I’m an avid traveler these days, because apparently it’s much more rewarding than loading up your house with stuff. Oh, how we hate stuff. I WOULD KICK ITS ASS IF IT HAD AN ASS.
But there are a couple of really important things to consider before embracing this attitude. First of all, there are all sorts of things you can buy that really make your life better. We bought a new couch which gets sat on almost every night. It’s a comfortable spot to watch TV or just chill. It’s big enough that everyone can sit on it when guests come over. And since we don’t have kids or anything this couch should be functional for at least 20 years, probably longer.
Is this a waste of money versus spending that cash on a few days away in Las Vegas? Not every vacation is going to blow your socks off.
My new phone is another perfect example. I easily go on it two hours a day. For just over $300 I have access to all the world’s knowledge in a device that has such a good battery I can go two days without charging it. This is a fantastic bargain.
Look, I’m not saying you shouldn’t spend on experiences. I’ll remember the Great Wall of China for the rest of my life. New York City was similarly amazing. Even smaller trips like a weekend away with my wife are remembered fondly. But that doesn’t mean every vacation dollar is spent wisely and every dollar spent buying stuff is squandered.
At the end of the day it comes down to this. It doesn’t matter what you’re spending your cash on. Consuming is still consuming, Just spend less than you earn and you’ll come out ahead.
Links I liked
1. I’m going to start off this week with My Own Advisor, mostly because that’s the most easily accessible open tab out of the 27 Google Chrome tabs I have open. I wish I was kidding. Anyhoo, here’s why Mark doesn’t consistently track his net worth.
2. Up next is Money Maaster, whose stock picks are fortunately better than his spelling. He recently bought a stock I own already, so naturally I approve of this move.
3. I like reading about people’s interesting side hustles. Here’s a guest post on Million Dollar Journey from someone who hosts homestay students and gets paid pretty well to do so. I’m a big fan of stuff like this, since most of us have unused space that’s just going to waste. Myself included.
4. Canadian Value Investors took a closer look at how Warren Buffett and Jeff Bezos have changed over time by scouring old interviews. It’s no surprise Buffett stayed consistent, but Bezos was a little more interesting.
5. Let’s get my own writing out of the way. I threw the value investors a bone by talking about an insanely cheap gold stock (don’t worry, I didn’t buy any. Still not a fan of the mining industry) and I profiled a growth stock trading at approximately 8 times forward earnings expectations.
6. The Rational Walk has some thoughts on financial independence, including why a 3% withdrawal rate is best and why everyone should strive to have fuck you money. If you agree with my whole financial independence deal, you’ll enjoy this post.
7. A sweet post from Gen Y Money about her husband’s inner scorecard for Valentine’s Day. 2014 Nelson would have made a sex joke right there, but 2019 Nelson is mature. What a guy.
8. SP Brunner takes a look at a stock I think is a massive value trap, IGM Financial, and comes to pretty much the same conclusion. It’s cheap, but not enticingly so. I like their focus to more of a financial planning approach, but at the end of the day most of IGM’s core clients don’t really need complex tax advice. Remember, Investors Group is filled with retail investors. High net worth folks long ago went somewhere else.
9. A hell of a story from Mr. Free by 33 about losing two sets of parents. No jokes here. You’ll be saddened by reading that. But kudos to Jason for doing the right thing and for moving on.
10. My Money Wizard has an insanely detailed guide on how he keeps his grocery spending to $35 per week per person. I should do one of these sometime. Our grocery bill might not be $35 per week cheap, but I guarantee it’s lower than average.
11. Here’s a closer look at a stock I agree with the author about, Molson Coors. Unfortunately we just bought more right before the stock tanked on a weak outlook. Oh well.
12. And finally, yet another post from last week’s debuter (totally a word), Investment Pancake over at Seeking Alpha. He points out that a simple portfolio filled with dividend growers combined with a decent savings rate will make you rich. It doesn’t have to be more complicated than that. And, plus, the dude is funny. I LOLed a couple of times, and I laugh less than those Buckingham Palace guard guys.
And that’s about it. Have a good week, everyone.