Personal Finance Links – LBTL Challenge Update and Short-Term Plans

by Andy Hough on May 6, 2013

I failed the Live Below the Line Challenge. Given how I have done on past food related challenges on this blog that shouldn’t come as any sort of surprise. I wanted to eat food other than what was on my menu for the challenge and I did. After a couple of days I decided to abandon the challenge since I was sticking with it anyway. I just made a donation on the Live Below the Line website and resumed my normal eating habits.

Being restricted to only having a $1.50 a day to eat sucks. I didn’t need to be a poverty tourist to know that, but a reminder didn’t hurt and it did get me to make a donation. It has been a long time since I had such limited money that I was restricted on what I could buy to eat and I doubt I’ll ever be in that situation again. I’m happy that I have basically unlimited choice of what to eat.

I need to start making better choices though. My current diet of junk food and fast food is not good for me. And it undercuts the idea of this blog that one can live well on a modest income. I need to show that eating healthy on a small budget is possible. I’m going to keep working to improve my eating habits.

My current short-term plans are to go on a long hike at the end of June. The hike should be enjoyable plus it should lead to weight-loss. The drawback is that I’ll likely have to quit my job to take the hike. I’m about 99% decided that I’m going to hike anyway. I haven’t had an adventure for a long time. I like traveling around and not being in one place.

This is a longshot but if anyone reading this lives somewhat close to the Appalachian Trail between Pennsylvania and Maine and would be willing to let me park my car at their place for a month or so please leave me a comment or send me an email. Thanks.

Here are some personal finance posts from the past couple of weeks that I like.

Live Below the Line Challenge Lessons from My Money Blog. Jonathan did successfully complete the challenge and shares his lessons learned.

Can One Retire on Social Security Alone? at My Retirement Blog. It isn’t ideal but it certainly can be done.

Mortgage Deductions Don’t Exist for Everybody at Budgeting in the Fun Stuff. The mortgage deduction isn’t as great as many people think. My mom was only able to take the mortgage deduction for the first couple of years after she bought her house and that was only because she also had a large charitable deduction. Without the charitable deductions she wouldn’t have even been able to deduct her interest the first year she bought her home.

Capital One 360 Double Referral Bonus at Bank Bonuses. I’ve referred hundreds of people to Capital One 360 (formerly ING DIRECT) and received a lot of referral bonuses. If you want to refer your friends and family to sign up for an account, now is a good time to do so because they are offering double referral bonuses.

Net Investment Income Tax Basics at Investorz Blog. The new investment tax rules can be confusing. It is unlikely I’ll ever make enough to have to worry about them.

Thinking Back About Living Below the Line at Brickworks. Cindy also completed the challenge and shares her thoughts on the challenge.

 

{ 4 comments }

Cindy Brick May 7, 2013 at 1:42 pm

Thanks for picking up on my blogpost, Andy! That was very kind of you.
I didn’t enjoy that challenge much — but I did learn from it.

Andy Hough May 7, 2013 at 5:29 pm

You’re welcome. It’s good that the challenge was a learning experience.

Blogging Banks May 8, 2013 at 10:04 am

Andy, why do you always keep shooting yourself in the foot every time you get some progress in your finances?

You should keep working for the next 4 -5 years, save 50% of your income, live on a budget, and then you will be able to take all the hiking trips you want for the rest of your life.

Andy Hough May 9, 2013 at 8:12 am

The working a few years and then being able to hike anytime does sound good, but I’m impatient. I am trying to get some time off work to go on a short hike so I might not completely shoot myself in the foot this time.

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