Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Interesting Reads

Man has it been busy lately. Life has been busy but a deadline at work as  things especially crazy the last two weeks and probably next two. I had to work last Saturday and I'll need to work this Saturday too. Its a major bummer I really can't complain too much. I am salaried but I get paid for overtime; plenty of people have to work long hours without any additional pay. Also, this surge in work is temporary and I hope things will get back to normal by the beginning of next month. Finally, have a deadline and a distinct set of objectives makes work more interesting, gives me a sense of accomplishment, and helps work fly by, so other than time away from home, the extra hours are not really a struggle.

But this is just a reminder of why I want to become financially independent. While I like work and I enjoy the challenges and sense of accomplishment that it brings, I would rather spend that time doing things I want to do, setting my own schedule, and not having to worry about other people's deadlines. With financial independence I could go explore another part of the world for a month and not worry about how much vacation time I have or whether or not my vacation occurs during "a busy time". The happened to me recently, I had started planning a nice trip for me and my girlfriend, we got ourselves all excited but instead I was told it was busy time and was "advised" against it. One day that won't be an issue and the harder I work now the sooner that day will come.

It's been a while since I posted and it may be a while before I post again so I thought I would write something quick and include some recent articles that I have found interesting. Without further ado....

What tool do you use to track your expenses?
Joe at RetireBy40 posted an article on his preferred app for managing his budget.
I use a boring old spreadsheet because I like the amount of control it affords me. I have tried a few budget apps and websites and have not been impressed, they never seem to let my do what I want. What do you use?

Would you eat your own fish?
Mr Money Mustache had a very interesting article on aquaponics, which is the growing of vegetables in concert with the raising of fish. The fish fertilize the plants and the plants clean the water for the fish, it is very efficient farming technique and the article includes a link to plans to build you own system. I am very interested in this and I will definitely be doing some more reading on the subject. I always figured I would build a greenhouse one day when I bought a house but perhaps this system might be better. Just don't start naming the fish or it might be hard come "harvest" time...

Is it a good time to buy IBM?
Both Dividend Mantra and  Dividend Developer wrote articles about IBM and their recent drop in price due to poor Q3 results. DD has some links to additional articles on Seeking Alpha.
I am considering IBM but I doubt I'll make a move anytime soon. Any extra capital I have I am going to put toward paying down my students loans...I am so close I can feel it. But one of my concerns with investing in IBM is that I am not a direct customer of IBM, I don't understand what they do and that makes it harder for me to make judgements on their brand, performance, and placement in the competitive environment. I'll be keeping an eye IBM for the time being.
What about you? Would you buy IBM?

Well that's all for now. I have a post I have been working for a while and I hope to get that posted this weekend. See you soon!




  1. Thanks for the shout out! Can't blame you for holding off on IBM, but I think it's worth the risk for me. High five on the simple spreadsheets! I use the same things, because they're 100% customizable to my needs. Tried Mint before, but it wasn't worth it for me either. Actually made life a bit more difficult in the way they categorized things. Glad I went back to Excel.

    1. Well I'm glad to hear that I am not the only one using a boring spreadsheet. I also tried Mint for a time and had the same experience. I still get annoying emails from them.