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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The Wealthy English Teacher: Samples from the Book

My second book, The Wealthy English Teacher is hot off the press and now available on Amazon in both digital and print formats. Initial sales have been promising with more than 20 copies sold in just a couple of days with no paid advertising. I’m hoping that people will really like it and tell their friends-there really is no other financial book (or even resource on the Internet) that is specifically for ESL teachers. If…

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Too late to Start Saving for Retirement?

It’s never too late to start planning for retirement You might be reading this post when you are in your late forties, fifties or even sixties and thinking that your financial landscape is pretty bleak. You are perhaps thinking about if it is too late to start saving for retirement. Perhaps you have lots of debt, including credit cards, no emergency fund and nothing in the way of retirement savings or other assets such as…

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The Wealthy English Teacher- Available on Amazon

 The Wealthy English Teacher: Teach, Travel, and Secure your Financial Future is now available on Amazon. It has a much bigger potential audience than my most nichiest of niche first book about how to get a university job in South Korea. I’m hoping that it’s the type of book that people really like, and tell their friends about, who in turn tell a few other people. So far, I’ve sold a decent amount of copies in…

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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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Depending on the Government in Retirement: a Good Option?

Depending on the government in retirement might not seem like a terrible plan because you can just work, enjoy your life, spend your money freely and then get your retirement taken care of. No sacrifice, or giving up any fun required! English Teacher’s Precarious Situation I’ve been thinking about the question of when is too late to start saving for retirement as I’ve been writing my book about personal finance for English teachers. I think…

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Book Review. The Global Expatriate’s Guide to Investing: From Millionaire Teacher to Millionaire Expat

Disclaimer: I was sent a free copy of this book by Andrew Hallam, The Global Expatriate’s Guide to Investing: From Millionaire Teacher to Millionaire Expat in exchange for reviewing it on this blog. Overall, I really enjoyed it and would recommend it to any expat looking to get into the investing arena and do it right the first time, instead of through trial and error and losing a lot of money in the process. I…

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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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Mr Money Mustache

I’ve been hearing from more and more of my friends who’ve gotten on the thrifty/saving money/ investing bandwagon about Mr. Money Mustache, or MMM for short, which leads me to believe that he’s one of the most popular bloggers in this genre. I just spend a significant amount of time perusing his site, and I can definitely understand why. He’s funny, well-informed and well-spoken. Some posts that I particularly appreciated are: Frugal vs. Cheap. (Please…

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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…

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Staying cool, minus the air-con

My goal is to “retire” early in a few years and just work part-time or do online stuff a few hours a week. To reach this goal, I do three things: 1. Invest my money in dividend paying stocks. 2. Build Passive Income Streams, like Squidoo. 3. Live frugally, so that I have more money to do #1. Part of living frugally in Korea in the summertime is living without an air-con in my apartment,…

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June 2014 Passive Income Report

June 2014 was by far my best month since starting this blog in November 2013: $604.57. Check out the report here, but you can see that Squidoo and dividend payments were both really high, and Amazon and Iherb were around average. Dividends fluctuate throughout the year, depending on various factors and it’s really something I have no control over. But, Squidoo did very well for me and the best part about it was that 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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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…

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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…

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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…

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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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Advice to my 18 year old self

I just recently had my 35th birthday and it was a good chance to reflect upon my life and the choices that I’ve made. I’ll be doing a series of “advice to myself” posts and this first one will be to myself when I was just graduating high school and figuring out what to do with my life. The advice will mostly be about money and finances, but a few life things as well. 1.…

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Your Future Self and Money Choices Today

Thanks to my friend “S” for the heads up about this article over on Get Rich Slowly about becoming friends with your future self and resisting splurges today. What this makes me think of is delayed gratification and how important it is in life and with regards to personal finance. It’s a sign of emotional maturity to make long-term goals and to not give into all our short-terms wants that are most often not really…

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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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Frugal Vacationing: Camping

When I was a kid, my family went camping for basically all our vacations. We’d load up the car and meet up with the aunts and uncles and cousins at a lake near my Grandma’s house and do the usual camping thing. Swimming, building massive fires, napping, playing catch, eating and then thinking about the next meal. And we actually slept in tents, on the ground. These days, I still really enjoy camping. There’s something…

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The Suitcase Entrepreneur

Lately I’ve been listening to the podcast, “The Suitcase Entrepreneur” and I’d highly recommend it.  It features Natalie Sisson, who is doing well along the path of building passive income streams and being an online entrepreneur who travels the world, having lots of interesting adventures. Her podcasts are generally short and concise, but contain lots of interesting information and so far, I haven’t encountered any episodes that I’ve stopped 1/2 way through (a rarity for…

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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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