lull in the chaotic activity of the past month. Just a smooth sailing, productive week at work and home. With so many furry animals in our house this week, there was still a bit more activity, but I don’t mind with all the extra love they give.

This week coming up has a few fun items. A 2nd interview for an interesting position. Commute time would increase, but I expect the pay and benefits to more than make up. Back in January when I began to prepare everything for a potential job search, I built myself a calculator in Google Spreadsheets. One factor I included was a value of my time, especially for commuting. When I make that a zero value, the output (years to FI) decreases by about 6 months (it’s actually about the same no matter the value, since the commute isn’t that much longer). For my 5 to 6 year expected FI date, that is considerable percentage.

Of course one of the other fun items will be payday AND soon to be bigger paychecks as I reduce my 401k contribution front-loading efforts. Also, I have submitted a student loan payment to get my tally under $5,000!!! 😀

Anyway now for some of last week’s best.


  • How could I not start us off with Prince? Great music, amazing Super Bowl performer and vegan advocate. Sad to see him go at his age, but he lived one hell of a life and touched many people.
  • Listened to a couple podcasts this week while at work: Dan Green: Life is a Negotiation at Listen Money Matters and Strong Towns Podcast – Mr. Money Mustache at Strong Towns. Both absolutely worth a listen, but my vote is for MMM as I am like-minded in so many ways, and he is always a few steps ahead.
  • Apparently the U.S. Forest Service has/is developing a software program called i-Tree that allows users to inventory and value urban forests. Sadly, tree-scapes in cities are rapidly declining, making way for builds and of course parking lots. Get out there and hug some trees!
  • Pay day loans: never. How are these legal!!!
  • No surprise that a positive attitude towards aging seems to be beneficial for your health. I wonder how much of that positive attitude is genetics predisposition. Even so, this study study should only reinforce a life of good will and happiness means good things.
  • A really popular article this week as I have seen it being talked about in many places, but Many Middle-Class Americans Are Living Paycheck-to-Paycheck. I read the article. Then I heard the author speak on the radio and it only reinforced my negative feelings on the issue. People are blindly putting up the facade of success. This guy cashed out his 401k for a daughter’s wedding, a kind hearted gesture, but… the financial decision making behind actions like these are signs of a terrible support system. What can be done about relieving people of, as the author so accurately coins it,  financial impotence?
  • By now I have at least one chip card, but I had never bothered to learn what the hub-bub was all about. Well turns out it is fairly interesting, despite the slow transaction times. Instead of a static number like a magnetic strip, the chip generates dynamic codes to authorize transactions. Kind of cool.
  • Another fairly popular article this week came from Esquire: 4 Men with 4 Very Different Incomes Open Up About the Lives They Can Afford. Their attitudes towards money is typical of the paycheck-to-paycheck article, despite some being incredibly wealthy. The two wealthiest seem to worry most about money, but mostly how can I get more. The middle income guy seems to have the best attitude, but still spends frivolously on bedroom sets. The lowest income sadly seems trapped in bad decisions, forcing him to constantly worry about his current income issues.
  • And finally, let’s end on a lighter note. For those looking to escape the rat race, just look at these work arguments in China: Front-End Loaders in China Wage Heavy-Duty Combat Over Building Projects.

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