Sickness, Sweden, Soccer and Saying So Long to Summer – A Digging Out Update


Hi Eveyrone!

Good News: I’m not dead.
Bad News: I have not been updating the blog.

In late August I got hit with the flu, and it knocked me on my ear. I was seriously concerned, because I had a big business trip coming up in Sweden that I desperately wanted to attend. I was starting to freak out that I would be too sick to travel, but I managed to pull the nose up at the last possible minute and was cleared to go.

Sweden was great, but between the craziness of that trip and the plague that had ravaged my body, I was in no shape to write blog updates.

Upon my return, I was reminded that my kids soccer season kicked off (SEE WHAT I DID THERE?), and so we spent several days watching delirious kids boot balls about while the final rays of summer kissed us goodbye.

When I first started this blog, my intention was never to make it a 5 day a week affair, but it sort of morphed into that very quickly. Then I found myself scrambling to keep up with the cadence I had set for myself, and it quickly became something that wasn’t my most favorite thing in the world.

So moving forward, updates will be a bit more off-the-cuff and less regimented, but I promise they will still bring value!

Here are some things I did manage to accomplish over the last several weeks:

  1. I finally closed on the refinance of my home. Given that we have only been in the home for a year, this made total sense for us, and saved us several hundreds dollars on our monthly mortgage payment.
  2. I managed to pull the trigger on my “big plan” for the year of paying off a massive chunk of our debt. It will take until the 15th of September before I can officially explain here on the blog, but needless to say, the tracker on the right will see a BIG update at that time.
  3. I read some great books in my downtime! I finally read “Rich Dad, Poor Dad,” “The Millionaire Next Door,” and just started on “The Richest Man in Babylon.”
  4. I got bit by a tick while in Sweden while hunting for wild mushrooms that we cooked over an open fire with reindeer. True story.

So I wasn’t just lying in a pool of my own sweat and begging my children to “bring Daddy a fresh bucket.” I actual did what I could to make my life better as well!

Well… except the tick part.

My intention with this blog has always been to give people in a situation similar to mine a person that they can relate to. I want others to know that, whether they are deep in a financial hole, or simply wanting to reach some form of financial independence, there are others on a similar journey. With a five-day-per-week post cadence, I started to feel like I was losing some of that magic, and frankly just kind of repeating myself at times.

So stay tuned, because while the posts may not stick to any kind of schedule moving forward, my hope is that you will find them more substantial and meaty.

Keep digging!


Potato Guns, Whiskey, and Regret – Camping In My Hometown


The Thursday Think Tanks are semi-random thoughts that may not necessarily fall directly into the category of finances, but I still feel are worth sharing. Read at your own risk!


I love to go camping. When I was young my parents used to take us to a 2 week long family reunion up in the mountain forest a couple of hours from my house. We’d spend the week playing in rivers and lakes, rafting, and cooking amazing food over an open fire pit.

Other times my Dad would just get a wild hair up his backside and decide that it seemed like a good weekend to take the camp trailer up into the woods and explore for a while. He’d call up several other families, and in a matter of minutes we’d be in our Chevy Blazer on the way to the market for ice, beer and hot dogs — an entire caravan of jacked up vehicles towing camp trailers behind us.

As an adult, I don’t get to camp as often as I do. We don’t have a camp trailer, and my wife isn’t fond of tent camping, so we just haven’t found a way to make it all click.

However on rare occasions, I travel back to my hometown and camp with old high school buddies. It’s usually two or three nights packed with games of horseshoe, music, and FAR TOO MUCH drinking.

One such trip resulted in a story that I will never forget…Read More »

Thursday Think Tank: That Time I Went to an Animation Festival in France


The Thursday Think Tanks are semi-random thoughts that may not necessarily fall directly into the category of finances, but I still feel are worth sharing. Read at your own risk!


I’m a big animation fan. I love all animated films, whether 2D or 3D, and there was a time when being an Animator was all I wanted to do.

For me it started young. I loved traditionally animated Disney films, and while I can draw a decent comic strip or two, I didn’t have the chops to be a Disney Animator by any stretch. So I collected memorabilia, went to Disneyland as often as I could, and drew little comic strips on the side to get me by. Here is an example:


I actually got pretty good at in, and wound up getting a low-tier syndication contract offered to me, but that’s a story for another time…

Back to animation!

When “Toy Story” came out, I knew I had found the solution to my problem. I didn’t have to draw perfectly, as long as I could understand animation principals as they applied to things like timing and movement, I could do this awesome thing that was sweeping the world by storm called, “Computer Animation!”

So I enrolled in night classes at an art school, and 3ish years later I was hired into my first gig as a professional Animator in games at Microsoft.

One of the perks of working for Microsoft back then was that I got to choose one festival a year to attend. For animation there are several, but I figured I’d shoot for the stars and ask if they’d pay for me to attend the Annecy Film Festival in Annecy, France. This yearly festival takes place in a sleepy little French town that snuggles up to the Alps. It’s a stunning location, and one that isn’t cheap to get to or attend.

To my utter shock and surprise, they agreed!

I didn’t have any other animators in my group, and so I didn’t really have anyone to go with. I also didn’t have much experience traveling abroad, other than a short trip or two to the UK. Both of these bits of information came into play almost immediately.Read More »

Your Parrot Knows You Pick Your Nose

This blog is my parrot and my debt is my finger two knuckles deep in my left nostril, so in the cage it stays for now.

Starting Debt (01.01.19): $124,310.77
Current Debt: $107,303.52
Total Paid Off: $17,007.25
Income Going to Savings: 1%

I’ve received some really flattering early responses to this blog, and I would really like others to read it. When you’re starting a blog, one of the primary tips that everyone seems to agree on is to share the blog on your social media channels. Start with those you know, and begin to build word of mouth.

And yet I’m still not ready to share it with people I actually know…

Not sharing has been an emotional struggle, because I know that I probably have several friends and family members who are in a similar financial situation to mine. Some may not be quite as buried as I am, some might be worse, but the simple fact is that in 2019 just about everyone has some kind of debt. I’d love for them to see these posts and follow along with me on my journey, because I know at times it can feel very isolating to think you’re probably the only person on the face of the planet dumb enough to get yourself into a situation like this.

And yet even knowing that I might be able to positively impact people so close to me, I still can’t bring myself to post a link on my various social media platforms.

I think part of the reason is that I’ve always outwardly portrayed myself as someone who has it all together — great family, fantastic job, active lifestyle, nice home on 5 acres, trips to Disneyland, etc. — and while most of those things hold true (I do have a great family, and a fantastic job!), the simple fact is that I’m living paycheck to paycheck. So far my wife and I have pulled it off each month and have never made a late payment on anything, but sometimes it’s by the very skin of our teeth!

Then there are things like my Dad. My Dad owns and operates a bar in the very small town that I grew up in. Unless something has changed recently, it’s the only bar in town, and it sits right across from the only supermarket in town, just down the road from the only gas station in town.

It would take all of 28 seconds for my situation to spread around that town, and while it’s nothing to be outright ashamed of — I am taking aggressive and thoughtful steps to remedy my situation after all — it’s still not a burden I want to put on him to have everyone who walks into his bar turn to him and say, “How is your boy doing? I read his blog. Is he going to lose his house?”

My Dad’s first response would be, “What in the hell is a blog?” After that though, it would get really exhausting really quickly.

Imagine if you owned a really rad parrot. You know the kind that are all red and have the rainbow feathers? You had this beautiful parrot and you wanted to show it to everyone because… well you know… parrots.

But this parrot knew that you picked your nose.

So now you have this really cool thing that you’d like to share with others that you’re really proud of, but the moment you do it’s just going to scream, “NOSE MINER! NOSE MINER! RAWWW! NOSE MINER!”

This blog is my parrot and my debt is my finger two knuckles deep in my left nostril, so in the cage it stays for now.

That’s not to say it won’t change. I’ll probably be much more willing to share when I get a bit more paid off. Show that I’ve learned from my mistakes and actually have my life on track.

In the meantime, if you are reading this blog and you like what you see, maybe share it with a friend or two. That way I can keep potentially helping others, and I don’t need to worry about my Dad.

To Summarize: Buy a dog. They can’t tell on you for picking your nose.