Tag Archives: Lifestyle

Student Loan Forgiveness is STUPID!!!

Share track: The Average Net Worth of A Millennial is -$36K

Success with TS – Leasing a Vehicle is NOT for this Millennial Dad

Success with TS – Side Hustle your way to Extra Money

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Success with TS – You Could Save Nearly $1,000 a Year by Cancelling Your Cable

Believe and You Can Do Anything, You Can Even Become a Millionaire if You Want

Disclaimer: I am not a millionaire, nor a financial adviser. I am someone motivated by behavioral changes that create results. I would like to share my ideas with you.

I told my 15 year-old sister that if she puts $500 in a Roth IRA each month starting now, by the time she is 40 she will be a millionaire easily. I am not sure if that is true because I am bad at math. But I believe it is possible and compound interest is real. I believe that if you do something long enough, you are more persistent and you have passion, you can do anything. You can even become a millionaire. This belief system started about a year ago.

A year ago I was in debt–I still am, like most millennials, and I was trying to buy a house I could not afford, like many of my peers. My wife was losing faith in me, we argued about wanting things we could not afford, like a house. We could not find anything in our price range and we didn’t really have a price range or a plan: just buy, that was it. We were juiced or influenced by everyone around us, social media, family, and realtors. When we hit rock bottom that was the turning point. We had spent about $5k in money that wasn’t ours. We had credit cards and student loans and we needed a house. Until we realized we had bigger problems. We had debt problems. Then we stopped.

At that point I started listening to and reading Dave Ramsey, I started reading Brian Tracy, I started reading about investing and inflation, and I started working toward integrity with my partner, trying to become something and someone I thought I could never be, just better and debt free.

A year later I am trying to motivate others to do what is right for their future, for their finances. Numerous books on investing and economics and savings and I have realized that if you want freedom you must protect your finances and work towards growing your wealth your future and your family. These ideas are not new, I am not claiming to have created them, but they have drastically changed my life and my situation for the better so I feel I owe it to others to share it with them, my experience that is.

I see people in debt. I see people unable to pay their student loans and posting on social media about how they consume and use money they don’t have to buy a lifestyle they cannot afford, distracted. I see people protesting when they can fix their problems now, and help others later after they have risen out of their debt. Debt is slavery, to me.

These ideas about my sister being a millionaire by 40 have lead me here. I am about to pay off a credit card that would have been with me a lifetime. I have a plan to pay off my student loans in less than 5 years, including my wife’s. All our consumer debt is nearly gone, save for $680. We are working together as a team to make our family prosperous. It takes hard work and a plan and nothing is perfect but we have seen results in a year and I think you can change the world if you change your financial situation. Believe.

I believe my little sister will become a millionaire by the time she is 40 if she puts $500 into a Roth IRA every month until that time.

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In the Time it Took for you to Talk About It

About halfway through a long-winded conversation about unfounded and baseless dreams, like most other listeners, I find myself having trouble listening.  We live in a culture where it is a good thing to have big dreams, but not a good thing to have realistic plans or have attainable goals.  That’s weird, because you can do anything you plan to do.

Dreaming is a grand activity, a fantastical practice, a fantasy envisioned, and absolutely not real or tangible.  However our dreams are powerful tools.  We dream about wanting something, attaining our desires, then we talk about achieving it, how it would be!  But there is no goal, no pathway to walk directly to it and take.  We are stuck in the talking about it and that is about it.

So, in the time we listen, in the time it took for you to talk about it you could have written up a plan to go and make and create and have.  Made a step A through finished, fruition, success, completion.  I will attempt to listen though I would rather pull out pen and paper and set things in motion to help you do what you want to do, to help you become the dream master.

I am not therapist, not counselor, I am an ordained minister by request, though I feel I could charge for giving advice about planning.  But I learned it for free in books.  Just make a goals list each day and complete those goals.  I do this because it is simple: nothing happens without being planned.  I heard recently: there is no happenstance.  Imagine.  I think you should stop talking and make plans, you should do and show.  Save the tell.

Millennials, Strive for that Perfect Selfie because You will Never get out of Debt and You Will Never own Your Own Home Responsibly

“The more he identifies with the dominant images of need, the less he understands his own life and his own desires. The spectacle’s estrangement from the acting subject is expressed by the fact that the individual’s gestures are no longer his own; they are the gestures of someone else who represents them to him.”
― Guy DebordThe Society of the Spectacle

“The spectacle is the nightmare of imprisoned modern society which ultimately expresses nothing more than its desire to sleep. The spectacle is the guardian of sleep.”
― Guy DebordThe Society of the Spectacle

*

The headline you just read is what I think to myself when I realize I shouldn’t spend money and should save for my future interests, especially when my contemporaries scroll social media and see how others are living large and in charge and strive to be just like them.

(Firstly, social media is an affirmation to spend more money, and waste more time.  Do you have it in you?)

I am pretty sure the people around me are concerned about my one point of obsession, my now goal: paying off all of my debt. My motivation being: Because I am a slave to debtors, credit card companies own me, my student loans own me, I really don’t exist freely…  What keeps me going in this direction:  Good reasons.

Good reasons:  Some day I will own my own house, responsibly–not through some insane mortgage.  Some day I will be out of debt, entirely: zero debt.  Some day I won’t have to work every day to pay my bills, no worries.  I will retire with dignity.  And again, those around me will benefit from my now goals, from my relatively insane efforts, from sacrifices I make.

These sacrifices are easier than the alternative for me, of living in debt for the rest of my life, chipping away at what I one minimum payment, all that high interest at a time.  That is stupid.  That is something that could use distractions!

It’s hard and easy for me to imagine that there is a world out there stranded glaring into their phones at millions of other people acting out their fantasies–Millennials et al., taking photos, images of a luxury lifestyle that is nothing more than made up. IT DOES NOT EXIST.

Imagine if we could get paid for that time spent glaring at other people’s dreams… We’d all be as rich as Hillary Clinton, Jimmy Buffet, Steve Jobs, or Donald Trump.

I really shouldn’t care about the setting or the background or how long it took for another person to get that perfect photo, the perfect selfie, and all those likes, although it worries me. I care, imagine.  That is my philanthropy for the day: caring.

(Your debt is that train in the “perfect selfie” video above, maybe doing the same to you as you read.  Stay off of those tracks that lead you, or the future you, into imminent danger.)

The first thing I think about when I see pictures of people doing AMAZING things is, how much debt does that person actually have, credit cards, student loans, etc.? I know, it’s none of my business, but for science…  Then I wonder, does all that debt add up to contrived happiness, the happiness in that picture, imagines on a screen, unfocused a distracted ephemera of fleeting feeling… Does it come from that?

(A hobby of imagining your existence is entirely different from what it is?  Doing this doesn’t cause change, it avoids it.)

And we compare ourselves to those counterfeit images, those freewheeling fantasies, those nice narrative and salacious story lines… Am I as good as that other person’s selfie?  No, no, I am not… Should I be spending more money, should I be buying into this false pretense?  Do I give a shit?

Then I vanish from social media and that apathetic society that we all pay to join in some way or another. I vanish because we all should and walk back into the deep woods to find our inner animal selves, or into a deep sleep.  Beasts called gentlemen in suits and ties pretending to be anything other than ourselves.

(When we die our Facebook us’s keep on living.  Is that me?  For example, my father died four years ago in June and he unfriended me on Facebook a couple of years after that.  He is virtually still alive, however he is physically dead.  I don’t know if he sleeps anymore.  I cannot visit his grave because my reality does not understand this sort of paradox.  Social media creates dead and living zombies right now.  Imagine.)

So, yes, back to the beginning, you will never get out of debt or own your own home, responsibly–without insane lenders and bad deals, if you keep this up.  That is what I tell myself and then avoiding those distractions becomes very easy for me. You as in me.

Forget your likes, upvotes, retweets, highlights from whatever years ago, virtual memories, Facebook lives, and other people’s selfies, they evoke no artistic value whatsoever (or maybe they do: this mini-essay tho.).  Think about what you owe that credit card company, what you owe in student loans? Try to smile now, make that art, Picasso. Get that photo sing.  Real good job.  Create those American Dreams.

Showing Up is More Important

Photo by Kait Ripley (amateur photographer)

Photo by Kait Ripley (amateur photographer)

When I get an assignment back with excellent marks on it, I want to cry. I feel I don’t deserve it. Though, I feel at this point in my college career I only expect to get good grades. I have always tried my best, as hard as I can, yet I feel it is not good enough, and when I receive good marks I find it unbelievable. One time I turned in something and got a D- on it. I thanked the teacher in office hours for being objective, and I deserved it—still I aced the class. When I put out shit and still turn it in as my best, I get better marks than expected, better marks than in High School (which I should have failed out of). It is as if the rule books were thrown out for something more important than just a piece of paper. I am graded, I feel, on the art of just showing up.

For the past couple of weeks, months, years I have learned something, and throughout my college career this lesson has followed me. This lesson has been that showing up is more important than being a complete genius and acing the class via a test, or a project, or great work, or ass-kissery. It means more to the class as a whole, and to every single teacher, that you are in each class every day, no matter what. There are a million and five excuses a person could use, or employ: I could say anything—I am a doctor, you are sick; my dog died, my grandma died, my dad died (which did happen); my car broke down, my cat pissed on my homework, my bike got ran over; the bus was late; I am deathly ill, but why waste everyone’s time? Why waste your time? I know better, most people should, you know better.

When one person misses class the whole class misses that one person. Not like, “oh, sad, I miss that person,” but like, “fuck that person is not here, I am aware of their void.” The class loses that interaction, the missing hand raised, the unasked tangential question, the discussion that never happened. The previous list comes from easy excuses, lazy decisions to miss that one moment, it all matters in the long run. For example, you wouldn’t ask the bartender for a beer, pay for it—tip, and then not drink your refreshing beverage, would you? So, why would you register for classes, apply financial aid, deal with advising—pay for it all, and then not go?

If you really want to get an A at any point in your life, career, schooling, just show up (my GPA is 3.627, I am not boasting, I just show up). There are a million people with a million excuses, don’t be one of them, be the other guy. Be unique. Everyone can think of a lame ass excuse, it’s second nature—humans make mistakes, but don’t. Since I quit my shit-job washing dishes, where I was verbally abused, and came to University (in hopes of acquiring dental insurance, exclusively), I made it a point that each and every teacher would see my bright smile, and remember that bright smile when grading. The many times that my peers missed class, that smile would become brighter, more emblazoned in their minds; my teachers would be forced to reckon with it. My grade would inevitably go up, no matter what. They think: Oh, yeah, I remember Terry; big bright smile, ridiculous questions, yeah, I do… I thank my classmates for skipping (really, I do), being cool, or lazy. It really helps me out. And if your professor says they don’t grade on attendance, they are fucking lying.

From my first day of college until now, I can count the seldom days I have missed class and work, and on all of these days someone had a funeral, or a sick loved one to attend to. I won’t miss a day because I don’t want a day to miss me. You want to get ahead, be the person that is always in the same spot asking the same fucking stupid questions, the one that everyone looks at with a sideways glance, disdain, be that person, be brave. Be the person that no one can understand, because when it comes down to the end of the semester someone—the teacher, will most likely remember you for that, your name, your smile, your attentiveness to detail, your question that sparked a conversation, everything, and they will know that. Be part of the community you are in, the academic community, and your grade will work itself out. True story.

Road Trip for Experience: Four Guys Drive Through Oregon