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Let’s Hurry It Up

Two of my closest friends are expecting their first child. I’m excited as much as they are and to think I’ll be an uncle to someone is surreal. How odd, terrifying, but moving.

While I believe everyone on this journey of life sets their own pace, I’ve suddenly found myself wondering if I’m behind. The feelings come naturally when I’m preoccupied with work and why my savings isn’t miraculously going to solve all my problems. Different strokes for different folks, yet I’m here fixed on the monetary.

Don’t mistake it. Life isn’t all about money nor the material, but when life tries to fight you, I’m glad I can cover the seemingly too frequent visits the hospital. It’s a game of fighting the unexpected and misfortunate.

I’ve always told myself I couldn’t possibly be tied to a relationship right now with how busy work keeps me. Fun is immediate without the strings attached. Attachment itself is vulnerability and a slow stewing recipe for distress. Having a child is expensive once the reality phase comes hitting you like a train.

Like my grandma has told me countless times, stop to smell the roses and worry about yourself. Time is limited, yet we’re all trapped wishing for what others have while we are too distracted in how to obtain them. I am me. Next.

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3 MILLION DOLLARS

Retirement is in 35 years for me, which is a long time to consider. I found one of those retirement planning calculators online and it said I would need over 3 million dollars to retire comfortably. That’s a lot.

While seemingly impossible, it’s not. Save money like I always do and keep investing. I’ve had a lot of friends ask me about investing and more or less, they seemed mildly impressed. While some out there spend their time watching TV or whatever lame brain show is the new fad, I can’t stand it. To sit and do nothing is counter productive.

I don’t believe too many people consider their future as much as I do, but the end goal is live a long life without having to struggle to make ends meet. While I’m not old, this puts me in a position to set myself up for the future — one that includes owning a home, having assets and most importantly, a family. I’m always amazed at how little time people plan for life and act on impulse. Everyone wants it now and actively seek immediate gratification. It’s sad and a mistake.

Take the $1200 everyone got as a stimulus check. I still have all of it. My friends spent theirs. Nice? It’s rather foolish if you ask me. Free money that you didn’t plan on having at the beginning of this year shouldn’t be blown on some extravagant purchase. It’s one of my pet peeves with people my age — stupid spending and a lack of proper money management.

At the current rate, I’ll be worth six figures in the next couple years. It’s a far cry from how I was after college. I feel quite good about myself but I’m willing to bet a few closest to me are jealous. You can’t expect people in this economy to be envious. So be it. Everyone loves to criticize you when you’re down in the dumps but when you’re above them, suddenly they’re silent. It’s fucking pathetic.

I like working which is the crazy thing. I did 60 hours this week and finally launched my company as well. The satisfaction is high and there is no better feeling than having it all come together. My work ethic is one of my better qualities. Granted it doesn’t leave me much for a regular social life but if the end result is prosperity, I’ll buckle down and keep at it to make the dream a reality.

Life can be so open ended and somehow I condensed what I want into three main goals. There’s a charming simplicity to it. This year was one of the craziest there was and yet I’m all smiles and optimistic. I’m doing alright and my God, I like it.

Later world.

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My Company Launched!

In another string of good news this month, the company I’m running had our first official product launch. Nine months of hard grueling work finally paid off and I’m exited for this new venture. I have high hopes and this quite possibly will be my ticket to greater fortunes and a new lifestyle. That’s fancy talk for: I’m going to fucking make a lot of money.

Speaking of money, I applied for a SBA grant. After hearing a friend of mines who runs his own business was approved for a cool $10K, I said fuck it and went for it. Worst that can happen is I get a fraction of that, but honestly — free fucking money. You know the saying the rich get richer? I see it now. I’ve officially gone full circle. Free money is the best shit there is.

There feels like a lot of bragging here but I deserve it. Anyone who doesn’t like it, well, tough luck. Or better yet as my ex would say: that’s too bad. As much I want it feel the pain the rest of America is feeling with BLM, police brutality, or whatever the typical Millennial or Gen Z-er is fighting for on the left these days, their priorities are not my priorities.

I can 100% say that anyone who is down on their luck in life should have the capacity to dig themselves out of the hole. Because every action lead them into that predicament, they should be the ones who get themselves out.

I’m on a fucking roll. Later world.

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I Passed on a Condo

A week or two ago, I got the chance to take a look at a condo for a cool $390,000. Honestly, it was nice property in a very desirable part of town where old money is prevalent and the streets are lined with trees. Was it enjoyable? Most definitely. Did I snatch it up? No. Unfortunately, it was underwhelming. This place was on the market for several months now and the price has dropped four other times according to Zillow.

The realtor seemed anxious — a bit desperate. I don’t blame them. It’s the wild wild west out here in Los Angeles and getting potential buyers in this climate is slim to none. People who have missed rent for the past few months will be met with mass evictions once July is over. Everyone is counting on a rent freeze or a second round of stimulus checks, but I highly doubt it. Online gossip is just that — fiction.

Doing the standard 20% down payment would mean I need just $78,000 liquidated from all my holdings to call it mine and not deal with the bullshit that comes with extra mortgage insurance. While I could have used the government’s first time home buyers program, honestly — it sucks. The interest rates are higher and the extra mortgage insurance does nothing for your equity. I can see why it’s attractive for many buyers. With as little as 3% down, you’re in. There’s always a catch though.

This in my opinion makes no sense. Putting down so little for a higher interest rate and insurance every month doesn’t give a lot of confidence you have all your finances together — or more bluntly — you can even afford a place. Take what you will of this, but it sounds like an awfully quick way to have yourself scrounging for money every month to make the payment.

Fuck that shit.

I digress. I’m in no rush and the real estate market here looks like it’s cooling off for once after several years of exponential gains. Patience is key. Timing is everything. I have a very large number of assets invested in a real estate in a trust. While risky, I’m certain the gains out weigh the potential for losses. The government tightened up requirements for home buyers, which makes a second real estate collapse the likes of 2008 very unlikely.

Until next time. Later world.

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Bum Da Da Bum

The day after Fourth of July is distinctive. The lingering smell of gun powder in the air and sudden silence of my surroundings brings back many fond memories as a kid. I used to like loud explosions, but now find it such an annoyance that my ears need a mute button. This month is quite lackluster and I’m often met with too much downtime. Some call it another lazy Sunday — I just can’t stand it.

Earlier this month, I moved a large portion of assets into a trust to be locked away for the next six years. By that time I’ll be thirty-five and teetering on old age that would surely force thoughts of adulthood and relationships I’ve been putting off. The current self couldn’t be bothered with the troubles of a committed relationship and the freedom that type of life brings. I’ll have to consider being tied down — how unsettling.

Whatever the next chapter brings, it’s best to consider ways to get there. Love is fickle. Relationships are complicated. My life is rather busy. And my priorities are constantly shifting. I envy those who have it all together younger than older. There’s a sense of fulfillment and destiny that people in my position don’t have just yet.

Later world.

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Apartment Hunting

You would think the current state of affairs in the US would make me think twice about moving, but I’m fairly determined to follow through with my plans. Finding a suitable apartment is difficult — and that’s putting it mildly. My friends either just rent out a room for themselves or have been living together — all of which makes paying rent easier. I, however, want an apartment all to myself. I can’t say I want anything grand or opulent. I’ve largely condensed down my possessions to the essentials and free of any clutter. Small and cozy is the word.

My friends say I’m too picky, which is almost certainly true. I’ve had a list of things I deemed necessary saved onto my Amazon this year, mostly just furniture. I’m obsessive about esthetics and the way things look making this move exciting. How else would you make a home uniquely yours? I set myself a decent budget and everything from my perspective will go nicely together. I’m so fond of the mid-century modern look since I’ve got hooked on watching Mad Men, I have to have a similar style. Maybe not a mini bar however. I have several authentic prints hand signed by Andy Warhol I’ve been keeping in storage that I’ve been dying to put up on display. American values are materialistic, but I sometimes find myself caring too much about what I have and wanting more.

My criteria is limiting. Location must be close to other shops, quiet, walkable, and somewhere where the the crime isn’t an issue. I’ve been asked why not move somewhere in Downtown, but I really hate the traffic and constant unease a life in the city brings.

2020 feels like the entire world is burning to ashes, but it hasn’t stopped me yet. Life goes on and while everything around me is chaotic, it shouldn’t deter you from your goals. Let’s hope everyone feels the same way.

Later world.

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Los Angeles $$$

Los Angeles is all I know. I distinctly remember walking around downtown as a kid seeing all the tall skyscrapers and being at awe at the marvelous concrete jungle. The bustle of the city allured me then, but now I’m indifferent about life here.

My biggest complaint here is the high cost of living. Last I checked, I’m doing pretty well for myself, but your money goes quickly putting a roof over your head. You can save a bit by cooking more and budgeting, but there’s no escaping the costs associated here. If I could permanently work remotely, I would leave for another state or city in a heartbeat.

I feel I more or less recovered from the market crash and all my investments are in the green. I’m thankful, but seeing as how your livelihood hangs on a thread when there’s an outbreak doesn’t sit well with me. I don’t feel secure even with the nest egg I have and that shouldn’t be the case.

If everything plans out, I’ll have six figures saved up in various places ready to cash out for my house or condo. It’s the American dream. One that’s expensive, riddled with liabilities, and logically the next step in my life. It begs the question, would I do it?

I’ve been constantly thinking about this plan for a few years now and I’ve only err on the side of caution than my usual relentless optimism. Times like this I wish I wasn’t alone with just my thoughts. A second opinion helps and I’d imagine I could be quickly pushed the other way.

The path less traveled is the one walked alone and I feel I’ve only had a string of successes to push on forward. I know I could just live everyday as it comes but life comes as you fast and the better you have an idea of where you want to be, the less likely you’ll be just another ant in this world.

I don’t want to be just another person drifting. The days feel longer now that we’re on lockdown. My thoughts cascade into one another and my mood is slowly falling. I can almost hear my own heartbeat on some days. There’s a rhythm to life and right now, I’m off beat.

Later world.

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2020: Resolutions

  • Don’t drink
  • Find good habits
  • Pay off remaining debt
  • Self independence
  • Catch up with friends
  • Focus on the positives
  • Be grateful
  • Remain mindful
  • Just say it

Take every day as an opportunity to improve yourself. Baby steps before the giant leap.

If there’s anything I wish I could have done better last year was telling myself no. I’ve been known to live life at one speed and one gear. The days or weeks fly by. Quite frankly, that isn’t good. I’m so caught up in my own bubble, I miss out on everything happening around me.

Stop and the smell the roses, right? The possibilities in life are limitless but I sometimes find myself trapped to one narrow viewpoint.

2020 isn’t just another year. It’s the start of a new decade and what maybe the most important one for myself. Buying a house, finding my other half, and settling down are all on the roadmap. It’s not going to be easy, but I welcome a challenge or two. I hate it when things are just handed to me.

It makes me wonder. How do you measure your success in life? Money? Family? Wealth? Relationships? Dollar bills mean nothing if it doesn’t make you happy. Then again, shouldn’t I focus on being content?

Later world.

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Did I Do Enough?

With the year almost over, I can’t help but wonder if I did enough this year. Was there more to be done? Did I work hard enough? Did I say everything that needed to be said? Quite honestly, this whole month feels like a huge blur. Everything is back to normal I feel like. My memory is not exactly what I was prior, but hopefully that improves over time.

I got another car — arguably newer and much faster. To be fair, that’s all they had for sale for a used CPO vehicle so my hands were tied. I can just feel the cold weather making me feel slow and lazy. I’ve been trying to finish this Excel file for a few weeks now, but it’s only about half complete. Good grief.

It’s been another great year. Aside from this month throwing me a curve ball, I welcomed every date, accomplishment, goal, and sudden down turn. The pay raise helps too, but honestly, the money isn’t going to make everything perfect any time soon.

At least on paper, I’m up from last year, both career wise and financially. I can safely say I have the least amount of debt in 4 years, which is a huge sigh of relief. Next year, I can say goodbye to all my debt and hopefully find my own place to move into. I’m sure my friends will hate it regardless, but that wouldn’t stop me just yet.

Is there more to be done? Of course. Can I complain about the year having had most of it fly by in an instant? No way. Don’t complain if you can’t find ways to fix it. What’s done is done and it’s best I accept all the events that happened up to now.

I loved, I missed, I adored, and I failed. To everyone I dated, I wished it all could have turned out better. To everyone I saw, I wish it could have been longer. To all the failures I faced, I only wish it won’t repeat. If the sun rises tomorrow, I’ll find more reasons to press on forward towards the imaginary finish line. Except it’s not a race.

2020, I’m racing against only myself. Running from the past yet racing towards the future. It’s gonna be a lonely run, but most goals accomplished on your own are the ones that are most satisfying. I’m not looking for praise or help from anyone. See me for who I am or what I want to be. Just another ant in the glass dome marching on.

Later world.

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When the World Fights Back

November 23, 2019: What the Fuck?

Can it be Thanksgiving already? My day is off to a bad start and I’m annoyed I have to yet again work over the weekend. It feels like this is all I know and do this time of the year. My body feels like it’s running on empty and the lingering thought of running the new business doesn’t help. There’s so much setup involved — I wish I could have an assistant now. Seriously — have someone help me answer emails, pickup my second line, and enter data in spreadsheets. I can’t complain, yet — truly. I was given a double digit percentage raise and from my knowledge, none of my co-workers were given the same welcoming holiday treatment. One of them was joking how I can’t take any vacation days because from his perspective, “I’m indispensable here every single day”. Every… fucking… single… day. As funny as we made it seem, it hurts to know I might never get to use the almost months worth of vacation I’ve accrued since I’ve worked at my current job.

In other news, the internet here at my favorite coffee shop sucks today and I can’t for the life of me get my project dashboard to load. It’s like I’m back on the Internet in the early 2000s. Slow as molasses and web pages load in blocks as if it’s dial-up. Maybe this is a sign from above or some other worldly power that I need to take a chill pill. Just, relax and do nothing today. I more or less am my own department — which has a lot of advantages and perks. I’m practically never told what to do and have no real hard deadlines. It’s an interesting position I’ve been put in. So why do I feel so stressed? That I’ll never know. Perhaps setting my own aggressive deadlines is working against me. But is it? I’m only headed up and this month overall has been fantastic.

I got a new car, Apple replaced my entire computer for free passed warranty, and I finally treated myself to something nice I’ve been wanting. I feel neither sad or happy — just content. Honestly, come at me harder world. November is still my favorite month. I’ve gotten this far and I’ve checked off all of my goals and then some. What’s next? I’m eagerly waiting to find out. Danny, out.