Starting something new: what are you giving up?

    A lot of people that I meet think it’s amazing that I have 5 books up on Amazon (see them all here) which I wrote all within the last 1.5 years. Then, many of them will say something like: “I want to write a book too!” “I have this idea for a website.” “I want to start a business when I go home.” “I want to build some passive income streams too.” My…

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Hobbies: Do you need to go all-in?

touring bicycle

My Wise Friend The other day I was talking to a friend of mine whose husband wanted to learn to play the guitar. Wisely, instead of just buying him the guitar, she instead got him a rental one and some lessons so he could decide if he actually liked it. He did and then he bought his own. My Unwise Friend Or, I had a friend a few years ago who was buying a bike.…

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All-In Digital Entrepreneur when I Go Back to Canada: Crazy?

all-in

Canada: What to Do I’ve talked about moving to Canada in previous blog posts, and it’s now less than a year away (March 2016). I’ve started preparing in numerous ways such as gathering information about how to get the cats and my stuff back to Canada and also giving away/selling lots of my stuff that I wasn’t really using that much. How Can I Make Money in the Great White North? But, the really big…

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Respect the $10- It’s how you become rich

Thanks Mr. Money Mustache I was just over at Mr Money Mustache and was reading this article, “A Millionaire is Made 10 Bucks at a Time” and felt inspired to post. The Quick Summary Basically, the article talked about how we seem to have lost respect for the $10 bill and that we don’t actually think of it as that much money. We just spend it without even thinking about it, but it can actually…

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Goals for the New Year

Here in Canada, it’s coming up to New Year’s Eve and I’ve been reflecting mostly on the year that will be ahead of me. Similarly to how I will usually look at a company’s forward P/E ratio, instead of the past when considering which stocks to buy, I like to focus on what is ahead of me instead of what was behind. I’ve decided to move to Canada (99% certain!) at the end of my…

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Indecision

I waver back and forth when it comes to moving back to Canada, quite possibly forever and making a life there, or living the expat life which is kind of amazing in a lot of ways. I mean, who wouldn’t be happy working at a university in Korea where you get paid an astounding amount of money for a very little amount of work. I go on exotic vacations a couple times a year, cruise…

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How much money do you need to be happy?

I was listening to a recent podcast from The Best of the Left (Capitalism Will Not Set You Free) and they were talking about how the law of diminishing returns can apply to your salary and happiness level. Up to around 75 000 US, people’s happiness increases as their salary does. But, after that level, it kind of has no effect and there are even some examples of happiness decreasing such as when someone wins…

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Frugal Living: Road Trip Snacks

I love going on road trips around Korea because when I just stay in the city and work lots, I forget how beautiful it really is here and how peaceful the countryside can actually be. It really isn’t just a concrete jungle, but it’s a country filled with mountains, little streams and rivers and secluded temples. As much as I love road trips, what I love even more is doing it frugally and the #1…

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Frugal Living: running

In days gone by, I used to run, a lot. Like I did a few 1/2 marathons and a full marathon (I finished in a slow 5 hours, 5 minutes). I loved it because it was so peaceful, I could do it outside in any season or weather condition and it made me feel really good. I’m kind of convinced that the runner’s high people speak of is actually a real thing. I only quit…

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Frugal Pot-Lucking

I’m pretty convinced that homemade hummus is always one of the most popular items you can bring to a potluck party. It’s delicious, goes well with a million and one dipping items and is reasonably healthy. No matter how much I seem to bring, it’s always gone by the end of the night no matter how much or what kind of other food is there. And, perhaps even best of all, it’s REALLY cheap to…

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A frugal person’s happiness

You know what makes me happy? I’m not really like other (normal?) people because I don’t feel happy when I buy new things. When I go shopping, I just feel like I probably don’t really need whatever I’ve bought and that it’s better to just invest my money for a rainy day. What actually makes me happy is using something until I can’t use it anymore. Like my blender that I bought third-hand for $5…

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Flight Tickets….at what point do you just need to stop?

This year, I decided to head back to the motherland (Canada) for Christmas to visit the family and I’ve been searching for a few weeks online for the cheapest ticket prices. There quite literally is nothing under about $1400, unless I want to linger in airports and on airplanes for 30 or 40 hours, which obviously I do not want to do when I could actually get to my hometown in about 15-16 hours on…

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My Stand-up Paddleboard and Cost/ Use: Update

I talked a few months ago about the cost/use model and how it relates to the rather expensive stand-up paddleboard that I bought back in May. Now that I’ve had the board through the summer, I thought I’d update the blogosphere about how much I’ve actually used it and whether it was a worthwhile purchase, or not. It’s been almost 5 months since I bought the board, and I’ve been pretty consistent about taking it…

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Where does all the money go, Part 2

Yesterday I was wondering where all my money went and how I could possibly spend around $2000/month since I generally try to live quite frugally. I’ve thought more carefully about it and been looking at some of my spending via online banking and have figured out the following areas where I actually spend quite a bit of money: 1. Transportation. My car: I paid cash for it (of course), but gas in Korea is very…

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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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Minimalism, and happiness

Back in 2004, I hiked most of the Appalachian Trail, which is a 2000 mile hike across the USA from Georgia to Maine. I went ultralight style, which was strongly influenced by Ray Jardine’s book, Beyond Backpacking. It basically meant that I thought extremely critically about every single thing that I put in my backpack because even an ounce or two can make a difference when it adds up to pounds. Even though that hike…

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Cost per Hour Used

I previously talked about cost/use and used the example of the Stand-Up Paddleboard that I recently bought, but today I’m going to talk about another example: an expensive flat-screen TV, such as this $500 one. I personally don’t have a TV, because I quite rarely watch TV or movies, and I wouldn’t even take a TV if someone was giving it away for free. But, other people are really into their home entertainment systems, which…

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Big Purchases and the Cost Per Use Model

Making big purchases (those over $200 maybe?) on hobby or entertainment type items can be a big decision that is hard to make for non impulsive spenders like me. I will usually deliberate for months and even years before I decide to pull the trigger and buy whatever I wanted to buy. I don’t deliberate because I don’t have enough money to afford it, I do. I deliberate because I wonder if I will actually…

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Gardening: the Ultimate Frugal Hobby

Back when I was a kid, my parents had a Garden that started off small, but which kept getting bigger and bigger as the years went by so that now it takes up a huge portion of their backyard. I remember eating peas and raspberries, straight off the plant for a snack when I was playing outside and got hungry. And the compost-turning “garbage” into rich, beautiful soil was always a source of fascination for…

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Travel Tips: the Useful stuff

You may have noticed a sad lack of updates these past 2 weeks-it’s because I was traveling around Malaysia. Overall, it was pretty good but I wouldn’t recommend going there during Ramadan. Lots of places will be closed during the day and people are perhaps a wee bit less friendly than they’d otherwise be due to fasting (from all food and liquids) from sun-up to sun-down. Anyway, the friend that I was visiting and I…

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The hidden cost of what we eat

The things that we buy in a store have a price, but this isn’t actually their real cost. The real costs of things are often hidden and perhaps not apparent until days, weeks or even years later. For example, a t-shirt might be only $5, but if you indulge in sales similar to this too often, soon you’ll have way too many clothes and need a bigger house to store all your things, which will…

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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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