Friday, March 14, 2014

Cubicle Man!

I am not much of a TV watcher and it seems when I do take time to flip through the current cable offerings all we seem to have any more are reality shows. Interestingly, many of the popular shows are about people that have jobs and lives of danger and excitement.

Who would have imagined years ago that there would be an audience for shows about fishermen, lumberjacks, Alaska cabin dwellers, and redneck country folks.

I spend my day in a cubicle. The overall level of excitement of reading e-mails, attending conference calls and enduring endless meetings is somewhat lacking.

Perhaps I need to star in my own show. “Cubicleman!?” “E-mail Dynasty!?” “Conference calls: The Last Frontier!?” I could set up a GOPRO camera and record every exciting moment.

Up at 530! Work by 0700! Lunch at desk while working! Out by 530! My day would be riveting I am sure for others to observe.

Most if these shows are popular because people long to escape their own mundane and sterile lives to have adventure and challenges. We were born for adventure—climb mountains, fight battles, solve problems and to conquer.

Anything less brings boredom and a wandering spirit.

Let me offer a cure. Look into the world around you and find your own adventure. There is joy and excitement in our everyday lives. You just have to notice it.


Go enjoy life. After all, as I used to tell my son, “only boring people get bored”.  It is your choice. 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

How we became 100% debt free

Last month our family achieved an important milestone in our lives. We dropped in the mail our final house payment to become 100% debt free!

I have to be honest. Much of my obsession over saving and being debt free has been driven by a fear of the future.  What would my family do if the cancer were to come back? What burden would I leave them? How would my son go to college? What happens if I were to lose my job?

Sometimes fear can be a good thing if in end the end it brings hope.

So how did we get here?  It is far easier than you might think.

Don’t buy stuff you can’t afford!             

Sounds like common sense doesn't it? Common sense unfortunately is just not common practice for most people.  Key here is having discernment between what you need to have and would like to have. If you don’t have the money just don’t buy it. Pretty simple huh?

Live below your means! 

When we were looking for our house I remember seeing many homes for sale from people our age who were clearly over their heads. It was easy to tell these folks by the leftover college furniture and yards with no fence. As the Realtor would push us to what the bank said we could buy we pushed back and stuck to our goals.

Save, save and save some more!

The key here is consistency and commitment. One of the best strategies is to set up automatic saving through your 401K and other auto savings options. It is easier not to spend money you never had and a good savings ensures you are ready for the emergencies in life.

Really the ultimate key to our debt free success it that Michelle and I are completely on the same page with our financial goals and we have been willing to think long term vs going for the fun of the moment.

What a feeling it is to know we can now start to build a legacy and no matter what the world may throw at us. We are prepared.

You can do it too! Just start small and begin right away.

Need some education?  I would highly recommend Dave Ramsey as his talk show and philosophy have influence us greatly. Follow his baby steps plan and you too can be debt free!