Hi there,

I have been thinking on how to document my posts on a category base, so I decided to separate them on 4 types:

Fitness: Strength training, BJJ, running/hiking, nutrition, sleep.

Building: Construction plans, ideas, tools.

Finances: Savings/spending plans, investment, work opportunities.

Personal: Whatever comes around my mind, relationship, pets, work rambling, etc.

All right, so let’s get started.

I live in Mexico, to justify the small area of the lot I got to build. My dad got a couple of lots next to each other around 5 years ago. One of them a few months before the other and we had already begun to build the outer walls/fence when he got the second. After a talk to him about what size of lot should I get to build, he suggested I buy him one of the lots for a reduced price (basically what he paid + inflation). I started thinking about it and it is a great deal. Right now I don’t have the money but he is willing to let me build and pay him in parts. I got a little greedy and decided I want both lots to build. That way my house should have a nice big yard and more space.

The lots are 125 m2 each (around 1356 ft2) which, for reference, are considered “normal sized” in my city. We have this government financing program called Infonavit, which finances you home for 30 years or less. Basically a mortgage with high interests. Anyway, supposedly you could buy a house and use your Infonavit fund to finance it, any size of house. I have never, ever, met a person with a financed house that has a yard bigger than a bathroom. Really, the usual size its 3 x 6 meters (190 ft2),  it sucks. Long ago I decided I want a big patio, one for my dog to run around and we can have BBQs and shit. My parents home has a respectable sized backyard, 5 x 8m (430 ft2) but I want a bit more than that.

The plan goes like this: I need to create a Timeline or project plan with dates for the activities I need to get done. Starting with some lot measurements, creating a layout and material budget, then start building!

I will upload the plan as soon as I finish it,  I will probably be limited on the actual building part if I don’t have enough money for the materials as I’m needing them. But that’s why I have to finish the layout to budget properly and save the right amount of money beforehand.

My background in construction is this: I worked my summers in my uncle’s construction company from middle trough high school. Hard times, I was paid $800 pesos a week (43 USD as of 2016) working my ass from 7 to 5 carrying blocks, pouring concrete, arming beams, etc. Pretty awful to live out of it, but a good learning experience. Out of that, helping out at home with some remodeling, replacing walls, installing floors and bathrooms, electrical installations and plumbing. We actually made a pool from scratch some years ago. I like it, its hard work but can save me up to 30% of the house costs including the terrain if I build it myself. Obviously I will be careful, trying to learn as much as possible and calculate the proportions of materials, concrete resistance, insulation and so on.

OK, I feel this is good enough for now. You will notice my English will have some flaws, but fuck it! It’s my second language after Spanish and I speak basic German as well. So as far as one person understand me I’ll be happy. I appreciate any critics to improve it anyway.

Let’s roll.

DV

 

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First I gotta talk about my dad:

I learned most of my stuff from my dad. Not that I idealize him. He is actually pretty badass. Payed his college education while working part time, with near perfect grades. Built his own house, a hardware store and another house after some time. He does his own car maintenance. Never ever in my life have I seen a guy fixing stuff in my parents home. He has a nice, full time job and good, actually great savings. Very oldschool huh? Well yeah. It’s a lot to compete with, not that he looks down on me or anything. But I know deep down that I could do more in my life than watch a whole season of Daredevil in a weekend and complain about my boss being an asshole.

Now me. Who am I?

  1. Mechatronics Engineer. Work at an assembly plant of heavy machinery for 3 years now. I like my job. Actually my job is interesting. I troubleshoot and diagnose failures on production machines. Not maintenance. Production. That means there is never too much time to fix the issues before we ship it. The boring part is the people. Fucking people wandering around looking for someone to blame on their problems and working as less as possible. That, and the working hours. I hate waking up early for work. I have been hating it since kindergarten, never stopped, not ever. I do love waking up early to go hiking or for a run. As long as I can take a nap after that of course. But not while working Monday to Friday and the occasional weekends.
  2. Boyfriend. I met my girlfriend at work at a long working weekend, she is also an engineer. Started hanging out with her and giving her a ride home. Gorgeous. I’m madly and absolutely in love with this green eye beauty. Tomorrow is our 2 year anniversary. Since we met she changed jobs and now works a lot closer to her home. I actually live on the other side of the city so I suffer a bit more in traffic when I visit her. Well worth it. I’m thinking of giving her the ring next year.
  3. Martial artist. I trained karate since I was 6 years old, got me some good scholarships at college and a bunch of very good friends and experiences. Stopped training a bit after I graduated a couple years ago. I am a third degree black belt. Work was too demanding and the organization was not so appealing anymore. I go once in a while but don’t keep the rhythm too much. I consider myself good. But without constant training good fades away fast. It had been almost two years without training but at my birthday this month my gf gave me the best present so far: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu classes! I am now on my second week of training and I love it. Since we trained some throws, chokes and personal defense on karate, I am actually not too dumb on this. It’s a humbling experience to start over again though, but I’m enjoying it very much. I mean to keep training and grow on this new venture.
  4. Fitness enthusiast. Ever since I was 14yo and got my ass kicked at a tourney by a stronger guy, I have been doing some form of strength training. Had the typical machine at home every dad gets one day but never used it. Bought a couple of 20lbs steel dumbbells at the flea market and subscribed at Men Health’s for almost two years. I never had the money to pay for a gym as a teen. And my dad’s DIY nature got into me at an early age. I tried a gym when I got some money one summer but hated to clean up other guys sweat or having to change my sets because somebody wouldn’t stop chatting while sitting on the bench. I ran 10k and a couple of 21k in high school and tried multiple strength approaches, got tired of magazines, started Charles Atlas program, later on Bruce Lee, some calisthenics, gymnasticbodies BtGB, Al Kavadlo, Convict Conditioning, Rough Strength, etc etc. I want to use my body as much as possible without weights, mostly because I’m cheap and to me it looks a lot cooler to do a muscle up at the playground than a bench press. I do appreciate the lifting though and maybe later I will get myself an olympic bar to do some deadlifts. I am currently using Foundation from GB as my main guide to train. I am now 185lbs and 5′ 9”. My goal is 170lbs. I’ll be more detailed on later posts.
  5. Personal Finances beginner AKA wannabe early retiree. On this one I’m fairly new. I started reading Mr. Money Moustache and Early Retirement Extreme early this year but haven’t actually applied it fully in my life. I started recording my expenses in an app, I am debt free and plan to get enough savings to invest in the stock market. I hate the idea of waking up early to work for a company, generate thousands of dollars in savings and earnings and getting only a handshake and a smile. I want to stop this never ending story of waiting for my vacation time to get out of town and do something fun. I would so much like to get a cup of coffee at 10am and walk around the park with my dog. I want to retire young. But most of all I want to built my own house and not pay a mortgage.

After this whole novel explaining my life, I will be quick: I want to built my house, get in shape and hopefully assuming my gf says yes, plan a wedding. All this in two years.

Ohh man, what am I getting into?.

DV

Imagine your life happening like a movie. Everyday waking up at 6 am (already late), quick shower, glass of milk instead of a nice breakfast. Drive to work, 40 minute commute listening to the radio while still waking up. Parking your car wishing to stay there and nap for at least 15 minutes. Working at the factory from 7-5pm hoping, ohh boy, hoping they don’t screw up today too and you have to stay overtime on Monday already. Driving back home, squeeze a quick visit to your girlfriend’s and don’t stay too late because you would end up getting not enough sleep hours. Hoping for the weekend to spend a lot of money going to the movies and restaurants because that’s what everybody does around here.

Don’t forget to workout once in a while to “keep in shape” and then reward yourself with a cheeseburger because you earned it. Hey man you are a hard worker. You sweat your ass at work everyday, you deserve nice things because you studied so hard at college and if you have the money you should spend it, right?

Except you know you should be saving a bit more, running a bit more, planning on your future a bit more, visiting grandma a bit more and so on.

You would say, hey that’s not me!, well no, duh, it was me, actually is still me.

I had an epiphany on my 24th birthday, when Facebook showed me a picture from 4 years ago and 25 pounds less at a Karate tournament back in college. Started thinking of my life, realizing that the dream job interviewer I met almost 2 weeks before hadn’t called yet. My love life was okay, but my gf was sending small signals of wanting to get married. At 24 my dad was already married and had a house, he built it himself. The whole thing just hit me. What am I doing with my life?

And so, this blog.

Welcome my friend to my journey to becoming whatever I am to become.

DV