Category Archives: About



Blogiversary 2: A Day in the Life of B.E. Pennypacker

Time Of Day

Time flies!  It’s hard to believe it’s been two years since I started this blog!  I’m not sure I ever thought it would last this long, but here we are.  I thought I’d do something different this time and give you a wee little taste of how I live (sorry, but that reminds me of the Wee Blind Girl cake mishap).  Here’s a breakdown of what you might call a typical day in the life of me:

5-5:30 am -> Wake Up

Usually with the help of a gentle pawing from my chocolate lab.  Occasionally, he sleeps in, and I’m at the mercy of my cell phone alarm.

5:30-6 am –> Eat Breakfast

It’s the same every morning (unless I’m on vacation): A toasted peanut butter sandwich and a MorningStar Farms veggie sausage patty.  In case you’re wondering, I’m not a vegetarian.  I just happen to like the taste.

6–6:30 am –> Walk the Dogs

Mrs. Pennypacker and I each grab a lab and cruise around the neighborhood for half an hour or so.  One of our labs loves to walk and could probably walk all day.  The other lab prefers sleeping and eating over physical activity.  She has to be in just the right mood or frame of mind to make it past the end of the driveway.

6:30–7:30 am –> Exercise

I like to mix up my workouts.  I generally run, bike, or power my way through a moderate CrossFit workout.  I usually don’t decide what I’m going to do until I walk out the door.  I like to surprise myself.

7:30–8 am –> Second Breakfast

I also shower and throw some jeans on for my day job as a software engineer.  Much like my first breakfast, my second breakfast is pretty consistent: A yogurt cup, a ZonePerfect Bar, and a banana.  I’ll also throw in a handful of peanuts sometime before lunch as a mini third breakfast.

8–8:30 am -> Drive to the Office

It usually takes me about 25-30 minutes to get to the office.  It’s really not a bad commute, but some days I skip the drive and work from home.  It’s just one of the benefits of being a software builder.

8:30 am – 5 pm –> Day Job

It depends on how busy I am, but some days I end up working until 6:30 or 7.  Also, there is a lunch and plenty of snacks dispersed throughout the day.

5-5:30 pm -> Drive Home

Again, if it’s a work from home day, this is bonus time.

5:30-6 pm -> Unwind

Surf the web, play with the labs, sit outside.

6–6:30 pm –> Eat Dinner

Mrs. Pennypacker loves to cook and I love to eat..whatever she makes…as long as there are no mushrooms involved.  I also love jumping in and washing the dishes afterward.  I have some clean-freak tendencies.

6:30–9:30 pm –> Second Job

I try to multi-task between side projects like my blog or my budgeting software and TV watching.  Usually side projects win the battle for my focus, but once in a while TV will catch my eye.

9:30 pm–5 am -> Sleep

Depending on how tired I am or how caught up I get in side projects (or TV), my bedtime can vary greatly.  But, no matter what time sleep takes over, the lab tends to keep me on a pretty regular wake-up schedule.

Full disclosure: While I call this a typical day in the life of me, the reality is, my schedule can vary quite a bit from day to day.  In general, I like cramming as much as I can into each day.  In fact, I wish I didn’t have to sleep so much, but I’m just not right if I don’t get at least 6 – 8 hours.

Are your days as packed as mine are?

 



Website Cleanup Week

header and menu

No, it’s not your imagination.  There have been changes to the blog. This past week has been website cleanup week – not an official week, but maybe it should be!  So, what spurred this on?  Well, last week I noticed a small problem with the page navigation at the bottom of the site.  When I went to fix it, I found another issue.  Then, another issue popped up.  And, like pulling a loose thread on a cheap pair of pants, pretty soon there was nothing left.  Time for a new pair of pants.  Time for a new look.

So, what’s new?

Simpler, Cleaner, Clearer

Tighter lines, sharper contrasts, a cleaner color scheme, and more white space.  All good things.  With some subtle tweaks, your eye should have an easier time finding things.

categories

Looking for a good book?  Head over to the categories on the right side and click on “Books” to see some reviews.  Looking for a place to start learning about personal finance?  Click on the “Basics” category and slowly dip your toes into the personal finance water.

header search

Not sure what you’re looking for?  Click on the magnifying glass in the upper right to open the search textbox.  Then, type what you’re looking for and hit enter.

related posts

Like the post you just read?  Click on one of the related posts at the end of the text to read other similar articles.

Faster load times

You may not have noticed this one, but I have.  I get impatient waiting for slow sites, and while the speed of the new site isn’t blinding, it’s way better than it used to be.

More mobile friendly

mobile view

Pull the site up on your favorite tablet or phone and bask in the warm glow of a fire without worrying about excessive scrolling or squinting to read the latest post.

Better access to social media

Share the post you just read by clicking one of the sharing buttons at the bottom of the page:

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or go to the top of the page and click on one of the square-shaped icons to follow the blog on Facebook, Twitter, Google+. or RSS:

social button collection

These changes have been made to better serve you, the reader.  If you have any other ideas or suggestions, please feel free to leave a comment or shoot me an email.



Blogiversary

It’s been one year now since I started this blog.  I don’t think I’ve ever written this much before in my life.  When I started, I was concerned that I wouldn’t have enough to say.  But a year later, I still have more.

This blog has covered a lot of material, everything from budgeting basics, to investing, to philosophical “why” questions.  There have also been a couple book reviews, highlights from a few interesting articles on the web, and little glimpses into how Mrs. Pennypacker and I deal with money in our everyday lives.

In the coming year, I plan to get more into the tools we use to manage our money, as well as how to plan ahead for big purchases instead of impulse buying them on credit.  I feel like I’ve torn the packet of sugar and just started to pour the granules.  There’s a lot more on its way.  I hope you enjoy.



Why I Admire My Dad

The other day was my Dad’s birthday.  It’s also the beginning of Father’s Day season (at least in the greeting card aisle at the grocery stores).  So, I thought I’d write about why I admire my dad.

He’s always happy

My dad always seems happy to see you.  I don’t know that I’ve ever seen him sad.  Sometimes a story in the news will frustrate him and he’ll complain.  But underneath his grumbling, he’s still happy.

I’d say he’s a people person and so he usually seems happiest when he’s around friends and family – and yes, complete strangers.  I’m sure if he were stranded alone on a desert island (like Tom Hanks in Cast Away), my dad would surround himself with a whole army of volleyballs.

He says what’s on his mind

He’s not afraid to tell you and anyone else he sees on the street what he thinks.  If he doesn’t like something (like the Los Angeles Lakers ownership), he’ll tell you about it.  If he absolutely loves something (like baroque music), he’ll let you know.  And if his opinions aren’t popular, he doesn’t care.  He doesn’t have a hidden agenda.  What you see it what you get.  You never feel like he’s trying to trick you or pull a fast one.

He’s a good writer

With today’s technology – texting, Twitter, and Facebook – expressing yourself with a single phrase or acronym has become the norm.  Lost is the art of stringing together several paragraphs of carefully worded thoughts.  My dad, on the other hand, is anything but brief.  He enjoys constructing in-depth, research-driven articles about things like history, the economy, and politics.  They’re well-written.  Good enough that several of them have been published in a couple of local monthly newspapers.  He also is starting to write a book.  A daunting task if you ask me, but I’m sure my dad will have no shortage of words to write.

He goes out and tries to make a difference

He gets involved in politics – local government mostly.  He’s spoken a couple times at city council meetings about issues that he cares about.  Sadly, most people don’t get involved.  Just look at voter turn-out when there’s an election.  At most you see around half the eligible population voting.  If more people took the time to learn about the issues and speak up at city council meetings, we’d probably be better off as a country.

My dad also volunteers his time with organizations he cares about.  It helps that he’s retired and has the time in his day to do these things.  But, there are plenty of people his age that are happy to just hang up their spurs and relax.  He’s 73 years old now and it amazes me because he still seems like the 40 or 50 years old dad I’ve known most of my life.

There are many more things to admire about my dad, but in the interest of brevity, I’ll leave it at that.



Here We Go

I really should’ve started this blog 5 years ago when I started paying attention to money.  Oh well…better late than never.

Most people love money especially when it comes in the form of a giant lottery check written to you.  But, lots of folks don’t like dealing with money.  They think it’s a painful chore right up there with picking up dog poo or mowing the lawn.  Now, I actually love mowing the lawn and with two hungry labs, I probably pick up more dog poo than most folks.  So maybe my brain is just wired differently, but I love money and I really love managing it.

The reality is, learning about money and how to manage it wisely is one of the most important things you can do to improve your life.  As this blog unfolds, I hope you’ll gain a better understanding of money and how becoming wealthy is actually within everyone’s capabilities.