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Archive for July, 2014

Fiscal Discipline Is For Grownups

July 31st, 2014 at 06:20 pm

Eliminating old debt. Staying out of new debt. Keeping living expenses well below income. Following guidelines on what is affordable. Choosing lower cost alternatives. Building up reserve funds. Growing an investment portfolio. Those are all parts of the strategy to reach financial independence. None of it is rocket science and theoretically anyone could do it.

So why do loads and loads of people do the exact opposites? And then bemoan and resent their financial situation and complain about it as if they were the victims of someone else's actions? Here is what I think.

Fiscal discipline is all about perspective and behavior. More specifically, it is about the difference between the perspective of an adult and that of a child.

Fiscal discipline starts with taking control of and assuming responsibility for one's financial destiny. It is up to you and no one else.

Fiscal discipline is about looking ahead. Because tomorrow does come.

Fiscal discipline has to have a purpose. A goal. A heavy-duty carrot.

It is that goal / carrot that facilitates fiscal discipline. It keeps you on course.

Fiscal grownups choose meaningful long-term satisfaction over transitory instant gratification. They keep their eyes and minds focused on the more valuable goal ahead.

The takeaway: Fiscal discipline doesn't just happen. It is the result of informed adult choices.

# # #

Making Sure I Feel Retired

July 26th, 2014 at 03:19 pm

Ahh, retirement. Kicking back on the porch with a book and a beverage, with nowhere you have to go and nothing you have to do. Well, it is not happening for me. I retired almost 2 years ago, and I am still waiting for that kicking back to kick in. Here is how I am handling that.

If I am going to have what I call a "free day", I have to schedule it. And then I have to impose it. Otherwise, I will just keep filling the day with chores, tasks and projects. On a day-to-day basis, I have to do a similar thing: I have to schedule free time blocks into my day or I am not going to give myself any. Thank heavens I have worked out a way to make sure I get my well earned free time!

Together, all my "work" demands could easily take over my retired life. And leave me no freer than I was when a job held me. That is where scheduling comes in for me -- to make sure that does not happen. The way I have worked it out (and it is not a coincidence), my weekly schedule includes a total of 35 task hours (five-and-a-half a day for 6 days plus a couple of unavoidable task hours on my free day). But more than double that number of waking hours are reserved for my recreation, relaxation and fun.

So I live by a weekly schedule and a check-off list of to-do's. Every Friday or Saturday, I sit down and plan the next week's schedule (after checking the extended weather forecast). Top priority is to designate a good weather day as my free day for the week, which is all mine and will for sure include a hike(1*). That done, I will note on the schedule sheet's left hand column all the tasks I should/could work on during the week. But here is the thing. That task time is limited each day to 2 time blocks: from 8:30am to 12:30pm (when any physical stuff gets done) and from 5:30pm to 7:00pm (when only paperwork gets done). The rest of every day is mine for recreation and fun.

I admit that living by a weekly schedule brings more regimentation into my retired lifestyle than I would prefer to have. But by having that structure, I make sure that I stay in control of the tasks I have to do and I also ensure that I have sufficient free time to do what I want. It is a deal with the devil that works for me.

The takeaway: Demands on your time are not all going to disappear when you retire. There are still going to be plenty of things you'll have to do that ideally you would rather not. But if you manage your tasks and your time, you can get things done and still feel nice and retired every day.

# # #

1* My Love Affair With Hiking:
http://retired-to-win.savingadvice.com/2013/12/23/my-love-af...

My Failed Try at Bond Investing

July 22nd, 2014 at 06:19 pm

(I now blog weekly on frugal living, personal finance & earlier retirement at:
retiredtowin.com)


In 2013, I took 20% of my investing capital and moved it from high dividend stocks to high yield bonds. I did that because a portfolio with stocks and bonds was supposed to be safer than an all-out stocks portfolio. Boy, did that theory go down in flames for me!

I bought into 9 corporate bond positions after doing A LOT of financial analysis of the companies involved. It was for naught. Four of the companies did unnecessary VOLUNTARY bankruptcies to get out from under their debt. Another four exercised tender offers for their bonds that left its bondholders grasping the short end of that transaction stick.

A year and a half after going into those bonds, I was all out of them. But I had incurred a $2740 out-of-pocket loss and missed out on about $9000 to $10,000 in dividends I would have collected if I had left the money in high yield stocks.

So, lesson learned. Goodbye bonds. And good riddance.

(You can read the whole gory story on my main blog at retiredtowin.com.)

Having Frugal Fun My Way

July 19th, 2014 at 03:23 pm

Having fun does not have to be expensive. Heck, having fun can actually cost almost nothing or even nothing at all. Being retired, I have more free time to fill than the average person(1*). And I do fill it -- without having to resort to endless hours of tv watching or rocking chair napping. I have no trouble finding interesting fun activities to pursue without having to spend an arm and a leg to pursue them. The thing is I think anyone can do that. Using me as a case study, here is how and why.

Having a low-cost hobby is a big first step. Something that you enjoy doing, that you can do for hours at a time, and that does not require the constant spending of substantial amounts of money. Preferably, something that is also good for you -- whether physically, mentally or spiritually. Something to keep you engaged and your wallet out of trouble!

For me, that something is actually several somethings. I hike(2*), which only costs me the price of gasoline to get to one of my nearby parks and trails. I read history(3*), which -- if I wished(4*) -- could cost me nothing more than the cost of fuel to occasionally drive 5 miles to the library. I play pc strategy games(5*), which costs me nothing at all as long as I stay happy (which I do) with the 4 games I bought 10 or more years ago for a total of less than $150. And I blog(6*), which also costs me nothing other than the price of yellow pads and disposable mechanical pencils because I prefer to do almost all my writing that way.

Taken together, these activities can more than fill my free time. They keep me interested and mentally involved on a daily basis. They can be mixed and matched depending on the weather and my mood so that I always have something leisure to do. And they do not drain my wallet.

But there are many other frugal fun hobbies to pursue. For a modest one-time cost for the equipment, one can do bird watching... digital photography (no cost for film or print paper)... biking... surfing... skateboarding... rollerskating... astronomy... playing an instrument... just to name a few at random. And for no money at all, one can visit art galleries and museums... take online courses at sites like Coursera... and so on. There are many other frugal leisure options besides what I do.

So it is totally possible to have lots of fun without crashing one's budget(7*). Oh, I of course also do fun things that cost money((8*). Like eating out, traveling, going to concerts, etc. But still my typical week is filled with daily leisure activities that cost little or nothing. For less than $10 a week (mostly for gas) and without a single minute of mind sucking tv programming, I get 35 or more scheduled hours of rewarding leisure blogging, hiking, reading and pc game playing -- not even counting evening library-DVD-movie-buffing and classical music listening. And that is a heck of a lot of frugal fun my way.

The takeaway: There are obviously many fun things to do that do not require the constant spending of money for fees (like golf), or materials (like most crafts), or a major piece of equipment (like a boat). Frugal fun that anyone can afford to have is all around us for the doing. And anyone can make life fuller and richer by doing them.

# # #

(1*) Making Time For Fun:
http://retired-to-win.savingadvice.com/2014/04/08/making-tim...

(2*) My Love Affair With Hiking:
http://retired-to-win.savingadvice.com/2013/12/23/my-love-af...

(3*) Time Traveling With History Books:
http://retired-to-win.savingadvice.com/2014/04/03/time-trave...

(4*) My Books -- A Huge Frugality Exception:
http://retired-to-win.savingadvice.com/2014/04/25/my-books-a...

(5*) My Strategy Games Rainy Day Passion:
http://retired-to-win.savingadvice.com/2014/01/07/strategy-g...

(6*) 200 Words A Day That (Hopefully) Matter:
http://retired-to-win.savingadvice.com/2014/05/07/200-words-...

(7*) My $18K Annual Baseline Budget:
http://retired-to-win.savingadvice.com/2013/12/29/my-18k-ann...

(8*) A Discretionary Fund, Not a Discretionary Budget:
http://retired-to-win.savingadvice.com/2014/03/29/a-discreti...

When My Financial Freedom Ducks Fell in a Row

July 15th, 2014 at 11:30 am

I retired in January of 2013. Once I had made my final decision and plans the previous October, I could hardly wait and I was all excited to embark on a new free-from-a-job life. And I was excited enough to write the article that follows to let the world know that I was shaking free. Here is how that felt.



This is really great. I finally have got my spending, income and investing ducks all set up for financial independence. Hey, folks! I am FREE!

The last piece of the puzzle just fell into place. With the help of cash I just got from selling some vacant land, I have eliminated my mortgage payment. This in turn has dropped my gross annual living expenses to a mere $18,000(1*). And, since my gross "passive" income is $53,000 a year, I've got a whopping $28,000 after taxes available to spend for fun(2*). Whoppee!

Before we start getting into details about the kind of living I (or you) can do on $18 thou a year gross, and the specifics of my income stream, I think it would be a good idea to give you some context about my situation.

I am a 65-year-old guy living in Virginia. (I know, I know, 65 is not early retirement by any means. BUT I only started hands-on planning for retirement 4 years ago. So I think that's still pretty good.) My working career included jobs in chemistry, marine science, sports diving, marketing, advertising, management, and non-profit administration. And now I spend my fun time hiking(3*), biking, reading history(4*), exploring civil war battlefields and national parks(5*), blogging(6*), watching movies and playing computer war strategy games(7*).

I am married and my wife still works. Due to business circumstances, she and I are living in separate houses 100 miles apart, and each of us individually covers his/her housing, auto and other basic living costs(8*). So the numbers you are going to see here are for me, the house I live in and my individual basic expenses.

Now, where's that $53,000 a year income coming from? Here's the breakdown: $20,600 from Social Security, $27,500 from stock dividends and bond interest(9*), $1500 interest from peer-to-peer lending, and $4200 from a little consulting side hustle.

Now, what's that $18,000 gross a year ($15,000 a year after taxes) getting me for a basic lifestyle? Well, let's see.

I live in an 1100-square-foot house on 1.25 acres, with a nice big attached garage and workshop. I eat just fine, thank you, with lots of meats and vegetables, and no keeping-the-cost-down reliance on pasta, or rice-and-beans.

I am insured up the wazoo (or so it feels). Okay, I do have Medicare, (which I have been paying for through paycheck deductions over my entire working career) but I have also made sure to have supplemental coverage to keep my retirement stash safe from hospital-cost-threat(10*). Same goes for insurance to cover long term care, personal liability, the house, and my pick-up truck(11*). (Nope, no life insurance; my wife and I agreed we no longer need it. And yes, my wife carries her own auto insurance on her own vehicle.)

I drive a 1996 Dodge Dakota extended cab pickup truck in super good shape -- and no loan payment(12*). And I've got all the hiking, biking, computer, photography, workshop and what-not toys I could want.

Oh, yes. That $15,000 a year net includes reserves for auto maintenance and repairs, home repairs, and pet care.

And here's the typical "basic" day I get for my $41 (times 365 days = $15,000). Get up when I want (usually just after first light) in a paid-for house, enjoy my breakfast without any time-pressure while listening to classical music, surf blogs a little, then spend an hour or so managing my stocks and bonds. After that, go do something physical (in the workshop or on the grounds) until lunch. Then I've got 4 hours of totally open time to have fun hiking, biking, computering, netflixing, taking an online history course, blogging, etcetera. (And none of that costs me anything over and above what's already included in my $41 a day basic living cost.) Right around 5pm I get back to my "work" desk to do some home administration paperwork until it's time to cook up and enjoy a steak/ chops/ ham/ chicken/ fish dinner. After that, it's hang-out time with the dogs and the cats -- while doing some more reading or netflixing or pc game playing. Not a bad deal, I think, for $41!

Of course, I've also got another $2300-plus available each month in discretionary income to spend on anything I please. But most times I really have to work at finding something to spend that money on(13*).

What does it take to keep those basic living costs at less than $1250 a month? I've always been a thrifty guy. (My wife sometimes thinks I cross the line into skinflint territory.) But I have to give a big, big thank you to Mr. Money Mustache and his blog for really opening my eyes to just how much you can lower your living costs by pursuing a strategy of what I would call no-sacrifice frugality(14*).

Inspired by Mr. Money Mustache, in the last few months before actually retiring I lowered my annual costs for stock trading by $1000... for phone/internet/tv utilities by $750... for debt interest costs by $2700... for electricity/propane/fuel oil by $750... and for a stack of other miscellaneous budget line items by $850. That's over $6000 a year sliced off what used to be my living costs before I pulled the retirement trigger! Without giving up any comfort, convenience, or capability.

And so now here I sit, expectantly planning what adventures I am going to have with my annual $28,000 spend-for-fun discretionary money pot.


That is how it felt back then to be looking forward to financial freedom. Now, I am having those adventures. And still feeling the same great way.

# # #

1* My $18K Annual Baseline Budget:
http://retired-to-win.savingadvice.com/2013/12/29/my-18k-ann...

2* A Discretionary Fund, Not a Discretionary Budget:
http://retired-to-win.savingadvice.com/2014/03/29/a-discreti...

3* My Love Affair With Hiking:
http://retired-to-win.savingadvice.com/2013/12/23/my-love-af...

4* Time Traveling With History Books:
http://retired-to-win.savingadvice.com/2014/04/03/time-trave...

5* Frugal Fun: Hiking Civil War Trails:
http://retired-to-win.savingadvice.com/2014/04/16/frugal-fun...

6* 200 Words A Day That (Hopefully) Matter:
http://retired-to-win.savingadvice.com/2014/05/07/200-words-...

7* My Strategy Games Rainy Day Passion:
http://retired-to-win.savingadvice.com/2014/01/07/strategy-g...

8* Marital Finances Our Way:
http://retired-to-win.savingadvice.com/2014/04/11/marital-fi...

9* Why I Only Buy Dividend Stocks:
http://retired-to-win.savingadvice.com/2014/01/01/why-i-only...

10* Taming My Health Care Costs:
http://retired-to-win.savingadvice.com/2014/01/18/how-i-tame...

11* My Stash-Shielding Insurance:
http://retired-to-win.savingadvice.com/2014/04/10/my-stash-s...

12* My Oldie-Goldie Thrifty-Nifty Truck:
http://retired-to-win.savingadvice.com/2014/03/25/my-oldie-g...

13* Making Sure I Spend That Money!:
http://retired-to-win.savingadvice.com/2014/04/08/making-sur...

14* How I Do Frugality Without Sacrifice:
http://retired-to-win.savingadvice.com/2014/04/12/how-i-do-f...

Enough Time for Enough Money

July 12th, 2014 at 05:23 pm

I do not want my investing work time to cut into my free-for-fun time any more than is absolutely necessary. And that means doing just enough work to generate $20,000 a year of investment income(1*). Having that as a benchmark has radically changed my attitude towards investing. It has also relieved my pressure-to-invest stress level. And it has freed up a good chunk of extra time for more fun stuff. Here is how and why.

My previous maximum-income investing attitude had become a problem. That is because I follow a dividends-focused investing strategy(2*) that does not factor in (or expect) stock price appreciation. All my income expectations are based on dividends, so to maximize that income I need to stay fully invested in dividend-paying stocks. But those stock positions get regularly and steadily sold off(3*) as the positions build up enough unplanned for gain.

Those stock sales throw off a bunch of cash back into my investment account which in the past has virtually screamed at me not to be left sitting as cash but to be reinvested as soon as possible. And that pressure to invest has been a problem because it requires that I stay on the investing job until I do find other stocks to buy with that cash.

Now I have shifted to an enough-income investing attitude. As long as the projected annual dividends from my existing stock positions stay above $20,000 that is enough. The cash in the investment account no longer exerts an urgent pressure on me to be put back into stocks to maximize dividend income. I do not HAVE to give priority to the work of applying my research-intensive investing strategy(4*). I can take my time. I can do that research and stock buying at my own pace and when I like. And that has changed that activity from being a pressure job demanding many hours a week to a relaxed and interesting hobby I do when it suits me.

This has dramatically reduced my weekly investing work time. Instead of laboring 16 hours a week (and sometimes more) to stay fully invested, I just have to put 4 hours a week into essential avoid-at-your-own-risk portfolio monitoring(5*). That is "enough time for enough money." That has given me an extra 12 hours a week to hike(6*), or blog(7*) or just play(8*). And that has reduced my stress and made my days more relaxed. All of which has left me a much happier camper.

The takeaway: Seeking to maximize income can materially increase stress and definitely reduces time available for rest and leisure. If one cannot define a specific life-enhancing use for the extra money, it could be preferable to forego the added income and thereby avoid the labor and stress of producing it. Instead, one should consider enhancing one's life by taking the increased time that would thereby become available and using it to have fun and pursue personally satisfying activities.

# # #

1* Enough Money From Enough Time:
http://retired-to-win.savingadvice.com/2014/07/08/enough-mon...

2* Why I Only Buy Dividend Stocks:
http://retired-to-win.savingadvice.com/2014/01/01/why-i-only...

3* What Makes Me Sell a Stock?:
http://retired-to-win.savingadvice.com/2014/01/14/what-makes...

4* My High Yield, High Risk Investing:
http://retired-to-win.savingadvice.com/2013/12/20/my-high-yi...

5* How I Stay On Top Of My Stocks:
http://retired-to-win.savingadvice.com/2014/04/09/how-i-stay...

6* My Love Affair With Hiking:
http://retired-to-win.savingadvice.com/2013/12/23/my-love-af...

7* Why Share My Retirement Journey?:
http://retired-to-win.savingadvice.com/2013/12/13/sharing-my...

8* My Strategy Games Rainy Day Passion:
http://retired-to-win.savingadvice.com/2014/01/07/strategy-g...

Enough Money From Enough Time

July 8th, 2014 at 06:02 pm

Tending my stock portfolio can take over "too much" of my time if I let it. And up to recently I have let it do that. Managing my investments had grown into a substantial part-time job eating around 16 hours a week of my supposed financially free retirement. And that just did not feel right.

Putting in the time was necessary to maximize the income from my investments(1*). But I have recently realized that maximizing that income is not really necessary(2*). So I have revised my approach to my investment management. Now I put "enough time" into it to generate "enough money." Here is what that means and how I figured it out.

The key was to find a balance point between enough free time and enough money. But what does that actually mean? I had to define how much money IS enough and to set up a system that would keep my stock portfolio generating that much income without getting sucked into devoting more time than was necessary to get that done.

My baseline living expenses do not factor into the "enough money" calculation. That is because I have gotten those costs down to less than $18,000 a year(3*) -- and that is more than covered by my earned Social Security "annuity" payments. So I actually do not have to work at investing at all to enjoy my baseline satisfying lifestyle(4*).

Money to build up back-up funds does not factor in either. That is because I have already set up my financial reserves(5*), and because my baseline budget already includes premium payments for a comprehensive suite of insurance coverages(6*). So I do not have to work at investing for this either.

I just need to work for fun money. Since I do not need my investment income to cover basic living or to build up reserves, all that money can go directly into my discretionary fund(7*). To a point then, all my investing work time is optional, it produces optional income, and it funds optional expenditures. So how much optional discretionary income is "enough" for me?

An extra $20,000 a year is enough fun money for me. From experience, I know I will be hard pressed to actually spend that much on discretionary purchases and activities(8*). And that much investment income will give me a nice security blanket to backstop my Social Security payouts(9*). So there was my answer to the enough-money part of the balance point question. Twenty thousand bucks a year.

Now that just left the second part of the balance point question: how much time do I need to work at investing to generate $20,000 a year?

Stay tuned!

# # #

1* Profiting From Working My Stocks:
http://retired-to-win.savingadvice.com/2014/04/28/profiting-...

2* Letting Enough Money Be Enough:
http://retired-to-win.savingadvice.com/2014/07/06/letting-en...

3* My $18K Annual Baseline Budget:
http://retired-to-win.savingadvice.com/2013/12/29/my-18k-ann...

4* My Financial Independence Key:
http://retired-to-win.savingadvice.com/2013/12/17/my-financi...

5* Making Over My Reserves Plan:
http://retired-to-win.savingadvice.com/2014/01/04/making-ove...

6* My Stash-Shielding Insurance:
http://retired-to-win.savingadvice.com/2014/04/10/my-stash-s...

7* A Discretionary Fund, Not a Discretionary Budget:
http://retired-to-win.savingadvice.com/2014/03/29/a-discreti...

8* Making Sure I Spend That Money!:
http://retired-to-win.savingadvice.com/2014/04/08/making-sur...

9* My Six Lines of Financial Defense:
http://retired-to-win.savingadvice.com/2014/04/29/my-six-lin...

Letting Enough Money Be Enough

July 6th, 2014 at 06:30 pm

Having more money is always better. It has to be and I cannot argue with that. But having more free fun time is also better -- and I hope no one is going to argue with me about that. The problem is that those two very desirable goals work against each other. Time is money and money is time(1*), so to have more of one you have to accept having less of the other. The trick to solving this dilemma is to find a balance point between money and free time that is personally acceptable. I am still groping for that balance point, but I am getting closer to an answer that works for me. Here is where I am at so far.

Declaring money victory has been hard for me. I reached the point of having and passively making more money than I need a good while ago(2*). But I kept on trying to make more money. I then reached the point of making double the passive income that I need to cover my baseline living expenses. But I still kept trying to make more money. Then I finally found myself with a steadily growing pile of discretionary money(3*) and not enough want-to-buys to spend the money as fast as it comes in(4*). And that is what has made me pause and think. What in the hell would even more money be for?

More security from more money would be marginal. I have already laid in ample financial reserves(5*). I have arranged insurance to cover just about any eventuality(6*). And I have a multilayered financial defense plan in place(7*). So, if increasing my cash flow further will not result in a significant boost to my financial security, what in the hell would even more money be for?

Money to buy more free time is already there. I could use money to hire out chores and projects that I could do myself but that I either have no time to do (what?!) or that I find bothersome to do. Chores like cleaning house. Or projects like replacing all the door framing on our garage. But the fact is that I already have surplus cash to contract out those things(3*). If I am not hiring out such tasks it is because of some mental block, not because I need more money. In which case, what in the hell would the extra money be for?

So... if more money will not give me more meaningful security or buy me more free time, is it a smart use of my limited life time to spend it making even more money for which I do not have a purpose? Why not just use the time to have more fun or relax more? To take another hike(8*). To read another book(9*). To play another pc game(10*). Why not let enough money be enough?

The takeaway (so far): Money costs time out of one's life. And life time is limited and precious. As much as possible of that life time should be spent living, not laboring for money that will not add anything meaningful to one's life.

# # #

(1*) My Unrecoverable Cost of One-More-Year:
http://retired-to-win.savingadvice.com/2014/04/05/my-unrecov...

(2*) My Financial Independence Key:
http://retired-to-win.savingadvice.com/2013/12/17/my-financi...

(3*) A Discretionary Fund, Not a Discretionary Budget:
http://retired-to-win.savingadvice.com/2014/03/29/a-discreti...

(4*) Making Sure I Spend That Money!:
http://retired-to-win.savingadvice.com/2014/04/08/making-sur...

(5*) Making Over My Reserves Plan:
http://retired-to-win.savingadvice.com/2014/01/04/making-ove...

(6*) My Stash-Shielding Insurance:
http://retired-to-win.savingadvice.com/2014/04/10/my-stash-s...

(7*) My Six Lines of Financial Defense:
http://retired-to-win.savingadvice.com/2014/04/29/my-six-lin...

(8*) My Love Affair With Hiking:
http://retired-to-win.savingadvice.com/2013/12/23/my-love-af...

(9*) Time Traveling With History Books:
http://retired-to-win.savingadvice.com/2014/04/03/time-trave...

(10*) My Strategy Games Rainy Day Passion:
http://retired-to-win.savingadvice.com/2014/01/07/strategy-g...

June 9: Paperwork, Box Unpacking and Raccoon #3

July 3rd, 2014 at 06:54 pm

My plan for today was to work along with "my" carpenter constructing another built-in bookcase* but that plan fell apart when the carpenter phoned to reschedule. So I just sort of hodge-podged the day.

After my early morning coffee and post writing**, I walked back to our "barnyard" and found raccoon number 3 waiting for me in my live trap. (I am on a roll, here.) So it was another drive-and-hike raccoon release*** for me before I could officially start my day. But I will never complain about a hike.****

9:30am to 12:30pm This seemed like a good day for it, so I put in 2 hours of emptying stored boxes***** and filling up book and display shelves. That plus some mundane chores (like doing the cat boxes) got me to lunch.

12:30pm to 1:30pm Had another enjoyable lunch and DVD lecture on ancient civilizations.

1:30pm to 6:30pm Got totally immersed in stocks****** and household financial paperwork for the rest of the afternoon.

6:30pm until... A leisurely drink, a nice dinner at home, and a big time-chunk of pc strategy gaming******* wrapped up the day for me.

# # #

* My Books -- A Huge Frugality Exception:
http://retired-to-win.savingadvice.com/2014/04/25/my-books-a...

** 200 Words A Day That (Hopefully) Matter:
http://retired-to-win.savingadvice.com/2014/05/07/200-words-...

*** A Raccoon Release:
http://retired-to-win.savingadvice.com/2014/06/21/june-4-rac...

**** My Love Affair With Hiking:
http://retired-to-win.savingadvice.com/2013/12/23/my-love-af...

***** Packrating Is Costing Me Plenty:
http://retired-to-win.savingadvice.com/2014/04/30/packrating...

****** How I Stay On Top Of My Stocks:
http://retired-to-win.savingadvice.com/2014/04/09/how-i-stay...

******* My Strategy Games Rainy Day Passion:
http://retired-to-win.savingadvice.com/2014/01/07/strategy-g...

June 8: Art Booth Setup, Stocks and Raccoons

July 3rd, 2014 at 06:15 pm

My plan for the day was to set up our new art/what-all booth at a local indoor antiques mart, do some stock searching, and relocate another trapped raccoon. Things went even better than I planned.

After my early morning blog post writing*, I went to check my raccoon trap at our barnyard -- and found another "customer" to relocate!** So the next thing I did was to drive and hike in to a good spot where I released the pesky critter before really getting my day started.

10:00am to 12:00noon I did the initial setting up of a 3-by-5 against-the-wall booth that we have started renting at the local indoor antique mart. We have SOOO much art and other stuff that we can find no place for*** that we are going to see if we can sell some off. And -- unbelievable as it may seem -- I sold 2 small pottery art pieces for $155 while I was still setting up. Let's hope that is a good sign of things to come.

12:00noon to 4:30pm After my usual "lunch and a DVD lecture", I spent the afternoon updating my stock records and researching potential new stocks to add to my portfolio.**** Except now it is more of a game instead of a chore.***** And that is a very good thing.

4:30pm until... I ran out of steam early, so -- being Sunday and all -- I hung up my "stockering" hat and spent the rest of the evening watching movies.

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* 200 Words A Day That (Hopefully) Matter:
http://retired-to-win.savingadvice.com/2014/05/07/200-words-...

** A Raccoon Raid and Coop Defense:
http://retired-to-win.savingadvice.com/2014/06/10/may-31-a-r...

*** Packrating Is Costing Me Plenty:
http://retired-to-win.savingadvice.com/2014/04/30/packrating...

**** My High Yield, High Risk Investing:
http://retired-to-win.savingadvice.com/2013/12/20/my-high-yi...

***** Should I Still Work At Investing?:
http://retired-to-win.savingadvice.com/2014/05/17/should-i-s...