Around this time back in 2006, I had a crazy idea in my head to start a blog to discuss money issues. Since all blogs need a theme I decided to write mine from the angle of wanting to retire by my 45 birthday. At the time, I wasn’t even sure if that would be possible or not, but ‘free at 45’ had a nice ring to it (heck I liked it so much, I titled my first book that).
Now five years later, I barely recognize the blog anymore. I’ve switched blogging platforms, tried out more themes than I would like to admit and now I don’t even write half the content anymore thanks to Robert, Dave and Sheryl.
On the financial front I went from a net worth of $76,000 to $459,000, which works out to an annual increase of $76,600 per year. Granted that was partly fueled by a crazy hot housing market in Regina, so even if you strip that out it still works out to an increase of $41,200 per year. Ah, the joys of having a plan and compound interest. Not to mention my plan for early retirement has gone from a dream to a something so certain that only thing up for debate is the final age I’m at when I pull the plug.
Then of course I’ve also learned a lot about happiness from this blog including the following key points:
- Wants are unlimited, instead focus on your needs. Which by the way are a lot more than food, water and shelter, you also need affection, a sense of belonging, the ability to create something and the freedom to choose.
- More spending does not equal more happiness. Actually depending how much you are already spending it will make you less happy.
- Quality over quantity and more experience, but less stuff will take you further to being happy than you realize.
- Forget what your suppose to do in life and do what works for you. Following what every else does will just land you in an over sized house filled with too much stuff , fat, in debt to your eyeballs and noticeably less happy than I am. Skip average and go straight to being different and be proud of it.
Now of course to celebrate any good event, you need a party, but that is fairly hard to do well online. So instead let’s have a good old fashion blog contest with the following prizes:
The grand prize will be a Vox tablet (worth ~$200) or I will donate an equal amount of money to a charity of your choice.
Ten secondary prizes of the following books:
- Wise Investing Made Simple by Larry Swedroe
- Juggling Dynamite by Danielle Park
- The New Investment Frontier III by Howard J. Atkinson
- What Investors Really Want by Meir Statman
- Understanding Wall Street (5th Edition) by Jeffrey B. Little
- Uncontrolled Risk by Mark T Williams
- The Wealth Cure by Hill Harper
- The Wealthy Barber Returns by David Chilton
- Findependence Day by Jonathan Chevreau (signed)
- Free at 45 by Timothy Stobbs (signed)
To enter the contest you have several methods:
- 1 entry for leaving a comment on this post
- 2 entries if you tweet about this post on Twitter and include my user id @canadiandream
- 5 entries if you link to this post from your blog and email me a link to candian.dream.free.at.45[at]gmail.com
Contest closes at Nov 16, 2011 at 7pm CST. Multiple entries from a single method are not allowed. Winners must have their prizes shipped to an address in Canada or the US. Please note secondary prizes won’t ship until the end of Nov.