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So, it's now been 21 years since I first posted at TMF, and that is no April Fool's joke. Yes, my first post at The Fool was on April Fool's.

Still at the same job I've been at. A recruiter called and it wouldn't hurt to call him back. In fact, wouldn't hurt to put some effort into my networking and such. My job continues to like me but they also continue to do Stupid Corporate America tricks, so best to have a Plan B just in case. Plus, sometimes a Plan B comes along that's better than Plan A.

I totaled up the numbers on my Total Net Worth spreadsheet that tracks it daily since April 1 (there's that date again), 1994. So it's now 25 years of data. A quarter century, net worth by day. And guess what, we just hit a new all-time high. That happens with some regularity. I say "we" because it includes my wife's net worth from the day we were married. I will repeat, again, that "spend less than you earn, sock as much as you can into retirement savings, put that into low expense asset index funds (with as much into equities as you can tolerate) and let it sit for a few decades" is a "simple" strategy, but it sure pays off over time.

I will also reiterate, yet again, that I'd rather be lucky than good. My professional career has been generally an upward path, with (as of yet) zero unplanned interruptions. My wife has had a secure union job that has gradually increased her pay over time. A lot of people haven't had that over 25 years. Also, my wife is more frugal than I am. That's luck, because let's just say that when we started dating, I had...er..."other things" I was more focused on. Then again, we wouldn't have gone beyond "early dates" to "married" if not for a whole bunch of pretty incredible things about her.

(Yes, there have been some exceptions to all of this, a few of which I may have occasionally griped about on these very boards, but overall? Yeah)

Daughter is in choir and a musical and whoa, she has a great singing voice. She's dealing with teenagery stuff and Lake Woebegon School District is All About Teh Competitiveness (I've coined a term for some parents here: "Competitive Christians". I'm sure some of you have met the type; let's just say that it's a common denomination down here*), so it's a challenge, of course. Always is.

We're good. Frankly, we're better than I ever imagined I'd be when I made my first post here.

One thing I've realized over the years - you always think that some day you'll be in That Place, or maybe you don't think you will but you hope that maybe somehow it could happen. When everything in your life is Just Right and you're set financially and personally and mentally and physically and All Is Good and all that. You may even know some people who you see as examples. "If only I had my act together like [insert name here]."

Well, you're never in That Place, or when you are, it's for brief moments in time, and you enjoy those moments when they come. The people you *think* are there are in their headspace bemoaning This and That and wishing THEY were in That Place, striving in various sundry ways Great and Small.

We're all on this journey together, and there isn't a destination. Some parts are just prettier than others. Try to make every day a little brighter and nicer than it might otherwise be. The world is a magical place...we just need to look for it. Sometimes it hits you over the head, but most of the time it's not easy to find. But it's there.

Every day is a gift. I've founds friends over these years, MANY through here, and some of them I've lost (and for many of you friends reading, my friends are your friends and some of them are/were closer to you than to me). I'm sad that they're gone but grateful that they were there. It can always be better, but it can also always be worse. Take joy in what you can. The more you understand yourself and what magic you're looking for, the easier it becomes to find it and know it when you see it. And the more that's the case, the easier it is to direct what limited resources you have (physically/mentally/emotionally/financially) to making that happen.

21 years here, 25 on that spreadsheet. Here's hoping for at least 25 more. My life has changed in ways I could never have dreamed of when I started addressing my finances and my life a quarter century ago, and although some days are more difficult than others, I'm looking forward to those yet to come. As that famous Greek** Cat Stevens once said:

"So off and on you go
The seconds tick the time out
There's much left to know and I'm on the road to find out"

-synchronicity

*- go ahead, make the math joke. I know a not insignificant fraction of you will do so, and hopefully it won't be improper.
**- Of course I know he's Greek. Jennifer Aniston, too. Trust me, if a celebrity is even part Greek, I hear about it.
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As that famous Greek** Cat Stevens once said:


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I submit that when he converted & became "Yusuf Islam" in 1977, he became a member of another ethnicity.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cat_Stevens


sunrayman
full-time retired Floridian
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20 years, and 13 years of history on the balance sheet spreadsheet I do. But I only run it quarterly - that causes me to fret less. One wife/same wife, one kid who is a fine citizen, better than I. I could retire now, but we have coastal big island of Hawaii tastes, so we continue to work. I make plenty, and the investments earn more still than I earn, which is a delightfully curious phenomenon. Watching the Berkshire Hathaway live stream as I type. Spending a lot of time mentoring young people on all sorts of matters. If I need X I can just buy X and shrug; the second comma came a few years ago. Things hurt but that’s just 20.02 years in the Army. The ladies still like me for some reason. I mow my own grass, recoat my own driveway, etc, though I could choose otherwise, and pack my lunch 95% of the time.
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SSM!!!!

I don't do much manly maintenance stuff, because I'm not good at it. I could learn but haven't put in the time. Someday, maybe.

I recently pulled out my check register from early 1994 (yes, I still have it. Of course), and sure enough, there was the entry for my first month's rent in the studio apartment for $465, after which my balance was $0.29.

My wife took a homemade salad to work today, mainly kale which she grew out back.

Amazing how all this works, isn't it?

-synchronicity
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When my rent was $465 in 1995, that’s when I learned there are certain....environmental considerations...that accompanied said price range.

I learned because grandpa was a radical DIY’er before it was a network, by about 70 year. Thus dad, thus me. I still have tools of both of theirs. Remember them when I use them.

It does work. And I still eat chef boyardee.
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It does work. And I still eat chef boyardee.

But do you eat it cold, straight out of the can? Do you only buy it on sale, otherwise you'll buy the store brand (or Aldi's brand)?

Also, sent you a DM.

-synchronicity

PS- the apartment gentrified fast. My rent went from $465 to $490 a year later, to $510, to $550, to $590, and would have been $630 had I not left at that point (to an apartment in the suburbs that 2BR, 2BA. TWO BATHROOMS!!! THE LUXURY!!!)

PPS- I was living in that studio apartment, at $550/month rent, when I started posting here. The time, it flies.
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Dang, you were living in luxury. I was living in redneck WV in a single wide for $200 per month.

PSU
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