Category: Lifestyle

Constantly looking for sales in Singapore? Do your ears perked up and also eyes gleamed when you see discount rates or warehouse sales current? Well, there is absolutely nothing incorrect in that due to the fact that every Singaporean likes an excellent sale!

Exclusive online sales clubs have found their location in Singapore which offer huge discounts in their day-to-day sales because basically, there are a lot of bargain seekers in Singapore, an area that seems to be having sales throughout the year. From tiny retail electrical outlets to established chain store or countless blogshops and also private on-line sales club, customers remain in for a great price cut almost everywhere.

Sales in Singapore are seasonal in nature. Considering the end of the year, brand names will be getting rid of stocks as well as this corresponds well with the yearly Singapore Christmas Sale that is embraced by every brand name and also store as they capitalise on the Christmas buying. As soon as that is done, we get to completion of period sales as well as in Singapore, consumers are not decreasing even after their Christmas shopping spree as a result of better discounts.

As Singaporeans commemorate the New Year with aplomb, one expects the shopping euphoria pass away down however the begin of the year just brings after even more anticipate shoppers in Singapore. January still sees several stores clearing their stocks and also holding last price decrease sales. While they are bringing in brand-new collections, it is these period where brand names get ready for the Lunar New Year with just what else, the Lunar New Year sale !! With most of Singapore’s populace composed of the Chinese, this is one sale that will see lots of earnings for sellers.

It gets much better as completion of May gives Singaporeans what is perhaps the biggest and most awaited sale in the fiscal year; the Great Singapore Sale! Beginning at the end of May as well as running all the means through July, this mega sale is an island-wide event and also almost every brand name as well as shop will be whipped into this whirlwind of big price cuts, severe decrease of rates as well as absolute deals.

You could be sure that on the internet shops are not lost in all this, with the discount rates in their everyday sales easily matching a few of the biggest bargains you could discover in the stores. Yet this is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of clothing sales, as there are customer electronic sales in Singapore such as the Harvey Norman Sale, Courts Mega Sale along with the huge IT Fairs that occur as soon as every 3 months.

Foxysales, a Singapore based on-line purchasing store, permits Singapore Sales, less expensive, Shopping Singapore with great option, far better discount rates describing that Singapore online buyers favor to patronize a regional on-line store.

I wrote a previous blog on money management where I shared some tips on how to identify where you are wasting money and then gave my own personal formula (via an downloadable excel spreadsheet found here) the gauge all of your spending. If you are coming from that blog, then you are in the right place. If you are just looking at this blog for the first time, it may be prudent to go back and check out the previous one I wrote or at least download the excel spreadsheet because you will need it for the next step.

Step 2 – Formulating a simple budget that you will actually follow.

It was told to me early on in life by a very wealthy mentor of mine who I respect dearly that if I couldn’t manage $1, then I couldn’t manage $1 Million dollars. This is so true, I meet people all the time who’s personal finances are garbage even when they are making great money in their career.

It all comes down to money management and budgeting. Again, this is another common thread among all wealthy people I have ever met; they all have a budget based on a formula that uses money as a tool never spending it emotionally. Here is what to do.

Take that excel spreadsheet you just downloaded. (or get it here)

The idea here is very simple. Manage any and all money that you get. EVERY SINGLE CENT! If you know what your monthly income is, it becomes very easy to budget, if you are like me and get paid in lump sums sporadically then disciplining yourself to a system like this is crucial!

Ok so here is how it works: For every dollar I take in, it gets split up and put in to different bank accounts. Each bank account represents a different aspect that I am saving for. In my case I have 8 Bank accounts. I explain what I use them for and the benefits.

  1. Wells Fargo Checking / Savings account – This account is used for daily spending, and paying bills. Think of it as your most active account, all money is deposited here before it goes to other accounts.

For daily spending and bill payment, I like Wells Fargo. The important thing to remember here is to bank with a bank that is convenient to for you with lots of locations and low fees across the board. As of right now, I pay NO FEES with Wells. I think B of A is the worst, and Chase Bank is in the middle when it comes to big banks.

  1. Discover Bank # 1 – Taxes (This is where I said aside money for taxes every year)
  2. Discover Bank # 2 – Emergency Fund account (Save for a rainy day)
  3. Discover Bank # 3 – Long Term Savings (Use for large purchases like a house or car etc.)

I use Discover bank because they give you the highest rate of return for a savings account. 0.95% to be exact and…

  • No minimum deposits
  • No Account Fees
  • Open as many accounts as you want
  1. Capital One 360 # 1 – Annual Expenses account (Money set aside for annual expenses like car insurance, property tax etc.)
  2. Capital One 360 # 2 – Vacation Fund (Saved money for Vacations)

I use Capital One 360 because they pay a pretty good rate of return on money in savings and my account doubles over as my top pick for a travel debit card that has

  • No minimum deposits
  • No Account Fees
  • Open as many accounts as you want
  • NO foreign transaction fees
  • No ATM banking fees.

(If you are interested in opening up a Capital1 360 Account and want $20 for free just for doing so, click this link.)

  1. Wealthfront Account – Managed Portfolio Long term investing account

(Click here to learn about wealth front and why I recommend them. Clicking this link will get your first$15,000 managed for FREE!!)

  1. FXCM Account – This is my active foreign currency trading account as I trade currencies daily. If your are interested in learning how to trade I wrote a blog about it here,  otherwise, dedicate the 5% I am setting aside in this account to some other find or investment.

Now take some time to look it over the excel spreadsheet. If you need to open a couple accounts, don’t worry, this can literally be accomplished in an hour, follow the links above to use my recommendations, or feel free to open up accounts where your want to.

Keep in mind that I am a 1099 independent contractor that means I pay my own income taxes each year. If you are a W-2 employee, then you can zero out the taxes line because your taxes are collected before you get paid. Personally I set aside 18%-20% a year for myself, you may pay less or more depending on how much you make and what your tax liabilities look like.

  • Enter all of your monthly and annual expenses. (You will see some numbers starting to populate)
  • Replace my bank accounts with your banks and match them closely as possible, meaning if you have a normal B of A or Chase Checking and savings account, that should be your main account at the top. If you have an E*TRADE, Schwab or IRA, replace my Wealthfront account with yours etc.
  • If there are some areas where you will need to set up new bank account, leave them blank for now
  • Now enter in your monthly income at the top in the yellow (total monthly Colum)
  • By now you should see some of the boxes populating. I will explain what’s happening here

The Breakdown.

Ok by now you probably have a good idea of what I am driving at here, but I will explain anyway. This formula is partitioning all of your income into different savings columns to give you a well rounded and financially savvy money management system.

The breakdown as seen in my excel sheet looks like this.

  • I earn $100
  • $20 (20%) is saved for taxes and taken right off the top (Skip step if you are a W-2 employee)
  • Now I have $80 Left
  • $40 (50%) Goes to my living expenses, i.e. rent, mortgage, car payment, food, gas etc.
  • $10 (10%) – To the emergency fund, after all shit happens.
  • $10 (10%) – Long-term savings fund. This could be for a future large purchase like a car or house down payment.
  • $8 (8%) – Annual Expenses Account – Like car registration or medical/life insurance. Things that get paid once per year
  • $7 (7%) – Vacation Fund – To broke to take a vacation, do this for a year, and I promise you that you will have enough to take a vacay!
  • $10 (10%) – Long-term investment account – YOU NEVER TOUCH THIS MONEY! This is for your retirement. You may be thinking I’m way to young to start saving for retirement, but the difference between starting this habit at 20 years old compared to 30 years old will mean a difference of hundreds, yes I said hundreds of thousands by the time your retire. So don’t fuck around with this one, set the 10% aside and forget about it.
  • $5 (5%) – For me it goes to an active trading account that I personally trade. If you have no desire to learn how to actively trade, you can simply put this money towards some other kind of investment short term to medium term, but this money is not for bullshit, it’s money set aside for short-Medium term investments with a bigger return on the short side.

Conclusion

This whole idea was adopted after first reading the age old book The Richest Man in Babylon. When done correctly you will learn to pay yourself first and then save and invest the rest of it leaving a little hear and there for having a good quality of life.

My parents generation saved about 20%-30% of there income on average. My generation saves a measly 5%-10% and knowing that we are going to need a least a cool million to retire on (4 times as much as my parents will need) we need to get on this today. There is literally no time to waste.

Again, if you are in debt, or not making a lot of money, apply this formula anyway. Rework the numbers to make them fit your situation. If you are in some serious debt, check out my blog on &^%&^%&*^%&* if you are just not making that much or spend money stupidly, then I challenge you to try this for 90 days. If after 90 days you don’t feel like you have a better handle on your finances and that you are heading in the right direction, comment here and I will jump out of an airplane to promote what ever you want me to.

Money is a tool. It is only emotional when you don’t have enough of it. It controls you, or you control it, simple as that.

****And as a bonus, if you are still not convinced, Acorns is a nifty little app that allows you to invest pocket change from rounded up expenditure in to the market as a long term investment. Follow this link to check it out and get $5 for opening an account.

Did you mis part 1 of this blog? Read it here!

 

I have written many blogs on personal finance, today I am going to speak specifically about investing, but not investing from the standpoint of a 40-something somewhat wealthy person with savings in the bank, a house and a stable career he or she has been in for over a decade.

This blog is aimed towards Millennials. If you a person age 18 to 34 then listen close because applying the small techniques that I am going to share in this blog could mean the difference between your financial success and failure later on in life.

Before I get in to the Nitti gritty of this, I want you to know that if you feel like you are broke at the end of each month, living paycheck to paycheck or simply just not making enough to meet your monthly nut and save a little bit at the end of each month then this blog is for you.

You could also be one of the thousands of recently graduated college students on the job hunt drowning in school loan debt wondering how you are ever going to get ahead.

Or, maybe you are doing ok financially and you are just looking for more ways to become savvier with your money.

Whatever category you fit in, what I am about to share is going to help you tremendously! Enough said, lets jump in to it.

Step 1 Gauging where you are.

I have never met a wealthy person who did not know where they were at financially. People who have built real wealth have some type of formula they use to save, invest, pay taxes and to live. This has been one constant that I have experienced with every wealthy person I have met that didn’t inherit the money or get lucky.

What you need to do is figure out where all your money is going. I think you would be surprised to find out that you probably waste about $20 a day on bullshit. What I mean is you may have a daily Starbucks Frappuccino habit, or maybe you never cook at home and eat out 3 times a day. What ever it is everyone has their vices and they are costing you greatly.

So, first thing is first, write down all of your expenses. Everything. From monthly fixed expenses like Rent, mortgage payments, car payments utilities etc. right down to your varying miscellaneous expenses. This will allow you to see where all of your money is going.

Remember we cannot fix a problem until we can recognize there is one, and this is going to help you gauge where you are at financially.

In part 2, I am going to share with you the simplest budget you have ever seen that anyone can follow even if you think you are to broke to save. In fact, I am going to share with you my own personal excel document that you can use to do this exercise.

 

Shortly after I returned home from my wedding in Costa Rica, I felt motivated to do something with all of the footage I had collected for the year leading up to our beautiful wedding in Costa Rica and the entire week of fun that we had in Central America. I wanted to make something that Keeley and I would always be able to look back at to remember this time in our lives and show to our kids one day!

This entire movie was shot on cell phone cameras and Go Pros! Coupled with my limited video editing skills, I put together a 40 minute movie that tells the story of the entire year leading up to our marriage and I think it’s pretty epic.

In the movie, you will go on a journey with us and all of our friends to around the world, surfing, skydiving, dodging volcanoes and eventually see the moment that changed our lives forever.

I hope that you like it as much as I do! Now enjoy, and let me know what you think! Thank you in advance for watching and for everyone who was a part of this and helped make this happen!

In my last blog I wrote about the Joy’s and freedoms of working remotely. If you missed it, read it here! This will give you a little better context of what I am writing about in this 5-Step process to finding the perfect remote job to keep you traveling and experiencing the world all while making money from your lap top.

Here is my 5-Step Process.

1 – Find a job, skill, or way that you can actually do that will produce income with out you physically needing to be there.

This is going to be your most difficult task. You may be saying to yourself “well I am a doctor, how could I possibly practice medicine from a laptop?” Well this comes down to how resourceful you want to be. My dad is doctor, a Podiatrist to be exact and he has been looking into what is know as “tele-medicine” which is basically on call and on demand video conferencing from doctors to patients. Say you have a foot problem, you go on the site, set an appointment, my dad would accept it, you are instantly connected, he gives your advice and recommendations and your done. The system charges the patients credit card and they go on their way. Booya, there is a way a doctor can work 100% remotely. You may be surprised what you find if you really start thinking of all the different ways you could monetize your skill sets right from a computer from anywhere in the world, don’t worry, we will get to that in number 2.

2. Get really good with technology.

If you are going to have any chance at being an entrepreneur on the road, then you are going to have to get really good with leveraging technology and automation. What do I mean by this. Well put it this way, I can pretty much run all of my business from my iPhone. Everything from a CRM to a VOIP telephone system that allows me to communicate effortlessly through WIFI any where in the world. This means that if you are planning on getting in to a business that has to ship “real” goods and logistics as well as a customer service dept. will be necessary, than you are going to have your work cut out for you. I am not saying that it is impossible, just going to take a couple extra steps of strategic planning and utilization of technology that automates the process.

3. Simple is better.

A good business is not necessarily a complex business. I would consider a solid business to be one that is profitable, allows you to live the life you desire and takes care of it’s employees and it’s customers. Some of the best businesses that I know of were born out of the simplest ideas or needs by a consumer. Take for example the work we do at the FX365 Institute, we teach people how to trade currencies all over the world from office in San Diego. We have students in 20 U.S. States and 4 countries that take our course 100% remotely and learn a skill set that allows them to make money in the foreign currencies market anywhere in the world from a laptop.  Don’t over complicate this part. The less you need to run your business, the better off you will be.

4.How much do you really need to make?

My favorite part of explaining these concepts to people is conveying the fact that a business only needs to make you a “enough” money in order for it to change your life. If you added up all of your expenses annually, and then added in the costs to live in another country or to travel a couple months out of the year I think you will be surprised to find that you don’t need to make $300K per year to achieve your goals. In fact, I have been able to travel about 2 months out of every year for the past decade making around $100k per year. The best part is that I only really needed about $60K to sustain so any extra money that I make on top of my yearly nut goes in to savings and investments. This allows me to stay diversified, active in the markets using online portfolio managers, and open to new ideas and businesses while I can keep the quality of life I have come to enjoy. The point is to make enough and then a little more. You don’t need to be a millionaire to pull this off.

5. Multiple Streams of Income remotely

 I know you have heard this one before, but maybe not through the lens of doing it remotely. Every book I have read on this topic is about real estate and multiple businesses that would require you to physically be somewhere to manage those streams. When you start to venture down the road of working remotely you start looking at businesses in a whole new light.

I have come up with a couple of questions that I use to test the remote possibilities of a business. These days, if they do not get passed these questions with a yes, then I am probably going a different direction. I wrote two articles that may give you more context when it comes to working remotely, follow the links below to check them out:

Does your Remote business pass the litmus test? Could you actually leave the country for weeks or months at a time and still count on the business to grow on its own and produce income.

In this article I am going to share with you some of the most important questions that you should be asking yourself to avoid a career that is going to keep you chained to your desk.

When I am approached with a business or come up with an idea, I ask myself these following questions to help me decide if I should even consider pursing the business. I wrote a blog recently about The Joys of working remotely and also my 5-Step process to finding the perfect career where you can travel the world and work from a laptop.

I have come up with a couple of questions that I use to test the remote possibilities of a business. These days, if they do not get passed these questions with a yes, then I am probably going to go a different direction. I wrote two articles that may give you more context when it comes to working remotely.

Now for the smell test questions:

1.  If I spent a year building this business and I left the country for 2-4 weeks with out being able to call back or answer any emails would it still be standing when I go home?

This may take some introspection and some deep thinking about what the business is, who it would involve and what you would need to figure out to get all of the pieces together. This type of think and evaluation will become paramount when assessing situations for your business in the future, so play the tape out and visualise as best as you can where you would see yourself and the business in a year or two.

2.  Is this a business I can run myself, or will I need to hire or contract out work to properly run it and if I do, will I be able to effectively manage the team remotely? 

If you can do it on your own, great, do it! Unfortunately most enterprises even small ones will need to depend on others to accomplish what ever it is your business will do or provide for people. The question you need to concern yourself with is can you effectively manage then from a far or set the business up in a way where employees or partners can or would be self serving and motivated to accomplish tasks day to day to keep the company running smoothly. 

3.  On a scale from 0%-100% how much of the business can I automate?

(0%-60% is no good / 60%-80% is ok / 80%-100% is ideal). Automation is going to be key for you to managing efficiently from a far. It will allow you to batch work and delegate important work properly. Also it really allows you to step away from the business or parts of the business for days or weeks at a time and then come back to spot check at a later date. Most importantly automation usually takes the place of what human used to do and will allow you to perform more high value activities for the business.

4. Will it make me enough money to give me the life I desire to have and if so how long will it take to get me to that point? 60 Days? 6 months? A year? 

For more on this topic check out my blog I wrote on Time vs. Money! This will really put this step in to perspective for you.

5. Pros and cons list – Now for the final step, write down all of the great things about how the business is going to get you what you want out of it. Examples could be things like “90% automation” or “allows me to travel 6 months per year” etc and then do the same for all of the potentially negative elements about the business. Make sure to be real with yourself here. Don’t sugar coat this part.

Once you have completed all of these steps, then you will have a solid understanding about what you could potentially be getting involved in. I can’t stress the importance of the exercises!

Working as a management consultant for a number of years I have a keen ability to understand what is going to make a business succeed or fail. Unfortunately most folks don’t even think about these things when starting a business. Instead they get excited about the idea, or one aspect of the new business and run with it throwing caution to the wind and ignoring or simply not flushing out the idea and all the pit falls that would ensue first.

Be smart, be savvy and get the business that will give you the life you desire but don’t ever be afraid to give your idea a litmus test! It will save you time, money and heartache in the future. These simple actions will keep you on the right track helping you to avoid a business or an idea that will stand in the way of a more well suited business or opportunity that will give you everything you need.

 

 

 

Do you ever dream of being able to run a business from anywhere in the world? Have you ever found yourself looking online for different ways you could travel abroad and somehow make an income while you were half way around the world.

Over the past decade I have been perfecting this skill. The truth is that it is not as easy as it sounds. This is especially true if you are used to a 9 to 5 standard day job. The dream of one day quitting that job and breaking free from the chains of the corporate world can be elusive and fleeting.

When I was 22 I left the country for the first time. I had always wanted to travel but I was a troublemaker growing up and spent the later part of my teen years in rehab getting sober. By the time I was 20, I had been sober for a couple of years and my life was back on track, so I decided to leave America and embark on an adventure.

I signed up for a study abroad trip to Spain, paid the money and prepared to leave home. To be perfectly honest, this trip wouldn’t be my first time out of America, I frequently went to Mexico in my teen years growing up in San Diego. None of my trips to Mexico had any real cultural importance. In fact, I don’t even really remember what transpired during most of those trips and never really made farther the the Tijuana bars on Revolution Blvd. This trip was going to be different, I was with college kids, and there was some structure, so I figured that was a good place to start.

IMG_0015_2

I remember getting off the plane in Madrid. I was bustled away from the group with my host mom who didn’t speak a lick of English and was given a room in her little apartment. I was super jet lagged and had never been on a flight that long in my life so I passed out immediately.  When I woke up it was dusk outside. I walked down the 4 flights of stairs and sat out on the side walk in the neighborhood I was staying in listening to all of the sounds of the city and taking it all in. The smells, the cars, the food, everything was different, I didn’t know anyone around, and I was far from home. I was in LOVE.

This first encounter of Wanderlust was intoxicating to me. I vividly remember it and I was so grateful to be in that moment experiencing life again in a new way for the first time.

I thought to myself, what if I could do this all of the time, what if I could just travel a lot? It was sometime on that trip that I decided I was going to need to find a line of work that was going to allow me to do this. About a week before the program ended, I told my professors running the program that I wouldn’t be accompanying them back to America, and stayed in western Europe an additional 4 months traveling around Spain, Italy and France.

Once I ran out of money, I came home. At that time I was running a Mortgage office which surprisingly was still standing after my almost 5 months of me being gone. It didn’t matter though because I came home in September 2008 just in time to watch the housing market collapse completely. I was screwed. I had done really well for a kid who dropped out of college to get rich but it was all back firing now and traveling was the last thing on my mind.

After the dust settled I was about $190,000 in debt and in need of a new career. I had decided to go back to college a year earlier and had about a year and a half left for my undergrad degree so I figured I would spend the next 2 years finishing college and finding a career that would set me up to travel the globe and make money while I was doing so.

The first business that I found that worked really well for me was multi-level marketing. It seemed like a great fit, I was recruited in to a company being sold the dream that if I spent a couple years working hard at building an organization, it would eventually take off and continue to pay me residually. This was PERFECT. I could build the business for a couple years to about $100K per year then disappear to Indonesia

For a first timer in MLM, I did incredibly well, and I build that $100k per year income in a short amount of time but it was short live. The first company I was with asked me to leave and the second company I joined eventually went belly up. Also every time I would leave the country on a trip, I found myself on my phone or laptop the whole time putting out fires and that was just plane stupid.

When I finally walked away from the industry I decided to put my entrepreneur hat back on. I had raised some money for a tech start-up and was actively learning how to trade currencies in the FOREX market.

I never lost site of my desires and dreams of being able to make money from a Laptop; I just needed to be a little more resourceful. I found that as long as I can offer real value to a client even being a great distance away, that my capability to earn money anywhere where I was in the world would be there.

So over the past 5 years I have been doing just that. Most of the consulting work that I do is never from an office, maybe my home office. I do keep an office at the Currency trading school that I have a long-term contract with but they have always been cool with me leaving and making my own schedule. Again, I attribute that leniency to the results I am able to deliver. The moral of the story is that there is a million ways to make money and add value to a person, place or business, however you need to be resourceful if you are going to do this from a laptop half a world away.

I have put together my top 5 tips to finding your own way to take your business on the road with you for good. Read “Top 5 Tips to Working remotely.” To see what it’s all about

Bali is one of my favorite places to travel to. The first time I went back in 2010 I fell in love and it stole my heart. Since then I have been back multiple times, and I currently in the process of looking for a villa to buy so I can live between there and San Diego a couple months out of the year. I have been there so any times now that I have become somewhat of an expert on making your way there and how to avoid some of the typical tourists traps. Reading this blog will save you a couple of hours sifting through trip advisor and lonely planet. Enjoy!!

Bali Demographics

Population of Bali is about 4.1 Million with about 6 million tourists in and out each year.
Religions
Unlike most of Muslim-majority Indonesia, about 93.18% of Bali’s population adheres to Balinese Hinduism, formed as a combination of existing local beliefs and Hindu influences from mainland Southeast Asia and South Asia. Minority religions include Islam, Christianity, and Buddhism.
Language
Balinese and Indonesian are the most widely spoken languages in Bali, and like most Indonesians, the vast majority of Balinese people are bilingual or trilingual. There are several indigenous Balinese languages, but most Balinese can also use the most widely spoken option: modern common Balinese
Currency – Indonesian Rupiah
English is a common third language (and the primary foreign language) of many Balinese, owing to the requirements of the large tourism industry. Staff working in Bali’s tourist centers are often, by necessity, multilingual to some degree, speaking as many as 8 or 9 different languages to an often surprising level of competence.
Culture
Bali is famous for many forms of art, including painting, sculpture, woodcarving, handcrafts, and performing arts. Balinese gamelan music is highly developed and varied. The dances portray stories from Hindu epics such as the Ramayana. Famous Balinese dances include pendet, legong, baris, topeng, barong, and kecak (the monkey dance).
If you are thinking about planning a trip to go there, I have put a guide together to help you out

Flights to Bali

You can find flights from the US ranging from about $650-$1400 round trip for a standard economy ticket.

If you’re a surfer.

Bringing surfboards boards can make or break your travel budget. YOU MUST CHECK TRAVEL AND BAGGAGE RESTRICTIONS on all airlines. For example. China Air charges $100 per board each way when EVA air will charge $100 for a board bag (up to 2 boards) each way. You can find a really cheap ticket and end up paying $400 to get your boards to and from, so make sure you check before you buy.

Also, I have simply bought a surfboard when I got to Bali and sold it when I left, you lose about $100-$150 on the resale of the board, but it usually ends up being a wash.

Accommodations 

I have included a short list of all the popular places that people usually stay. If the name of the city is not on the list below, don’t stay there. For a group of 4+ people of mixed surfers and non-surfers, I suggest Canggu or Seminyak through Airbnb. Should be about $150-250 for a 3-5 bedroom place. Uluwatu is cool to stay at but there isn’t much to do on that side of the island exact go surfing.

Here is the break down:

  • Seminyak – Cool, lots of shopping nice area, not crazy like Kuta
  • Kuta – Mother fucking shit show if you like to party. Never Quiet, farthest from traditional bali, lots of drunk Australians
  • Canggu – Quiet, and where all the hipsters hang out.
  • Uluwatu – Surf Surf Surf, not much else to do
  • Ubud – Lots of Yoga, far from the beach.

MONEY – If you don’t have your capital one account yet, get it TODAY to make sure your card gets here in time!

One thing that you will need on your trip is access to $. I use a capital one account that charges no ATM or international fees and the best part about it is that if you use this link to sign up for the account, then you even get a $20 bonus just for opening it up.

The checking account has no FEES, No minimum balances, no gotchas or any other bullshit, it is my GO TO travel fund that I have used for years. So everyone reading this please follow this link, open an account with enough time before your trip to make sure you get your Debit/ATM card before you leave.

I’ve got it figured out to where you can pull money out of an ATM in Bali getting NO FEES ON EITHER SIDE!!!!

https://r.capitalone360.com/PNZJXWNyrj

  1. Make sure to bring Money for the ride the ride to and from the airports.
  2. Keep roughly $150-$300 cash USD for the trip

Here is what you can expect to be spending daily and what things cost.

  • Scooter rental $4-$7 per day
  • 1 hour massage $5
  • Breakfast $3-$5
  • Lunch $3-$5
  • Dinner $5-$8
  • Pre Paid Sim for Cell phone including internet $15 then about $10 per week ($35 for the whole trip)
  • Water – $3 per day
  • Gas for scooter every couple of days ($8)
  • Then incidentals, but you should plan for about $30 a day tops!

Travel Insurance 

I take out a travel insurance policy anytime I leave the country. I have ended up making a claim on it about 50% of the time. Travel insurance covers everything from Broken Boards, Smashed or Stolen Go-Pro to lost and delayed baggage and trip cancellation and or Medical expenses. Some people think their credit card covers this shit but it doesn’t. On average a travel insurance policy for a trip that we are taking is going to run you about $80-$120 and is worth EVERY FUCKING PENNY!

I usually go directly to my local AAA office and do it there, however if you are not a AAA member, here is the company I have used and they are solid and have paid out all the claims when I made them http://www.allianztravelinsurance.com/

Packing List 

For your convenience, I have included my packing list I use for Indo trips, this will cut down on you bringing a bunch of extras stuff and ensure that you have all of your really important items. (Click link to download the excel spreadsheet)

Cell Phones and Calling Home

You can get a cheapo phone in Bali to use to make calls locally or you can do what I do and get and “Unlocked” phone and buy a pre-paid sim card for it. Usually your best bet is to get an old iPhone, like a 5 or 5s (around $100) and just use it there. They are really convenient to have because you can get internet on them and use Google maps feature for turn by turn directions while you are navigating around on your scooter. Just makes sure that it is unlocked and you are good to go.

Otherwise you will be using Skype to make phone calls home, so if you don’t have an account, set one up and put $10 worth of credit on the account. Thats all you will need to call home, unless of course you have Mac or what to use FaceTime from your iPhone which is free with Wifi.

Here is a breakdown of the time changes so you can make calls.

Bali time change

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ok thats all you need to know. Your welcome as a bonus, I threw in the surf guide.

 

It’s a wrap, we’re married!

Keeley and I want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for sharing this chapter of our life. The wedding was absolutely amazing. Better than Keeley and I could have ever imagined or anticipated. We hoped and planned for the best, but what transpired over the week in Costa Rica went far beyond our expectations.

All of this could not have been possible without the love and support from our friends and family who graciously made the journey from all over the world to join us on our special day. Our hearts are filled with gratitude and we are so elated over the entire experience. We rode zip lines in the jungle, surfed in the warm Central American water, did lots of yoga and got married on the beach with our toes in the sand and an amazing Costa Rican sunset as our backdrop.

The most amazing part of our wedding week in Tamarindo was how everything just flowed. The weather called for pouring rain on our raining day, it didn’t rain a drop. We were able to spend time with all of our guests who came which was important to us because everyone made a long journey to get to Costa Rica.

To top it off, not only did our guests get along, they all made friends with each other which is so cool. I don’t know if I can attribute that to the quality of friends Keeley and I have or if we just got lucky on when it came to personalities that just jived. Either way, I have never seen a group of people in my life get along and engage with each other so well especially with such a diverse group of people from so many different walks of life. It was just really neat to experience that!

I am writing this final newsletter/blog from Santa Teresa, Costa Rica (about 4 hours south of where we got married). I have finally had some down time to take in the entire wedding experience. As I look through the photos, and see the posts coming through on Facebook and Instagram, I am filled even more with gratitude. I can honestly say that this wedding was the best day of my life. To be able to share this beautiful country and our wedding day with our families and closest friends meant the world to me.

We were able to capture this experience in time and essence of the entire week through photos and video of the wedding and all of the activities leading up to and after the wedding. As a result of this, I am going to make a very cool video outlining the entire trip. Look out in the next couple of weeks for that as I will put it up in another blog post along with links to download all of the photos from the wedding.

Also, keeley and I have decided to have two different receptions sometime this summer in San Diego and North Carolina for all of the guests who simply could not make the trip. We will send out a newsletter announcing that when we choose the dates.

Until then, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for everyone who came, it was absolutely magical!!!

Love Steve and Keeley.

 

Time vs Money vs Quality

2014 has been tumultuous year for a lot of people including myself. There are so many problems in the world here and abroad that it can be hard to simply focus on the task(s) at hand. It is easy to get caught up in unproductive actions when you have idle time and no new prospects on the horizon. Low productivity and a lack of results can become a habit-forming sickness if you let it.

After life throws a couple proverbial kicks in the balls or as I like to say “shit sandwiches”  at you, it can kill your confidence. In fact, you may have long streak of bad luck, or a shitty set of circumstances that has led you to the point of disparity. These “tests” are simply life experience that will allow you to build character, and although I would never wish bad things upon my fellow-man, shit happens and that’s life, so you are going to have to deal with it whether you like it or not.

So what to you do? 

There are many ways to deal with shitty life circumstances, but really when you get right down two it, most people’s lives boil down to either of these scenarios:

 1) Not enough money, too much time.

2) To much time, not enough money.

In my 30 years here on planet earth, I have seen and experienced a lot of people, places and things. Very little actually shocks or surprises me these days and that’s a good thing because I am not looking to be shocked or surprised. Instead, these days I’m looking for security, successful relationships and a long and vibrant life. When I have wound up in one or more of these scenarios over the years I would spin out really quick.

The best years I had making money were the years my personal relationships suffered the most, mainly because work came before everything else, and if there was work to be done, you weren’t important. This is no way to live unless you want to be a fat, bald, divorced rich guy who dates 22-year-olds in his late 40’s.

My worst years financially were the years that I grew the most as a human being. I found compassion and empathy for people who struggle that I never understood until I went through it. I made my best friends in life during those hard time and I believe it is due to the fact that when you have no material things to offer someone, then all you have to give is your friendship, loyalty and honor . To me those ideals are so much more important than money when it comes to who I associate with, and more importantly who I trust. It took me losing almost everything at 23 years old to realize it.

Finding the balance is always the hardest thing to do. I am a strict believer that those with the ability to reason (Homo Sapiens) have the hardest time living in a natural state. I’ll give you an example why:

Birds migrate to move from areas of low or decreasing resources to areas of high or increasing resources. The two primary resources being sought are food and nesting locations. If one of the birds had the ability to reason, he would negotiate renting a warm barn in the winter and find a way to store enough supplies to last him and his family the winter saving him and his family the burdensome task of flying several thousands of miles twice a year. The Birds brain does not allow for reasoning of this kind, in fact the bird couldn’t really even explain why it migrates, it just knows, as if nature set it up that way. If birds simply stopped migrating they would surely die by way of extreme weather and shortage of food.

You see, the ability to reason is a gift and a curse. If used properly and efficiently, a human can go on to live an extraordinary life but unfortunately this is not the case for most of us, and if you don’t believe me, take a stroll down your Facebook news feed and bask in sea of useless time wasting shit that gets posted on a daily basis. I know this because I have found myself getting sucked in to some stupid video and then next thing I know I lost an hour of my day looking at clip after clip of useless things that do not benefit my life in one way shape or form.

If the world was in perfect balance, there would no wars, no poor people, no suffering. On the flip side of that, If there were perfect balance you would not be allotted the opportunity to choose what type of life you want to live. In a basic sense, human nature as we know it is constant tug-o-war between what we really are, who we think we are, and what we want to become. Personally I find the most serenity in being comfortable and grateful for who I am now, and what I have now while always striving to better myself, and my situation. You can’t change the past, and you cannot tell the future so hope for the best but always plan for a worst case scenario situation. 

The truth is that any person possess the ability to spend their time being and doing productive things in life regardless of any one or multiple situations. You do not need to be rich to be happy, you need to understand what kind of life you want and then live it, that’s the key. 

So if you are currently in a situation like I wrote about above, I have put together a little matrix that may help you understand how to find balance and make some sense out of what I am trying to convey. 

IMG_3108

 

As you can see from my highly complex academic chart, if you work too much and spend a lot of time doing shit you don’t like doing, then you are going to be unhappy. If you strive for a good to great  balance between work and play, then you are going to be a much happier person. The perfect balance does not exist, so stop being a perfectionist and strive for something obtainable. Come on, it’s not f%*&^& rocket science!

Tips and Tricks

Here is what you can do when you have To much money and not enough time.

  1. INVEST and SAVE. How do you think the top 2% did it. The easiest way to make money and spend less time working is by making your money work for you, so when it’s rolling in, get it while you can, but then invest and save it for the times in life when there is little or no money coming in.
  2. Plan time for loved ones even when it’s going to cost you! Don’t make the mistake of sacrificing opportunities to build memories with friends and family chasing the dollar. My mentor Mike W. told me on his death-bed “Steve, I’m not dying in this bed thinking of all the missed opportunities in life where I could have made more money, instead I’m lying here in utter gratitude that my life allowed me the opportunity to spend a lot of time with the ones I loved and my livelihood allowed for us to have enough money to be happy.” I’ve never heard it better put than that.
  3. Try to Automate the system, meaning same or more income, less of you needing to be at your “job”. Read the “4 Hour Work Week” by Timothy Ferris, it will lay some insight in how to go about this.
  4. Continue to look for opportunities that will allow you to get more of your time back with the same or more amount of income, trust me, it’s very possible!

 

Now, lets talk about what to do when you are in the opposite side of the situation: To much time, not enough money.

  1. Survival Mode, this means that because of the lack of income, you cannot be stupid with money. You need to make it last but do it so but keeping the quality of your life intact as much as possible.
  • Use this as an opportunity to work on yourself, your mind, your body and spirit. Go to the GYM, go do some Yoga, go SURFING, don’t waste the time playing video games or staring at Facebook for 6 hours a day. If you have some time, go use it to your advantage, and go do some of the things that your job never allowed you to do!
  • Look for work, and don’t be prideful. If it got bad enough for me, I would go dig ditches, get unemployment, and what ever I needed to sustain the quality of life that I have even if it meant doing work that I feel is below me or take government subsidies until I’m back up on my feet.
  • DO NOT GO IN TO DEBT! Never ever ever ever ever put things on credit or take out loans with out a solid plan of getting out of that debt. If you have to live on credit to sustain your lifestyle, than you are living beyond your means and you need to cut the fat, don’t be prideful, you can buy that new car next year when you get that job and can pay cash.
  • Don’t get depressed. It’s not the end of the world, opportunities find their way to people who are looking for them. Even a broken clock is right twice a day, and I am sure that you are not a broken clock, so don’t let the bad times get you down, just embrace them, accept it and move on diligently.

Enjoy the rest of the Week.

Happy Thursday, The weekend is almost here!!!!!!!!!!!!!