Allow Me to Reintroduce Myself

After a long hiatus, I’m back on the keyboard. Didja miss me? Maybe a little bit? 😉

What has gone on in the past few months since I’ve been away? Let me see…

And Then There Were Four…
Yep. Addie is going to be a bigger sister! We have a new addition to the family due in April 2017. We couldn’t be more excited. Having a second child has been a challenging ride for me and my wife. We’ve been trying to have a child for the past year, and it hasn’t been easy, to say the least. I look forward to the day when I don’t even know what sleep feels like anymore.
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I Didn’t Complete My Class
I originally went on this hiatus to take a course related to my current position. I gave it the old college try, but I eventually dropped out of the course. A lot of the work was theory and used programs that I didn’t use at my current position.

I spent a good amount of my free time studying and doing the assignments, but after awhile, I didn’t think it was adding value to my work. Taking the course around the holidays was difficult as well as I felt as though I was spreading myself too thin. I decided to cut my losses and get my time back.

Thanksgiving and Christmas Happened
When it comes to the holidays, my wife is the best. She always makes it a point to show our daughter what the meaning of Thanksgiving and Christmas really is – spending time with family.Some highlights in the past few months:

  • Hosting Thanksgiving at Our House
  • Taking Addie to her first movie in the theater (Moana)
  • Going to the San Diego Zoo
  • Addie’s Christmas recital at her preschool
  • Christmas at my Parent’s House in Northern California
  • Noon Year’s Eve Brunch at My House.

befunky-collage
Yes. Noon Year’s Eve. Since Addie can’t stay up til midnight just yet, we decided to have a countdown around noon on NYE so she could countdown with noisemakers. For gatherings my wife always makes it special for the kids by having them do crafts 🙂
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Allow Me to Reintroduce Myself
This blog had simple beginnings. I simply wanted to share my story.

As I’ve said a kajillion times on my blog, I wasn’t always a money nerd. While my wife and I had decent incomes and lived a comfortable life, there was never much focus on the future.

YOLO Right? As long as we had enough to go out to eat, travel, and buy fancy gadgets everything was all good to me.

Kids change everything.
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In the past 2 and a half years since Addie was born, I did a complete 180 when it came to finances. We finally got on a budget and started to plan for our future. I listened to podcasts and reading blogs about retirement, investing, and saving. I began to realize that personal finance isn’t necessarily about how much money you make, but what you do with the money you have.

I started this blog because I felt it was a great way to not only express myself my thoughts and goals, but to keep myself accountable. As an introvert, getting my thoughts across doesn’t always come across well. I can’t say more than 30 words in person, but I can easily spit out an 1000 word blog. Haha.
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Even in 2017, money is still a taboo topic. It’s a shame that we can talk freely talk about getting the latest deal on the latest gadget, but we don’t really talk about things that can truly change people’s lives like saving for retirement or ways to help pay down debts.

Hopefully this blog can help make personal finance just a little bit less taboo. 🙂

New Year, New Goals. 
Last year, I talked about what I wanted to do for 2016. While I got some of the main goals out of the way (get a job, travel more), I didn’t feel like I fully accomplished what I set out to do. For 2017, let’s try this again, shall we?

Professional/Financial Goals
Get Out of My Comfort Zone
In February it will mark my one year anniversary of working after my brief stint in unemployment. As a data analyst, I spend most of my day sitting in front of a computer creating some wicked spreadsheets. There are some days where I don’t really need to interact with anybody.

This year I’d like to get away from that routine. I want to spread my wings out and become a little more uncomfortable by putting myself out there and working on bigger projects. I look forward to continue to move up and add value to my company.

Max Out Retirement Accounts
Last year, for the first (and maybe only) time, I was able to max out my 401k. I was able to do this even though I didn’t work a full year and got this bright idea around April. After getting back in the workforce, my wife and I treated my money as extra and we were able to bank most of my income throughout the year. At the end of the year, my wife was able to contribute about 12% of her salary by the end of the year.
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This year, the goal is to max out BOTH of our retirement accounts. Since we’re both paid twice a month, we would be pulling out $750 from each paycheck towards this which is pretty doable since we’re frugal. We’ll have to see how baby #2 affects this plan.

Buy Less Crap
With the incoming kid, my wife and I have put a greater focus on being a lot more minimal when it comes to our things. Anything that we haven’t used in awhile will get sold. I’m always looking around the house looking for something to sell on Craigslist or 5 Miles.

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Teaching her about supply and demand.

This year I want to be a lot more conscientious about not buying random crap just because we have money for it. Some of the things I kinda want this year but probably shouldn’t buy are: New phone, Apple Watch, Nintendo Switch, and a 4K TV.

Just Hustle
I wrote last year that I wanted to find a good consistent side hustle. This year the goal is changed. Now, I just want to hustle. It’s not about doing one thing, it’s about doing as many things as I can to help my family make or save an extra buck or two. If I happen to find one that sticks and can be consistent, then so be it 😉

Personal Goals
Write a Will
As much as I talk about the future for my family, my wife and I have yet to write a will. While it’s a scary thought to think of passing away someday, it’s not as scary as not having your kids prepared when that day comes.

Be More Productive
When my daughter and wife go to bed, some days I struggle to be productive in my free time. I know I spend WAY too much time just surfing random information on the internet. I know my free time will be extra limited with the new arrival in April, but I want to do more blogging, reading, work around the house, and working on some side hustles.

Blogging Goals

Just Write
I just want to say a very special thanks to everyone that’s still here reading. I know that inconsistency is one of the cardinal sins of blogging, but to me it’s just something I can’t avoid. Life just gets in the way sometimes…

I only have one goal when it comes to the blog – just write. I don’t know if I’ll be ever be able to make my blog consistent, but what I want to make a greater effort into publishing more often. It might not be weekly or biweekly, but I’ll commit to do more writing. Who knows, maybe I’ll go to self hosting one day ;). This goal could completely change once Baby #2 is born.

Blogging has been one of the more fulfilling things in my life. It’s been awesome connecting with a lot of people about this super nerdy topic called personal finance.

I might get off the wagon from time to time, but I’ll keep coming back to it.

Until next time faithful readers…

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29 thoughts on “Allow Me to Reintroduce Myself

  1. Welcome back! And what exciting news – congratulations to you all!

    I’ve just watched an episode of Lemony Snicket which only reinforces my urgency when I talk to parents about the subject – yes, you definitely need a will! It’s so important that you to pick a guardian for Addie and your soon to arrive number 2, nothing horrifies me more than the idea that if something terrible happened to me and PiC, leaving JuggerBaby, that ze would be taken into the foster care system or dumped with relatives I would never ever trust to take care of zir for the afternoon, much less for the rest of zir childhood! We finally got that all settled last year ourselves and while it doesn’t make me feel any better about the idea of leaving JuggerBaby an orphan, at least I know that ze will be provided for and cared for by someone who loves zir deeply.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks! It’s an exciting time for us! And a little scary.

      We do need to get on that will! It’s just one of those things that people just don’t wanna have to deal w/ on a Saturday afternoon after a long work week. We’ll have to hunker down and get it done!

      That’s a good point about who would take care of our kids. While we do have a few people that would probably take our kids in, we’d like to actually have a plan in case something happens. We have a contact so hopefully we can get this done before baby #2 happens.

      Like

  2. Aw, congratulations – that`s beautiful, and also very exciting, news!!

    I think its brave, but absolutely right to abandon the course if you feel it does not benefit you. I was once in this position. It was a leadership course provided by my own employer, but all but me were teachers, so everything was tailored to them, and I could not relate to it. It was a hard decision to forego the qualification (and risk making myself look bad) but there would have been a lot of work towards the end of the course, and I felt ill prepared within the sessions, which were all about working with children. I would have loved the qualification but would have found it too hard to do within this particular class, so I decided to quit early rather than putting in lots of work and then fail the exam. And I still think this would have been worse.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was definitely a hard decision to quit the course. I spent a lot of time (and a little bit of money) on it, so I felt like I should’ve seen it all the way through. It just took up way too much time and I wasn’t seeing the benefit of all the study in my work. It would’ve been nice to pass and get certified, but it wouldn’t have helped me at work.

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      1. Sunk costs… I did a whole degree course as a nutritionist and never qualified. My dad got ill and then he died, and I got awfully depressed… Its now 4 years ago, and I could still sit my exams (if I want to revise the whole 3 year course) but fact is, I no longer want to work as a nutritionist. Only 2 of my 11 fellow students do, and neither can live on that alone. So I decided to keep the knowledge for personal use and forego the qualification in favour of the course Im doing just now

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Congratulations to you & your family to the new addition!!!!

    Always love reading your blog. Especially this one because you mentioned about making a will. I have also decided to make a will for my husband & myself. After seeing & being by my bestfriend side through the death of her husband, it has been a reality check! Her husband was struggling with several health issues, therefore he was in the process of making a will. However, my bestfriend didn’t want to hear it, because to her it meant his leaving her…the end, so they never came around to doing it. Moving forward, no will…lead to probate estate attorney or the state takes his positions & bill collectors after her. Which probate attorney fees can cost from $4,000 – $10,000. Which she paid $3,000 on her intial visit/consultation, yesterday. So, making a will can save probate attorney fees, frustrations & headaches for the love ones we are leaving behind…especially to our two kids. It’s so worth it!
    Looking forward to reading your next blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks cousin!

      Me and G have been talking about a will, but it’s just one of those things you put aside as long as you can. We’re not gonna live forever, so it’s something we really need to take care of. My dad’s side has a lot of hypertension, so I don’t know if that’ll affect me. Scary thought, but once you have kids, it’s not about you anymore right?

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  4. Congratulations on the new soon-to-be addition to your family! 🙂

    I definitely believe that everyone should have a will. Even better…a living trust. A living trust protects your family from having to go through probate court and pay probate taxes on your property. You can pick up a cheap do-it-yourself kit and simply have it notarized to make it official. No need to drop a lot of cash on this.

    Welcome back to the blogging community! We also took a six month hiatus from blogging. Sometimes life just gets in the way and it sounds as though you were quite busy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! We do need to get that will done sooner rather than later. My wife’s friend has a person that does wills so we’ll give them a call. Hopefully it shouldn’t be too pricey.

      Life does get in the way all the time! The fact that I’m not getting paid writing makes this the very last thing on my priority list. I may not post consistently, but i’ll post :).

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Congrats to you Andrew!

      It’s definitely a challenge writing nowadays. My daughter wouldn’t go down until 11 pm last night so I didn’t really feel like trying to write a post! Unfortunately, when it comes to the blog, it’s the last thing I get to do!

      Like

  5. Oh hey! Welcome back Vic (although to me, it didn’t seem like you disappeared. I loved seeing your funny updates with Addie on social media haha!)

    I, too, haven’t been consistent with my blog. And I like your goal of “just write” – it’s funner and sounds more enjoyable than “publish a post a week” or “get xx traffic a day”. That’s my goal as well is to just come up with great content 🙂

    Congrats again on Baby #2! Double the reason for Dad to be cheap lol!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really should put my Instagram link in here eh? lol.

      I kinda turned my personal instagram into an extension of my blog. While most parents like to bombard us all w/ cute pix of their kids (which is what my wife does), I like to highlight the absurdity that happens to parents.

      My goal of “just write” hasn’t been too successful so far! I’ll write stuff from time to time, but haven’t had anything post worthy just yet. Hopefully by next week I’ll have something :).

      Blogging is tough! It’s hard to keep it going sometimes. I just know I can’t fully give it up bc then I’d feel like a failure.

      Thanks! Baby #2 is coming soon enough!

      Like

  6. I like the “get out of your comfort zone” part.

    I’ve found that I need to actively stretch and challenge myself to get out of my comfort zone often because my comfort zone is in a continual state of shrinking. It gets smaller and smaller as the days and weeks go by. It’s not really hard to get out of my comfort zone, it just takes remembering to do it, planning what to do, and then taking action.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. For me it can be a challenge to get out of my comfort zone. It gets easy to get in that routine where I just do what you’re good at and don’t expand.

      Thanks for the reminder that I need to keep pushing! 🙂

      Like

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