Living in the land of no expectations

In South Korea, there is very little understanding of the idea of “academic integrity.” It’s readily apparent after spending a month or two studying or working at a Korean uni and I could do a whole series of blog posts about it, but let’s just assume that you take my word for it and we can use it as a working assumption. Where does this leave me, as a person who is teaching at a…

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Frugal Living: Using Things at Work

This post is most definitely NOT about doing sketchy things like stealing office supplies and using them at home. It is about taking advantage of what’s on offer at the office or school in order to live frugally. Here are a few of my tips to make the most use of things at work: 1. The printer. At my job the teachers have access to a fabulous office, complete with printer/copier/scanner, etc. There truly is…

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English Teaching and Passive Income Building

I was just talking to a coworker of mine this morning about how he views the job that we do as more of a part-time thing and that he has other stuff going, as I do with this blog and other online ventures. And I guess that that’s the best part about the English teaching overseas gig – most jobs are not really “full-time,” as in 40 or 50 hours a week, but are generally…

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Life, post English-teaching in Korea

These days, I’ve been seriously contemplating what my life is going to look like, post-Korea. I have 1.5 years left on my contract and there’s a 99% chance I’ll be leaving at the end of it. I rarely say never, but unless there’s some very compelling reason for me to stay, I’ll go. Going to my homeland of Canada isn’t really an option either since the death-like cold and very short winter days just don’t…

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Stagnation, and the Day-Job

For my day-job, I work at a university in South Korea, teaching anything under the general umbrella of “English.” I’ve been doing it for the past 7 years and can honestly say that there’s really no class that I haven’t or couldn’t teach. I’ve moved onwards and upwards in this small world so that now, I’m at the top in terms of the classes I teach, the salary I make and the total freedom I…

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Working a lot vs. living frugally

I quite rarely work 40 hours a week. My contract is only for 9 teaching hours and then I generally get forced to do another 3 hours of overtime for 12 hours. And then I’ll do some optional overtime for around 8 or 9 more hours. Prep and admin generally take up around 8 or 9 hours so that’s aroudn 30 hours/week. Sure, I could do more overtime and work 40 hours or more and…

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Advice to my 23 year old self

When I was 23, I was just graduating from university with a semi-useless degree in the humanities and making some big decisions about my future. And, similar to when I was 18, I actually had no idea what I was going to do with my life. Here’s some advice for those who are just graduating from college: 1. Student loans are evil. If you were unfortunate enough to accrue them, pay them off as fast…

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The Latte Factor

When people talk about frugality, something that gets kicked around quite often is the Latte Factor. That is people who go to Starbucks every morning and drop $5 on a specialty Latte when they could just make a cup of drip coffee at home and save themselves $4.80 each day, which adds up to over $100/month and more than $1000/year. And I get that. Frugality is all about the small choices you make each day…

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Living in Saudi Arabia: what’s your number?

My old English teaching friend and I have been talking about various options for where to move after Korea. I really could move to literally almost any country in the world because everyone seems to want a reasonably well-qualified and experienced English teacher. Except the only problem is that the places that are the most fabulous to live (ie: Thailand, Costa Rica, Eastern Europe) pay the least and are pretty weak on the benefits. While…

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Busy at the day job

These days, final exams are looming and I have a lot of grading and other stuff to do at the day job, so I’ve been neglecting my blogs and Squidoo and the social media that is so important to making it online. It’s frustrating. Enough so that I’m seriously considering limiting the amount of overtime that I do each week. My day job consists of 9 teaching hours, which requires an average of around 5-10…

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Boundaries, or “Your problem and stress does not need to become my problem and stress”

In the past couple days, I’ve been thinking about boundaries and how they relate to teaching, which is my day job. I’ve been blogging about it over on my other blog: My Life! Teaching in a Korean Uni and I think a lot of the principles can apply to almost anything in life, particularly for the more famous and well-known online entrepreneurs/bloggers/podcasters who probably get hundreds of requests each day. Check out these 2 posts…

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Passive Income and ESL Teaching

If you want to be a digital nomad and build up passive income streams, ESL Teaching might seem kind of like an attractive gig to get into. You get paid to live overseas. And you often get a free plane ticket (Middle East /Korea) as well as paid for, or subsidized housing. And you’ll have so much time to get your online ventures up and running. Sounds fabulous! Except the thing that many people forget…

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The Emergency Fund

Dave Ramsey is all about the emergency fund and I would most definitely agree with him. He advocates having $1000 in the bank until you pay off all your debts, excluding the mortgage. And then once that is done, build it up to 3-6 months of living expenses. These past few years, I’ve been really focused on making and saving my income from the day-job to invest in Dividend Paying Stocks and must admit to…

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Pulled in Many Directions: Priorities

At this point in my life and career, I feel like I’m being pulled in many directions. A large part of it is that I’m actually quite good at organizing things like groups of people and arranging big events, as well an online stuff like blogging/social media which are skills that many people don’t have. Plus, I can teach quite literally anything that would possibly be offered in the realm of “English” at Korean unis.…

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OT at the day-job vs. Passive Income Building

One of the big debates that I have in my head all the time is whether to work more at my day-job, or whether to spend more time building up my passive income streams  through things like building niche websites, self-publishing books and HubPages. My job at a Korean university is kind of ideal actually because according to my contract, I only have 9 teaching hours, although I usually get forced to do 11 or…

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Getting Ahead at the Day Job

I know there is much debate in the building passive income  and extreme early retirement circles about whether to focus effort on the “side-hustle,” whether that be investing, or starting online businesses or turning a hobby into a money-maker or whether to focus on the day-job and get on the promotion/pay raise ladder.  For the past 7 years or so, I’ve been focusing on the latter and using that money to invest in dividend paying…

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Frugal Living: the dreaded “B” word

I’ve talked about in previous posts about the relationship between frugal living and passive income, cooking at home to save money and frugal hobbies.  But, today is the dreaded “B” word which=budget.  While I love the idea of a budget, as a general theory and believe it can be very important when trying to live a frugal lifestyle (as does Dave Ramsey), I don’t do it.  This probably seems quite strange for those who know…

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Borrowing to invest

Basically all online stock brokers offer what they call “Margin” which means that you can borrow money from them to buy more stocks or ETFs or whatever you want.  Of course this isn’t free!  Brokers charge interest ranging from extremely low (ie: Interactive Brokers) to extremely high (will remain nameless). The reasons to not do this include “margin calls,” which is when you borrow too much money relative to the amount of actual money that…

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Don’t quit your day-job

Yesterday on the train, I was listening to the Digital Nomad Podcast Episode #11 about not quitting your day job.  They were talking about the sad stories of people who quit too early to go into things like freelancing or online marketing or blogging and stuff like that, except it sometimes doesn’t work out like you think it will and you end up broke and desperate.  So they suggested the better way is to not…

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