Moving Forward

I think in the past I measured forward momentum in my life somewhat through purchases: buying my condo, my couch, my computer. Material symbols that I had a complete set of adult artifacts.

Now that I’m saving all the money, all I see is an account number change, and maybe that’s why it’s harder to feel that I am moving forward. Or maybe I bought so much stuff that provided temporary emotional momentum, I finally learned my lesson and it’s just that now I see how slow the real climb towards my aspirations is.

Or it could be that I was looking at a $15M house this morning. To get just $5M in 10 years, I’d have to be saving at least $20k a month. I remember when my paychecks were like $1800! Not that those were small…. I remember thinking how crazy they were at the time. Now I’m just desensitized to it.

There is definitely a talent and benefit in strategic goal planning and celebration – calibrating the goal difficulty and achievement schedule for optimum motivation.


Warren Buffett on Debt

“When leverage works, it magnifies your gains. Your spouse thinks you’re clever, and your neighbors get envious,” explained Buffett in his 2010 shareholder letter. “But leverage is addictive. Once having profited from its wonders, very few people retreat to more conservative practices. And as we all learned in third grade — and some relearned in 2008 — any series of positive numbers, however impressive the numbers may be, evaporates when multiplied by a single zero. History tells us that leverage all too often produces zeroes, even when it is employed by very smart people.”


high flow, low absolute value

Furthermore, the savings conundrum is not limited to only lower-income households. “Americans continue to show a stunning lack of progress in accumulating sufficient emergency savings,” explains Greg McBride, CFA, Bankrate’s Chief Financial Analyst, in a press release. “Even among the highest income households — those with annual income of $75,000 or above — fewer than half (46%) currently have a six-month savings cushion.”

Another Lovely Weekend Morning

This weekend’s sure to be busy.  1 week until Burning Man, and I haven’t done *any* preparation at all.  I messed with the mint application on my phone.  My favorite part of it is that it calculates net worth “in real time,” pegging me at about $300k right now, which breaks down to like:

$340k condo

– $115 condo debt

+ $70k + $5k car = $300k

That doesn’t include anything else I own, so I may be closer to $400k, but whatevs.

SO I’m watching Alien vs. Predator and thinking about what I can write here that will move this thing forward.

For me, I need help making more money.  I’m not spending a lot of money right now.  Decreasing my spending won’t get me to my goal much faster, but doubling my income would.  However, it’s clear I have a lot of trouble motivating myself in my free time to make real steps in an entrepreneurial direction.  I’ve done soft things like talking to people, writing some code, and writing this blog, but I haven’t gotten to the core of the issue:  selling shit.  I need to sell some shit.  That’s how you make money.  If I can write about ways to convince a person to not spend any money, surely I should be able to talk myself through this?


– sell shit I already own on eBay

– sell shit I already own on Amazon

– setup an Amazon store

– setup a store with wix or one of the other sites

– setup my own store using open source software on amazon

Open Source:

– open cart

– magento (php)

– osCommerce

– spree (ruby)

– virtuamart (joomla)

– ubercart (drupal)

– zencart (simplerish)

– simplecart

– tomatocart (branch from osCommerce)

– cubecart 3/4

– shopify

Lightning Fast Shop (django, python, jquery).  This looks appealing since I’ve already worked a lot in django…

Allright, after playing with LFS it looks not terrible.  I’d probably start out with it.  I looked at one of my favorite shopping sites and they use “Modular Merchant.”  So maybe I should do like:

#1 Take some pictures of some stuff I own that I’m willing to sell

#2 Install Django and LFS on some amazon instance and github

#3  Add the stuff to the webstore

Sounds doable in a weekend.

Tiny Celebration

Since my paycheck came today, I’m up to $22k saved.  

End of…

August = 24k

September = 28k

October = 32k

November = 36k

December  = 40k

I’m hoping maybe I can do $4500 instead of $4k a month.  That would put me at 54k next year, $94k total.  I’ll need about $100k to pay off the condo by the end of 2016.  $5k a month isn’t realistic given I have to pay stuff like plane tickets.  But $4.5 seems possible… even if it’s tight.  I’d really like to be finished with this before 2016 ends.


Number one is Palo Alto, epicenter of Silicon Valley craziness, where home prices are now 40% higher than they were at their prior bubble peak. What are we calling this phenomenon? Bubble? Nope. “Housing recovery.” But the middle class has hit a wall. Read…. Cracks Forming In Housing Bubble II (But This Time It’s Different)