The issue with money…

I’m OK at adulting. I’m not the best – but I’m not crippled by my own inability to handle chores, finances, or life. There are many different sub-divisions of adulting and the one category that is the most easily quantifiable is money.

Money is a wonderful thing that makes the world go round. You can’t survive without it but along with it comes its own set of complications.

I obsess over my retirement once every 6 months or so. I see where I am, how much I need, how much I’m saving, and I’m constantly comparing myself and reading money blogs to see where I need to go and what others are doing.

One of the most popular segments are financial profiles. Recently my father spammed my inbox with a bunch of  “XX year old retiree” “YY y/o saves ZZZ” “YY year old to retire by XX” profiles. I’ve read and enjoy these profiles myself. I understand how these 20 y/o are saving to retire by 30 something, however I also understand that their choices would never work for me.

All 3 of the profiles followed in the same vein. Mid to late 20 year old has a quarter million dollars saved – plans to retire by mid 30s.

How are they retiring that early? Minimizing expenses.

-Eliminate or reduce transportation by biking or walking.

-Live in a downsized living space (airstream, small condo, etc).

-Hobbies and activities cost nothing. They don’t go out to concerts or other expensive activities.

-Reduced cost lifestyle will continue upon retirement – bringing their overall financial need down to bare bones.

Long story short they

-save over 60% of their income.

-plan on living on bare bones upon retirement

 

I’m in my mid 20s, and when I compare my savings to what they have and how much they anticipate having upon retirement. I see that I’m able to meet that goal in my 30s as well – with one key difference. My idea of what my retirement will be is different from their idea of retirement.

My idea of retirement is traveling the world. Freelancing when I feel like it. Maybe opening a bakery. Who knows? I anticipate health problems and medical costs through the wazoo. In the event of marriage – I also plan on having an Indian wedding… and that’s not cheap.

My hobbies are also not cheap. I like painting, going to food festivals, fairs. cooking and baking with some pretty expensive ingredients. I like having the best of whatever is on the market for my kitchen toys. I want a Le Creuset Dutch oven with grill pan lid (~$250) and some of the appliances I own are a kitchen aid stand mixer, a vitamix blender, a brevel smart oven, etc, etc…

I have a thing for nice glassware, and I have no intention of reducing my kitchen goodness anytime soon. Moreover, my philosophy toward money is that I’m gonna spend it anyway. Might as well save and buy the nice stuff that will last forever than impulse buy crap and have it break.

Long story short the people in these profiles plan on retiring on a million dollars and stretching it out until they qualify for SS. (living off roughly 24-35k a year out of savings) That’s totally feasible, but that’s not going to afford the retirement I want.

The retirement I wants has me retiring at 55 – 60 with a few million dollars and assuming I’ll die at 85 after living a full life filled with tons of travel and my sort of fun.

But there are always things we can learn from these profiles. Creative ways to eliminate lifestyle creep. Ways to save, and how investments and savings work for others and how we can make them work for us.

Do you have any idea how you’re going to retire? Any advice or dreams? Comment below!!!

Shopping is for suckers….

I HAVE NO AFFILIATION WITH ANY OF THESE PEOPLE/COMPANIES/ETC. I AM JUST A CONSUMER.

I am a homebody. My idea of a good time involves my couch and my laptop.  So the idea that I can skip an hour at each store and get my groceries delivered to me sounds like heaven.

I just moved house and had been ordering delivery for the last week when my mommy scolded me (her psychic mommy sense was tingling). I don’t know how she knows what I’m doing wrong from 3k miles away, but she does. Anywho, I was using a mix of apps (Uber eats, Grubhub,  Postmates)  and I realized postmates let’s me order from almost anyone and put a custom item in their list. So guess what I did?

I ordered my groceries using Postmates and within an hour my groceries were at my front door. Now, them not having an itemized list is a bit annoying, BUT my shopper texted me (and then called me) during the trip to ask me what to do about the items that my grocery store of choice wasn’t carrying.

She was at my place an hour or so later with all of my wonderful items. 🙂

The total cost was emailed to me after she finished shopping and the delivery charge was about $6. The cost of the items was exactly what it was in the store/advertised on their flyer, not a cent more. She also got my items to my specifications (bananas yellow, but still just a tinge green). All in all a very pleasant experience. I tipped accordingly 😉

Next was Instacart.  They were faster. My groceries were delivered in an hour almost down to the minute. Moreover, all of the items you can purchase were itemized which made window shopping and generally adding things to the cart easier.

Unfortunately, the cost is set on their site. the cost of the items for one of my orders was higher than the in store cost (Costco sparking water) but no adjustments were made on my final receipt.  Moreover in their checkout process they charge you a 10% service fee… which apparently isn’t a tip. Tips are set to a default of 0% while the service fee is sent to the instacart company and then ‘used’ to give the drivers ‘a fair wage’. I don’t buy it.

To make sure your driver get’s the money you think you’re paying your driver, you need to go through extra steps.

  1. Before hitting ‘purchase’ select ‘change’
  2. Set the service amount to $0 waive and the tip to whatever you want it to be. Just because they say “Tip” is “Optional” and they don’t have that same note by “Service Amount” don’t be fooled. The service amount is pointless. Just pay your driver directly. The company most likely makes a decent amount of money off of the amount they mark up the products and the delivery fee. Why pay them an additional 10% and deny your driver income? > 

Lastly, they both have subscription services for free delivery (with minimum purchase) for a monthly fee.

Instacart is around $15 / month and approx $12 / month if you get the annual service while Postmates is about $10 / month.

The minimum order amount is $20 with post-mates and $35 with Instacart.

After using both services, I recommenced Postmates. Postmates also delivers from local restaurants – so your monthly fee (if you’re going that route) get’s you more. But even if you’re not using the monthly fee service, Postmates is the better app. They don’t mark up your groceries so you get exactly what you pay for, and they don’t try and cheat their drivers out of money.

Some extra pros and cons for your consideration…

PROS:

Instacart – Orders of $50 or more from the grocery stores I use get free delivery regardless of if you have a promo code.

Instacart – they have their own promotions and coupons. Purchase $20 or more get $5 off.

CONS:

Postmates – If there’s no driver in area, you can’t order. So you need to play a complicated game of ‘is the driver in that area now?’ sometimes.

 

I’ll update with more pros and cons over time as I use both services a little more. 🙂 Have any comments of your own? Let me know and I’ll add it to the above list!

Experimentation

Life is a series of experiments until (you think) you’ve figured out what works and what does not…

As an engineer I realized that there are so many tools out there ready for you to use to automate your life. Run through toilet paper at a regular pace and need it delivered to your door once a month? Amazon has a subscription service you can use. Don’t want to waste an hour in Walmart/Costco/[enter grocery store name here] lines during the week? There’s something for that too.

To be clear – I have no affiliation with any of these companies besides being an avid consumer. I make no money if you decide to use one of these apps, and no one has ever contacted me to say anything positive, negative, or neutral about them in any way shape or form.

That being said, I feel like experimenting and figuring out what works for me – if anything sounds fun, and I’d love to share my experiences with you.

I’ll be doing a multi part series on using these applications and hope that you enjoy this experience as much as me. 🙂

Hello World!

Hello world,

[Hip, Hip] 😀 FIRST POST!!! What to say? I’d tell you a programming joke, but the only one I know is my code.

Welcome to code blooded nerd *waves*

 

*awkwardly stands in the corner*

I’m not sure quite what to say in my first post. I feel like I’m at a mixer and I know no one.

Should I talk? I need to say something witty. Quick, think of something witty to say! Shoot, I’m losing you. Ummm, the weather! How about that weather? It’s been getting warmer in the northern hemisphere. Almost summer. *stares awkwardly*

Umm, well I’m going to go now, I have work tomorrow and I shouldn’t stay out too late. Have a good evening 🙂

 

*Geek crashing in*

Oh, uh, it seems Mme. Nerd has warmly welcomed you in. Ummm…*awkward silence*… Bye!

*Haphazardly rush out like the room was on fire*