Liebster Award!

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Last week-end I received a Liebster Award from my fellow blogger over at MyMoneyfesto, so thank you very much FelixMoney for the nomination!

If you haven’t already, go check out his blog at www.mymoneyfesto.com. He started his blog in January, bought a business in February, sold his house in March, all while working his full-time job! I suspect he has some special power that allow him to sleep only 4h/night (supporting my guess is that his nomination came in at 1:30AM Sunday morning) so I’m sure he’ll do great with his business ventures and I look forward to reading and learning from his experience along the way.

The Liebster Award is passed on from blog to blog to help the community network and discover new, upcoming blogs while learning more about its bloggers in the process. Where it started is unclear but the oldest blog found seems to be this german blog with the first award in 2010. If the 2 synapses of my brain that survived my last Oktoberfest are correct, “liebster” is a mark of affection or friendship used for example in “My Dearest Friend” or “Mein Liebster Freund”. Bitte schön.

Liebster Award rules

The rules are simple:

  • You are to share 11 facts about yourself so readers can get to know you better.
  • Mention has to be made to the person that nominated you;
  • Answer the 5-11 questions that were asked by the person that nominated you;
  • Nominate another 3-5 bloggers to receive the Liebster Award and ask them 5-11 questions;
  • Let your nominees know either by leaving a comment on their blog, sending them an email, calling them out on social media, etc.

11 facts about me:

  1. I am getting married in 2 months!
  2. I make home-made flavored rum. The all-time favorites are pomegranate-mango and kiwi-banana.
  3. Numbers are sexy. As Deming said : “In god we trust; all others bring data”
  4. When I was at university, I won the local Quake3 tournament. Call me a geek.
  5. I do not watch TV. Comcrap has been cancelled and replaced by an Apple TV. My recent favorite show is House of Cards.
  6. I love to travel and this is definitely one of the key motivations to reach FI.
  7. My goal is to reach Financial Independence before I turn 40.
  8. If I could, I’d love to live in Barcelona. The weather is great, the architecture is phenomenal and the overall ambience is very attractive.
  9. I’m a night owl. I work best at night. Typically with a cup of tea (preferably bergamot if you ask) and some relaxing music
  10. Currently, I live in Texas working in the Oil & Gas industry. It’s a bloodbath these days. Fingers crossed.
  11. Recently, I’ve developed an interest in growing my own herbs and flowers. Recent successes are basil and orchids.

Oh, hold on, my cup of tea is empty. Let me go for a refill before we get to MyMoneyfesto’s questions.

Rhum arrangé
Home made flavored rum Pomegranate / Mango (front) & Vanilla / Orange (back)

10 questions from MyMoneyfesto:

  1. What’s the best/worst financial decision you’ve ever taken? The best financial decision I’ve taken so far was to fund my fiancée’s MBA tuition so she could finish the 2nd year. Those programs are expensive but this brought her so much value with improved business knowledge and friendships with amazing classmates. Also, since it’s such a difficult project, this was a great work of introspection on what really matters to her. A side effect is that I got interested in finance and economics, read all her material on the subject and started to develop a real interest in the subject about 1 year ago. Her teachers were brilliant and they could make complex matters simple. I then realized how ironic it was : unless you have the means to pursue an elite education, it is difficult to gain access to this knowledge. That is self-reinforcing inequality in action. I believe this knowledge should be freely available and this is why I started this blog.
  2. What plans do you have with your blog? Luckily, the last Oktoberfest spared a few neurons and those left are absolutely fired up about this blog! I want to make high-quality content freely available to empower people to make informed decisions about finance, because it has so many long term implications. That’s a big goal, maybe not a little over optimistic, but that’s what is keeping me going for now.
  3. What would you do in life if you didn’t have to work for money? I’d want to keep learning as much as I can and find ways to give back to society, like teaching or running a business that puts us in a better place tomorrow than we’re in today.
  4. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received and the best advice you can give? The best advice I received and that I would give, is to remember that our time on earth is finite so everything we decide to do has to be pretty damn important. And when I can’t figure out what’s really important, I try to focus on minimizing my ‘regret’ factor and I ask myself: “When I’ll be old and I look back at my life, is that something that I will regret not having done/tried?”. Jeff Bezos calls it the ‘regret minimization framework‘.
  5. What is happiness to you? Happiness to me is the direct consequence of the regret minimization framework. When I feel content with what I have achieved, I generally feel positive about the future and that brings me happiness.
  6. What would you like to be remembered for? Hopefully, a good husband, a good father, a good brother, a good son and a good friend.
  7. What do you enjoy doing the most? I hesitate writing this in case my wife is reading, but I love cooking! She says I’m the best chef in town but there’s clearly a conflict of interest here.
  8. How do you plan to reach financial independence? Our plan to reach financial independence is to increase of Savings Rate to 50+% and invest the surplus. If that works out as planned, we will be both FI by the time we reach 40. This strategy only helps us rationalize our spend so we are also starting to look into opportunities to increase our income.
  9. What is financial independence to you? To me, being financially independent is having enough wealth to not have to work for a living or at least on your own terms.
  10. What’s the most important question in life, according to you? I don’t know what the question is, but the answer is 42!

I really enjoyed these questions and the self reflection that it put me through. For a moment it felt like a psychoanalysis without the sofa, I feel refreshed! Thanks again to MyMoneyfesto for the selection.

My nominations:

Fervent Finance is a 27 year old working as an accountant in NYC who re-evaluated his spending, saving and lifestyle so he doesn’t have to work until he his 60.

Laura over at MyShinyNickels had a wake-up call when one day her credit card statement showed 90$ of available credit. Her family went from 40k$ of debt to 100k$ of savings in 2 years and they recently bought a laundromat.

Chasinggains is a 18 year old Australian chasing fitness and financial gains: both require perseverance and regular practice.

Sarah at Unsettle.org, she is an online entrepreneur, writer and traveler and has a mission to help people stop thinking and start doing, so they can stop settling for ‘ok’ lives and careers and start acting on their ideas.

My questions:

  1. What’s the best/worst financial decision you’ve ever taken?
  2. What is one thing you are really good at?
  3. If you could meet anyone dead or alive, who would that be and what would you talk about?
  4. What is the achievement you are the most proud of?
  5. What is your most important failure and what did you learn from it?
  6. You win the lottery and your financial independence is guaranteed for the rest of your life: what do you do with this fortune?
  7. What is your favorite post that you’ve ever written (with link)?
  8. What are some of the topics you would like to write about in the near future?

I wish you guys to have as much fun as I’ve had writing this blog post and I’m looking forward to read yours!

-Nick Money Miner.

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12 COMMENTS

  1. Hey there! Great post, thanks for answering the challenge 🙂 I’m very intrigued about the kiwi-banana rum. We’ve tried infusing vodka with bananas, but it came out slimy?
    Congrats about the wedding! Waiting for a detailed post about that, how much it cost you and where did you spend the honeymoon 🙂
    We have more things in common than I thought: we both love to travel, don’t watch TV and love tea and gardening. We’ve built a raised planter last year and had some success with tomatoes and basil (basil plant grew like a bush). One of my best childhood friends lives in Barcelona. I’ve never been to visit, but it’s definitely on my list.
    I’ve really enjoyed reading more about you and your answers to my questions were great! I also think about what regrets I might have when I get old and try to live by minimizing those regrets. And I am happy to learn the answer to the existential question. 42 sounds great to me! Maybe that’s the age we’ll be financially independent 😉
    I’m glad you’ve nominated Fervent Finance, I was going to nominate him too. And you’ve nominated some other bloggers I have yet to discover, but glad to network and meet new people and blogs.
    Anyways, thanks again for participating, this was fun!

  2. I have never tried infusing vodka with bananas, but that sounds delicious 🙂 What I did do is limoncello and that turned out great. An important step is to filter the infusion to get a clear liquor (coffee filters will do), there are good recipes on TheVintageMixer.com.
    With a good basil tree you can do pesto sauce every week for close to nothing, it’s awesome and very frugal 🙂

    How is your business going? Can’t wait to see another post on this and what you’ve learned so far!

  3. Catching up on your blog, and enjoyed learning more about you! And super impressed that you’ve had success with orchids! (Let’s just say that our house is like an orchid death chamber.) 😉

    • Orchids can be hit or miss, what I found worked well is very regular (weekly) watering & feeding (in small doses) and good lighting. But maybe I’ve just been lucky!

  4. So is your rum home made or just flavor infused? Either way, that’s awesome! We’ve got 3 different liqueurs going, and drank our blueberry lemon infused vodkas. I just brewed a batch of beer tonight, but that’s been really off lately. This was my first batch since November? Gah!!!
    I used to cultivate violets with no effort which evidently, like orchids is hard. I attribute it to luck or who knows what but I manage to kill a lot of things no matter how much I want to garden, lol.

    • The rum is flavor infused. I don’t have the gear to distill alcohol so I get great rum from the store and I know I don’t risk anyone going blind haha. I also experimented with vodka to make limoncello, it was great.
      But blueberry lemon flavored vodka? That sounds super delicious! I’ll need to give it a try for sure.
      And on top of that you make your own beer? This is seriously cool.
      Maybe you should think about opening an ‘organic’ alcohol store!

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