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.

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.

 

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.

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.

Homemade Laundry Detergent

Yes it has come to that, I am making our laundry detergent. After mocking others, hippies mostly, I started making detergent myself. We spend a fair amount each year on detergent and we don’t even use the pricier brands like Tide.

Further down below is a recipe and a link to the site I got it from. This is a concentrated version; she also has a version that requires less of each ingredient. I used a 96 ounce jug to make this and each load of laundry uses 2 ounces of the liquid (HE machine, use more if you have a top-loader). So I am getting 48 loads per jug. Each jug costs me less than $2 to make. Around 5 cents per load. I haven’t bothered to figure out the exact amount. But it’s a lot cheaper than store-bought and only takes a few minutes to make. Oh and the stuff works. On the website is a non-concentrated version that is even cheaper to make.

How to make it:

Put the following into a jug, I used an old 96 ounce detergent jug. You could probably use up to a gallon jug.

1/2 cup of Borax

1/2 cup of Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda

1/2 cup of Dawn Dishwashing Liquid – the blue grease fighting kind

Then add 4 cups of boiling water and shake the jug (stay focused people) to dissolve. Top off the jug with water. Shake the jug between uses to make sure it stays well mixed. That’s it, simple.

Use ¼ cup for HE machine

Use ½ cup for top-loader

Stole this recipe from Here

You can get the Borax and Washing Soda at Amazon. I am told Wal-Mart has them for even less money, but I don’t do Wal-Mart.

You might not think this saves a lot. But we do 30-35 loads of laundry per week. And even the cheapest detergent on sale ( ALL, Arm and Hammer etc…) costs 3 times as much as this home brew.

Homemade detergent per year – $91

Cheap detergent (Cheer, All, Store brand) – $273

Tide and other high dollar stuff –  $310-$480

The non-concentrated version would be about $40 per year.

There are lots of detergent recipes out there, liquid and powder. If you’ve tried any that you like let me know about them.

Maintain It

Take care of your things and your things will take care of you…especially the big things: house and cars.

  • Do most of the regular scheduled car maintenance. Talk to a mechanic you trust (not the dealer) about what needs to be done and when.
  • Wash and wax the cars. Besides looking nice, it keeps the rust away
  • Change the filter in your AC/Furnace at least every 3 months, check the owner’s manual for specifics. I change ours at the change of the seasons.
  • Paint the outside of your house as needed. Peeling paint is more than just an eyesore. It allows the weather in and causes rot. I know, I just had a bunch of trim on the outside of our house replaced and there was some underlying damage. So even more work had to be done which meant more $$$.

What am I leaving off? Bikes? Tools? Appliances? Yup keep those in good working order. What else?

Get a Mentor

Find a mentor. Someone that you look-up to for their financial deftness. The man/woman/couple who has it together financially. But don’t choose by appearances. Just because they have fancy clothes, a large house and 2 BMW’s in the driveway DOES NOT mean they are with it financially, It could actually mean the opposite. They may make a great income but spend a greater amount. Avoid these types, they are financial poison. The people that I’m talking about are the people that have no debt, well funded retirement accounts, and wear regular guy clothes.

A person who makes $50,000 per year and spends $40,000 a year is going to make a better mentor than the person who makes $250,000 a year and spends $300,000 a year.

Find someone that you can meet with and bounce ideas off. This could happen on a regular basis, monthly get-togethers. Or just when questions arise and you need to run an idea by someone who doesn’t have a personal interest in the issue/problem.

It would also be a bonus if this person has already successfully raised a family. Raising financially responsible kids is a great responsibility we have been given. We need to get this right. So look for people that have adult children that are doing well also.

Don’t know about y’all, but I can use all the help I can get.

Too Much Information?

How much is too much when sharing on the internet? How much do we really need to be sharing with each other compared to what we share with those in real life?

Do you need to know tons of details about those that contribute to this website? If you don’t, does it make what we post less trustworthy and relevant to you? How much personal information is safe to share from the author’s perspective?

People reading articles on the internet, especially on new sites like this one, have no way of knowing if what write is true or fabricated. I could be a single, 15 year-old kid making up stuff to jerk around with people. As opposed to the 50-something father of many that I am (honest).

And assuming you do take us at our word, how many personal details do you need to know in order for us to get our ideas across? At least some details are needed to give credence to what we are writing about.

It’s easy to say “spend less than you make” and “save more”. But without practical examples that have worked for us, will these saying help you at all? Probably not.

I’m a runner, I probably run too much. But if someone asks me how to train for a marathon. And I say “go run”. That’s particularly useful. It’s true, but some more details and personal experience would make the advice a lot more useful. But you wouldn’t need every detail about my running life. Sharing stories about chaffing and and toenails falling off, while amusing to some, wouldn’t contribute much to your running goals.

So we will try to balance over-sharing vs leaving out any personal information at all. You might get posts with some details of our financial status, marriage and child rearing tips (if we can think of any good ones), homeschooling how-to’s and personal data on other topics of interest.

So rest assured, you won’t ever know if/what underwear we are wearing. But you will know what works for our family and some of the basic details.