Grant and Theresa's Life Prep

Making Plans and Achieving Goals

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Why I “Choose” Free Will

Free will is simply our ability to choose the actions that we take.  Free will is a human characteristic and touches on so many distinctly human things.  Morality, laws, sin, religion, politics, guilt, punishment, and reward are all tied to the concept of free will.  Most of the articles I write are about making better choices.  I have written about how to lose weight, pay off student loans, get stronger, choose the right major, etc which all rely on free will.

However, a few months ago I saw a video by Sam Harris talking about the concept of free will.  In the video, Sam argues that free will is just an illusion and that our entire lives are predetermined.  This got me thinking and I quickly found myself going down a rabbit hole of researching this concept.  I even read Sam’s short book on the topic, Free Will, which further clarifies his views.  This idea was both new to me and disturbing to me.  I actually didn’t sleep well for a few nights because I was spending hours researching and thinking about this idea.  Is it possible that I have no ability to choose what my next action will be?

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New Year’s Resolution Update

We are now half way through the year so it is time for another New Year’s Resolution Update.  My original goals are here and my first quarter progress is here.  As always there have been some wins and loses but I’m learning and still pushing the ball forward.  Without further introduction let us begin.

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The Power of The Mind: Elite vs Average

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About 6 weeks ago, I finished my squat everyday and bench everyday program.  Since then, I have spent some time focusing on my dips.  I have been rotating them in and out with the bench press as one of my main lifts.  Last week, I did 18 reps with a 35lb kettlebell and this week, I was determined to get 19 reps.  I hopped up to the bar and started to grind them out.  17, 18, argh, crazy face, 19.  They weren’t pretty but I got them.  One rep better than last week and I felt good about my incremental progress.  Then, as I was putting the kettlebell back, my brain started working and I realized I had just used the 53lb bell by mistake.  What!?  So I had just done 50% more weight for more reps than I did last week?  How did I do that?  The past few weeks I have struggled to add one rep.  Was I just having a great day?

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Never Finance: Always Pay Cash For Cars

First Guest Post!

Very excited to be featured over at My Strategic Dollar, Lance’s personal finance blog.  I was asked if I would do a post about why I always pay cash for cars.  I happily accepted as I think car payments are a trap that people jump into along with their first job and usually never get out of.

In the post, I lay out why I disagree with financing a car, even if you have a low-interest rate.  I explain why leveraging debt earns you very little or nothing, I explain how the risk vs reward just isn’t logical, and I show you how to avoid ever having car payments.

Check It Out Here

I will be sure to check in regularly to respond to any comments and criticism as I know people love their car payments.

-Grant

Why I Use 5% Withdrawal for Retirement

I wrote an earlier post about Why I’m Chasing FIRE (Financial Independence / Retire Early) and in it, I said that my definition of FIRE is when my investable assets are equal to 20 times my annual expenses.  20 times your annual expenses means you would have a 5% withdrawal rate in retirement.  This statement goes against conventional wisdom so I rightly got a few comments about being more conservative.  Most people recommend a withdrawal rate of 3-4% which is 25-33X expenses.  So why am I going against the flow on this one and going with a 5% withdrawal?

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Stop Mindlessly Going To College

It’s graduation season! I was recently reminded of this because I unintentionally planned my golf/beach weekend during “senior beach week”. This is the time of year when all the high school kids head to the beach for a week to celebrate their graduation.  For kids on the east coast, that means Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  (I’m not sure if “senior beach week” is really a thing all over the country, or not.)

Anyway, I was only there for one night but that still led to some interesting interactions with some rather intoxicated kids.  It seems that everyone goes to college but no one has a clue why or what they will study.  I did attempt to ask some thought-provoking questions such as “why that school” and was met with blank stares and “because my friends are going there”.  I considered putting together a powerpoint for the kids on “making good life choices” but decided against it.   Just not sure it was the right environment. 😉

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How to Lose Weight – The Not So Secret First Steps

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One of my new year’s resolutions was to drop some weight.  This is one of the most common goals that people set out to achieve.  In fact, over half of the people reading this have attempted to lose weight in the past year.  Unfortunately, 95% of people fail to ever reach their weight loss goals.  So how do you do it?  How do you lose weight?  Well, I’m here to tell you that every one of you reading this already knows how to lose weight.  Your problem is probably that you are skipping the most important steps that will allow you to be successful.

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Embrace Pain For a Better Life

Your life will be filled with all kinds of pain.  The difference is in the intensity.  Since we can’t avoid pain we must embrace pain.

“We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret.  The difference is discipline weighs ounces and regret weighs tons”  – Jim Rohn Continue reading

Why I Am Chasing FIRE

When we started this blog last year (2016) I had never heard of FIRE.  I actually had to google it to find out it meant Financial Independence / Retire Early.  Basically, there is this growing movement of people who are realizing you don’t have to work a 9-5 job your whole life and can go another way.  Two people that you have probably heard of are Mr. Money Mustache and Financial Samurai.  These two guys have gone about getting out of the rat race very differently but they have both been a huge inspiration for myself.

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5 Reasons To Pay Off Student Load Debt FAST!

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Taking out a student loan is a sad part of the college experience, these days.  The latest numbers for the class of 2016 have just come in and the average graduate owes $37,172.  This brings the national total to $1.44 trillion, spread across 44.2 million Americans.  Roughly 3 out of every 4 students leave college with some debt.  Oh yeah, and these trends are all on the rise as the cost of college keeps skyrocketing.  So what should you do with your debt?

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