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Showing posts from 2014

Chicago Vacation

What up readers?  It is I, Old School, back and feeling refreshed from a weekend retreat to the windy city (although it was pleasantly calm while I was there).  The Mrs. and I took a short vaca to Chi-Town this past weekend and spent 3 days walking around the city.  I was bundled up pretty warmly as I tend to get cold, but the weather was pretty mild for this time of year.  The following will be a short trip breakdown.  You can even skip to the bottom for a very brief highlight reel if you don't want to read this whole article.

Start: We drove north to Aurora Illinois and hopped on the Metra, which is a commuter train to Chicago.  It cost about 1.50 per day to park, so we spent $4.50 to park three days.  Not bad considering the cheapest parking I saw in Chicago was $20.00 a day!  Then we hopped on the train for $14.00.  Total, that's only $18.50 in transportation, not counting the gas to and from Aurora.  Not bad, and I didn't even have to drive in Chicago (which I hate).

A …

The World doesn't owe you JACK SQUAT!

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*Despite the cutesy name of this post and the picture below, this blog post is going to be pretty fired up.  Shoot I may even regret writing it some day, but I doubt it.  It may offend you, and it may contain cuss words so deal.  I usually don't set out intentionally calling anyone out in my posts, but today I just don't give a flip.  MMM offends people with his blog, and I figured what the hey so without further adu let the face-punching commence.

                                                              Image courtesy of Yahoo

That's right world.  I'm hear to let you know that I don't owe you JACK SQUAT.  I am writing this because I fear that our country in particular, America, aka the greatest freaking county on earth, is being over run by a bunch of slack-jawed, whiny a$$ babies.  You will know these people when you see them in line at the supermarket.  They are the inconsiderate jerks that check out in the self check out lane with a cart full of crap just…

Net Worth Update: Negative November Edition!!!

Pull up a log round yon fire and unbuckle your pants from over indulging in yet another glutenous Thanksgiving.  I am about to regale how a hard November for the Old School family ended well.

Mint says my net worth is now...

- $131, 493.00 This is a difference from last month of....

 - $952.22

Hmmm....well how that number wasn't supposed to go down!  Well it did, so let me explain why.

Firstly I had an unexpected surgery on a decaying tooth.  OUCH!  Well actually the surgery was pretty painless, it was afterwords that kinda sucked.

Secondly The bill from my wife's ex-doctor showed up this month finally and we payed it.  It did not show up in last months mint statement so I believe it kind of screwed up our net worth.

I lost a little traction in the month of November due to a couple of other things as well.  Mint seemed to be giving me hick-ups within the budgets and I could never get them to line up with what I had set them up for.  The reason for this is because our credit cards…

Was today Black Friday?

Was today black Friday?  I think that as a kid I just used to think of it as the day after Thanksgiving and I knew I didn't have to go to school!

I guess today was black Friday.  I guess I did go out and shop, but not an extremely early hour and not to score some great deal.  I just went to my local Ross to browse the inventory for items to buy and resell.  I also happened to be looking for Christmas presents for the wife.  (This year we have set a $25 spending limit on each other).  I also happened to be out eating lunch with my wife who still had to work today, so it wasn't a trip just to go to Ross:/

I had the day off and really took advantage of the quiet time around the house.  I cleaned, did some laundry, read, and fixed myself some delicious meals of leftovers from yesterdays feasts.

Even though I was out and about, the store that I went to wasn't overly crowded.  Maybe it was because there wasn't a "doorbuster" or maybe all the crazy people had alread…

THE GREEN EYED MONSTER

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As a quick aside, I recently passed 1000 cumulative views on my blog.  WOOHOO!  It may not be much, but I always enjoy tracking my progress, and blog views let me know someone out there is reading or at least looking at my blog:)

S u c c e s s, that's the way we spell success.

                                                              Photo found on yahoo images

What is wrong with Success?
I get the feeling that many people in America tend to only try for a little while.  When they can't hit their goals they fall into a very mundane lifestyle, following the masses to work everyday, spending most of what they make, not planning for the future, and in the end looking up and hating where they are.

Then to make matters worse they talk about it with their co-workers, neighbors, friends, etc...

"I can't get ahead."  "Life always seems to screw me."  "Other people are lucky, maybe I'll catch a break one day."  "Johnny is so lucky, he got a …

Building our House (Part 3: The End?)

So here we are, finishing up our house.  The appliances were bought, the drywall was being finished, the windows were framed, and thanks to a painting party our trim and walls were painted.

Having that painting party saved us about $5000, and if you don't know how to paint it isn't that big of a deal to learn.  If you look up some good tutorials on you tube and practice on some discrete areas, you will get the hang of it in no time.  Grab some buddies, order some after painting food, and prepare to save! (I should note that I was busy with other work, so my in-laws, parents, and wife painted most of the house/trim:)


Where did this leave us?

Well at this point we had already spent a significant amount of time and money(10-15k) out of our pocket to make sure our house stayed within the original loan amount.  I was not going to go over budget gosh dangit!

So after all this work we realized we were still going to be over budget in the flooring category.  Not a problem said my fanta…

Fantasy Football by the Numbers

What can I say, I love football.  I really enjoy watching the games on Sunday and have been involved with fantasy football since 2006.  Well that is great you might think, but what the heck does fantasy football have to do with personal finance.  Not a whole lot...

at least when you think like a rational human being.  But I am not normal.  Far from it.  So without further ado lets break down my line up in financial terms...

Quarter Back: Andrew Luck
This position in my league is really the breadwinner.  Delivering constant points you might say Luck is my big cap stock or my index fund.  QBs in my league need to always be putting up points, but they are rarely drafted until later rounds (unless it is a brees, manning, or rodgers). 

I got my hands on Luck at pick number 77 in the 7th round.  At that late he was a steal!

Wide Receivers: Demaryius Thomis, Calvin Johnson, T.Y. Hilton
In my league we don't play PPR we play standard scoring format.  In other words your wide outs do not get…

Old Schools Net Worth Update: October Edition

Hello there boys and girls, gents and ladies, ghouls and whatever the female version of a ghoul is.  It is time for another Old School Net Worth update.  To be honest I am a little afraid to look, because I know I have been slacking lately in the finance area.  I don't know why but for some reason October was kind of a "I'm not feeling very frugal, and I want to go out to eat" type of month.  So without further ado let us take a look...

Mint says my net worth is now...

$ -130,540.78

That is a difference from last month of

+ $1716.55

Well that isn't exactly a great big step in the right direction, but it is not a step backwards either.  I'm going to go ahead and tell you what I've been up to lately, why I haven't written, and other boring stuff you probably won't read:)

I have been extremely busy lately.  Who hasn't?  I have been working on getting into a masters program, taking care of some last minute outdoor projects, and working on coaching a…

National Cat Day

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Somewhere I read that it is national cat day.  Do I know if this is true...no.  Am I going to take this time to shamelessly promote my cat and post a picture of him?






Does that answer your question?

So what does my cat bring to the table other than furballs, pooping near the litter box if it is not to his specifications, and costing me money?

I could answer cuteness, but that sounds pretty fru fru.  I think I will go with a NATURAL BORN KILLER.  That's right.  My cat, Fitzgerald, is a death machine.  He is a mouse's worse nightmare.  If you happen to be a bug in the wrong place, Fitz might kill you too.  Because of this, Fitz is my pal.  He makes sure the mice don't come in, and I make sure he has a nice place to sleep.

So in honor of national cat day, and his birthday which was a week ago (1 year old), I salute you Fitzgerald.  May you bring many years of happiness to our family, and many rodents to their death!

Meow.

Up to no good...

What have I been up to lately?  I certainly haven't written in a while, and find myself sliding through October with a bit of laziness in regards to this blog.

Work: So outside of this blogging gig, (which I don't actually do for the $), I have a full time job.  My job takes up a lot of time, but lucky for me I love my profession.  Teaching is always pretty fulfilling, and even though it sucks sometimes, it really makes me happy when I think about it.  So even though their are long hours spent grading, writing, and thinking up new curriculum, it sure is a blast when a kid tells you they enjoy your class.

Blogs: I have not been writing on my blog...but I have been reading other blogs.  It is in fact a little bit of an addiction.  I don't know if I'm addicted to reading the other pf bloggers, but I do know that I am addicted to giving my mind a workout and learning new information that helps me conquer life (cue evil muhahahhahaha!)  I also recently started reading the wal…

Cowboys Fan Here: I admit, it's sad.

Yes.  I admit I am a Dallas Cowboys fan.  Yes, I also admit this fact makes me sad some times.  Usually it is because for some reason the Cowboys will throw a game away in the fleeting seconds of the fourth quarter.  Sometimes it is because despite the hype, I know that this season can't possibly be "the season."

Well today we have hit a new low Cowboy nation.  I'm not sad because we are losing, in fact quite the opposite is true.  We are winning.  Do I buy into it yet...what can I say?  We beat the Sea-hawks and they seem pretty legit to me.

No.  The simple reason I am sad is because of THIS.  That is correct, we employ a thief.  Not even a grand thief, or a smart thief, but some guy who steals underwear and a sample bottle of cologne.  Sadly he makes 495 large a year.  In other terms, four hundred and ninety five thousand FREAKING DOLLARS!  Was he stealing because he couldn't afford the items?  I doubt it.  More than likely it probably is a habit.

Regardless of…

Building our House (part 2):

For those of you haven't read part 1 just click this here LINK and you can check out where we left off.  For those not wanting to read part 1 or for those who have already done so here is a quick refresher...

We left last time with the simple fact that we were 4-5k over budget.  This left us with a few options, work, cut expenses, and save more so that we could come out on budget.

The Framing: After all of the concrete curing, and french draining, the real progress began.  The house was quickly framed in the basement, the sub-floor went on, and then the main floor was framed.  Next the trusses went up, sheeting went on, and the roof was ready to be done.  (During this entire process, every day after supper at about 5:30 my wife and I would drive out to see progress on the house.  This also allowed us to clean up after the construction crew.  I am not sure how much money this saved us, but I know it didn't hurt in the end!  Cleaning up the materials leftover allowed construction…

The "hidden" Cost of Use

What am I referring to in the title my savvy saving friends? 

If you guessed the hidden cost is referring to "wear and tear" then you win!!! 

Oh.  You seem disappointed.  Maybe you have already left the page and clicked on the next funny cat video in your que, but if you are still with me let me explain...

Every time you use an item, it slowly begins to devalue.  Many people often look at what the item costs to operate initially and not what the item costs to operate in the long haul.

For Example... Opening the garage door.  Millions of people have electronic garage door openers.  I mean c'mon!  They are freaking awesome and a great luxury item to own.  If I didn't own one I would have to open my own garage door every time I wanted out or in. 

We don't really treat the garage door opener like a luxury item though do we?  We hit that button like it is going out of style.  Get home, garage door goes up/garage door goes down.  Wife gets home, garage door goes up/ga…

10 Minute Pep Talk

So I have about 10 minutes before I have to hang the laundry up and I figured I might as well throw out a quick concept which I try and use in my life...

Where you are is the sum of your actions.

In other words, whatever your current situation is, it is a direct result of your actions.  So if you are not where you want to be, look no further for the problem than the mirror!

That's right.  But old school you say I don't, I can't, I won't, I shan't, blah blah freakin blah.  That is what is coming out of your mouth.  BLAH.  That is how you are choosing to live your life.  With BLAH!

WHY the frick would you take your power and give it away?  Does life kick you in the teeth sometime?  Yep.  Do bad things happen that are out of your control?  Absolutely.

It doesn't matter.  Like Rocky said life will beat you to your knees and keep you there if you let it.  Don't let it.  That is the simple solution.  So what if your teachers hate you at school.  So what if you ar…

Old Schools Net Worth Update: September Edition

*For those of you astute readers out there you may have noticed that I changed my last net worth post to read first edition.  I did this because I miss wrote September when in fact September had not yet happened.  So without further ado here is the September issue of Old School's net worth...

Hot off of Mints' press reveals that my net worth is now...

$-132,257.33

O.k.  Well lets see where I was last month...

$-134,908.26

That is an improvement of...

+ $2650.93

Woohoo!  O.k.  It may not be hitting the jackpot, but it is a step in the right direction.  How did this change occur?

1. Payed down the mortgage a little (We always put a little extra on our mortgage).
2. Saved some money and hit our $5000 in savings goal
3. Carpooled to work and spent less on fuel

The vehicles we currently own did not really depreciate, which doesn't really matter to us because we plan on driving them until they die.  

My ROTH actually went up by about $20 and my wife's 401k went down by about …

Building our House (part 1):

This building our house series of posts is going to be about what I underwent to obtain my first piece of property...and then what I had to accomplish to put my first house up.

No it isn't a tiny house.  Too bad because I really like the idea and the small amount of money required to build one.  My house is a modest 3 bed 2 bath ranch.  It has a full size basement (unfinished) and a 24x24 garage. 

When we moved in we did not even have a sidewalk!  Oh the humanity!  The horror.  I ended up building the sidewalk myself.

In fact I put a lot more work into the place then I originally thought and the place still cost us over 200k!!!  I am getting ahead of myself.  First we must go back to where we once were...


The Beginning: The land grab

Gettinga piece of land shouldn't be that hard.  Especially when we had someone (grandpappy) who was generous enough to deed us the property.  Well it isn't that easy and this is partially why I am writing this.  To remind myself of how difficul…

Why I dislike pensions (but I'll take it if it's there)

Pensions.  What the heck is a pension?  Afixedamount,otherthanwages,paidatregularintervalstoapersonortotheperson'ssurvivingdependentsinconsiderationofpastservices,age,merit,poverty,injuryorlosssustained,etc.: or at least that is according to THIS website.  

Well hey that doesn't sound too bad does it.  I myself as a public school teacher have been part of a pension plan ever since I got my first job.  You may think I would be excited to be a part of this plan, but I am not.

In fact I am downright fearful.  First of all the state that I live in is known for corrupt government officials who have been part of various schemes that involve lining their pockets with a bunch of taxpayers money.  That money is probably also taken from the state teachers pension funds...so that blows.

Second, I don't have any control of how that money is invested or saved.  I would much rather have that money to invest, save, or spend at my leisure.  That means once my money exits my paycheck, not vol…

Old School's (negative) NET WORTH!!! First Edition

O.k.  So this post is probably long overdue.  After all I do blog a lot on personal finance and I notice most other bloggers throwing their net worth out their so I probably should to.  I guess I just have been a little nervous to do so.  I mean after all, telling a bunch of people who you may or may not know isn't exactly normal in America.

Most people in America act like they have money and really don't.  I act like I don't have money and I really don't.  Then their are those who act like they don't have money and they really do.  I want to be the third option.

We all have to start somewhere so I guess I will just give you the lowdown on my net worth via Mint.  The only thing I don't really agree with on Mint is that the value of my cars is assessed.  I know I can change this setting but I really don't want to, and I don't factor in the value of my house either.  I figure the house is a liability really until I pay it down, because I can't cash it…

It ain't all Candyshops and Lollipops

What, you may gasp as you read the title.  I mean I know life is hard for me (the reader), but I just figured all you financial blogging guys and gals had it all figured out.  You may have been misled into thinking we are some sort of superhuman specimen's who never experience pain, heartache, or trial.  Maybe you think that we don't struggle like you every single day.

Nay.  I say nay to this nonsense.  I in fact have been misled into this thought process a time or two.  It isn't real popular to blog about repeated failure or trial but I assure you all bloggers struggle the same as you and I.

Here are some reason's that we as readers may believe that life is all peachy keen everyday for pf bloggers...

1. Highlighting the Highlights: 
I think it goes without saying that most people only write about the highlights or successes.  It in fact is actually a cultural phenomenon, I mean just take a look at facebook, twitter, etc...  No one wants to share a bad picture or tweet …

30 Ways you Waste Money "mini" Article Review

So for those of you who don't know there is quite the plethora of information out there on personal finance.  I am always reading new articles trying to gain more information and hoping for a leg up on the game of life.

When I started this journey I read MSN money, Kiplingers, and Yahoo Finance.  These sites were easy to access and viewed by thousands of people.  I figured that these articles would surely have truthful information that would lead me to success.  Oh how wrong I was:)

I don't know how or why but one day I came across Mr. Money Mustache.   Man was I blown away!  Here was a guy who laughed in the face of mainstream financial advice.  Soon I discovered GRS, 20somethingfinance, and others.

These guys know there stuff and are not afraid to show their bottom line aka what they actually have in the bank.  I mean, wouldn't you rather take advice from someone who is willing to show their portfolio versus some random writer on MSN?  I know I would and I do!  I'm n…

Routine

Phew.  It has been a while since I have had time to sit down and let my fingers unleash some creativity (or garbage:) upon my dell.  The reason I have been long to post is that I have been busy establishing a routine since summer has ended and school has resumed. 

Here is an example of what my life currently looks like

5:15: Wake up/Read
5:30: Work out
7:00: Shower and get ready to work
7:20: Work day begins
3:30: Work day ends
4:00: Get home and prep dinner
5:00: Eat dinner
6:00: Clean up/Other chores, usually outside work
7:00: Watch an hour of t.v. or so (depends on what shows are on)
8:30: Shower and off to bed/Read
9:30: Finish reading/Lights out/Sleep

Looking at my routine after having typed it out is kind of weird.  I know that I do all of these things on a daily basis and it is kind of what makes me who I am.  I am slightly OCD so having a routine is very important because I feel more successful when I stick to a routine.  I also believe a routine helps with discipline and I l…