I started this post several days ago. Most posts take me several days to write if I need to put some thought and application into them. It’s been raining in San Diego and cold. But the good news is that the new float switches that we just put into our bilge pumps work like a charm. Good News.
Start now. Start Small. This applies to both investing and simplifying your life. Make some hard decisions on whether you need all those things that you’re paying for monthly, cause they’re costing you money that you could be saving and investing. I’m not sure why, but there doesn’t seem to be a mindset to start investing small amounts of money, even if you don’t have that windfall. I’m different. I am not a financial planner or any sort of money savant. I have no professional financial experience and I don’t claim to be anything I’m not. What I have done is account for and manage public funds and equipment for over 20 years, very successfully. I have also taken a very small amount of my own money and parlayed it into a larger amount of not much money. I’ve read investing books by the dozens, but most of them are crap that regular folks can’t pull off….except for anything that applies Warren Buffett’s philosophies. I like his advice. It’s simple: Invest in what you know and let compound interest do the work for you. Most investing for most folks seems to be riddle wrapped in enigma, but it doesn’t have to be.
For my family, we’ve made decisions on things that are important to us but fall into either the need category or the want category and we acknowledge these two points, knowing the costs to us at the time we make that decision. We also freely and openly acknowledge that everyone spends their money differently. Think through your life and where your money is going: magazine subscriptions, internet and wi-fi costs, cost of storage sheds, gym signups, wine gourmet food or olive oil clubs, Amazon Prime and redundant credit cards that you still carry a balance on (cause you couldn’t possibly give up that high interest card that doesn’t have any benefits?). For us living on a sailboat has been a real eye opener because we just don’t have room to really keep all the usual stuff folks have in a normal house and I don’t want to keep paying for storage sheds if we can help it. We CANNOT continue to keep clothes that don’t fit the girls, winter clothes for a tropical environment (when we leave the US heading south), vestiges of sports we no longer participate in and other material possessions that must be kept in a separate shed. That shed is an upstream cost we’re sucking up (and I bet some of you are too). I’m also sucking up a car payment – and I don’t want a car payment when I’m not in the US using it, so we’ll eventually get rid of the car and the car/insurance/registration costs. That will help.
Right now, the goal is to leave the US with as few upstream costs as possible and continue to invest small amounts of money that will pay us monthly or quarterly NOW vice when we’re 65 or 70. We’ve already found some of these investments (got anymore great ideas for me?) but have nowhere nearly enough to live on while on the boat. Our income stream will be diverse but livable. I’m more and more excited about taking this blog on the road when we cut the dock lines and in July we’ll start our YouTube channel with possible Patreon support. I’m not counting on being another S/V Delos….as we are who we are and Quincy the Boat Dog isn’t a bikini model.
Point of this blog post is simple: Literally…pay yourself. Make that your investment every month besides paying your bills and paying down debt. By doing this on a regular basis, you’ll start building a small investment portfolio of your own and start figuring out what you like and what risk you are willing to take with that small amount of money. Small amounts of money invested on a regular basis become larger amounts of money slowly. Let compounding interest be your friend !
Lastly….if you’re reading this and have a boat….are you doing the 2019 Baja Ha-Ha? Why NOT? If you don’t have a boat but still want to go….jump on the site and sign up on the crew list section.
Keep your goal in mind:
Remember that I’m no professional financial advisor and only a regular dude who would rather invest and adventure than go to Vegas. Here’s some of the other writings I’ve done on the same subject: