Tuesday Tip Jar: Side Hustlin’ with Four-Legged Friends

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Welcome to another “Tuesday Tip Jar” where I will share awesome savings and financial tips as I find them. I might not have something for you every Tuesday, but when I do, you’ll find it here!

If you’ve got a financial tip you think others would benefit from, please send it to me via my contact page at the top of the blog!

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My wife and I absolutely love animals. Currently we own 1 Black Lab (Sylvester), 1 Chiweenie (Hoppa), 1 cat (Rico), 1 tortoise (Stormy), and 2 Hermit Crabs (Shelby and Bubba.) Previously we’ve owned lizards, snakes, bunnies, a pig, and many other dogs and cats. By the time I’m done writing this post we’ll probably have a guinea pig, because they are cheap and my daughter won’t shut up about getting one. I think we’ll also make the leap and get chickens next year. We’re all very excited.

Fun Fact: My 11 year-old son did *not* in fact name his pet tortoise after the pornstar/stripper/Trump buddy, Stormy Daniels, but thanks for asking! (I get asked a lot.)

As my wife and I looked for awesome side hustles to bring in some extra scratch, one of the options mentioned to me was Rover.com. Rover is a site that allows two things:

  1. It allows others to watch your pets for you.
  2. It allows you to become a pet sitter for others!

Their plan is relatively straightforward. My wife (who will be primarily responsible for the animals while I’m at work) filled out a simple questionnaire that asked things like if our yard was fenced, what dogs and cats we have, and what size of dogs we’d like to take care of. It took about 15 minutes to answer fully, and after adding a few pictures of her, our pets, and our home, we were off and running!

(You can sign up for sitting cats as well, which we did.)

The site allows you to offer the following services:Read More »

Waiting with David Lee Roth for the Debt Payoff Snowball to Start Rolling

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It’s somewhat maddening, because I have to wait until September to make everything happen, but it will feel awesome once those floodgates open. Until then, my tangible results are quite limited and my payoff numbers hardly move at all.

Starting Credit Card Debt (01.01.19): $126,310.77
Current Credit Card Debt: $109,570.87
Total Paid Off: $16,739.90
Income Going to Savings: 2%

I used to read a lot of Stephen King books. When I wasn’t reading horror books, I loved a good Rockstar memoir or something by Patrick F. McManus.

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Tangent: The most difficult book I’ve ever read was Van Halen lead singer, David Lee Roth’s autobiography, “Crazy from the Heat.” That book was like reading the sideways babbling of an insane person.

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Tangent to the Tangent: How messed up is it that I’m not even a full paragraph into this blog post and I have already hit you with my first tangent? AND THEN… I’m not even done with the first tangent and I tangent my own tangent. Lame.

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Tangent (Continued): Seriously though… by the time I finished DLR’s book I wasn’t sure if he was a coked out lunatic who spent far too many nights free-basing this and drinking that and in the process had pickled his brain beyond repair, OR if he was a certifiable genius speaking on another wavelength that I simply couldn’t comprehend.

I’m still not sure.

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These days if I have any free time for reading, I concentrate on financial and self-help books. After all, if I’m looking for a way to scare myself, I don’t need a book about a clown with a red balloon. I just needed to look at my bank statements!

If you haven’t heard of Dave Ramsey and you’re in any kind of situation similar to mine, I highly suggest you check him out. He takes a no-nonsense approach to recovering from debt, and he seems to be a genuinely good human being to boot. One thing Mr. Ramsey often refers to is his “Snowball Plan” for digging out of debt.Read More »

The Money Was Limitless… Until it Wasn’t

A pretty small percentage of people born in my home town ever leave my home town. As a kid, I used to hear jokes from people in the town that went something like, “Here in Kittitas (*real town… look it up) you either die a farmer, or you die a farm equipment mechanic.”

There were obviously more jobs than just those two, but reflecting back on things it was the distilled belief that opportunities were limited, and that was okay.

My father was not a farmer, or a farm mechanic. He owned his own business from a very young age. My father had a fleet of semi trucks that hauled hay from those farms to the thriving dairy country of western Washington state.

He started with just a couple of trucks purchased from a relative when he was barely of voting age and a partnership with his brother. Through hard work, waking up every morning at 3:00am to start his hauling, my dad and my uncle slowly amassed a fleet of trucks and drivers. They called their company Johnson Bros. Hay, and by the time they reached their peak in the early 90s, my Dad was making a really good living.

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As a kid, I had a lot of amazing stuff. We were one of the first families in the town to have a satellite dish, and not one of  those tiny little ones you see now. This sucker was the size of a small pool, and took around 3 days to slowly rotate if you wanted to change to a new satellite in the sky. And speaking of swimming pools, we had one of those too. My dad had two beautifully rebuilt classic muscle cars, we had ATVs, a camp trailer, a classic pick-up, a motorcycle, snowmobiles, and a massive shop to store all of it in. If my dad earned money, my dad found a way to spend the money.

Growing up I had lots of stuff too. I had toys, videogame systems, computers, and really anything I could ever want. I learned that having a lot of stuff was awesome, but do you know what I didn’t learn about?

Investing and saving money.

So I’m in some financial distress now and it’s all my Dad’s fault. Right?

Nope. It’s mine.

The point I’m making is that long-term financial security wasn’t even a thing in my world. The money seemed limitless, and there was simply no reason to worry about whether or not we had a plan for if it ever ran out. There was no need.

My Dad eventually sold his half of his business to his brother and built a state-of-the-art cattle ranch that could hold upwards of 3,000 head of cattle. He invested almost every dime into the facility, and used his wealth of connections to the dairy farmers he had been hauling hay to for years to fill up this cattle farm to the brim. Within just a couple of years he was entertaining (and rejecting) 7-figure offers from business people to buy the business out. He rejected every one of them.

As sometimes is the case in business, things started to go sideways for my Dad. I don’t need to go into details, but I eventually left his company and ventured out on my own, and my Dad lost it all. He lost his business, his house, all of the cars and toys. Everything.

He had started and built two businesses to a very successful place, but he neglected to plan for his long-term future.

I would almost certainly learn from my father’s mistakes and take a different path right?

If you’ve come this far with me, you know that almost certainly isn’t the case.