Hope you all’ve been enjoying the summer back home and the improving weather! It’s been a while since I did a wrap and an update, so I want to give you guys a quick update. I know it’s not the weekend, yet, but I wanted to share my news.
I recently republished my series on living to 100:
- Living to 100 and Beyond: How Will It Affect Your Retirement Plans?
- Living to 100 and Beyond: The Changes Ahead
- Living to 100 and Beyond: Building Your Portfolio
- Living to 100 and Beyond: Building an Infinite Portfolio
I also had a couple of great guest posts:
INVEST IT WISELY
While I’ve been following my dream of entrepreneurship, I also had a big giveaway of the new iPad. Congrats again to the winners:
- Katy M.
A special thanks again to my kind and generous sponsors:
- Kanwal Sarai @ Simply Investing – course worth $347
- Van Beek @ Stock Trend Investing – course worth $191 + $25 via Amazon
- Miss T @ Prairie EcoThrifter – $50 toward iPad
- Simon @ Sustainable Personal Finance – $50 toward iPad
- Young & Thrifty – $50 toward iPad
- Crystal @ Budgeting in the Fun Stuff – $25 toward iPad
- Cents to Save – $25 toward iPad
- Jacob @ My Personal Finance Journey – $25 toward iPad
- Sandy @ Yes, I Am Cheap – $25 toward iPad
- Squirrelers – $20 toward iPad
- Edward Antrobus – $5 toward iPad
I started the journey at the beginning of February, so I’m in the fifth month now. The first two to three months were quite brutal; I wasn’t making much money at all, and my girlfriend was gone overseas to Nigeria, so I was also home alone. I had property taxes, car repairs, and other stuff that hit me. However, by the end of the two months things were starting to look up.
At the end of March, I released my first paid Android application. Sales were slow at first, but over time, people gave good reviews to both the free and the pro version, and sales picked up. My website revenue also declined dramatically over this same time period, so now most of my revenue is now coming from app sales. That’s something that makes me nervous, since I prefer to be diversified.
Things were looking bleak at the end of March, but it now looks much better. I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, and I really think I can get there. I’m not out of the woods yet, but I’m really happy that I made this leap. I’ll have more info for you guys on Monday. 🙂
In my personal life, I’ve been spoiled in the past month. After returning from Nigeria, my girlfriend had another mission in Grenada. I went over there to join her, and brought my laptop and worked. The trip wasn’t too expensive as I mainly paid just for the flight ticket and small expenses here and there. I was in a beautiful location, but I was still there to work, so at least between 9ish to 5ish I still worked on my business, sites, and book.
After the Grenada trip, we came back home for a week, and then we went to Hawaii for a real vacation. I had promised this to her since before I left my job, so there was no way I was going to use being self-employed as an excuse not to go. I also promised her that I wouldn’t spend all day working on my own things, so my only real work during this time was customer care and support, and replying to emails. I’d do this early in the morning, or in the evening.
Hawaii was a great trip, and I’m now back home, and my girlfriend is off to South America for another business trip. This time I’m staying home, because to be honest, my funds are a little exhausted from the trip to Hawaii. I had budgeted for this trip since before I left my job, but budgeted or not, I need to start saving now. It’s time to continue to ramp up the business and save money just in case, so I don’t think I’ll be doing any big trips for the rest of the year, unless I strike gold!
Hawaii was beautiful. We got to see a lot, do a lot, and we were also jet-lagged like crazy, and exhausted half the time. It was very fun, and I can see why some would want to move here and live in paradise. We also met up with Sam from Financial Samurai and Sydney from Untemplater! They were just as kind, honorable, and fun as I imagined them to be; I was nervous and even a bit intimidated about meeting them at first, just because that’s the way I am and that’s the way I get, but I’m really happy that we were able to meet up. Who would have thought Charles Barkley would be so friendly in real life? 😉
Here are some of the highlights from the trip:
Sunset on Kalakaua:
Waikiki is the touristic heart of Oahu. There are over 100 hotels here, and many tourists from both California and the west, and many from Japan and the east. There is a lot of shopping, including nearby Ala Moana Shopping Center which is the largest outdoor mall, and Waikiki Beach. There are a lot of restaurants around. Here’s Marukami Udon:
Here’s Ono’s Hawaiian Food, which is where we met up with Sam and Sydney:
Some of the other sites we saw:
This is the blow hole, where incoming waves crash and funnel through a crevice in the rock. Can you believe some people swim in that water?
Hanauma Bay, one of the best places to go snorkeling in Oahu. When we went, it was cold, rainy, and wet in the morning, and then it warmed up and got sunny around noon. You want to get here early, because there’s limited parking and people arrive early. I almost lost our camera here, when my girlfriend’s snorkel messed up and we were fiddling around with it. We exchanged snorkels to see if that was the problem, and I held on to the camera. I then choked on some sea water and completely forgot I was holding on to the camera. Two minutes, she notices, and we both start panicking… thank god a friendly local had found the camera, just 20-30 feet behind us!!! This happened near the end of our trip, so all of our memories were on there…
This is the Japanese Byodo-In temple in Oahu. Our tour bus guide told us to hit the bell an odd number of times for good luck, and another bus told their passengers to hit it an even number of times. Hmm…
We saw this honu (sea turtle) and many others near Laniakea beach on the north shore. The beach is not well-marked and not advertised as a place to find turtles, probably because officials don’t want them to be pestered by too many tourists. We saw some of this pestering by, shall we say, some less-respectful tourists, and we were hoping that the turtles would snap at them. No such luck. We had a really great time observing these graceful and magnificent creatures as they came ashore to sunbathe and feed on the algae and sea grass.
Dole pineapple plantation. They have some really good pineapple whip. I have a tip: There are two lines where they serve the food; one line will be packed full of tourists, but the line just around the counter on the back side will have only 3 or 4 people, if even that. Avoid the crowds and go to the back!
View from the roundtop road. Thanks Sydney for letting me know about this drive! 🙂
Pearl Harbor, at the Arizona Memorial. It’s incredible to think of how quickly the world changes, and how the world was engulfed in war only several decades ago. Can you believe that oil is still leaking from the Arizona, even today? They call them “black tears”, due to the tragedy that took place many decades ago; during the attack on Pearl Harbor, a Japanese bomb reached the armory and exploded, sinking the ship and killing over a thousand.
Germaine’s luau. The event was kind of cheesy, but the roasted pig was gooood.
The Polynesian Cultural Center. This is a great place to learn more about Polynesian culture, and see some interesting events, like the one where this man started a fire with his bare hands, and busted open a coconut.
A beach on the leeward side, in Kaena Point State Park. This is one of the best beaches if you’re looking for sunbathing, as there is lots of sand, few people, and since it’s the leeward side, it rains a lot less often.
A cave in the same area. They say that those who go in… don’t come back out.
A view of Waikiki and Honolulu from Diamond Head Crater.
We also took a trip to the Big Island. Here’s some photos from there:
Black sand beach.
Big island waterfall.
Halema’uma’u crater. You can see what the crater currently looks like here.
The crater at night.
A Samoan burger to finish off the day. 😉
DRIVING IN HAWAII
Honolulu apparently has a reputation as being one of the worst cities to drive in. If that’s true, I didn’t see it. Outside of rush hour, when a stretch of the H1 and Nimitz Highway gets jammed up, it’s very easy to drive around Hawaii. Most roads are smooth and wide, and drivers are courteous. Waikiki might be one of the only places I’ve ever been where drivers will actually stop and let you use the crosswalk! I also found traffic lights and signals to be very reasonable, unlike where I live.
Where I live, traffic jams up SOLID during rush hour, probably 10x worse than anything I saw in Honolulu. Stop signs on every corner, all-reds for non-existent pedestrians, construction that reduces the highway to 1 lane during rush hour, speed limits reduced from 45mph to 30mph right next to the highway offramp, and then you always see cops hiding there, when they’ll drive 20+ over the limit themselves… no wonder when things finally clear up, people will drive 50+ over the limit, blow through red lights and charge pedestrians off the road.
If I have any gripes about driving in Oahu at all, the first one would be that the leeward and north sides are disconnected, forcing a big detour. The other would be that while city speed limits are reasonable, highway and big road speed limits are a bit low. Keeping up with local traffic meant going 10-15 mph over, and even the cops were doing it and not hassling anybody. 😉 Otherwise, driving there was very calm, and I felt safe crossing the street in Waikiki and elsewhere, because drivers would actually stop for us.
On to the weekend reading:
- 7 Important retirement equations
- Amazing Jobs That Don’t Require a College Degree
- Entrepreneur Mistakes: How Many Hours Worked
- Following Up on the Facebook Fiasco
- Green Tip #242 – Return Your Empties to the Beer Store
- How I ended up back in school on the first day of the Egyptian Revolution
- How might a Canadian housing correction weigh on the provinces?
- How to Go Back to Work if You’re Already Retired
- HOW TO INVEST & GET RICH (SLOWLY)
- Making the transition to retirement
- May 2012 Dividend Income Update
- Portfolio Update: May 2012
- The Philosophy of Don’t Quit Your Day Job…
- The Power Of Small Gestures
- TSA Tips for Managing Money
- What Do You Mean “You Don’t Have a Bike”?!
- What You Know Ain’t So
Did you know 10,000 Americans retire every day? That’s quite a bit of people. Prudential asked me to share this video with all of you:
- Totally Money Blog Carnival at Don’t Quit Your Day Job… (editor’s pick — thank you!)
- Best of Money Carnival at 20’s Finances
- Carnival of Financial Camaraderie at My University of Money
- Carnival of Financial Camaraderie at My University Money
- Carnival of Financial Planning at Intelligent Speculator
- Carnival of Financial Planning at My Wealth Builder
- Carnival of Financial Planning at Nerd Wallet
- Carnival of MoneyPros at Financial Conflict Coach
- Carnival of MoneyPros at Miss Wallstreet
- Carnival of Retirement at Carnival of Retirement
- Carnival of Retirement at Money and Risk
- Carnival of Retirement at Finance Product Reviews
- Festival of Frugality at Funny About Money
- Festival of Frugality at The Frugal Toad
- Fin. Carn. for Young Adults at 20s Finances
- Fin. Carn. for Young Adults at 20s Finances
- Totally Money Blog Carnival at Sterling Effort
- Totally Money Blog Carnival at Young Family Finance
- Yakezie Carnival at 20s Finances
- Yakezie Carnival at Daily Money Shot
- Yakezie Carnival at Financial Success for Young Adults
- Yakezie Carnival at Wealth Artisan
Have a great rest of the week and weekend! 🙂