Monday, August 3, 2020


Let me quickly summarize PART 1 for those who missed it:

I cashed out all of the shares that halted their dividend.  Also, I got out of Whitehouse Financial after their latest dividend because it simply cannot be sustained at a nearly 1000% dividend payout ratio.

Reinvested $14,000 in some solid companies with a history of dividend increases, a low price to earnings, and a low dividend payout ratio.   I have $12,000 left to spend.

Two factors made me pause on the next round of purchases.....  Here goes.

FACTOR 1:   On Saturdays, I visited my mom to deliver some groceries and check on her well being.  She's been battling a slow advancing dementia over the past dozen years and is still resistant to moving into assisted living.

Her whole life had been and experiment in absolute miserly behavior.  Not just frugal, but all out miserly.   Until 4 years ago, she drove a rusted out Tercel that she would not even repair.  I had to take it in to fix the steering that was almost totally broken and would have caused a major accident.

She has a 45 year old carpet and a 50 year old couch that no longer supports sitting comfortably.  She refused to get a new dishwasher after the last one died.  Same with the broken washing machine.  I do her laundry.   I bought her a new lawnmower.  She threw it away and went back to the dull rusty push one from the 70's.  She never travelled.   Her whole family is in Greece and she last visited them in 1983.   I bought her a ticket 15 years ago after hearing years of wishing to go back.   She refused to go and then let the credit for the flight expire.  That was a $1,200 ticket thrown away.

Seeing this has resulted in a MAJOR impact on my behavior.  This is a miserable life and the reality of knowing "you can't take it with you" hits me hard.  We only live once.  She missed out.  I refuse to.

FACTOR 2:  I recently heard of a friend of a friend that unfortunately succumbed to Covid-19.  He was also quite the frugal person.  Old car and no travel.  His spouse said he regretted not travelling and actually living before dying.   That sucks.  You can't take it with you.

These two factors have given me a chance to reflect on living.  Living a bit instead of seeing the years go by.

TRIGGER: My wife's car started having problems.  Oil leaks, a power steering leak, sunroof motor dies, the doors will not lock.  This totalls $8,000 of repairs on a 9 year old Honda CR-V.  A car that only gets 18 miles per gallon and it absolutely gutless.   It considers moving when flooring it up a hill. 

RESULT:  Enough was enough.   We took the car from the shop, went next door, and traded it in for a brand new Prius. 

We got the car for $3,000 off and with 0% interest.   Got $6,800 for the CR-V and put some of my bit for my WHF sales on a down payment.  It's a wash in regards to my budget too
Pay Raise + gas savings = payment on a 0% loan.   It was a no brainer.

Switched out the wheels for black.  The stock plastic hub caps suck.

TRIGGER, THE SEQUEL: Right after that, I had to get some maintenance done on my 2004 Civic.  130,000 miles have resulted in a handful of major repairs as well.  The biggest problem is that it is recently began burning oil at a bigger than normal clip.  It's a matter of time that this will turn into a smoky mess.   I had a 1989 Honda CRX I put 240,000 miles on that left a trail of blue smoke.

So guess what I did?  Yep...
I thought of the two stories above of not living life and how you can't take it with you..  Yep...

RESULT:  I took my car and traded it in for a Toyota RAV4 Hybrid.  We decided we needed to not have worries about either car.  I already put away $2,000 a month of my income.  I can afford a nicer ride.  I only live once

.560 miles per tank and has carrying capacity for hauling things from Costco and Home Depot.  I wanted a black one with the leather like seats.  None were in stock, but I found this loaded one that was a deep blue sparkly limited color with a real cool interior.   "Live a little", said I to myself.  Sold.

2020 Toyota Rav4 Hybrid XSE.  
This is the road trip car. 

Yes it is a debt I have to pay, but it feels good not worrying about the status of a car or buying gas.  Our gasoline bill was about $350 per month.  This will take it down to maybe $100 per month.

I was saving $2,000 per month.   Now I will still be saving $1,400 per month.   And still have a chunk of the WHF sale in cash.  I may pay down this car fast since it does carry an interest rate and I hate interest payments more than anything else.

I do want to save as much as possible and invest for passive income.

But at age 51, I need to reap the benefits of where I am at in this race to escape the 9 to 5.  I would have not done this in my 20's, but time is not stopping for myself, my wife, and a 10 year old girl looking forward to adventures. 

Chickenwizard and and adventurous 10 year old.

Now we will be road tripping to the Redwood National Park, Crater Lake, and the whole Oregon Coast.  I get to relive all of the road trips I experienced in the back seat of my dad's car all over again.  Some of the greatest memories I have.   I get to improve on them!

Any thoughts? 


  1. Hope you had a great time at Redwood and Crater Lake. I really enjoyed Redwood and driving along the Oregon Coast. :)

    1. It's been great so far! Right now I am in Brookings, OR. About 10 miles north of the California border and will move north. THe OR coast is so fun. Been here many times, but not much on the southern part. This trip will cover that.

      Crater Lake was a washout since the fires in California made it so smokey, you could not see the water in the lake. But Bend, OR is a wonderful place. One of those, "I could live here" places.

  2. I visited Crater Lake a few summers ago. Really cool place to visit. Live a little and enjoy. Nothing is guaranteed.

    1. Definately! It'sthe YOLO thing. Thanks.

      Crater lake was too smokey from the wildfires to see anything. But had a great time in Bend. I just love that place. I also love Brookings, OR on the coast. On the other hand, Eurkea, CA is not so nice. It's overrun by homeless meth heads. Everywhere. And I live in Seattle, so I see homeless. But this is awful. And all the hotels suck.


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