LBYM

How big is your piggy bank?

This is now the second time I’ve written an article about a 4-letter acronym. (See: YOLO). But this one is really what personal finance boils down to. All the fluff and talk aside, if you can’t master LBYM you’ll likely never achieve financial freedom.

LBYM = Live Below Your Means.

If there was ever an acronym you need to know, and live by, this is it. Most of my success so far can be attributed to this simple, yet powerful concept.

There’s a ton of financial “advice” out there in the world. You can go to seminars, buy videos on how to change your life, read all the books in the world and even follow blogs like the one you’re currently reading. But, it really boils down to living below your means. Once you have realized that, it’s time to master it.

LBYM has two mechanisms. Income and expenses. One should focus first on maximizing the former, and then minimizing the latter. Obvious, right? You would think so, but like losing weight it’s much harder to actually put the rubber to the road and and do what’s necessary to get the results you really want. If you’re looking for some magic nugget of advice to become rich overnight you’re going to be sorely disappointed.

Let’s talk about income. What have I done to increase this? What can you do?

I talked about an opportunity I had at work to increase my income dramatically and I, of course, jumped on it. This was at the beginning of 2012. Since then, you can see in my income/expense reports that the income side of the equation has been up noticeably. This opportunity didn’t just come my way out of thin air. I worked hard for it. I did my best to bring value to my position and tried to make sure my employer and management was aware of exactly how hard I was working. Are you always going to be amply rewarded for hard work? No. But you are sure to never be amply rewarded if you’re just looking to skate by and do the least amount of work as much as possible. Financial freedom doesn’t come to those who are looking to follow the path of least resistance. Hard work is one of my many mantras.

I also started this blog back in early 2011, after about 1 year into my journey to early retirement. I didn’t do it for the money, but there has been a modest income for my time. Lately, I’ve typically averaged somewhere around $150/month in income from this blog. Modest, right? Sure. But that’s about $51,000 less I have to save up at a 3.5% yield ($1,800/.035). That’s just the start, however. What this blog also offers, besides a modest income, is a public platform to keep me honest and on track. Any decisions or actions I’d be embarrassed to post about should probably be avoided. Also, this is a wonderful outlet/hobby for me. This blog can continue well after retirement, offering me a venture that keeps me busy, relevant and able to continue inspiring others. But most of all I look forward to using this forum to inspire others to achieve their dreams, and that’s exactly why I’m writing this article today.

Let’s also not forget about dividend income. This is a real, passive income stream I’ve built from $0 all the way into March’s recent dividends of $413.72. That’s progress, folks. Those are dollars that I’m currently reinvesting back into attractive equity positions, but one day I’ll use that income to fund my day-to-day expenses. Dividend income is wonderful. While the high quality companies I’m invested in continue to sell products or services that people want/need on an everyday basis, I’ll continue to receive my dividend checks. Those checks will be deposited into my brokerage account no matter where in the world I’m at. That’s just one wonderful side-effect of living below your means: financial independence technically means you’re also geographically independent. The world could be your oyster.

What can you do to increase your income? Are there opportunities you’re not taking advantage of?

Those are some of the changes I’ve made, and it’s possible for you to make changes to your income as well. What are you passionate about? Who are you? Is there a way to capitalize on that? Monetize it? What are the opportunities for advancement at your place of work? Come in early and stay late. Make sure that you’re a valuable asset and when the opportunity is there, turn that value into real money that you can use to buy time. Once you’re making more money, avoid lifestyle inflation. Use that excess money to accumulate appreciable assets, specifically ones that throw off passive income which can be used to reinvest in the interim until you’re financially independent. That passive income will eventually pay your living expenses.

More income is wonderful, but you have a lot more control over your expenses. Live frugally, and learn how to value time more than money.

I talk a lot about frugal living on this blog. That’s because I believe you have a lot more control over your expenses than you do your income. Sure, many people might say income is limitless and expenses can only be cut so much. That’s partially true. I can’t force my manager to give me a raise, but I can certainly control my expenses to the point where even on a modest middle class salary I can save more than half my net income.

I’ve used that control to my advantage. I decided to sell my car in mid-2011 because it was destroying my budget. I moved to a smaller apartment that was closer to the bus line and significantly cheaper. I then started using the bus on a daily basis and use my 16 year-old scooter to get around otherwise. I try to spend less than $1,300 per month on everything. That includes about $190 per month in student loan debt repayments. That means my living expenses are about $1,100 per month. That puts me right about the poverty level, according to the United States Department of Health and Human Services. I certainly don’t feel like I’m in poverty. I live in a modest two bedroom apartment in a beautiful city that I share with my girlfriend and her child, I eat at least three times per day (tonight’s dinner will be chicken chow mein), I have running hot water, electricity and air conditioning. I have a gym membership and work out three times per week most weeks (I’ve been bad about this lately). We go out to eat usually at least once per month, sometimes twice. I have access to a world-class hospital in my city. I have the #1 beach in the U.S. (Siesta Key beach) less than 10 miles from my apartment. It’s currently 85 degrees and sunny outside. In my life, I have a wonderful network of supportive friends and family. That’s poverty?

What are your monthly expenses? Can any fat be trimmed?

I think it’s important to keep perspective. Modern-day Americans live better than royalty of yesteryear. It was just 20 years ago that the internet was in its infancy and relatively unknown. Cars are an anomaly of just the past century. Homes here in the U.S. have doubled since the 1950′s. There is so much abundance. How much abundance do you have? How much do you really need? What do you want out of life? I recently watched the documentary “Happy” on Netflix streaming, and what it showed is that most people derive much of their happiness from experiences and a close network of family and friends. It doesn’t take a lot of money to spend time with family and friends, but it does take a lot of money to keep up with a much bigger home than you really need. And the money that is required to keep up with that home is earned when you’re spending vast portions of your time at work, rather than pursuing the relationships that actually mean something. Do you own that home, or does it own you?

What has LBYM meant to me? What does it mean to you?

LBYM, and the concept of it, has completely changed my life. I currently have a year-to-date savings rate of 60%. That means I save well over half of my net income. I’ve used my robust savings rate to my advantage as I’ve built my portfolio into a six-figure dividend income generating machine in just three years.

What can LBYM do for you? Well it won’t get you rich quick. That’s for sure. But, it can bring your financial dreams closer to reality every single day. It can allow you to pay off debt, buy income-generating assets, and slowly increase your net worth. Don’t believe me? Think there’s a secret I’m not telling you? Check out “The Millionaire Next Door“, a book that focuses on how millionaires got to where they are. Guess how the majority built their wealth? You guessed it: they lived below their means by avoiding luxurious lifestyles and debt. They then used their savings to purchase assets and focused on building their net worth.

An excerpt from that book:

“In The Millionaire Next Door, Dr. Stanley shattered the contemporary held beliefs about America’s rich – and how they got that way. It is seldom inheritance or advanced degrees or even intelligence that builds fortunes in this country. Wealth in America is more often the result of hard work, diligent savings, and living below your means. The Millionaire Next Door reveals the common denominators that show up again and again among those who have accumulated wealth.”

Chasing dreams and freedom.

Live below your means and the you of 10 years from now will be thankful you did. Bring your dreams into reality. Maximize income, minimize unnecessary expenses and use the difference to purchase appreciable, income-producing assets. Financial freedom awaits you.

What about you? Do you live below your means? 

Thanks for reading.

Photo Credit: bplanet/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Comments

  1. says

    I live pretty well below my means. I think I’m at a happy point right now. I could push my expenses lower, but I’d have to start hacking away at my quality of life. Nothing that I couldn’t live without, but I’m not trying to win an asceticism competition.

    If anything, I should probably loosen up and spend a bit more money.

    • says

      MFIJ,

      If you’re living well below your means and happy, that’s all you can really do. Now it’s just a waiting game. Keep putting away that extra income and your net income will rise substantially over time. That’s really the name of the game. It’s a get rich slowly but surely strategy that requires patience.

      And, yes you definitely have to find that right balance between quality of life and frugality. This is individualistic and will vary from person to person. I have found a great balance, and have been pretty consistent along that line for the past year or so. Although I do plan to lessen my food expenditures slightly, overall I find my quality of life quite high. I’m very happy and content.

      Best wishes!

  2. says

    Hard work is good, but smart work is better. I know it’s a cliche, but when you live below your means, you make the most out of the work you do, which should allow you to work less for others and more for yourself.

    • says

      The Excecutioner,

      Taking that a step further, the wonderful thing about this strategy is that typically the income producing assets that you’re purchasing with your savings will end up working for you one day. Money can work harder than I ever could. I’d much rather have my money working for me, rather than the other way around!!

      Take care.

  3. says

    Howdy DM,

    Nice work on the blog income. You might very well surprise yourself w/ how much you can make if you stick at it.

    One question I’ve been wanting to ask is what your employer thinks of your blog? How do you reconcile with them your desire to retire early, or does it not really matter since you’ve still got 10 years to go, and no employer nowadays can expect an employee to realistically commit for more than 5 years anyway? I’m just curious to know the dynamic.

    Thx

    • says

      Sam,

      Thanks! Yeah, I never even thought I’d get to this level in terms of blog income. I never did it for the money, and still don’t. I simply wanted to chronicle what I’m doing, prove it’s possible and inspire others to do the same.

      Well, as I’ve mentioned before: the secret is out. My employer, my boss and my co-workers all know about what I’m doing now. But, the support has actually been surprising and very welcome. I don’t know if there will be any negative consequences over the long-term (like finding a “career-friendly” replacement), but for right now it’s all good. It’s actually nice just to have it all out there. I’m tired of dodging questions about what I’m doing. There’s also a lot of turnover in my particular industry, so it’s not all that realistic to expect every employee is going to be around for a decade or more anyway.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Best wishes.

  4. Spoonman says

    Your blog income is amazing! I remember in the early days of your blog you had stated that you were only making a few bucks a month from it. That’s truly amazing. I think it’s one of the things that will bring your FI horizon closer.

    “…I believe you have a lot more control over your expenses than you do your income…”, very true! You also have more control of over your expenses than the whims of the stock market as well.

    Keep up the good work!

    • says

      Spoonman,

      Yeah, you’re right about the early days. For the first year or so I was lucky to make maybe $30 or so per month. And really, it’s only very lately (in the past couple months) that I’ve started hitting that $100+ mark on a reliable basis. We’ll see how long-term that figure is. However, I truly don’t do this for the money. I don’t have a bunch of affiliate advertising and I don’t spend any time to really try to pump up the earnings. I probably could, but I’d rather spend my time writing inspirational posts.

      Absolutely correct on that second point. And to take that another step further, you have a lot more control over your dividend income than the up and down sways of the stock market.

      Best regards!

  5. Onassis says

    Good morning, Jason!

    You wrote a great article again!!

    I thing also there are only two sides: Income and expenses.

    For me, I tried to get a second income: Future trading.
    Oh my god! I have traded for 3 years, have read every book about technical analysis and put all my power (after the work) in the trading.

    But at the end I have to say:
    a) It was very, very exhausting
    b) The time/money correlation was very bad -> 1 hour ~ 2-3 EUR
    c) I don´t understand WHY the market goes up and down

    Now, after three years I think you CAN´T say, where the market goes in the next 1, 2,4 or 8 hours! There is a lot of fortune to get the right direction!

    Now, I concentrate me on my job!
    “Hard work is one of my many mantras.” -> the same with me!

    With 20, 30 or 38 years like you and me – we can work very hard!
    We can work 8,9 or 10 hours a day – no problem!

    At age 50 or 55, I don´t know if you can work hard like 30 or 35. I dont´t think so.

    Because of that, I decided now to work full power. Give 120% every day!
    I´m a salesman for software. I work in a little company and I have never become a salary increase in the last 10 years!

    I can only increase sales and that means I become a higher paycheck and have a bigger revenue!
    That is what I DO now!
    Work harder -> Increase sales -> better revenue -> more money to buy shares -> more passive income from dividends :-)

    Keep going, Jason!

    Best regards from Germany!

    Onassis

    • says

      Onassis,

      Thanks so much! Glad you liked it.

      You know, I’ve never gotten into day trading. Other than some rather unintelligent/unplanned investing moves my first couple months in, I’ve luckily been pretty true to the dividend growth strategy. I haven’t lost any significant money investing, and have actually done quite well. I’m quite blessed in that area. I was lucky to have had the foresight needed to formulate a long-term game plan at a young age.

      “Work harder -> Increase sales -> better revenue -> more money to buy shares -> more passive income from dividends :-)” –

      That’s my plan as well! Like you, I believe it’s a lot easier, and more desirable, to work hard while still young. Who wants to bust their ass working 50 hours per week while in their 50′s? Not me. I’d rather work hard now, and enjoy the spoils while I’m still young enough to enjoy them.

      Keep up the great work over there! Keep increasing those sales and investing that salary. :)

      Take care.

  6. Anonymous says

    Hi DM!

    Thanks you for your inspiring blog, I always get a boost reading your articles when I sometimes feel like this journey seems too long to ever become reality :)

    Just out of curiosity, how much do you pay attention to your health? Obviously its better to enjoy ones financial freedom when one is healthy. Im a working student from Finland and most of my extra expenses are related to healthy organic food. I have been eating “healthy” and done lots of sports all my life but at age 23 I still got pretty serious chronical disease out of nowhere thats source according to my doctors was unknown and I was given medication for the rest of my life. Luckily, thanks to the Internet, I discovered I was not alone. I was able to heal my self by stop eating “healthy” and by start eating healthy. With “healthy” I mean what is officially considered healthy :) Im actually pretty thankful the disease hit me so early in life and I was able to figure out at pretty young age how wrong I eat and how big part the diet( as well as exercise ) plays in our well-being. In case you are curious the diet is called paleo diet. I guess my point is that I could increase my savings from about 50% to 60-70% by eating as cheap as possible but im more than happy to invest this money to my health.

    Thanks again for your blog and good luck for your Journey.

    TT

    • says

      TT,

      Thanks for following the blog! I know that sometimes this journey seems never-ending at times, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. And that light gets brighter and brighter every day. Sometimes when I think how long I’ve got to go, I take a look at how far I’ve already come. Imagine had I never started this journey and I still had a negative net worth and nothing to show for all my hard work? The thought of my progress so far makes me work even harder to keep pushing forward.

      Terribly sorry to hear about your health woes. I actually pay quite a bit of attention to my health. I just visited a dentist a couple weeks ago. Luckily I only had 1 cavity, and three teeth that need to be monitored. I’m planning to get that tooth filled soon. I also work out three times per week on average, and just got back from the gym 20 minutes ago to log on here and respond to comments. Yes, I’m aware my diet could use slight improvement…but I’m doing better than the average. I find it funny that some of my mainstream attention has gotten a lot of negative comments by a lot of people about my diet since we live in the most obese country in the world. I’d like to know what all these naysayers are eating every day? Certainly they can’t all be significantly healthier than the aggregate, because then the entire average moves up. Simple math tells me that half of those people are less healthy than I am. Which is funny.

      Right now my diet is as such – I typically eat a granola based cereal for breakfast, or oatmeal. For lunch, this is my worst meal of the day because I have to pack something for work. Typically it’s some type of frozen meal, or reheated pasta dish. Dinner is usually sandwiches of some type (tuna, PB&J, deli meat/cheese). This is Monday-Friday for the most part. The weekends are different and I eat bigger, normal dishes as I buy dinner for Saturday and my girlfriend will usually cook something on Friday night and Sunday. This works right now. Again, I’m not going to lie and say I eat nothing but boneless chicken breast, rice and broccoli (like I used to many years ago), because it’s just not true. My diet is what it is not simply due to budgetary design, but also because it’s easy, fast and enjoyable. I have very limited time. I get home at 6:30. I need to be at the gym by 7. I get home around 8. I’m on the blog after that (it’s currently 8:30) either commenting or writing articles. Around 9 or so I’m relaxing for the night before showering.

      My nights are short, and that’s just one of many reasons I’m so excited for financial independence. A lot of people think I’ll work after I’m FI, and maybe I will…but maybe not. Either way, I’ll have A LOT more time and I really am excited for that.

      Thanks for following the journey. Keep in touch!

    • Onassis says

      I know, “healthy” and healthy is very different!

      At the evening I go to my gym (24h open) and train my body.
      I´m not a bodybuilder like Arnold Schwarzenegger, but I try to get some “big” muscles.

      I think healthy food means to get enough protein, carbs and a little bit fat.
      Not “only” protein, “only” carbs or “only” vegetables etc.
      Regular food is the best.

      And if I want to lose weight (for the summer ;-) ), I eat less and make 3 days a week á 60 Min. cycling workout additional to the normal workout with weights.

      Best regards

      Onassis

  7. says

    Great post DM. A year after I graduated college my older next door neighbor taught me a good lesson. I was explaining to him how tight things were because I was earning such a small income at the time. He gave me a new perspective and just said get used to it. As the years go by you’ll earn more but you don’t need to spend more. Set your budget around the income you have now and never increase it, even if you start to earn more. Someday you’ll be glad you did.

    That is similar to your point about lifestyle inflation. Its a budget killer.

    • says

      Dividend Ladder,

      Great post there.

      Lifestyle inflation is definitely a budget killer. It’s funny how people lose perspective. You come out of college making $30k a year and are so excited to finally be making money. 1 year later, it’s not enough. You get a raise and then make $40k. Whoooo! Now you’re making money. But then now you’ve got the nice car, and you finally bought your own home. No more ‘crappy’ apartment for you. You can afford to dine out four times per month. Uh-oh. Now, you have credit card debt and your mortgage feels like a ton of bricks on your back. You need another raise……

      I live a wonderful life near the poverty level in the U.S. Yet, what our ‘poverty’ is defined as is a middle-class living standard just about anywhere else in the world. If you average the entire globe’s earning power, and take a global citizen’s salary level I’m doing very, very well and living an outstanding life. There are many people who would kill for running water, clean air, air conditioning, reliable electricity, fast internet. I never lose that perspective.

      Best wishes!

  8. says

    I gave advice to someone recently. He was complaining that there was no way he could start saving for an early retirement because he only made $20,000 per year. What I said was, if you only make $20,000 per year, you need to work on THAT first. But the good news for him (since he had no debt and was living below his means) was that now he knew how to live for cheap. As his income grows with some discipline he can keep his lifestyle the same for awhile and be well on his way to early retirement. It may actually be easier for someone who has never tasted the “good life” to pretire than someone who has lived in an upper income household his entire life.

    • says

      Pretired Nick,

      Great point there. I would agree with you on that.

      Personally, I grew up in a rather rough neighborhood in Detroit, Michigan. I know how bad life can get, so I suppose that I’m rather excited and happy that I have what I have now. I suppose if you “come down” from a upper class lifestyle it can be a bit deflating. Good point! Although I would still argue it all comes down to what you really want in life. It would be easy for me to say the hell with it and buy a Corvette, a nice house in a gated community and live it up downtown every weekend. But, that’s not really what I want deep down inside. I want MORE. :)

      Best regards!

  9. says

    This is awesome and I totally agree with LBYM. My wife and I do a pretty good job of LBYM being that we save about 30% a month, but no where near your 60% mark. That’s incredible. It’s amazing how our culture now a days doesn’t believe in this simple philosophy. Everything is about how low of a monthly payment we can get it to, not if we can actually afford it.

    • says

      Jake Erickson,

      Great job saving 30%. That’s really fantastic, and well above the average! Keep up the great work.

      Yeah, unfortunately a lot of society’s rewards are based around instant gratification. But I’d rather avoid the cheese and get off the wheel altogether to see a whole new world. :)

      Take care.

  10. Mike says

    Have you thought of paying off your student debt quicker? I am sure you mentioned this at some part, but I have not seen it.

    • says

      Mike,

      I’ve addressed this a couple times before, but basically it comes down to a couple things.

      1. My interest rate is somewhere just under 3%. I feel I can do better than that by investing my money-long term.

      2. The interest on my student loans is tax deductible. That brings the effective rate down even further.

      3. Student loan debt is fairly flexible. If I were to lose my job I can defer payments for up to a year, with possible extensions from there. Also, if I were to end up losing significant portions of my income I could base my payments around my income level.

      Hope that helps!

      Best wishes.

  11. Anonymous says

    I think this is the best blog posting of yours that Ive ever read. What an eye opener! When you see what the poverty level is, and how you are living right now, you are right! It is simply LBYM, cut out the extraneous costs that are WANTS, not NEEDS. Very inspiring.

    • says

      Anonymous,

      Thanks so much! I really appreciate the kind words. Very kind of you. I’m glad you enjoyed the post. It was written for readers like you.

      It’s definitely inspiring to know that we can live near the poverty level here in the U.S. and actually end up living a much more fulfilling life in the end. When most are working harder than ever in their 40′s and 50′s to try and catch up financially because they were busy ‘living it up’ in their 30′s I’ll be living life on my terms and spending all my time freely as I please.

      Maybe I’ll be traveling through Asia. Maybe I’ll be writing blog posts from the beach. Maybe I’ll be sleeping in until my body tells me when to wake up, rather than when an alarm clock screams at me. Maybe I’ll be managing investments and spending time with family. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll be living my dreams. And that reward comes after really living my life how I like to live it anyway. I’m quite content living how I live. As I posted above, I don’t suffer or wish for more. I have a high quality of life while still saving a ton of money. Our wants are insatiable if we so choose to give in to them. Rather than chase the newest and greatest gadget, I’m chasing freedom. And that chase is much more fulfilling.

      Best regards!

    • Anonymous says

      I love your blog. Since you mention Asa, I actually do spend about two months each year in the Philippines and I love the scuba diving in that part of the world. I stay away from the large cities and try to live as ‘local’ as I can handle. However near the beach for the diving. I actually spend in total less than $600 for all expenses. For those ex-pats that live there they adhere to about $1000 per month which include a nice home. Great healthy lifestyle, good quality healthcare when its required, plenty of local medical clinics for most illnesses, etc. I’m saving now using a similar method to retire their in 10 years. Keep up the good work.

    • says

      Anonymous,

      Thanks for stopping by!

      I appreciate the insight on the Philippines. That’s one of my top destinations in Asia. Although there are certain aspects of the country I don’t think I’ll like (namely the food and widespread poverty) the ease of navigating visa issues, the lack of a real language barrier, low costs of living and natural beauty seem to more than make up for the drawbacks.

      Really appreciate it. Sounds like you have a great plan to save up so you can retire there in 10 years. Maybe I’ll see you there!

      Take care.

  12. says

    It’s definitely a great idea to maximize income and that’s one of the biggest reasons I’m keeping my current job for now. But the expenses are just as important. If you can lower your monthly expenses by $100, that’s essentially a $133 raise if you’re in the 25% tax bracket. I live well below my means right now and a lot of that is due to having a really nice income, but even before at my previous job I was still saving around 40% of my net income and that was without even trying. It’s much easier for those that are natural savers rather than natural consumers because the temptation isn’t as prevalent. But it’s still possible and for some will take more work. If anyone wants one statement or equation to sum up being successful financially it’s “live below your means” or Income > Expenses. You won’t be able to make any progress without following that concept.

    • says

      Pursuit,

      Absolutely. Reducing expenses and receiving a raise of a commensurate amount is much more a 1:1 ratio because you have to factor in taxes in to the equation. Great point! Plus, you have direct control over your expenses, but your income can go up and down depending on a number of factors. I know my income certainly varies quite a bit month to month.

      And, yes if you can’t master living below your means you’ll never have any kind of lasting financial success. There’s many cases of lottery winners that are broke just a few years later because they cannot master LBYM, even when the means have greatly expanded.

      Take care!

  13. Anonymous says

    Greetings from Japan!

    LBYM = Live By Your Mantra

    As a long time reader I know that you do this month in and month out! Keep the dream alive!

    • says

      Anonymous,

      Wow! That was excellent!!

      Live By Your Mantra. I love it. I didn’t even think about that. I’m definitely living by my mantra, and I hope you are too! :)

      Thanks for stopping by from Japan, and thank you for being a supporter of the blog. I hope I continue to inspire you to make your dreams come true.

      Best wishes!

  14. says

    Isn’t it interesting how $1100 a month is considered poverty, but yet your life is so rich? It is great that you are able to do this self check and realize that the MORE MORE MORE mantra of much of the US won’t result in more happiness

    When you look at the rest of the world (more than 50% live on less than $2 a day!) or at any point in human history (not even the richest European King had indoor plumbing, air conditioning, or antibiotics) we are all living the dream

    • says

      Jeremy,

      “When you look at the rest of the world (more than 50% live on less than $2 a day!) or at any point in human history (not even the richest European King had indoor plumbing, air conditioning, or antibiotics) we are all living the dream”

      Couldn’t have said it better myself. I often talk about how I am living absolutely ridiculously well if you compare me against the average global citizen. There are billions of people living right now in 2013 that would kill to have $15k/year to spend.

      And, I too often think about all the great historical figures that lived far above the average citizen of their time and still lived like meager peasants compared to even modest American citizens like myself. Julius Caesar, Alexander the Great, George Washington, Napoleon, Abraham Lincoln and almost every King or Queen that has ever existed had nothing like we have: indoor plumbing, modern HVAC, refrigeration and food preservation, access to world-class food almost anywhere, air travel, the internet, modern medicine and the list goes on. Really amazing that I’m considered to be in poverty when I have access to so much already.

      Thanks for stopping by. Great thoughts there!

      Best regards.

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