Path to Freedom!

What if you didn’t need to work till 65?

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Say what?

We all daydream about those days. You know, the ones where we stare aimlessly with lifeless souls at our computer monitors in desperate hopelessness wishing we were off in some remote island, sipping away on our mai tai’s or any drink for that matter! I know I do. And far too often at that!

So I thought about it for the past few weeks – what can I do to exit this never-ending cycle of work/eat/sleep, only to repeat the damn cycle all over again the next day. FIRE.

So you want to make a fire?

With some smore sandwiches? Sure! But no, not in this particular instance. What I’m referring to is FIRE, i.e., Financial Independence/Retire Early. Really well-known bloggers such as ERE and Mr. Money Mustache run independent blogs that document their journey towards FIRE, and it’s a very simple concept.

Basically, it’s…are you ready? Savings. That’s it, savings. You heard it correctly. Most of us have consumed our lifestyles around personal consumption, including things such as purchasing the latest fashion, buying new electronics, and eating out (mmm…lattes). But this very lifestyle is what is hurting our abilities to save for our retirement, and to for some, living paycheck to paycheck.

I decided I want to avoid this because I’ve made a personal decision and goal to retire early. I want to live life on my own terms, not on others, and in particular not on someone else’s watch. FIRE will help me achieve this very goal!

What next, dude?

Thankfully, ever since I graduated back in 2009 I’ve been keeping track of my budget very closely with the help of mint and my beautiful, sexy budget model. Eh, budget model you say? Yes! I love this thing.

When I graduated from college and entered the workforce, I learned this cool tip in excel called pivot tables. And for those of who work in excel everyday, this is a must-learn function (will save lots of time analyzing data quickly). It was during this period that I built my very first budget model version using mint data. And wow has it gone through many iterations. My wife thinks I’m partially insane due to how much I focus/rebuild/analyze my budget model. But its this very tool that’s allowed me to investigate key variances, overspending, and even fraudulent activity. Without this sexy beast, I’d have no idea what I was saving. Perhaps I’d be living paycheck to paycheck.

Thanks to the budget model, I was able to achieve several things. These include building an emergency fund, maxing my 401k, investing into my taxable accounts and fully paying off my student loans. Without this tool, I can’t imagine how swamped I would have been.

Well, cool brah

Thanks brah! I hope you enjoyed this post as I plan to update this blog with many more future updates. That FIRE goal of mine is very much achievable, and with the latest budget updates for both my wife and I, we’re slowly creeping towards that retirement!

For those who don’t already, start budgeting! I recommend using mint to aggregate the data – it will help categorize expenses and lay out the data in a easy to read format. Then you can leverage it to create pivot tables and savings calculations.

Well, till next time! Chat with you soon!

MMA, training and dieting.

What is MMA?

For those of you who don’t know, MMA stands for mixed martial arts. It’s a mixture of many different martial arts, some of which include boxing, muay thai, wrestling, and brazilian jiu-jitsu to name a few. It’s a brutal sport, yes, but also beautiful and exciting to watch.

How I fell into MMA

For the past four years dating back to the start of 2013, I’ve been training extensively in MMA. It’s a sport I personally love and am passionate about. The first UFC competition I watched on TV was a bout between the bad body Tito Ortiz and Ken Shamrock, where Tito proceeded to lay what was one of the most brutal ground and pound beatings I had ever witnessed (there’s been worse since). I’ve always been fascinated with self-defense, and watching the UFC provided an avenue where I could watch these arts first hand. It was also at this time I realized that traditional martial arts struggled against other forms of arts such as BJJ and wrestling.

My Training

Since 2013, I’ve been training in MMA in a number of different arts including: boxing, muay thai, sanshou, BJJ, judo, and wrestling. I would train upwards of six days a week and twice a day (cardio and conditioning during work lunch). In addition to learning all the different arts, I keep myself healthy by taking vitamins such as a multi, fish oils, protein powder and glutamine. This helps to sustain my body during the intense and rigorous training sessions.

Even after four years, I still love every minute of my training sessions. Despite the few setbacks such as my broken hand and nose (both requiring surgeries), I don’t regret any of it. It was a dream of mine to take up this sport, and I’m glad I did.

I also accomplished my goal of stepping into the cage, something I dreamed of since I watched my first UFC fight. What an amazing moment that was. I did not know what to expect or how the bout would unfold. But one thing was sure – my coaches, training partners and loved ones all helped prepare me for this bout. I felt extremely confident stepping into the cage and knew I had completed the hard part (training camp). Thankfully, the fight lasted a mere 27 seconds with a one hit knockout to my opponent.

I’m still training to this day and cannot see myself stopping. I love every minute of it – the training, the camaraderie with coaches and friends, and the culture and atmosphere of the gym (Redline Fight Sports). I might not fight for the rest of my life, but I do anticipate achieving my black belt in BJJ one day.

Till next time

MMA is a wonderful, beautiful sport and cannot wait to see what’s in store in the coming years. I hope I can continue to live out my dreams and win an amateur title soon as well. I may not compete forever, but one way or another, I’ll be a part of this sport, whether through coaching or opening my own gym. Till next time!

Welcome!

Welcome!

Welcome to my blog and first post! First off, thank you for taking the time visit my blog. I really appreciate it and hope you will find it interesting, informative and fun. I will be detailing all the different experiences and challenges I’ll be facing throughout my life. So stay tuned!

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” – Les Brown