Summer Days of the Future Past

I’ve been lagging a lot the past few months on the blog.

With the summer months (and my newish job) it’s been difficult dedicating time to write. I’ve been blogging for over a year and I’ve realized that I don’t necessarily like writing, but I LOVE having written. It’s time for me to get back to writing.

I’d like to send a special shout out to my friends Enjoli and Walter who have indirectly encouraged me to start blogging again. They reached out to me recently to pick my brain about budgeting and investing. It’s good to know that there are people out there who actually read the blog and are interested in what I have to say about this personal finance stuff.

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500 Days of Summer
When you’re an adult summer doesn’t feel like summer does it? Unless you have one of those awesome occupations like my sister in law who is a teacher and gets summers off. Most of my summer just consisted of working away in an air conditioned office. Which I’m thankful for of course. 🙂

During our nights and weekends, we took Addie out as much as possible. Some of the highlights were:

– Taking her to a WNBA game.
– A weekend in San Luis Obispo
– Outings at the Beach
– Weekly Concerts at the Park
– Orange County Fair
– Surprise Birthday Party for my wife

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The highlight of our summer was when we went to Portland with my brother’s family for Labor Day weekend. Thanks to the magic that is Travel Hacking, we pretty much spent almost no money on our whole trip. (to be discussed in a future post).

Unlike our last adventure in New Orleans, Portland was a pretty family friendly place. Shout out to my sister in law Paula who crafted an awesome itinerary that highlighted stuff we could do with the kiddos! We visited Moltnomah falls, the Rose Gardens, and the OMSI. We also spent a lot of time eating. Apparently donuts and coffee are just THAT more amazing in Portland than any other city in America.

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Days of the Future Past
In the beginning of the year, I wrote out some goals I wanted to achieve this year. I figure now is a good time to reflect on how I did, and what new goals came up:

Professional / Financial Goals

Get a Job (Done!)
I’m fortunate and lucky. I was only unemployed from October 2015 to February 2016. It was just enough time to not feel too desperate about finding work and actually enjoy the time off that I had with my daughter. I didn’t know it at the time, but getting laid off was one of the best times of my life.

I’m currently working as a spreadsheet junkie for a company that creates and sells learning material for children. In the past few months I’ve learned a lot and am looking forward to growing with the company.

The best perk of working with the company is the onsite preschool that Addie is now going to. Now everyday is take your daughter to work day 🙂

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Start a Side Hustle (Work in Progress)
While I’ve done a few things to make money on the side, I still haven’t found anything I could do on a consistent basis. To make extra money this year I’ve primarily sold stuff on Craigslist and opened checking and credit accounts for the sign up bonuses.

Buy Less Crap (Work in Progress)
I talked about not buying a new phone, and guess what I did? Bought a new damn phone. To be fair I did end up having to replace it due to the battery no longer working. I think for the most part I’m giving myself a pass on this one. We’re on our way to achieve a lot of our financial goals so I don’t feel that guilty for buying toys to decorate my office with :). It’s all in the budget.

*New Goal – Max Out Retirement Funds
One of the awesome things about being unemployed was that it showed my wife and I that we could live essentially off my wife’s income (she’s the breadwinner, and I’m ok with that 😉). When I started working again we were essentially banking most of my income. We maxed out our Roth IRAs pretty quickly after I started working and are now on pace to max out my 401k, even though we didn’t start doing this until April. Hopefully next year we can max out both my wife and my accounts.

Blogging Goals

Post More Consistently (Fail)
As much as I love blogging, writing is the LAST thing I do. After work and spending time with family, there hasn’t been many opportunities to write. I hope to find a happy medium where I make time to write a little bit more.

Transition To a Self Hosted Site (Fail)
I haven’t even thought of doing this goal since I haven’t been as consistent as I would like to be on the blog. This definitely is on my to-do list, and I will get to this eventually 🙂

Network More (Fail)
Fincon 2016 should be happening as this post goes live. Vic will definitely have a strong case of FOMO. Since I haven’t been too serious on the blog just yet, I really can’t justify taking the time to go out to San Diego for a few days.

I also need to get back to reaching out to other bloggers again. The past few months I haven’t dedicated much time to connecting to others. Hopefully with September coming around I can get back to that. Thanks to all my fellow bloggers who have stuck around even though I haven’t been that consistent.

Personal Goals

Become a Better Father/Husband (Work in Progress)
While I think I’m not too shabby when it comes to being a husband and father, I know I’m not perfect. It can be difficult getting too comfortable and living your life like it’s a routine. I’m doing my best to enjoy each moment when I’m with my family. One thing I can do is put the phone down a little more.

Go On Another Vacation (A++)
If you didn’t know it by now, I am a Travel Hacker. We just went to Portland and will be going to Hawaii next month all on points I got from credit card bonuses. I also scored free rooms in San Diego, San Luis Obispo, and was able to cash out $920 in redeemable travel for statement credits.

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When you don’t pay for flights or hotels, traveling can be pretty damn affordable 😉

New Goal – Have Addie Take Consistent Naps and Eat Everything on Her Plate (FAIL)
A guy can dream right?

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14 thoughts on “Summer Days of the Future Past

  1. Sounds like you had some great trips. Writing in the summer is HARD! I feel you there. We traveled 6 weeks this summer and I had crazy ideas of all the writing that I was going to do. HA! That was crazy talk.
    I’m not sure how much I would pay for my baby to have a consistent nap schedule. But it’s a lot.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The consistency struggle….UGH I hear you. I think it helps that you still post and interact on social media, though. You may be on a blog break but you’re still engaged in the money nerd community, you know? Your instagram posts are great!
    OH. Speaking of travel hacking, have you heard about the new Saphire reserve? We just signed up for it…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Kristin!

      Dude. Chase’s 5/24 rule is killing me. My wife and I both can’t get the Sapphire Reserve. Even with the $450 fee it’s totally worth it! $300 travel credit AND a sign up equivalent to $1500+ in travel?! Score!

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      1. Do you have the regular Chase Saphire card? The “reserve” or whatever? I read that you can ask them to update that one to the Sapphire if you don’t qualify bc of the 5/24 rule. Not sure if it works, though.
        Oh man…I just realized I’m chatting about travel rewards on a Friday night. I need to go get a beer or something.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Man, look at all those goals! You have done great this year. From what I can see, your family grew tremendously during this time as you got to spend a lot of time with them going on vacation and getting a job where your daughter can be right there!!! That’s so cool!

    There are never enough hours in the day to get to all the blogging activities that we would want to. The main thing you have to remember is take little steps and continue to make actions count! I didn’t get to go to FinCon this year either, but am going to work out a plan to get there next year. I dropped off the radar on my blog for a while until early last month as well when I got to transition to becoming a stay-at-home dad to my 2 girls! It’s been amazing so far! Keep your head up, things will move!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Steve! I’m pretty fortunate to have landed such an awesome gig 🙂

      I working on the blog! It’s just challenging when it feels like the LAST thing on my to do list! Which might be my problem, but hey the wife and kid need to eat and be entertained :). Hopefully we can meet up at Fincon next year!

      I envy you! I was a stay at home dad during my layoff and loved it. I wouldn’t mind getting to do that again. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Definitely man! There’s always a tug to grow and produce more content and reach out and battle that never ending cycle. I just try to remember to take little steps each day.

        I would love to meet up at fincon next year! Stay in touch!

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  4. I enjoy your posts- they’re always so practical and honest. I hope you find a way to make this blog you’re side hustle.

    Have a wonderful fall.

    PS – i think reading about you getting yourself a new phone just lowered my inhibition to getting a new one as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the kind words Anthony! I do hope one day I can monetize my writing 🙂

      Nothing wrong with getting a new phone! I used to be all about the latest and greatest when it came to technology. Now I fear if I get a brand new iPhone 7 Plus my daughter would end up destroying it. That’s a great reason to hold on to older products for me 🙂

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  5. Big fan of your blog, you’ve inspired me to take control of my life rather than companies dictating how and where I spend my money and for that I thank you! Next up…conquering travel reward points.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the kinds words Christina! It’s people like you that keep me writing. It’s been tough the last few months getting the motivation to keep going, but I know I can’t quit! 🙂

      If you have any questions about using travel rewards – DM me on Twitter! I’m more than happy to help! 🙂

      Like

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