A Closer Look at Transportation Costs

Just like the average family’s transportation cost is not some fixed punishment that the cruel world imposes on them.. it’s a measure of the amount of driving that they have designed into their lives, multiplied by the level of inefficiency of the vehicles they have chosen for themselves.

Mr. Money Mustache

In my last post I laid out my plans for reducing my expenses in 2013.  A few of you left some really great comments and suggestions for reducing expenses for which I am most grateful.  I’ve had some time to think more about the largest expense of those three, transportation.  Today I’m going to dig a little deeper into what my transportation costs will be for the year if things stay the way they are and what the potential saving could be if I eliminate one of the modes of transportation. Continue reading

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Recent Buy

Things have been quiet on the buy side of investing for The Stoic.  My last purchase was back in November and since then there have not been many opportunities to put cash to work.  Don’t get me wrong, its nice to watch the balance in my brokerage account trending up, but it comes with a cost; higher priced stocks.  So I’ve been patiently waiting for the time when the market goes the other direction.  Anyone who has read this blog for any length of times knows that I like to do my buying when stocks are on sale.  It is a habit I learned early on and one I have not been able to shake.  For now I have been happy investing in cash waiting for the right time to pick up a few shares of stocks on my watch list.  Today I was presented with such an opportunity…

Vodafone (VOD)

I’ve been watching VOD for well over a year now.  I was upset for not picking up shares when the price dropped to just over 25 back in November.  VOD has seen its share price decline in recent weeks and today I opened a position in the large international telecom.  I picked up 115 shares at 24.68 with a yield of 6%, based on the 2012 dividend.  Although I can’t predict which direction the VOD share price is heading next, I’m comfortable with adding a new stock to my portfolio at these prices.  If share price drops more or I see a bottom forming at the current price I’m likely to add more shares in the future.

If you want to know more about VOD I recommend checking out Dividend Growth Machine who was also a buyer at today’s prices.  Check out his site and his reasons for buying VOD and let me know what you think.

Expense Reduction Project 2013

Although I want to reduce my expenses as much as possible this year I’ve decided that it might be better to tackle a few categories at first so that I can gradually change my behaviors that tend to be the root cause of higher expenses.  On the chopping block for 2013 are the following:  food, electric, and transportation costs.  The goal will be to reduce these as much as possible without entirely eliminating them.  I’ll look at what the current cost for each item is, a goal for where I would like it to be, and possible ways of reducing the expense.  I will then do a quarterly follow-up for the year to gauge progress. Continue reading

2013: A Year Of Adjustments

Although I enjoy being back home, it has not come without its share of adjustments.  May-October was pretty much an extended vacation.  My days were filled with rock climbing, wakeboarding, motorcycle riding, camping and basically enjoying life with no responsibilities.  That little taste of owning my time has me thinking of early retirement or semi-retirement much more so than I once did.  Work isn’t horrible, but having some place I have to be five days out of the week, well, it sucks. Continue reading