Welcome to 2015! Let’s Catch Up!
It’s been about 5 months since I’ve really written anything on this site, and with good reason. My business has taken off to levels I cannot handle on my own, my life has shifted into a more ‘adult’ direction with some life changes that have taken place recently, and as a result, I’ve had no time to write. I’m hoping to change that, but no promises. Today, however, I have a little time since I’ve taken the holiday off, and have decided to enclose a few things about myself you may not have known, and some updates I haven’t told you yet. There’s going to be a lot I leave out, but here’s the big stuff:
We’ve bought a house!
My wife Hang and I have bought a house! It’s a modestly sized home in West Bloomfield with a little fenced-in backyard, deck, and a cool party-ready basement (it’s huge… actually, perfect for anything a basement can be used for). It’s the first time I’ve owned a home, as I’m still fairly young in life, and I’m finding out quickly how unprepared I am to actually manage it. For all those out there who have thought about getting out of your apartments or renting houses… let me break this down into three distinct points of advice for you:
- It’s probably going to cost you a little more per month, but it’ll be money put towards something you own, not something somebody else owns. You’re basically paying yourself.
- It’s going to be a LOT more work than you’re used to to maintain it. You cannot call management when something doesn’t work. You are management, and your wallet is paying for it.
- You should totally do it as soon as you can, because it’s a great move you can make towards financial independence.
That’s pretty much all I can say about it right now. Here’s a quick photo of the place we got. We’ll have plenty more to show you of the inside once our renovations are completed.
We got a new car!
Both Hang and myself have had fairly old vehicles for a while. It comes with the territory of being a poor college student, because better vehicles require better income to sustain it. When out careers allowed, we knew we needed to have a better vehicle that would provide reliable transportation well into the future. With fuel prices being so high (think early 2014 here), we also knew that this new vehicle we bought would need to get amazing fuel economy. It used to be, a long while ago, that people would say “24 – 26 miles to a gallon” was “not bad” or “pretty good.” I’ve never believed this. It makes little sense to me that this would ever be an acceptable rate of consumption for Americans when places around Asia are getting twice that regularly, as an average. I don’t have that “‘Mercia!” mindset that believes having a big raised-up truck makes you a man. No… it just makes you stupid with your money. Something I’m not anymore.
Hang and I needed something, as a daily driver, that would help us spend LESS on travel, not more. The idea behind buying a new vehicle always brings costs into consideration, and without purchase, we wanted to know exactly how much we were already paying for out car, and how much we would be spending with a new one. Obviously, a monthly payment would come with the car, but the savings on fuel would offset a good portion of those costs. When considering payments, you must also consider the savings that come from having that item, or the convenience and time, and gauge whether those costs are worth it in the end. In our case, if we chose right, they would be.
Obviously we knew we’d save money with a “hybrid” vehicle, and we opted to take things a little further than that. We got a 2013 Ford Fusion Energi, which is a premium model of the Ford Fusion that allows for us to plug our car into a standard wall outlet, and charge an extra large battery for up to 23 miles of completely fuel-free driving. As we are living near a more populated area, and don’t have as far to drive as some of you “country folks”, this allows for about 50% of the daily commute to be completely free. After that, the car gets roughly 40-45 MPG, which is a winner in our book. So far the car is awesome, and I seriously recommend it if you’re looking for a classy and comfortable ride.
With this vehicle our fuel savings was significantly improved, costing us roughly 80% less than it used to for traveling. Of course, the monthly costs of the vehicle offset this fuel savings, but the two ‘sorta’ canceled out enough to where this was a worthy decision. Today, however, with oil being so cheap, and gas falling below $1.70/gallon in some places, the fuel savings isn’t really that big of a deal anymore. At the time of buying the car, fuel was almost $4/gallon, which made far more sense.
Meet Tesla, our new puppy!
For a long while now, Hang has wanted a puppy. I was a bit hesitant at first, because we were living in an apartment on the 3rd floor. However, now that we’re in a house of our own, I had no excuses, and it actually seemed like a good idea. For as long as I’ve been alive it seems, my family has had a golden retriever living at the house. They’re average sized, very well mannered, obey very well, and they’re the very definition of “mans best friend.” However, there’s one downside to this breed, as with most breeds of dogs: they shed a lot.
Hang didn’t want to put up with shedding, and knowing how much hair ends up in the carpets of my parent’s house as a result of it (and on clothes), I agree about that. I don’t want to put up with lots of hair to clean up either. However, I still (not so deep down) wanted the golden retriever. So, we made a compromise… How about a golden retriever that doesn’t shed?
Say hello to Tesla! A golden doodle!
Tesla is an awesome puppy, although she does do the typical puppy things that tend to annoy people sometimes. Things like peeing in the house, barking and jumping up when she wants something, or biting (mouthing) on pretty much everything. She’s ruined several good things in the house so far… but this is what we signed up for, and what we were prepared to deal with. Overall, she’s an awesome part of the family, and I love having her here. The photo above of her was taken a little more than a month ago. Today, she’s a little over 5 months old. She’s got quite a bit of retriever in her, but you can tell there’s poodle. The attitude comes out for sure.
She’s considered a “1st generation golden doodle” because of the mix. A pure-blood golden retriever and a pure-blood poodle. a 50/50 mix.
I’ve gained more weight than I would have liked.
I’ve started my own home-based business, and have been steadily trying to meet the needs of a worldwide client base. As a result, I spend a lot more time at a computer desk, and this has had an adverse affect on my personal health. I’m currently a bit heavier than I’d like to be, and am taking steps in spare time and with dieting that will aid me in correcting this problem over time. It’ll be a challenge, especially since I’ve attempted to do something about this numerous times in the past and lacked the discipline to stick to things before. I honestly don’t have a lot of confidence in myself in terms of weight loss, but I’ll see what I can do.
Business is booming, and help is needed.
My business has grown over 600% year over year, which is a pretty big jump, and it’s an acceleration I wasn’t anticipating. Online, I run several YouTube channels, manage a few accounts for clients, update some commercial video projects regularly, and write blogs for some sites, including my own here. Primarily, I work as Pryor Media, creating websites and videos directly for clients around the world. I’ve also been doing a bit of investing and trading stocks for a bit too, although I’m not nearly as good at that as I’d like to be. I win some, I lose some. When I can change that sentence to “I win most”, then I’ll call myself good at it.
Pryor Media creates websites, and with that, interacts directly with a variety of clients with a diverse set of needs. The skills needed to produce such work isn’t difficult to learn if you have some time and a reliable computer with high-speed internet. I’m assuming many of you do. While I can NOT pay for training, if you possess the skills, or would like to learn the skills and come help me, I start people at twice the minimum wage, and you can work from home. It’s a sweet gig if you can learn what you need to learn – So I welcome you to ask me about a job. If you want to get a little head start on things, make an account at Pryor Media, and click on “Video Training” in the toolbar at the top of the window. Learn some basic skills on the software being used, and then come talk to me for the more advanced training needed. Everything you need to know about how to do this job is online, free to explore. The most advanced skills may take a small investment, but it’s not like you’re spending ‘hard earned money’ on it. It’s an investment. You’re spending time and money to make more money. Lots more, if you have the creative edge I need to make things work, and are committed to putting time in on projects and communicating regularly.
So, I hope that’s a fair update for you all. Have a great holiday break, and let’s start 2015 with a bang!