I think, therefore I am. I am, therefore I sail

Category: Investing

Retire early with the F.I.R.E. method

I do not know many people who want to work until they are old, just to retire and not have the physical ability to do the things they have dreamt of doing. It is easier said than done though…

There is currently a minimalist trend. Some have taken it to extremes of living in their car to save money, but there must be something better.

I ran across this youtube video that explains the F.I.R.E. method, and Enough.


Enough: define what you need and do not live beyond that.

Watch this 26 minute video for an explanation from someone who has been doing it for 20 years.

Burien house from the street 2018

How I bought a house without a penny out of my own pocket

There are a lot of so-called “real estate gurus” out there that promote buying a house without using any of your own money, regardless of your credit. Is it a scam? A quick search of the internet will have you thinking it is, quite frankly though, those naysayers have no idea what they are talking about. They have never done it, or maybe they tried once and were not successful. Why would you listen to them? I am here to tell you that not only are those real estate gurus telling the truth, but you also do not have to be a guru to do it!

I can say this because I purchased my latest real estate investment property without a dollar coming out of my own pocket. You can do it too!

I can imagine it now, many of you are thinking, “Ok mister big shot, just _how do you buy a house with no money_?” The answer is creative financing. Creative financing is a method of purchasing property that does not involve a bank. I used a method called _seller financing_. Seller financing is 100% legal; It is a person to person transaction. You can think of the seller as the bank. You receive the title through a deed of trust on the condition you pay an amount agreed to through a promissory note.

It is important to know your numbers before going into any deal, seller financing is no different. It is an incredibly powerful tool and has some great advantages for both the seller and the buyer.

Here is what I looked for:
– Older house, needing some TLC (discount!)
– 0% down payment
– No money out of pocket to close
– Max payment $2,000 per month
– No agents to pay
– The only money changing hands starts with the first mortgage payment
– Prefer houses that can be split into multiple units for streams of income

With that in mind, I went forth and found myself a property that was uninhabited and called up the owner. The house was not on the market however, it was costing the owner quite a bit each month to hold on to. They were happy to discuss a sale. I brought up owner financing, we discussed how it works, and they agreed.

After inspections, and final negotiations, they agreed to all my terms, with the addition of a 5-year balloon payment. The property is on the edge of an aggressively expanding population zone. Within the 5 years, the equity in the property is going to shoot upward. Additionally, the house is two stories. The upper story is at the street level. The backyard is lower, at the level of the backyard. The lower level is the full size of the upper and has never been finished, providing a great opportunity for renovation into its own unit. If property values do not go up as I expect, finishing the lower story alone will add significant value to the property.

It may take longer to find an owner willing to do seller financing, but it is not uncommon. Be patient, they are out there. Look for properties, submit offers, ask the right questions. I am confident that you too can buy a house without a penny from your pocket!

If you are interested in learning this, or other, creative financing methods, I recommend The Book on Investing with No (or Low) Money Down https://www.amazon.com/Book-Investing-Real-Estate-Money-ebook/dp/B00OYIFJFK/. The BiggerPockets https://www.biggerpockets.com forum is also a great place to interact with, and learn from, fellow real estate investors.

SoFi review for personal and student loans

I am tired of living the typical American life, holding lots of debt and debt payments, and living tight between paychecks. This year I have been attacking my situation and there is light at the end of the tunnel.

To better your financial situation one of the key ideas is to increase your income and/or decrease your liabilities (expenses/bills). I have aggressively trimmed out liabilities, down to just a few bills and my loans, primarily student loans. I do not have much debt, but I do have a lot of little student loans out. Lots of little loans means lots of payments. Multiple payments really add up. I was spending $1,200+ per month combined on all my loans. It hurt.

Enter SoFi. SoFi is a modern financing institution that is absolutely amazing. SoFi can provide mortgages, and student loan refinancing. Their application process is phenomenal. You provide some very basic details about your debt amount and SoFi will give you an instant pre-approval. The pre-approval does not impact your credit score. On the pre-approval page you can play with the numbers, more or less debt, payment terms, interest rates, etc until you reach a payment that you are happy with. Submitting a real application from there is a breeze.

From Start to finish the SoFi process is incredibly open and easy. No other financial institution I have worked with has such a nice process. From start to finish you do everything on their website. Periodically SoFi will call you. I spoke with 7 different people and all were helpful an informed. The loan terms they offer are amazing!

I was able to combine all my outstanding loans into a single payment and cut my monthly payment in half!

If you have several loans I encourage you to check out SoFi and see if they can give you a better rate and single payment. I bet they can.

Want to get a free $100 kickback with your new loan? Use my referral links below

Student Loans $100 referral link

Personal Loans $100 referral link

Pay off your student loans with IFTTT and Qapital

STUDENT LOANS! The bane of all college graduates are those pesky student loans. When we are in college they seemed like a dream come true to those of us without the ability to pay tuition outright, but they will follow you around for years, irritating you like a pebble in your shoe. Every time you try to move forward they make themselves known again.

If you are like many humans and struggle to smash away those pesky student loans you are in luck! Qapital, a startup that has been around for a few solid years now, has a savings platform designed around saving with automated triggers. You can tap into built in triggers to automagically move money to an account for paying off student loans to dramatically burn down that loan amount.

Here are examples of some triggers I setup to pile up money to pay down my student loans without requiring any tedious action on my part.

  • Set & Forget – Moves $5 each day to the loan account
  • Round-up – Rounds each purchase up to the nearest even dollar amount
  • Each Amazon.com checkout adds $5
  • My favorite local beer and coffee shops add $2 with each purchase
  • Reaching my step goal adds $5
  • 52 week challenge – First week adds $52, second week adds $51, third week  adds $50, down to $1 on the last week of the challenge

Pretty powerful stuff isn’t it? Using this method I will be able to pay down my loans at a bare minimum of $2,800 per year plus any of the dynamic triggers that may be hit!

We can take this even a step further by integrating IFTTT and Qapital. IFTTT is an online service that watches the internet for certain actions and when it sees the action it will trigger another action. In our scenario we could setup a trigger to add $10 each time the Seahawks win a game. IFTTT has a large list of Qapital triggers. Some of the more interesting include:

  • Add money when it rains (Maybe not such a good trigger in Seattle!)
  • Whenever you post a picture of your pet to Instagram
  • Whenever you go to the gym
  • When you get a new Twitter follower

You can use it in the reverse as a way to fine yourself also:

  • If you miss your step goal
  • If you eat fast food

The possibilities are endless.

To wrap this thing up, if you are struggling to pay off a student loan or any sort of debt I highly recommend taking a look into leveraging Qapital to do your saving for you with the built in triggers and the great collection of IFTTTs.

Disclaimer: Neither Qapital nor IFTTT solicited or paid for this review.

WebDevStudios is helping kids in Uganda have a brighter future

The fundraising drive is complete. Thank you for helping WedDevStudios raise $3,300 dollars!!!

On December 5th WebDevStudios announced a holiday fundraising drive that will benefit kids in Uganda. This is a cause I am particularly passionate about and am asking you to join my team at WebDevStudios where your simple financial donation this season can radically alter the life of a student in Uganda for the better.

100% of all funds raised go straight to Freedom Projectz, an organization which I actively participate in. I became involved in Freedom Projectz early this year and have seen first hand the amazing impact your donations have on the ground in Uganda. Students who would otherwise be living on the street (I am not talking figuratively either, literally on the streets) are being given a dry warm place to live, clothing, 3 meals a day, schooling, and vocational training.


This is Stella, one of several girls I and my family sponsor. Stella graduated from the Destiny orphanage boarding school last year and is currently pursuing a degree at university. Stella wants to build a business that will give back to the community by providing computer jobs and training. Without my support Stella would not be able to reach her ambitious goals.

little_dudeThis little guy is new to Destiny and my grandparents instantly fell in love with him. They have committed to supporting his journey. He has a bright future now and I am sure the entirety of Uganda will be improved through the contributions he will be able to make back to society.

Would you help me and WebDevStudios provide a bright future for even more kids? Together we can eliminate need and poverty by partnering with Freedom Projectz with an easy financial contribution. Simply click the Give Now button above or visit the fundraising page and your donation will be used to provide a huge impact in a kids life.


Powered by WordPress & Beards