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…

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading

It’s not all about the money

I think a misconception that “poor” people have about “rich” or “well-off” people is that it’s all about the money and rich people are constantly checking their bank accounts or obsessing about how to get more money continuously. I’m certainly not rich, but I do have enough money to live a comfortable life and for me, it’s not all about the money. I only check my stock brokerage account around once a month, and when…

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading

July 2014 Passive Income Report

This month wasn’t great in terms of passive income, coming in with a total of $219.09, but I didn’t exactly put a lot of effort into maintaining my current sites or building new ones due to how busy I was at the day job, which is always a frustration. Plus, I was on vacation in Malaysia for a large part of it. Check out the specifics of my July 2014 Passive Income Report here. Comparing…

Continue reading

Timing the Market vs. Buying a Quality Company at any time

These past few months, I’ve been saving my money and just using the dividends I’m receiving to pay off my margin loan because I think the market is quite high now and due for a correction. I also haven’t added any new positions or purchased any shares of the stocks I already hold for the same reason. Except now, I’ve basically paid off my margin loan, my emergency fund is fully funded and I’m just…

Continue reading

Retirement and the 4% rule

The often-quoted model of how retirement works is that you need to save up a huge chunk of money which you invest in stocks and bonds, and upon quitting work, you can withdraw up to 4% of it per year and in theory, it should last you until you die. I don’t hate this model, but it seems to me that it’s kind of outdated for the following reasons: 1. People are living a lot…

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading

Why I have not bought a house

As we all know, home ownership is a money-pit of never ending proportions. Maintenance, mortgage payments, insurance, taxes, major repairs, etc, etc, etc. At this point in my life, I could certainly afford to buy a small house with cash, or a much larger one with a significant down-payment. Except I’ve chosen not to. You might wonder why I’ve chosen not to do this because home ownership has traditionally been thought of an the cornerstone…

Continue reading

Assumptions and why they’re not helpful

Everyone knows the old saying, “Assumptions make an ass out of you and me.” It’s kind of cheesy, but it’s definitely true in almost all areas of life, and especially with regard to personal finance. Just because someone doesn’t own a nice house and a fancy new car, doesn’t mean that they don’t have 200 000 or 500 000 or a million dollars in the bank. Maybe it’s that they choose to live a different…

Continue reading

Advice to my 30 year old self

5 years ago, I was just finishing up my third decade on the Earth, and had been working for a couple years at my first “real” job at a Korean university. I lived in the beautiful Korean countryside and life was good. Here’s some advice for my 30 year old self: 1. Your student loans should be paid off by now. If not, get on that. And unless you have a house mortgage, all your…

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading

Energy Vampires

One of my friends talks about energy vampires a lot. By energy vampires, she means the people that will suck you dry until you have nothing. People can suck you dry in various ways, but some of the ways that particularly annoy me are the people who: 1. Constantly say sorry. Like basically apologizing for existing. This leaves the other person (me!) having to reassure them that all is indeed good and that they’re “okay.”…

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading

A splurge

I used to the queen of the frugalistas when I was paying off my student loans. These days though, I’ve been toning it down a little bit because I have a substantial amount of money in the bank, and I actually make a lot more money than I did compared to say 5 years ago (almost double). So this means that I am willing to have things that increase my enjoyment of life (2 cats,…

Continue reading

Is building passive income streams worth your time?

Whenever I tell friends about this blog, a question they often have is, “Is the time you spent worth it?” This is kind of a hard question to answer. Truthfully, I’ve never kept track of the number of hours. But, for example on Squidoo, I’ve earned about $5000 in 3 years and I expect to earn at least that much in the future. I spent maybe 500 hours setting all those pages up. So, at…

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading