It’s All About The Benjamins

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As this blog has grown in readership, our identities are out there more than ever before. People close to us know all about our “Rich Ben, Poor Ben” dynamic, and Unconbentional has popped up in our real lives in some seriously surprising ways. My roommate’s mom in Kamloops had a friend send her one of our articles. I started reading another personal finance blog, and found a link back to us. Our strong opinions on personal finance have both won and lost us friends. Whether we like it or not, Unconbentional is a part of our lives now. Well, it’s been a long time since we’ve done a “Rich Ben” update, so I shot Ben a line in NYC. He’s not as used to the infamy of running a blog like I am, so I can’t report hard numbers. In any case, I asked him what I could tell our readers.

Ben is “still aiming for [FI by] 33, still making ‘$100k+’.” He’s living bigger than the old Ben I knew, but at his salary, he can afford to. I asked him what he’s been up to.

In the 1.5 years since I moved here, my net worth has doubled.

“This year I traveled to Mexico, Vancouver, Poland, and England (and I plan to do a similar amount of travel next year, not sure where yet).

[…] As you would expect from the doubling, about half my net worth is CAD, and half USD at this point.”

FYI, the “$100k+” he’s making is in USD. Even if he’s only making $100,000 even, that’s currently $127,700 CAD. Holy crap. (In my early years freelancing, I’ve been below a tenth of that before. Ben’s killin’ it.)

“I did my best to calculate my savings rate, and it’s actually a lot better than I expected, unless I’m missing something: 63% for the past year (Nov ’16 through Oct ’17). And that’s excluding the money I got back from my taxes, because that’s probably just for this year.

[…] In fact, let me revise further to about 56%. I’ve only done some very rough math”.

As you know, savings rate is arguably the most important indicator for early retirement. I’m happy to report my savings rate for November is on track, and I’m at 30%.

Rich Ben will be FI in four years, and Poor Ben – me – is planning on working forever (for reasons like this and this). I’m still paying down debt, but my savings should get a massive boost in March 2018 as I take on another renter. I expect to save a minimum of $300/month (or $10/day) from now on.

Knowing that every $1 I’m able to invest now will mean $10 by 65, I’m doubling down on work as well. For this reason, I’m scaling Unconbentional down to 2 posts a month for 2018. (It used to be four.)

This is also due to the fact I’m a paid copywriter now! A startup recently hired me to write on topics like real estate and credit, and I’m receiving $0.15/word! I’m disappointed to scale back on Unconbentional, but I’m confident this will bring up the overall quality of our posts instead of rehashing the same old crap. In a way, I’m still writing four posts a month. It’s just that two of them are for that startup now, and I’m pretty stoked to finally get paid for my time.

Anyway, that’s us! What are your goals for 2018?

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