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The Ultimate Guide to Losing Weight in 4 Easy Steps (hint, stop lying to yourself)

I never thought I would write about this, but crazier things have happened (this is my most popular blog). It took me a while but I was inspired by this Maria Kang picture.

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The whole sensation with this fascinated me. Was the picture a little bit of a humblebrag? Yes. Ok, maybe it was a slap you in the face humblebrag, but so what? Did she not accomplish something pretty awesome through hard work and dedication? Isn’t that the type of things we should be praising instead of ridiculing? I mean I understand being annoyed when a trust fund kid shows off their riches, or someone with the natural athletic gifts brags about being so good at sports. These things annoy us because the person didn’t do anything to earn these things. But when someone works hard and does something that most people don’t, (not because they can’t but because it is not a priority to them) then it is worth at least a “good job”. You don’t have to like her, but don’t hate on the accomplishment. And please don’t then start saying things like “Yea I could do that too if I had 8 hours a day to train”, or “We aren’t all blessed with great genetics”, or “Some of us have thyroid problems, I have a doctors note to prove it”. Why do people feel the need to cut others down to make themselves feel better? Stop making excuses and be honest with yourself. Unless you’re the very small fraction of a percent of people who have some crazy medical condition that causes you to uncontrollably gain weight (for which there is no remedy), then you do not have an excuse. You simply have not made it a priority.

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What are most People’s Biggest Regrets?

I find that most people you speak with have regrets about how their life has gone up to that point. Even if they are happy, there is always something they wish they would have said/done/accomplished etc. Given this knowledge wouldn’t it make sense to study what the biggest and most common regrets are and try to avoid them? I researched numerous articles and studies and have compiled the most common responses. Most of the studies focused on the elderly as they have lived most of their life and tend to reflect on what it is they wish they would have done. Some people might say just be happy and grateful with your life, but that is very narrow minded to me. We only live once and we are here for a short time, we should not spend it just getting by and not fully experiencing life. At least that is my opinion. Who are we to argue with those who have lived most of their lives and are telling us to do these things because we will regret them if we don’t? I have broken these things down into common categories:
  • Education, Career, and Expectations
  • Doing things that matter
  • Expressing Yourself
  • Relationships
  • Health and Happiness

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Ryan DeLeon in Accomplishing Goals,Family,Parenting on March 03 2014 » 0 comments

My Top 5 TV Shows of All Time, Current, and New(ish)

So this is just going to be a fun list blog. Everyone loves lists. Pretty much everyone loves TV shows too so this should be a well received post throughout the land. Keep in mind a few things: These are my favorite shows, meaning I had to have actually watched them. This means shows like “The Sopranos” or “The Wire” are not on my list because I haven’t watched them. Also, they’re MY favorite, I am not saying they are the best. But if you are looking for some show recommendations and haven’t watched any of these, I highly recommend. I will try not to make this too confusing. I wont spoil anything for anyone either. I broke this down into 3 categories:

1. Favorite New(ish) Show: A show in its first or second season that you could easily binge watch and catch up on.

2. Favorite Current Show: An established show at least in its 3rd season.

3. Favorite All Time: A show that has ended with multiple seasons of enjoyment.

Lets start the madness!

Top 5 New(ish) Shows (1st or second season)
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5. Almost Human
almost human
Favorite Character: Dorian
He’s the robot with feelings! Plus I liked his character on the short lived “Common Law”.
We set the DVR to record this but just recently started watching it. It may be too early to tell but I think after a few episodes I am pretty sure we are going to like it. It has a few things going for it: Futuristic stuff like robots, unlikely cop duo, funny robot observations. It also has Minka Kelly in it for those of you who appreciate her acting skills.
Ryan DeLeon in fun,Lists,top 5 on January 12 2014 » 0 comments

Buying Cars: New, Used, or Lease? Cost per Year Analysis

So you want to buy a car? Read this first and decide what is REALLY important to you, and know what you are actually paying for.

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Keep Dreaming

This article is going to compare 3 different methods of vehicle ownership (leasing being more of a rental). I am using the average length of ownership of 6 years. So this means (2) 3 yr lease cycles as I am comparing leasing as a method to drive a vehicle. People who lease tend to do so in order to continuously drive new cars. If they wanted to buy back the car at the end of the lease, than they should have just bought it to begin with. This is not comparing someone who buys new and trades it in every few years, because they should be leasing instead. This is comparing those who lease and those who buy. Within those who buy I am using the average length of ownership of 6 years, so they buy the car and have it for 6 years. I will mention these points more than once but I want people to understand the premise. Factors could be changed to fudge results but these are very typical ways to own/operate a vehicle. Those who lease tend to do continue to do so, and those who buy tend to own longer than a few years.

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Ryan DeLeon in Being Smart with Money,Budgeting,Cars on November 12 2013 » 0 comments

How to Save Money on Car Repair

Ok, so we all know that friend who always has a “guy” for everything. When it comes to car repair, you need a guy. Sorry for all the mechanics out there who work at garages, but you guys get a bad name for a reason. If we were to look at markups in the automotive repair industry you would be astounded. Not to the mention the labor rates, which are based on a book. Seems fair right? If your garage uses the standard labor rates, that’s just what it costs to get it fixed. Not so fast, Let me tell you a recent story about car repair that made me want to write this article.

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Ryan DeLeon in Being Smart with Money,Cars,finding deals on September 30 2013 » 0 comments

I need a site to show my house, so here it is!

My wife and I are looking to sell our house FSBO. We really like our realtor but I just feel like the 6% fee is not worth it, it’s like I am paying thousands of dollars to get it listed on the MLS, which I can do for much less through FSBO websites. Anyway, step 1 which I should have done a long time ago is make a website with a lot of pictures and descriptions. So here we go.

Quick Facts:

Ranch

2 BR 3BA

SQ Ft main level 1152 + finished bsmt 900= 2052

.32 acre lot

Year Built 1976

924 N Wood Ave, Wichita, KS 67212

Asking Price: $149,900

Sales Pitch:

Similarly updated property at 8915 Birch recently sold for $163,000! Spacious open living room, updated throughout, Must see kitchen with island! Large backyard perfect for dogs and/or kids to play. Main level has 2 bedrooms plus a third bedroom that was converted to a walk in closet, but could be used as a nursery as it is being used now, basement has 2 rooms that could be used as bedrooms but do not have escape windows although one could easily be put in in the front of the house. Large (28×12)Covered wood deck. Attached 2 car garage. New Heating unit 2013, New gutters 2011, new roof 2008, New Trane A/C 2008, New trim and doors throughout house, New light fixtures and faucets throughout most of house. New 60 mill EPDM rubber roof system over deck 2012!

What I love about the home

The Kitchen! Walk in closet! Hardwood floors throughout main level installed 2008. New carpet and tile in basement. Very big laundry room. Sprinkler system attached to well so it doesn’t run up the water bill! Keeps your yard green! Very large covered deck off back of house.

Why are we selling?

Everyone loves to ask this question when people are selling something they say they like so much. It makes sense to ask, if people don’t have a good explanation maybe there is something wrong with it. In our case it is simple, the 3rd bedroom and our current nursery is attached to our bedroom (it was converted to a walk in closet). While it is fine for our little baby to be in the room right next to us, the thought of our toddler there is not very fun. We really need a typical 3 BR on the main level setup. That is really all it is, we love the house and have put a lot of time, work, and money into it to make it something we are proud of.

Lots of pics:

924 N Wood Ave, Wichita, KS 67212Kitchen, redone around 2004 with new cabinets, countertops, island, tile backsplash, tile floor. Within the last few years a new cast iron Kohler sink has been added.

924 N Wood Ave, Wichita, KS 67212924 N Wood Ave, Wichita, KS 67212924 N Wood Ave, Wichita, KS 67212

924 N Wood Ave, Wichita, KS 67212

924 N Wood Ave, Wichita, KS 67212New front door installed 2011.

924 N Wood Ave, Wichita, KS 67212Bathroom redone 2011. New floor tile, painted cabinets, tile surround on wall, faucet and hardware

924 N Wood Ave, Wichita, KS 67212

924 N Wood Ave, Wichita, KS 67212New closet doors, wainscoating 2010

924 N Wood Ave, Wichita, KS 67212

924 N Wood Ave, Wichita, KS 67212

924 N Wood Ave, Wichita, KS 67212

924 N Wood Ave, Wichita, KS 67212Large Laundry room, work surface, wash sink

924 N Wood Ave, Wichita, KS 67212

 

I also tiled the large basement non-conforming bedroom and we use it as an office. I will try to get a pic of that up too.

Please share with anyone interested in buying a house in NW Wichita, KS!

 

Ryan DeLeon in About Me on August 28 2013 » 2 comments

The Pyramid of Personal Finance

There are other pyramids out there, but this one I developed myself when I was a financial advisor. My company had given me one to use and I didn’t agree with everything on it and felt like it was missing some key components, so I adjusted it accordingly. Here is a copy of the pyramid, and I will go over each section in depth.
 
Section 1: Just starting out
If you have neglected your personal finances, or if you are just starting out on your own, you probably fall into this category. I will try to break it down into parts.
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A. Insurance (Everyones favorite type of salesperson!)
P&C Ins. (or renters ins.)-If you own a home and have a mortgage, you must have insurance, same for cars in most states. However, you want to make sure you have enough coverage. Do not skimp on coverage and limits. For auto insurance go for the highest limits you can afford. As long as you have a good driving record the higher limits ($1 million or $500,000) don’t always make a huge difference. If you rent, you MUST have renters insurance. I personally know 2 people who have been robbed and you are not covered unless you have renters insurance. It is usually very cheap ($10-$20/month), so there is no excuse for not having it.
Health Insurance- You may think you can’t afford health insurance, but the truth is you can’t afford not to have it. Full coverage insurance can be very expensive, however there all alternatives. You can always go with a high deductible plan and use an HSA to pay for healthcare costs.
Long Term Disability- Probably the least known insurance. People assume if they become disabled that the government will take care of them. First of all, do you really want the government to take care of you? Second, if you know anyone who has gone through it, trying to get on social security disability income can be extremely difficult. Also, depending on your “credits”, you may not receive near as much as you need. Long Term disability is based on your current income and depending on the policy will provide you income until age 65. The cost is based on your risk, so the more dangerous the job the more expensive. However, for most people it is very affordable ($18-$25/month).
Life Insurance- Life insurance gets a bad name because of pushy salesman, but it is so important. If you have anyone who depends on you (children or spouse), then you need life insurance. Be sure to go for term, not whole. Term insurance is much cheaper and because there are so many companies the rates are very competitive. For example, I have $1 million, and only pay $38/month. My wife has $500,000 on her for $23/month. How did I come up with these figures? First, you must determine what your value is economically speaking. It may be morbid, but necessary. For me, we considered how much we would need to pay off the mortgage, put enough in savings for a large emergency fund, have enough to fully fund our kids college, and have enough for my wife to live on and go back to school. Term policies are typically for 10, 20, or 30 years. So if you get a 20 year policy in your 20′s, and then (as long as your are healthy again) in your 40′s, by the time you are in your 60′s you shouldn’t need it anymore as you should be financially independent.
Long term care (if you are over 60)- If you would prefer to have your choice of care when/if you become unable to care for yourself, then I suggest purchasing long term care insurance. Statisitcs show a very small amount of people needing care before age 60, so you can probably wait until you are closer to that age to purchase it. Be prepared, it is expensive, but how much is it worth to not be put in a welfare nursing home?
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B. Budget

20 Style Rules for Men

So, apparently people don’t want financial advice as much as they do fashion advice. At least that’s what my site stats tell me. My article about the essential mens clothing items is by far my most popular. That doesn’t mean I am going to make this a fashion blog , but I have been sitting on this information since I posted that blog a while back. Just to be clear this is not my own personal work on all of this. I compiled information from several sites and combined it into one, I will post a link to the articles I pulled from. I added my own commentary but many of the main bullet points are from these articles. I pulled what I felt were the most important/relevant/entertaining.

 

20 Style rules for men

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Ryan DeLeon in Clothes,Dressing Professional on June 10 2013 » 0 comments

Passing Judgment, and Other Fun Topics to Discuss with Family

It has been a while since my last post, I wish I was able to keep up posting better. I am almost finished with the semester and hopefully this summer I will be able to do a bunch of blogs as I will not be taking summer classes. This semester has been pretty rough, 10 credit hours to go along with working full time and 2 kids. The credits may not sound like a lot, but because it is split between 4 classes (Bio and Chem each with labs) it made for a rather difficult schedule. Luckily my employer was willing to let me work around it. But this meant coming in at 630 am and working until 5 Monday through Friday going to class in between on most days. Then I hear a story about a guy going back to school at 35 with 3 kids, working 2 jobs, and took 65 credit hours in a year in order to apply to med school. Then I realize what I am doing isn’t THAT hard. I am fairly confident I can pull an A in chemistry but I think a B in Biology is more realistic. There goes my 4.0 only 2 semesters in. Oh well, enough about school. My wife is still being awesome and staying home raising our two children while I am gone more than I would like (Shout out). They are both growing really fast. Anyway, on to the blog.

Growing Fast

Claire and Gabriel-Growing Fast

Ryan DeLeon in About Me,Family,Parenting on May 09 2013 » 0 comments

2 Invaluable Apps for Studying and Note taking: Brainscape and Notability

Last time around when I was in college I didn’t have an iPhone or iPad. Now I have both and it has made my studying so much easier. I wanted to write this blog about 2 apps that completely changed my college experience, in class and out.

1. Brainscape

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