Advice to the Kids Regarding Working

Let’s face it. Unless you are a trust-fund baby or a Kardashian, most of us are going to have to work for an extended period of time. While it might be fun to have a large trust fund and not having to work, being a Kardashian is just gross and nasty. So for the rest of us that have to work. How do you go about it and not let it suck your soul dry?

Work has become a four-letter word. People love to complain about, yet for most of us, we will be working for half of our life (or longer). And those working years are our prime years.

Here is listicle of advice for my kids on surviving and thriving at work.

  1. Plan now or you will be working FOREVER. Work early – Work  often. Save early – Save often.
  2. Working forever is fine if it’s what you want. But wouldn’t you rather have the flexibility to work or not work?
  3. When you start a new job, bust your butt the first day at work. Make that good first impression on the boss and coworkers. This applies to a teen working at McDonalds as well as to an adult working in an office.
  4. Find one or more things you love to do. Things you would do for free every day for the rest of your life.
  5. Figure out how to make money doing those things and do them. Even if it’s not much money at first and you have to do them part time.
  6. If you don’t find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work until you die – Warren Bufffett
  7. Working for The Man is ok. Working for yourself is far superior.
  8. You don’t have to have a high salary to get wealthy. But it helps.
  9. Have MULTIPLE revenue streams. Examples: W2 job, consulting, rental income, eBay sales, cut grass, start a business, dividends, blogging, create YouTube content, Uber etc.
  10. Remember to have fun.

Slowly Adding Content

Thanks to all who have been stopping by. We are working on adding more content. The 13 kids and 3 grandkids are occupying most of our time. That and work, and play, and life and homeschooling the little buggers.

Enough will our excuses…off to write.

Happy 4th of July

Happy independence day. Hopefully everyone is having a great day and working on gaining financial independence too.

Here are a few pics of our 4th and how we make S’mores for a large family.

 

Junk by Any Other Name is Still Junk

Storage Units?! Really?

You have so much crap that it won’t fit in your house and you have to pay to have it stored? (I’m not talking about people in the process of moving and between homes, or those in the Mob who need places to stash bodies, guns and drugs. Storage units are great for those needs.)

Paying $100-$400 a month (the going rate around here for a storage unit depending on the size) to store your material excess is insane. Sell the junk on eBay, at a garage sale, on Craigslist. Donate it to Goodwill or some other group. Throw it in a freaking landfill. Just quit paying all that money to store your grandmother’s “antique” furniture she left behind. It was cheap then and it is junk now. Your grandmother wasn’t a Rockefeller, she was a tightwad. She is rolling over in her grave and cursing your name that you are paying a small fortune each month to house her Montgomery Ward catalog furniture. Just let it go.

Are you really gonna use that Bowflex or thigh-master 2000? Will you ever fit into your clothes from college and are they even in style anymore? Your bobblehead collection of the characters of Joanie Loves Chachi? Get rid of them.

On the other-hand owning and renting them might be a good way to make a buck. So many people have so much stuff. It’s probably a good business to invest in.

We have a ton of junk too, but it’s all in our attic, closets, garage, shed, and every room in our house. But that’s an issue for a separate post on detachment.

Pros and Cons of Homeschooling

Pros of Homeschooling:

  • Parental control of what kids are taught and how it’s taught.
  • Get to teach your value system to your kids, not the government’s “values”.
  • You can teach to your kid’s learning style. There are no learning disabled kids, just teacher disabled adults.
  • If you want to spend all day learning about how caterpillars become butterflys or how to conjugate verbs you can.
  • Better socialization skills (home-school kids being un-socialized is one of the great lies). Our kids interact with kids and adults of all ages, not just with kids their own age. This is of particular importance for boys.
  • Lots of time and freedom to pursue other activities. Homeschooling allows them to do much more if the parent so chooses.
  • Takes about 1/3 of the time of regular schooling. My kids, if motivated, are done school in 2-3 hours tops. The lazy ones can take all day.
  • Can do school in your pajamas.
  • Don’t have to get up super early to meet a carpool or the bus.
  • Lots of time to play outside and just be a kid.
  • No getting dropped of at 7am for before-school care and picked up at 6pm from after-care.
  • Lots of one on one time with parents. Builds better relationships with parents and siblings.
  • No busywork and filler in the classroom.
  • Kids learn at their pace not at the pace of the slowest kid in the classroom
  • Costs are very low, much lower than private school and about the same as public school. We spend less than $200 to school our k-8 kids (high-school homeschooling costs more and will be covered in a future post). This assumes you aren’t using some expensive curriculum package. My bride does up her own curriculum. But even the packaged curriculum is affordable for most.
  • Safer – we have had no bomb threats, school shootings, stabbings, drug use, bullying…well ok, my kids do bully each other. But we prefer to call it “Life Lessons”.
  • You can take vacation whenever you want. We get to go to the beach when it’s the off-season. Beaches aren’t crowded and the rents are a lot cheaper.
  • You are there to help you kids through the “big issues” in life and can decide when they learn about them.
  • The person who loves the child most in this world is also their teacher.

Cons of Homeschooling:

None. Well none for us. I hear other people comment on the downside of homeschooling but this has always been from people who have never tried it. I have no time or patience to deal with these objections and people any more. We’ve been doing this for over 20 years and have heard it all. If you have problems with the idea of homeschooling try sitting down with a veteran home-school mom (like my bride) and talking about it. We have dealt with all the objections over the years. Or better yet give homeschooling a try. You can always ship them back to the public school, they would love to get their meat-hooks back into them.

Results so far – My oldest graduated college 2 years early and got her masters in a year. 2nd oldest graduated and his working. 3rd just finished Grad school with a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree and has started work. 4th has graduated and been working for a year. The 5th finished undergrad and is heading to Grad school in a few months. The next 2 kids are in college currently. All of our kids have finished high school either 1 or 2 years early. 2 kids are doing high school currently. 1 is middleschool age. 3 are elementary school age.

Breast Feeding

Breastfeed if at all possible. I mean if you’re a dude you can’t, but if you are women you should be equipped to give it a whirl and see if it works for you.

Breast milk = FREE

Formula for a year = $1,200-$1,500 (more if you use the fancy-pants stuff) depending out which formula you use*

* this doesn’t include the cost of bottles and nipples. Nor does it factor in the health benefits (for baby and mom) and the time savings of breastfeeding. 

 

  • Breast-fed children are more resistant to disease and infection early in life than formula-fed children 
  • Breast-fed children are less likely to contract a number of diseases later in life, including juvenile diabetes, multiple sclerosis, heart disease, and cancer before the age of 15 
  • Mothers who breastfeed are less likely to develop osteoporosis later in life, are able to lose weight gained during pregnancy more easily and have a lower risk of breast, uterine and ovarian cancer

 

12 of our kids got the boob-jucie (#13 was a foster baby) for the 1st year of their lives. I figure we saved between $14,400-$18,000 over the past 23 years, probably towards the lower end of that range since we would have bought store-brand formula…in bulk…when on sale…cause we are cheap that way.

Over the Top Birthday Parties

Warning: Getting on my SoapBox.

The following rant was prompted by an article on kid’s birthday parties that I recently read.

Kid’s birthday parties should cost under $50, actually they should cost under $25 but I’m feeling generous.

What is it with parents taking kids to places like; build-a-badger, laser tag, bowling alleys, gun clubs, fashion shows etc…Did they have such deprived childhood’s that they have to live through their kid’s? Are they guilty about something? Wusses who can’t say no?

These are the same people you hear complain about never having enough money as they are heading to the mall in their leased cars to shop. Well, duh. Waah, waah waah, someone call the waahmbulance.

Party-bags?! Really? We just fed and entertained your sugared-up brats (sorry about all the sugar) for 3 hours and now we have to give out a party-bag! What’s that you say? You gave my kid a gift? Well no kidding Sherlock, it’s his birthday. But you know what? We don’t really need any gifts; we have enough junk in our house already. But if you want a party-bag for your kid filled with dollar store crapolla, then fine, enjoy. I hope that in the middle of the night you step on some small plastic pieces while walking around barefoot.

So tell me what’s the deal with inviting tons of kids? I hear of parents inviting their kid’s entire school class so no one’s feelings get hurt. Hey kid, you were not invited because my kid thinks you are a booger-eating-goober. Get over it, that’s life. Thank God my kids are homeschooled. My kids get a party from ages 5 thru 10. And that’s it. And they get to invite one friend for each year old they are.

Social media like; Facebook, Instagram and Vine just make matters worse. People post all their self-indulgent pictures and videos of events like birthday parties. They are just showing you a small slice of life. The good life, through a rose colored internet. They want you to think that everything is all peaches and cream. When underneath the peaches are rotting and cream is curdling. Guess what? You might be fooling others and even yourself for a while, but you ain’t fooling us.

Gift registries for kid’s birthdays, really? I’m speechless.

Some of the more outrageous themes in the article: ice sculptures, snow machine parties (for backyard sledding), karaoke bar, live animals, spa parties (yes at a spa). In that light hauling a bunch of kids to the bowling alley or Chucky E. Cheese is kinda quaint, still stupid, but quaint.

Be careful. You give your little girl a 5th birthday party that costs $500 and you are gonna have a helluva bill when the princess gets married. And you sure aren’t doing your future son-in-law any favors.

Kiss More

  • In the average lifetime, most people spend 20,160 minutes kissing.
  • Passionate kissing burns 6.4 calories a minute. A Hershey’s kiss contains 26 calories, which takes five minutes of walking–or about four minutes of kissing–to burn off.
  • The longest kiss, recorded in Thailand in February 2013 by Guinness World records, lasted 58 hours, 35 minutes and 58 seconds.
  • Approximately two-thirds of people tip their head to the right when they kiss.
  • Kissing is good for teeth. The anticipation of a kiss increases the flow of saliva to the mouth, giving the teeth a plaque-dispersing bath.
  • The mouth is full of bacteria. When two people kiss, they exchange between 10 million and 1 billion bacteria.

Go Small To Get Big

Small Steps x Lots of Time = Big Results.

Like training for a marathon, the actual race (the end result) is the fun part, getting there is tough and takes baby steps. You might start out running 2 miles the first time and work your way up to running more. At first the 2 miles will seem like it’s gonna kill you, it’s not. After a few years 2 miles will seem like nothing and your weekly long run could be 20 miles. When you were just starting out the 2 miles was tiring and you felt like quitting. You never thought you’d get to the point where you could run 20 miles. But if you keep at you will get there.

It’s the same thing when dealing with money. You might think that skipping going out to lunch and saving $10 isn’t going to help. But do that every day and over time magic happens.

What would happen if you stopped going out to lunch daily or gave up the cigarettes or stopped drinking? Besides the obvious health benefits, the financial ones are awesome.

Let’s look at some numbers:

By discontinuing eating out during the work week and investing the money: after 10 years you’d have $36,000 and after 40 years you’d have $698,000. I’m assuming $10 a day, 5 days a week and an 8% return in a no-load stock index fund.

Give up that 6-pack of daily beer: after 10 years you’d have $38,000 and after 40 years you’d have $735,000. I’m assuming $7 a day, 365 days a year and an 8% return in a no-load stock index fund.

Quit that 2 pack a day smoke habit: after 10 years you’d have $65,000 and after 40 years you’d have $1,255,000. I’m assuming $12 a day, 365 days a year and an 8% return in a no-load stock index fund.

So give up the smokes or beer or eating out. Or whatever your equivalent is. Find something that you waste $10-$12 a day on and stop doing it. But don’t just waste the money you save on something else, invest it. Stick it in a no-load stock index fund and watch it grow over time at an 8-10% annual rate.

Heck if you do all 3 and quit all 3, you will be rolling in the dough in the future.

Investing 101

Keeping it Simple Stupid. My brain likes simple things; like watching ALF reruns and eating ice-cream right out of the container. I don’t need to add any complexity to my busy life. Being able to set my investment choices and ignore them is a great thing.

I use no-load stock index funds for a decent portion of my Roth 401k and Roth IRA’s. Plus a few select individual stocks.

Advantages of Index Funds:

  • The yearly costs are dirt cheap compared to managed funds.
  • Very few managed funds beat indexed funds.
  • They simplify your life. Setup a few funds and just check on them once or twice a year to re-balance your asset allocation.
  • They stop you from chasing returns. And buying and selling at the wrong times.
  • Index funds are tax-efficient. If you do own stocks in taxable accounts index funds will prevent you from giving Uncle Obama more money than you have to.
  • All the major investment companies offer them; Fidelity, Vangaurd, Schwab etc…

You can use just 3 funds and create a portfolio that you can pretty much ignore. Here is an example for informational purposes only.

  • A Total US Stock Market Index Fund
  • A Total International Stock Index Fund
  • A Total Bond Market Fund

So, a basic “three-fund portfolio” might consist of 60% Total Stock Market Index, 20% Total International Stock Index, and 20% Total Bond Market fund.

If your company 401k doesn’t offer index funds, talk to your HR department about getting some added.

Every 6 months I re-balance my portfolio to make sure I am still investing the way I want. Using the word “portfolio” makes it sound like I have lots of money to invest, I don’t, but I like using the word anyways.

Important-the above is how I do things. Everyone’s situation is different. Please do your own research and decide what is best for you.