Career Advice

I recently read a great blog on “Career Advice No One Tells You” by Raghav Haran.  A couple of excerpts and important insights which I believe are true:

Most people have “okay” jobs. We go to work, do what we have to do from 9 to 5, come back home, maybe hang out with friends, and do it all over again the next day. There’s nothing wrong with this.
But some people perform at a totally different level. They’re the people who land executive level positions by their early 30s while everyone else is still trying to “work their way up.” They’re the people who jump out of bed every morning, excited about the day ahead while everyone else drags themselves out of bed every Monday. They’re the people who impact thousands of people through their work, while everyone else keeps themselves busy with pointless tasks at work.  Here’s what they understand, that most people don’t.

Don’t pick a career based on “average salaries” or employment numbers

When you’re striving to be great at what you do, the “averages” don’t matter.
When it comes to any field, the people who strive to be great have more than enough money and success. And everyone else fights over scraps.
We see the same thing in engineering — the best programmers get hired by companies like Google, but others trying to cash in on the “gold rush” of tech by looking through some online learn-to-code tutorials in a few weeks aren’t doing as well.
Do what you enjoy doing, and be great at it. Everything else will come.

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February 2016 Expense Summary

All around horrible this month on expense savings.  I went way over on gifts as I had to buy many things for many people, including Valentine’s day and other surprises.  Even within my discretionary spending I faired poorly as I spent too much eating out.  This was all partially offset by my tax refund, but definitely room for discipline over the next few months.

In other notes, I did take a vacation to Hawaii which was amazing. I’m now convinced I need to move there at some point.


New Year’s Resolutions and Bucket List

I’m still thinking through my resolutions and my bucket list, but below is my  current draft which is largely there.  Since I’m a planner and work in finance, I really enjoy creating goals and tracking against them, so this is a lot of fun for me.  I also enjoy following others online and seeing how they are performing against goals.  My friend has this idea that one of these days our entire lives will be gamified so we can compete and watch others across all dimensions of life (i.e., exercise, health, money, etc.)…  Not sure how I feel about that, but anyhow I digress.  Below are my resolutions for 2016, and my bucket list where I’ll try to knock off at least one item from my bucket list as part of my new year’s resolution each year.  Let me know your thoughts, or if you have other ideas for my bucket list!

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8 Things You Can Do Now to Save Money on Travel


Seth Kugel at the New York Times recently shared some tips on how to save money traveling in the new year, so I wanted to share again below.   I find myself to be a frugal traveler, but there are some new tips and helpful apps listed below, including, which allows you to look at flight pricing trends and when would be the best time to shop for a flight.

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December 2015 Expense Summary


Glad this year is over, financially…  December was a rough month, once again, with not much improvement in terms of cost savings.  That said, I’m determined to get my expenses down to the $4k mark for the month of January, and to establish some serious budgeting measures for the year.

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Top 15 Tips to Improve Your Life

1 – Read more books:  Reading a book a month is a worthy goal for anyone, but setting a goal in the first place is a good way to keep yourself disciplined and away from the television and social media.  Some statistics show the average CEO reads 4 to 5 books per month.   I have to wonder how many books per month Abraham Lincoln read as a child, knowing that his main source of education growing up was from books.   But building a habit of reading doesn’t have to be work.  Not only will you become faster at reading and becoming more educated, but you’ll be more interesting to talk to and improve your social life.  Further, this will easily translate into a better education and potentially higher earnings in the long run.  So leverage your local library whenever possible.

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November 2015 Expense Summary

Nov Expenses

November was a great month for income, as my company did pretty well for the year and I received a higher than expected bonus.  I was also able to max out my 401k contribution for the year.

However, on the expense side I continue to do poorly…  With holiday season coming up, I find myself spending more on gifts and eating out with friends.  Holiday season is typically a time of the year when I let go of my workout routine, and therefore end up going out to bars and restaurants more!  Anyhow, I’m still optimistic going into 2016, as I plan to drastically reduce my expenses at that point — specifically on weddings and eating out.

Additionally, I’m hoping to move my huge rent expense down into the mortgage line with my first home purchase, as soon  as I can find a good deal on a home in the Bay Area.  Its like finding a needle in a hay stack out here right now!

I’m Staying 2 Nights at 5 Star Hyatt Hotel for Free



I am a huge credit card fan, and I’m all about credit card points. I recently found a deal where I can stay at any Hyatt hotel for two free nights!  Do you know how excited this makes me?  If you enjoy fancy hotels as much as I do, then you would understand.  Park Hyatt here I come, for free!

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Homemade Bread For a Fraction of the Store Price


I’ve been looking for other ideas to continue to reduce my expenses while not giving up my quality of life, and I’ve found one recipe that works for both sides of the coin (i.e., I can save money and improve my quality of life).  It’s actually quite simple – stop eating out and begin cooking at home.  The key here is that I just need to do it more often…

Specifically, I recently learned to make homemade bread in my stove, and literally anyone can do it with less than a $20 up front investment, and that’s only required if you don’t already have a large pot.  This bread is incredible, and tastes so much better than the junk you’ll pay 20x for in the store.

All you have to do is spend less than an hour preparing a large batch of dough, then whenever you get home from work you can tear a piece off, drop it in the stove for 30 minutes, and voila you’ve got fresh baked bread.  The ingredients listed below will cost you literally less than a few bucks, and you can make enough bread to serve at least 30 people, or 4 pounds of bread (I will sometimes spread it out over several weeks and eat it all myself).  But if you’re having a dinner party this has to be the cheapest way to thoroughly impress your friends.

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