Posted by Tim Stobbs on May 9, 2012
So with much sadness I will report the loss of another PF blogger. Thicken My Wallet has put up his final post after being at this for five years (actually this happened at the end of April, but I’m behind on my reading). You will be missed. Bloody hell, I’m starting to feel old here as the over five year club for canadian personal finace bloggers is getting smaller.
With all due respect I know the feelings that lead to people shutting things down and moving on. It has occured to me several times over the last few years myself. Life is busy and continues to change at a rapid base and some days I really don’t feel like writing a damn thing. I’ve even entertained the idea of selling this blog once in while. Yet somehow I find my passion again and keep going even during the low points.
To my readers: thank you for every comment, question, and feedback you provide. You guys are the reason I keep coming back around.
Posted by Tim Stobbs on March 22, 2012
Well in case you weren’t on the early bird list, the CPFC12 conference (Sept 21 to 23, 2012) for personal finance bloggers opened up registration recently. They blew threw the early bird tickets at a brisk clip and as of the last time I looked there are only 7 regular tickets left. I was one of the lucky ones to get an early bird ticket at half off. So I’m off to Toronto this fall to talk with a great group of people about blogging and money.
Yet what really struck me as odd was this post over at Blonde on a Budget where she talks about saving up for the conference. Why? Because literally the thought that went through my head when I was reading the post was “But why would you do that? Can’t your business cover the expense?” At which point I realized just how far my blog has gone from hobby to business.
While these aren’t any final figures, so far my rough pre-tax calculations were my business in 2011 I had total sales of approximately $7200 last year with a profit of about $4200. Yet that included all revenue from this blog, freelance writing and book sales (so yes, obviously I’m not getting rich writing). Yet what struck me as surreal about those numbers was that fact that was my third job and I wasn’t putting in that much time into the business compared to my day job or school board trustee job.
Of course this got me thinking that if I can pull off that amount as my third job, just imagine what I could do with a little bit more time to work on things. So my initial idea of pulling down $5000/year in semi-retirement situation seems damn reasonable all of a sudden. Or alternatively if I add up 4% of my current investment net worth (to simulate a sustainable withdrawal rate), my wife’s business profit and my business profit we end up with a figure of approximately $20,000/year. That is within striking distance of our post-mortgage expenses of $24,000/year.
While I don’t want to semi-retire with that little saved, it does provide a nice sleep at night factor to realize that once the mortgage is paid off later this year that I could lose both other jobs and still be fine looking for a new day job for years. I suppose that is the point of either having your own business and/or planning for early retirement. You become independent of having a day job at all.
So do you have a small business? If so, how much time do you put into it and how do you do for sales? If not, would you consider one in your retirement years?
Posted by Tim Stobbs on November 10, 2011
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.