How can an individual achieve financial independence, while also keeping their finances simple?
This is the question to be explored in this article.
This is debt-related. If an individual has a bunch of outstanding debts, there are a few ways to go about eliminating them. The first option is to simply pay them off. Now, there are two schools of thoughts regarding this topic. Namely, should you pay off the debt with the highest interest rate or the one with the lowest balance? In practice, either one works, but an individual might be able to achieve financial independence quicker if they were to pay off the highest interest rate debt first.
Here's how it could work: pay the minimum of each of the debts. Anything extra goes towards the outstanding account you will eliminate first. For example, if an individual has an extra $50 or more at the end of the month, then they could put that towards the particular debt they wish to eliminate first. Although, if the individual in question has no extra money to throw at the debts each month, ideally they should just do the best they can.
There is one other route worth examining: Debt/Liability Consolidation. There are a few different varieties of debt consolidation, but in essence, it's another loan that takes care of all your debts at once. For example, let's say an individual takes out a $25,000 consolidation loan. They would have to pay a 1% to 5% fee depending on what type of consolidation loan it is. Either they have to come up with the money up front, or it gets rolled into the loan itself. So if the individual in question needs a consolidation loan totaling $25,000 they would need something that is worth more than the loans they are trying to consolidate.
For simplicity's sake, if a person just needs $20,000 in loan consolidation, the higher end fee would be $1,000 (assuming it is 5%). Typically, it goes for a good three years, but a five-year consolidation loan might be possible. The less years, the higher the monthly payment, but it would be less expensive if an individual can handle the higher monthly payment. Credit Karma has a decent loan calculator. I used to recommend Dave Ramsey's, but it seems they try to hide it; Dave wants your information to sell you a course, but you don't need that. All the information out there is free. Here is the link for the Credit Karma's Loan Calculator, if anyone want to play around with it (https://www.creditkarma.com/calculators/loan). To conclude debt consolidation loans, I personally wouldn't recommend one. Reason being, if an individual is able to get one, they most likely do not need one.
A few notes on assets would beneficial here. Briefly defined, assets are things a person owns that have market value, such as a house, car furniture, and investments. As an individual goes through life, their assets will likely become more and more complex. In order to simplify them or keep things simple, an individual should avoid complexity in their assets. For example, having one house, one car (or, one car per driver), just enough furniture to keep an individual happy in their house, etc.
In terms of investments, a balancing act is necessary between diversification and simplicity. On one hand, one would want to have investments spread out, but likely don't wish to spend hours a week managing their finances. If that sounds like fun, be my guest, but I'm assuming most would rather keep things as simple as possible, while also achieving their financial goals.
In today's financial markets, there are number of options for investments. Firstly, index funds offer individuals both diversity and simplicity. If a person doesn't mind having their money in various companies, an index fund might be a good idea. On the other hand, if someone is concerned with where their money is at, then buying individual stocks might be a good option, that way, they know exactly where their money is. It is really quite simple to buy individual stocks from publicly traded companies. They also have high liquidity.
In conclusion, an individual can go to the extreme in terms of simplicity by just having a checking and a savings account. But if someone wants to be more financially stable have income from multiple sources, thereby making them more financially independent, then they have to have a degree of complexity in their financial life. That being said, taking care of the debt side should be the first priority.
I have explored many budget apps and none of them proved their utility. Most of them have faults in one way or another. So, I basically gave up and kept using spreadsheets. I mainly use the LibreOffice Spreadsheet; because it is free. While in college, I used spreadsheets extensively. So, I know my way around spreadsheets in either Excel or LibreOffice.
In this analysis, I'm going to categorize two different types of financial tracking apps.
Link Apps (LAs) are ones that link your bank account to the app or service. Mint.com is a great example of this, and just so happens to be the most trusted in the industry. If I had to choose any option, it would be Mint.com. Furthermore, they are owned by Intuit, whose parent company is Turbo Tax. Mint.com is easily the most trust worthy option.
The other type of financial traking apps are the Non-Linked Apps (NLAs). NLAs are apps that require you to continually input your financial transactions. This the type that I prefer, mainly because of the gas station phenomenon.
What is the gas station phenomenon? LAs categorize all of the transactions from gas station as gas. So, for example, a soda transaction would be considered as gas. You have to keep changing the category with each transaction the system will most likely be confusing. Hence why, I gave up using Mint.com.
I also tried using Dave Ramesy's app, but gave up for the same reason I stopped using Mint.com's. In terms of time-frame testing, Mint.com was a few years ago, whereas Dave Ramsey's app was a few months ago. I simply wanted to try out some of the apps, as a consumer in the market for such software. Of course I know the security of the account I used is slightly at risk considering the purpose was for this blog post. And most banking apps have an option where you can track your spending, and it would categorize it for you, anyway. Having a financial tracking app that links to your bank account is really unnecessary. Now, most of the do give you the option to input the financial information manually, like with NLAs, but aren't really that great at doing it. Many of the NLAs are free but clunky.
Hence why I went back to the spreadsheet model. Mainly because I can have the most options with the spreadsheet; the only downside is that it is stuck with my computer. The solution is to just transfer fil from computer to computer, or just redo the whole thing again. Although, its worth noting, that you only have to do it every 3 to 5 years. The more complex one's financial situation, the more likely an individual might need to have something like what Mint.com offers. But the point is to have a Simple Life, and if an individual's financial situation is way to complicated, they might need to start scaling back, either on the asset side or the liability side. If someone has a simplified financial situation, it is much easier and cheaper to manage. The question I'll answer in next week's article is: how can an individual simplify one's financial situation? Thanks for reading and have a wonderful weekend!
- Terence S. Kruger Jr.
Edited by https://libertyunderattack.com/
So, in fact I was actually over pressuring myself in terms of doing live streaming doing that 16 hours a week. Day 1 was alright but day 2 of live streaming, I had to cut it short because I had to get some sleep. Day 3 I didn't even bother. Day 4, I'm canceling it for good. So, the "Stay in your lane" is a term in the content creation realm and in the business realm I suppose, means that do what your best at. And my best is doing blogging. Blogging is a much cheaper option than doing live streaming and YouTube videos (in general). So, I will stay in my lane and just blog. I may or may not over do it at times, but I will stay in my lane aka blogging.
Yes, I over pressure myself. I was watching a live stream and I had a conversation about video games and yeah, I was using Video games as a way to over pressure myself. I'm just laughing at myself right now, as I write this blog post. That is my tendency to over pressure myself. So, I was wanting to live stream my video game content and I was consuming content on "How to be the Best Twitch/YouTube Streamer." And man, I was over doing it...
Why am I doing a Live Stream on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday? I want to make some peaceful content that is Jesus honoring. Because there are a lot of content creators that are not peaceful and are hateful so, I will go the opposite way of doing that and just create a peaceful content. Also, I enjoy playing Minecraft as a game so I figure why not. I'm just trying to live out a Simple Jesus center life, that is all.
As I've been thinking lately about different issues within the Church and the broader culture, it usually boils down to Genesis and how much value a Christian holds to Genesis. Even if a person believes in Genesis as the young universe model that Genesis tells us about the world but don't hold it in high regard might waver on some issues. Hence why almost always point to Genesis when things comes up. Take out Genesis, take out Jesus. This is happening for the past 150 years or so of the Church. Basically the whole notion that one can believe that Genesis means that it is billions of years old and just believe in Jesus, Jesus will eventually be taken out. Hence why we are in today's world of Christianity. I know it is now an unpopular view to take on the young universe* model of creation but if one just reads the Genesis account as is and do the calculations it would be about 6,000 to 8,000 year old universe (at most 10,000 years if one wants to stretch it a bit). According to Genesis, the Earth or the Universe is billions of years old.
Race is an issue that has to be talked about because the least raciest country on Earth (United States) is overly obsessive about race. Race should be the easiest to deal with. We are all from Adam/Noah and we are all distant cousins from one another. But because not that many Christians in the western countries know the Scriptures well enough to know that Genesis is where we are all one race not different races. Yes, that is right, not that many Christians in the westernized countries, where the Bible is so easy to get a hold on it via websites, apps, physical copies and so on, know the Scriptures well enough to know that we are all from Adam/Noah. And if they do, they don't think about it and its implications or they take the un-Biblical approach and take the billions of year old Universe. And enough generations of Christians has passed and we are were we are to day because the English Christian Churches allowed Darwinism to take hold of Christian acceptance. The church should have back then rejected the whole notion of Darwinism evolution. We are know fighting over the issue of race, social justice and other issues because of the issue of Darwinism evolution as an acceptable viewpoint in the Church.
Take out Genesis, Take out Jesus. This is my stance, and I'm holding onto the Truths of Scripture and I'm a work in progress like all other Christians. I don't care if I get thrown into prison or be culturally persecuted because of my stance on Scripture ALONE. I hope that you have a wonder day and strive to serve Jesus in all areas of life.
*Reason why I say universe is because of the Mormon issue. Some Mormons do believe in the history of man as 6,000 to 10,000 years old and maybe the Earth itself but not the universe. Hence why I emphasis the young universe model.
Calorie Hacking! Yes, I'm talking about calorie hacking. What is my definition of calorie hacking? I'm looking at the calorie dollar ratio. What are some of the things that I can consume that brings me the maximum amount of calories for my dollar? That is the question that I've been thinking about for sometime.
McDonald's and Burger King are the best overall for the calorie to dollar ratio. Chic-fil-A is the worse when it comes to the calorie to dollar ratio. I'm going to focus on McDonald's more so, because I use to work at McDonald's and there are only a few Burger Kings in my area compared to the amount of McDonald's there are.
McChicken 410 calories for $1.08
Cookies (3 pack) 510 Calories for $1.08
Mellow Yellow Large Drink 310 Calories for $1.08 (currently on sale)
Now, you can increase the McChicken calories by adding a mayo packet. Now, it depends on what location you may or may not get charged for the mayo packet. For the drink, you can dine in and get "unlimited" refills per visit. Typically I go for at least 2 sometimes 3 refills of the Mellow Yellow. If I get one item each, a McChicken, 3 pack of Cookies, and a Large drink, it would cost me $3.22 or $3.25 depending on what location. The total calories for my meal would be in between 1,500 to 1,900 calories. Just for $3.25 at the high end.
When I go to McDonald's I typically go and stay there for a really long time, sometimes 8 hours! Typically I spend a good 3 to 4 hours total. Because I'm also their for the WiFi. Depending what location, I can get really decent internet. Most people go to the coffee shops for their WiFi and the internet can be quite slow when I'm uploading a lot of data. Hence, why I go to McDonald's. McDonald's tends to be the best for internet and calorie per dollar ratio. That is why I spend a lot of time at McDonald's. Most people don't go to McDonald's for the WiFi because of the stigma of going to McDonald's. Which I'm fine with the stigma of going to McDonald's, because that means less people, and less people faster internet.
Here are some of my thoughts about the YouTube Storm that is under way right as I'm writing. Steven Crowder has been under pressure from the YouTube overlords (yes, I'm calling them overlords). Vox had targeted Steven Crowder, and I believe it steams from Vox and the establish media to ban and censor independent outlets. It really comes down to the fact that the establish media is having a hard time of getting views to their brand. Now, this primary affects political and cultural commentary but it does spill over into other areas like YouTube channels that talk about history and other topics. The reason why I'm putting most of my content creation into this website is because it is my website. I control the website. Steven Crowder won that fight and made a USS Carrier's worth of money. Someone from YouTube tried to ban with no notification to another channel that is around 475,000 subscribers called Black Pigeon Speaks. Now, I didn't really care about his channel too much, I did subscribe to him due because he was temporary ban from YouTube, due to the outcry of people like me that went on Twitter and commented at YouTube Twitter pages about the issue. This is concerning that they tried to get a channel to be ban. Now, my YouTube channel isn't really worth it because I just talk via my smartphone and do it out of the blue, so I know I won't become the "Great YouTuber" within my circles, I'm fine with that. But as a very small content creator/blogger/whatever you want to call me, I find it very concerning that YouTube has been doing this and wants to do this. I understand it is more of an economic issue because the establishment media wants me and everyone to bow down to their content. I will not bow to their content and viewpoints. I will allow them to exist and compete in the the market place. But I personally rather give my time to these independent content creators than going to the establish media. I do occasionally watch CNBC videos on things that look interesting to me but other than that, I typically watch independent content creators because I enjoy their content. We as a community of independent content creators and those who consume their content needs to stand up to each other and protect each other in this ongoing culture war, that the establish media wants us to be ban because they are losing money. If any channel gets outright ban for no reason or for reasons that are ridiculous then I will go to their defense. The establish media is dying because they haven't kept with the times. Sure they try to be relevant but like what I mention above, I only watch the occasional CNBC video about different things that I found interesting most of my content consuming is from independent content creators.
I plan on rolling out a newsletter in the next couple of months. This newsletter will be a very inexpensive plan, meaning, I will at the start, send out a PDF file that I will make about the different topics that I like to write/talk about and what I'm passionate about. And I will send each email individually. Sure it would be a lot more work on my end, but this would be least cost effective way to go about it. Now, if I have a ridiculous amount of subscribers I will have to find a newsletter service that would help me. The reason I would have to do an email individually (I'm cheap) and I want to protect everyone's privacy at the same time. This way, I will have a newsletter that is outside of my website completely. If I get shut down, then I have a temporary alternative until a family member is able to take over my website help me with the whole process. Yes, technically I'm a "higher" risk of my website being take down based on the way I went about it a few years ago. But I really doubt that I would be taken down anytime soon. So, if I do get taken down that is not my fault, then my email is email@example.com is the just in case poop hits the fan for me. I do have contacts of other creators both in the Reformed Camp and Anarcho-Capitalist/Voluntaryist Camp that I can get my stuff out there.
That is my thoughts about my what is going on and thanks for reading this longer but needed post on the things that need to be discussed. I'm very much for freedom of speech but at the same time, I do not want government to get involved either.
I'm very thankful that I have Jesus because I will be OK if I get ban or worse, because I have something that the powers to be can't take away, is my relationship with Jesus. Yes, you AnCaps/Voluntaryists might want to consider putting your faith in Jesus, because no one can't take that away from you. If you do consider Christianity or want to explore it, go to the Bible but also, stuff that is outside of the Bible that I would reconmend is the materials from Dr. James R. White of Alpha & Omega Ministries, and Grace to You (John MacArthur's gig), are two sources out there that helped me with my walk in the Lord Jesus Christ and not drop Christianity, yes, I occasionally watch Amazing Atheist because I want to be challenge. But anyways, I hope that you will believe in Jesus Christ and put your faith in Him Alone.
My Retirement Plan - I plan on working until Jesus calls me home. Here are some of my reasons why I don't want to ever retire. It is primary based on Genesis 1:28 and Genesis 2:15 because this was before the fall of man. One of the purposes of man is to work. I found a job that I thoroughly enjoy. Even my other jobs in the past, that I have done where not that great, I knew it was work and man was created to work. Now, I will have a "retire" portfolio meaning, I'm not going to do the traditional way of retirement. This "retirement" plan isn't the cheapest and in many ways it is the more expensive way of doing it in terms of taxes, but I rather have flexibility in my late 30s and 40s than waiting until I'm 65 years old. I will work my current job until the portfolio is at least 75% paying my expenses, which is going to be a good ten years or so. (I like my overnight job, I will only want to work overnights, from here on out, if I decide to quit my current job before my ten years is up).
Another reason why I don't plan on retiring is because when people retired early (in their 30s and 40s), they eventually went back to work. Because they were board out of their minds. And some of them went into depression after spending their 20s working 60 plus hours (usually two jobs), then finally "Made it" and figure that retiring this early is really not that worth it. Many of them do more long term passion projects, which I might end up doing when I reach my portfolio goal.
So, I'm doing the low cost method of being "financially free" by cutting everything out of the budget and just don't do much spending. I don't even have internet at my apartment anymore, it is cheaper for me to go to McDonald's pay the coffee and sit their for several hours doing stuff, once or twice a week. Meaning my "internet bill" would be under $10 a month. I do keep track of how much I'm spending so that I won't even come close to paying what I was paying for my internet, which it was over $40/month.
Thanks! For Reading my Blog! - Terence Shane Kruger Jr.
Sponsor of this blog is TSKJRPhotos.com (My other website)
One of the most inexpensive hobbies that I could think of is video games. Depends on how one does video games, once a person buys a video game, that person can play it infinite amount of times without ever shelling out more money. Especially single player games. I have a good five regular played computer games that I go through. If I'm board with one of them, I go on to the next one. I do also have a good three or four other games that I play once a year. But in general I find that I keep wanting to play these types of games, which is mostly conquest/simulation type of games, but I do have NASCAR as a different type of game. Now that being said. That is one of the underlining reasons why I went with video games as an early hobby.
Another one can be photography. Now one does have to shell out a camera but after that, it is just gas money and car maintenance depending on what type of photography one is doing. And maybe make some cash on the side for some one off projects. Photography can be one of the least expensive hobbies out there or even a cost zero if one has some projects on the side to counter act that cost of maintenance and gas of the car.
Creating content on the inter-webs. This is one of things that I'm also doing is sharing what I'm doing to the rest of the world. So, photography, I'm sharing what I'm experiencing. Yes, Photography is kind of two fold meaning, I'm blogging and creating content for my other website - tskjrphotos.com (an exclusive sponsor of this website and brand) - but I don't really blog about or create content about my video gaming actives that much. This blog and website is just an expression of me and what I'm going through at the time I'm doing it. Now, creating content can be as expensive as photography but it doesn't have to be, either. If one is creating vanilla content, one is at a low risk for being shut down. In the case of me, I have to have my own website to express my opinion, because my content is riskier than vanilla content. Why? I'm way too pro-life for most pro-lifers, meaning, I'm anti-abortion, anti-war, anti-government...
Finding an inexpensive hobby and sharing it (or not sharing it in the case of video games for me), can be beneficial.
Thanks for reading! Have a wonderful day! :)
This is a blog that is about living a simple Jesus Center life. This blog will be a personal blog of Terence Shane Kruger Jr. and I will be talking about different things on this blog. I will post stuff weekly either on Friday or Saturday every week.