How to grow a beard, save piles of money, and live a fancy life

So who is this bearded internet personality with the audacity to suggest that there is a link between beard and net-worth growth, that both are really simple, and that everyone else (almost) is wrong?

So we’re clear, I have no special qualifications, other than a beard and a six-figure net-worth. There are a lot of people out there with both of those things, and I’m no smarter than any of them. I just happen to be the one writing stuff down.

First, let me explain my personal motivation for this blog. I want a luxurious beard and a significantly larger net-worth. The best way to achieve your goals is to make them public, so that’s what I’m doing. And hopefully, my path can help other fellow travelers. I’ve decided to grow a beard and I have put together a plan that will have me and my wife completely financially independent within 10 years. What I mean by financial independence is that the annual earnings on our investments will be more than our annual spending, so we can just retire without ever having to worry about money again. I’m good at math, and the math tells me that if I work our plan, then we’ll reach that point in 10 years or less on a salary well south of six figures.

The beard won’t take nearly that long. Hell, I already have a beard. But I’m going after the coveted yeard, which is the full year beard growth. Plus, I want that fury beast to be fantastic.

Years are big things, so let’s talk about my families more short-term goals. What are we trying to accomplish on the beard and money front in the next few months, so you know what to look forward to in the short term. Here are our short term goals:

  • One badass beard.
  • Pay off all of our credit cards.
  • Pay off my car loan.
  • Turn in my wife’s asinine f-lease.
  • Buy a bicycle.
  • Build up a $10k cash cushion.
  • Renovate my kitchen and living room on a budget of less than $10k.
  • Renovate my guest bathroom for less than $500.
  • Travel all over Europe with my wife and two kids for free and actually make money while doing it.
  • Start saving over $3000 per month towards our long-term goal of financial independence in 10 years.

All of these goals I plan to have accomplished by the end of August on a base salary that brings home just south of $5k per month. You might think all of these goals are impossible. I know that they are more than possible, and if I follow the plan, then the math makes them certain.

Let’s start with the beard. I stopped shaving in January. It’s now March. Beard? Check. Guess what? I have a beard. Goal achieved, and all I had to do was stop shaving. I didn’t take any special vitamins. I didn’t use a drop of “beard oil.” Not once did I ever even think to hire a beard coach. I did check out some pictures of pretty sweet beards for motivation, but the only actual act I undertook was NOT doing something. How cool is that? I’m still working on the badass part, though, so there’s more work to do (if you consider notdoing work to be work.)

My wife and I are almost done paying off every credit card we have. The first two are done, and the third will be paid off in the next two weeks after some extra income flows into the account. For those keeping score, we have paid off over $12,000 in credit card debt in the last 4 months.

The car loan is on the kill list for next month. All of it. We will knock out the entire $5,000 balance in one shot, with some help from the income I’m bringing in as a world traveler. You heard me. One of my other goals above was traveling Europe with the whole family, and getting paid to do it. I’m writing this right now on a train from Munich to Prague. I’m heading back to my flat in Prague where we have been living for the past month. We just got back from Zurich. Every one of these trips has been financed by someone else, and they’ve been handing me $4,400 checks each month for the privilege. That’s on top of my base salary, which my employer keeps paying me even though I haven’t been to the office since the beginning of December. That’s a long story, and I’ll tell you the whole thing in a later post. You might be able to work a similar deal, so long as you don’t do something stupid like assume it’s impossible.

The lease is an easy one. Once again, we just have to do nothing. In this case, we just take the thing back to the dealer and walk away. No more payments, and the Beard Family becomes that rarest of species, the single-car family. That’s what the bike is for. We’ll save over $6,000 per year on that one decision alone. That’s $6,000 per year going towards our net-worth and not towards an unnecessary two-ton mechanized sofa. That’s a minimum of $88,700 dollars added to the net worth over the next ten years.

We want $10k in an emergency fund. Bad stuff happens, and we like to be ready. However, I don’t like keeping money in accounts that earn little to no interest. I hate it. But my wife does like knowing cash is an ATM machine away if we have to pay for an emergency root canal and the dentist only takes hundred dollar bills. We’re compromising here, were we keep some cash in an interest-bearing savings account (1%) until she can be convinced that we can stick tight to a budget.

You have two questions about my kitchen and bath renovation goal: (1) isn’t $10k way too little, and (2) HOLY SHIT! You shouldn’t be throwing money at something as unnecessary as a kitchen and bathroom remodel when you still have student loans! Yes, I know for a fact that I can beat that $10k budget using muscle and brains. And on your second point … I’ve got nothing. Every personal finance blog and book on the planet would tell me this one is a no-go. Suze Orman would throw a brick at me. All I can say is that this blog is different. It’s for badass bearded people that want to know how to retire young and live fancy while doing it. This is the living fancy part, I guess. At least you’ll get some good tips about installing tile, cabinets, and countertops as I go. If you can do the math and realize that saving $10,000 now equals $20,000 added to the net-worth in ten years, then you get the pleasure of knowing you’re smarter than and superior to Dr. Beard and further down the path of bearded money badassity than him.

The last goal … yes, you can easily save between 50-75% of your after-tax income without significantly lowering your quality of living. When you have a beard, it’s even easier, because everything you do is better with a beard. The reward? You get to completely retire in less than 10 years, no matter what your income. The math is undeniable, and I’ll talk more about that another time.

So I’m just your average, everyday kind of guy … who gets paid to travel Europe and grow a luxurious beard. I promise you there are no catches or tricks, and that you can do these things too. As the blog progresses, I will talk about my progress towards the goals I’ve outlined above, and I’ll interject from time-to-time on how you can grow your beard and your net-worth.