October 2017 Army Updates – The Great War of Debt


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It feels as though it has been awhile since writing to you all. Well that’s because it has been for me :).

Great to be back fellow dukes, the last two months have been absolutely hectic with traveling around 8 weeks of the last 10. It was quite hard to stay up to date on everything with the blog, but thankfully Jack helped out with a few articles and picked up my slack.

I missed updating you all on my September progress, but no worries, I will add those numbers to the charts and skip the lessons for you. Instead – see the lessons from October and let me know if you have any tips or how you are doing!

Planned Army Statistics by Year (Unchanged from July):

In July, I posted to officially declare war on debt. Although the battles began discreetly in January, it was time to publically announce the commitment to destroy the greedy barbarians. Before getting into August updates, let me share the three-year plan to rid ourselves of these bloody fools.

3 Year Loan Pool / Investment Plan

YearCumulative Student Loan PoolCumulative Student Loan PaymentsCar Loan PoolCumulative Car Loan PaymentsAnnual IRAAnnual 401(k)
2017$7,918$5,2190$1,920$5,500$18,000
2018$12,538$10,4380$3,840$5,500$18,000
2019$17,448$12,7213,800$5,760$5,500$18,000

I will be around 3K short at the end of 2019 for my student loan pool, meaning that in the next 3 years side hustles / arresting expenses will be required to hit the goal.

Have a suggestion? Would love to hear it!

Army Updates for August 2017

  • Bad Guys:

    Student Loans of the East
    • Army Size: 30.7K (was 32.2)
    • Growth Rate: Avg of 5.5%
    • Weakness: Although large in numbers, the army lacks trained fighters. Each month they lose 433 men
    Auto Loan of the West
    • Army Size: 8.7 (was 9K)
    • Growth Rate: 5.5%
    • Weakness: Sickness infects the army to reduce its size by 160 each month

    Good Guys:

    Loan Pool Savings of the North
    • Army Size: 7.9K (was 7.7K)
    • Growth Rate: 1.0% (Capital One360 savings)
    • Weakness: Early career salary means an average of only 375 greenbacks soldiers graduate to fight each month

Side Hustle Income for October Update

October brought in ~$200 again in side income from a side tech gig. I prefer to use side hustles in the form of technology because higher hourly pay makes the side hustle worth the time. I’d love to get a more study work-load here, making a consistent amount each month. A part-time website hustle or another type of part-time contracting gig that pays enough to make it worth my time would be great!

We haven’t really focused on monetizing the blog – do you have any thoughts on reasons we should? We would love to hear some feedback on how you think we’re doing so! Writing as a passion and for enjoyment has been enough for us the year.

Lessons from October Update

Biggest lesson – money vs convenience

During my travels, there were times where it would have been absolutely more convenient to take an Uber to various sites to see. I decided against this most of the time. Why???

Time vs Money

Saving time would be taking the Uber instead of taking trains/buses/subways. This one is against taking public transportation because it is simpler not and most of the time faster. A direct ride from point A to point B.

The deciding factor here, of course, is the cost. Public transportation will most likely cost you less. One example – taking the train to the airport was $10. Uber? $35. Is that $25 savings worth the time and effort required to find the correct train, drag your bags (if you have any), and pay attention to make sure you’re going to the right train? It depends.

Adventure vs Boring

I prefer the train route for both reasons.

Boring

Yes, the Uber means getting to put your headphones on and checking the app to make sure your driver is taking you the right way. It means, not having to navigate an unfamiliar train station. It means you have a nice boring, but an accurate path to the airport by the time based on the app’s estimates.

If you’re in a time crunch or just plain tired of being Columbus in a new city, then, by all means, take it. I’m not judging you :).

Adventure

Taking the trains in an unfamiliar place (especially in a country that doesn’t have English as their first language) is surefire that an adventure is on the horizon. Even the simple process of buying a ticket can be confusing to a first-timer.

I thoroughly enjoyed doing this, as it made me really feel like I was embedding myself into the culture of that country.

This does indeed save money but does take more time. Depending on your hourly rate (if you’ve ever calculated it), then it may not actually be cheaper. But let’s be honest, how many of you all are productive in an uber? Watching funny Youtube clips or scrolling through Facebook doesn’t count!

Lastly, when you take the train (not necessarily the subway), you get the opportunity to see parts of the city on the way to the airport. It is quite beautiful.

Traveling on the low

Airbnb

Save money by using Airbnb for your stay. Check out their reviews and also look for super-host. I prefer this as it saves money and you see how the people in that city actually live. I’ve made a few new acquaintances just from talking to hosts and learning their story. It’s wonderful.

Public Transportation

I’ve talked about this above – by taking public transportation you can really save yourself cost from not renting a car or taking taxis/Ubers everywhere.

Who doesn’t want to feel like a local blending in on the bus or tram as everyone speaks different languages around you.

Free activities

Cities are full of activities for tourist like walking tours or sites that don’t require a payment to see. You can always book skip the line tickets or look for Groupon deals also.

My splurge in various museums are the audio multimedia guides. I’ve learned so much more from them then just walking around without a guide  to give me some details on what I’m looking at! Totally recommended!

I failed to not go shopping this year!

I stated in July that I would not be going shopping during my Debt Free war. I have bad news, I did. I bought clothes while traveling to stay warm as the weather was colder than expected. Secondly, I bought a few new outfits for the gym as some of mine were old, like from the high school years old.

I hope you can forgive me – the battles continue and overall this year I’ve won them! I look forward to eventually winning the war in the future!!

Concluding Thoughts

How has your debt war been going? How are you doing as we approach the end of the year?

Please share any tips or suggestions for me or any updates on your own war. If you want posts via your inbox – subscribe to our pigeon service.

Thank you for reading!

Chris @ Duke of Dollars

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