May 31, 2013, 11:00 am

Epic Roundup Time

by: MD    Category: Financial Rambling

We are back for another roundup!

What should you check out?

When is it better to rent? @ My University Money.

I really liked this article because it brought up a point that I never even considered. This is a time of transition. When you’re looking for work or with an unstable job, the last thing you need is a mortgage or a permanent residence. So true.

7 Things You Need to Stop Doing Every Day @ Marc and Angel.

Ouch. Check out the list and see how many of those you’re currently guilty of. It might be time for a change.

Time for the carnivals…

Carnival of Personal Finance #515.

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May 30, 2013, 6:00 am

How You Can Help The World Out

by: MD    Category: Other Financial Articles

We’re always talking about taking from the world and getting the most out of life. We all want to get the most out of everything. And that’s awesome.

Now it’s our turn to give back.

I’ve been very fortunate in my life. I’ve had plenty of lucky breaks, was at the right time at the right place, and have had good people enter my life. I’m very appreciative of this. There are others out there that are victims of their circumstances or just can’t catch a break.

I want to help as many people out as I can. This is why I love writing about finance. Lately, I’ve been looking for more ways to be helpful in the community.

How can you help the world out around you?

I do a lot of stupid things. I drink more than I should sometimes. I pull pranks. I laugh. I have fun. However, I do believe that every single person has it in them to give back a little bit.

The last few years, I’ve been on a kick of giving back. Some ways are super easy. Others require a little bit of effort.

How can you help out in your community?

Donate blood.

This is a no-brainer. I’ve been donating blood pretty often the last few years. I go as often as I can. It only takes me a few minutes and someone in need of blood will hopefully have it.

This takes at the most, an hour out of your day. The only annoying part is watching the needle go into your arm. Then you just chill out, drink some juice, and flirt with the older nurses.

Find a clinic around your home and donate!

Donate time.

This is something that I’ve been looking into. There are many ways that you can donate your time to help out.

For example, back in high school we had to take religion class because it was mandatory. In this class, we would go downtown to feed the homeless sandwiches that we made.

You can also donate time with something more fun like volunteering to be a soccer coach.

Have you thought about donating time?

Mentor someone.

I’ve found myself mentoring many younger folks, from siblings to relatives to random friends.

The truth is that I wish I had a mentor when I was younger.

Now I have business mentors and life mentors, but I didn’t have much help when I was a kid. I was the oldest of the three boys, so I had to figure everything out for myself. I got in trouble and made all of the mistakes. My brothers and younger relatives reaped the benefits of my trouble. Now they get away with everything.

For example  I spent a good five years wasting time at the gym. My youngest brother Adrian started training in high school with me and he made zero mistakes because I made them all for him.

I mentor a few younger friends right now. I enjoy it because I love to see them grow and overcome challenges (from joining a gym to losing virginity).

Give it a try. Find someone at your job, gym, or community to mentor. Let them learn from your mistakes.

Perform random kind deeds.

Be nice to a stranger. Help someone out. Do something nice unexpectedly.

Random kind deeds go a long way. I got this idea from the movie, Pay It Forward.

It can be something small like holding the door open for someone or buying lunch for a co-worker.

Fight for a cause.

I think that cancer sucks, especially cancer in little kids. There was recently a charity run in Toronto. It was for a summer camp that’s for kids with cancer. It was a 10km run.

I sort of hate running. I have never been a runner, unless it was during a soccer game or as a warm up for something. So what did I do? I entered this race!

I paid the entry fee that was designed to cover the expenses of the event/go towards this charity and I showed up for the run.

With no experience on a freezing cold morning with a 5am wake up call, I managed to complete the 10km run in less than an hour. What made it worth it was knowing that the money went towards an amazing cause. Plus, I got a pretty cool Nike workout shirt out of it.

That’s how I’ve been trying to give back.

What’s your take on this? Do you ever try to help out in the community? I would love to hear some new suggestions.

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May 29, 2013, 10:11 am

Another Project on the Table!

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Project $1500

 

 

Life is not interesting without risks and projects

 

Last Saturday, we packed our entire family for a 40 minutes drive for a race. My wife did a 5km, my son did a 1km and both my son and daughter did a 1km Xman race (with obstacles). It was an amazing day. We were freezing (it was 3 degrees!) and we were more soaked than when we hit the pool during a warm day (it has poured rain for the past 5 days!). But, it was one of the best weekends we had enjoyed for a long time! Why? Because we did something unusual. Because while most people were sitting on their coach thinking how this Saturday sucked, we were laughing and screaming to keep ourselves warm. Even my toddler had fun (what kid doesn’t have fun when they are allowed to jump in a puddle of mud?). From 8am till 1pm, we were outside having the time of our lives. I felt alive, truly alive.

 

I Feel Alive When I Have Projects… So Does My Wife!

 

It has been about 6 months that we started an ongoing discussion between my wife and I. Since this winter, she feels bored at home from time to time. She is darn occupied, that’s not the point; but she is constantly cleaning the house, going to get groceries and she doesn’t feel she has enough time to spend with our little toddler. She has been at home for the past four years now but I think she started to feel the routine burden on her back. Even worse: since we want to finally pay off our debts, she is limited with the amount of activities she can do throughout the week. This whole scheme sucks. We needed to find a solution.

 

She thought of going back to school, but doing a bachelor degree (even part time) is very time demanding considering we have three kids. I do have flexible hours but I couldn’t be home at 4pm to take care of my kids and help them do their homework either. I can take off from time to time, but I usually end-up just working longer hours the following day to catch-up. Therefore, if she goes back to school, it would draw money away from our account, it would complicate our schedule to a ridiculous point, she won’t spend more time with our youngest boy and she would complete a bachelor degree for a job she wouldn’t want to work 40 hours/week. So going back to school wasn’t a real solution.

 

Pursuing our discussion, we started to talk about opening a daycare at home. How cliché is that? How many mothers / stay-at-home wives do that? The answer is “a lot!!”. The difference for us is that my wife is qualified to operate a day care as she studied and worked in this field for several years. Kids would benefit from an awesome environment since our playroom was previously a daycare. The playroom is situated on our main floor and is way bigger than any daycare classroom you have ever seen. The job is known, the investment is minimal and the need is there. Oh! Did I mention that my wife has gotten over a dozen requests since we live in that house for a daycare?

 

Work Hard, Pay Debts, Enjoy Later

 

Half of me didn’t to get there. That half thought I could make it by simply making more money. However, if I want to retire early, I realize that I need to pay off my debts faster. Instead of becoming frugal (from the professional spender I am), we can make over $1,500 per month from the daycare that would directly go to our debt payment. The plan is to make roughly $2,500 per month from the daycare, use $1,000 to run the daycare and pay for a cleaning lady. The rest will be applied on our debts.

 

With this decision, it’s obvious that we are leaving our “comfort zone” where we spend 100% of our weekend to do activities where we will have to do some household chores to compensate the fact my wife is working. The point is not to run a daycare forever. But if we can concentrate on working very hard for the next 4 years (until my last kid goes to school), pay off our debts massively and then, finally retire (by the age of 35, remember?).

 

So what do you think? Would you leave your comfort zone for more money? Are you willing to work harder for a few years in exchange of financial freedom?

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May 27, 2013, 4:19 am

Niche Site Duel 2.0 –Why I’m In and What I Will Do

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Niche Website

 

 

Last week, Pat from Smart Passive Income launched the Niche Site Duel 2.0. The first time he launched the Niche Site Duel, he ended-up building a site earning over $2,000 per month. To date, his site has earned over $50,000…

 

At that time, I was reading his journey to build his niche website and I was lazy. The idea of building a niche was super interesting. Imagine making money passively for the rest of your life! Isn’t that something that resonates with you? It does with me anyways! But I gave this project the effort I normally used to watch a good movie; I sit back, relax, eat some Doritos and wait until the movie finishes thinking “wow… that was cool”. End of the story. So I read the whole thing, gave it some thought, but never went further.

 

What’s Different This Time With 2.0

 

The idea is the same: create a resourceful site generating traffic….and money. The difference is my level of motivation in successfully creating a site generating money. I want to go through the entire process for once and see where I can go with that.

 

I’ve always been very good at studying and completing my exams successfully. After all, I was able to do an MBA while doing my CFP at the same time. The only thing it requires from me is focus. That’s the magic word. This is what is different with the 2.0 challenge: I truly want to be all-in this time.

 

I’ve failed to join challenge 1.0.

I jumped on other projects before I completed my authority website.

I won’t make the same mistake again this time.

 

How I Am Making Sure I Won’t Quit

 

I’m using two simple strategies to boost my accountability level:

 

#1 I’ve asked my partner and VA for support to do this (this implies I will need to tell them to stop working on this if I fail!)

 

#2 I already spent $100 in a single day to build my niche site. Money spent is probably the biggest motivator for me as I hate to lose money.

 

The $100 was spent to buy software for keyword research (Long Tail Pro Platinum) and the rest of the money was used to purchase two books on Amazon about the topic I want to write about (SECRET!!!!).

 

What’s Step #1?

 

I’ve already done a lot during my last day of blogging. In fact, I spent the whole day working on this!

 

Step #1 was learning the complete process of niche site building. I’m not the best at keyword research so I spent roughly two hours to learn more about this topic. I watched tutorials (the Long Tail Pro tutorials are awesome), read some articles and started practicing! Among the resources I used, here are the most amazing ones:

 

Niche Site Pursuits Webinar

Niche Selection by Pat

How to Use Market Samurai Part 1 and Part 2

Long Tail Pro Tutorials

 

Following many pros’ advice, I’m now convinced that my niche site has the potential of A) getting traffic and B) making money. Now it’s only a matter of building the site!

 

In a few days, I’ll receive both books and read them thoroughly, study my topic and start to write articles about it. My domain, design, keyword research, 50 posts ideas are all completed. I’ll share more about this new project of mine in a few months. I first want to make sure I can make it on my own and see how it goes.

 

If this site is making the money I think it could make, this will be the beginning of a whole new business model for my online empire.

 

This time, I’m going all-in, will you give it a try?

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May 26, 2013, 10:49 am

Epic Roundup Time

by: MD    Category: Financial Rambling

It may be officially Spring, but it sure does feel like winter right now. It has been freezing here around Toronto. What are you guys up to?

What should you check out from the past week?

One Year of Being Dumb and Creating Passive Income @ Dumb Passive Income.

I’ve never seen this site until now. Check it out.

The Power of The Nudge: How to Convert Visitors Into Customers @ Quick Sprout.

A few click ways to turn a visitor into a customer with your online business.

Are You Sick of Being Boring and Average? It’s Time to Challenge Yourself Physically @ Kettlebell Rebels.

I’m really proud of this post. I’ve launched this new site and am slowly beginning to share my journey. Sorry for the shameless self-promotion, but I just couldn’t resist.

The carnivals…

Carnival of Personal Finance #410 — Summer Plans Edition.

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