Sunshine Blogger Labor Day Special

Over the last month or so I have been nominated to share a little bit about myself from blogs around the world.  It took me some time and 3 separate requests, but without further ado I give to you the answers that will hopefully spread a little sunshine in the blogging world!


  • Thank the person who nominated you
  • Answer the questions from the person who has nominated you
  • Nominate some other bloggers for this award
  • Write the same amount of questions for the bloggers you have nominated
  • Notify the bloggers you have nominated

Cash Flow Diaries

1) Where is the coolest place you have traveled to?

The coolest place I have ever been to would have to be Kauai, Hawaii.  As a honeymoon gift from my parents, they invited us to their timeshare (I wish I could say house) and enjoyed what I would describe as probably the best vacations of my life. It was great we even convinced my parents to come along and enjoy the fun.  Everything from a great trip on the Nepali Coast, flying over the island, snorkeling,  boogie boarding, hiking, drinking coffee,  and amazing food and drinks all around the island.

2)  How long have you been blogging and what is your end result with your blog?

I have been blogging for a little over a year, in fact just recently was nominated as a finalist for the 6th Annual Plutus Awards for the best new personal finance blog!  The blog itself has been such a key motivator in my journey, from paying off all of my student loans to increasing my investments.  I plan to write about my journey as I reach for financial independence, so as we stand expect a little less than 5 more years of me at the very minimum.

3)  What is your favorite home cooked meal?

I would have to say anything my Dad cooks, he has so many in the arsenal it would be tough to narrow down.

4)  What is your favorite restaurant?

We do our best to keep the budget down and do our best to not eat out at too many restaurants, but I always enjoy going to my favorite pizza place, called Quonset Pizza.  I have been going there since I was a kid and while the pizza is my favorite the place reminds me of my childhood and seeing family as I grew up.

5)  Do you have pets? And if so, what kind and why do you love them so much?

We have a Siberian Husky named Angel.  I would not be giving Angel any justice unless I let her tell a little bit about herself over at Frugalwoods.

The Money Mine 

6) What is your best productivity -or- creativity hack my? Pick one!

For myself,  it is preparing the night before.  I prefer to pack lunches, make coffee (when it’s ice coffee), and sometimes even make breakfast.  This also happens with meal preparation, we tend to make more than one meal on a Sunday for the week ahead.  It allows us to have lunches prepared for the first couple days of the week or take off cooking on a Monday or Tuesday after a hard day of work.

7) What is the coolest place you’ve ever been to?

First repeat, please see above.

8) Describe one of your long term goals (10+ years ahead)

What’s crazy is I’m not sure I have a 10-year goal anymore.  My fixation is on Financial Independence which is a short 5 years away.  As I hit FI and realize what I am able to do with my new found life, I’m sure more goals will pop up.  For now my 10-year goal is to enjoy FI and all that it has to offer.

9) What book, blog or podcast have you enjoyed recently?

I have been listening to Stacking Benjamin’s podcast more and more often.  They stick with a lighter side of personal finance, which I enjoy.

10) What side hustle are you already or plan to be involved in to make more money?

My main side hustle is eBay which is pretty constant for me.  I go in spurts with eBay, sometimes I get the inventory for the store in the 150 plus items and other times it is in the 80-100 range.  The more you list the more you sell, simple concept.   As I continue my blog more and more opportunities arise to make additional money, I could see this growing more and more in the future.  I’m excited to attend FinCon in a few weeks, I have a feeling this will have a real impact on my blogging future.


11) Name the top three experiences from your past, that help form who you are today.

I’m going to take this question as form whom I am today financially.

I would say working at a country club during my college years has taught me many valuable lessons to become who I am today.  I learned that there is an insane amount of money to be had in the world and everyone who has it is different.  I have caddied for famous sports figures, Presidents of Banks, CEO of large corporations, Small business owners, and hedge fund managers alike.  I look at the interactions I had with each person and I think of all the hard work they put into their craft and profession to get where they are today and that did not go unnoticed on what I strive for today and what it takes to get there.

Marrying Mrs. Even Steven.  I truly believe if I had not married Mrs. ESM I would have stayed behind the 8 ball financially.  She brought me down to earth and away from the big dreamer and gambler that is laying underneath the sound financial thoughts I have today.  A great example is the few times we have gone to a casino, Mrs. ESM will sit and play blackjack, win $20 and walk away forever, myself I’m there to win hundreds of dollars, waiting for the cards to turn and go on a run.  She makes me a better person, including financially.

Starting this blog.  Over the last couple years, I have paid off more debt than I could have ever imagined and I truly believe it all happened because of this blog and the people who visit each day.  It has opened up my eyes to accountability and the steps needed to cancel out every last debt.  I don’t think I would have paid off my student loans, increased my investments, and had such a lifestyle change towards frugality without each and every person who I read and relate to.

12) If you receive 5 million dollars today, what would you do with the money? 

I would pay off our homes and put a large portion of this money in the stock market specifically index funds.  I would also make sure my parents could both retire immediately.  I think we would buy an additional home in Nicaragua and quite possibly Kauai.

13) If you can travel to anywhere in the world, all expenses paid, where would you go, what would you do and why?

I would go to Italy.  Mrs. Even Steven has been waiting to go on an Italian vacation for the past couple years.  I’m sure we would spend time in Rome, Florence, Venice, and of course the beautiful countryside.

14)  If you were to start investing today from the beginning, what would you do? What would your asset allocation be? Would you do something different than what you are doing today?

Our real estate investing has been the catalyst in our financial blueprint.  Both homes were bought with the intention to be investments.  Since this has been so good to us, I’m not sure I would divulge much from our current plan.  I would look to buy a home in which we would live and rent out one of the other units.  I truly believe real estate is the one of the best roads to wealth and I don’t think I would change what got us here.  As I look to diversify more into stock investments, I am an index investor.  I like to keep it simple, I do have some gamble in me so I will have an individual stock or a few in the arsenal but not a significant amount of my portfolio, it’s more of a seasoning on the steak.

15). Outside of work and investing, what is your biggest passion in life?

I really enjoy traveling to new places with my wife.  We enjoy trying out new restaurants, craft breweries, and everything the new city has to offer.  Traveling to visit friends and family in new cities and old is our passion.  I like to say I don’t own a boat, jet ski, lake house, or BMW.  However, I do like to travel to new and exciting places.

So mine was a little long, hope you are still with me!  If so I would like to nominate the following bloggers which are also nominees for the 6th Annual Plutus Award Finalists:

1) Who you are and what is your blog is all about?

2) What is something you have done with your blog that you are known for or are proud of yourself for accomplishing?

3) If you could meet 3 people who are currently alive, whom would choose?

4) You just had a hard days work, what is the best medicine for you to relax?

5) What is your favorite quote or saying?

10 Responses to “Sunshine Blogger Labor Day Special

  • It is kind of crazy to think that when you enter the FI world that it becomes a little hard to forecast out 10years. And I’m saying that in a good way. Recently, had a chat with the operations manager at work and he asked me where do you see yourself in 5-10years. I couldn’t tell him the truth but it wouldn’t be working here is all I know! Slower pace when you become FI and you are able to live day by day. It’s something that Mrs. Budgets and I strive for.
    Mr. Budgets @MrandMrsBudgets recently posted…August Recap and Monthly Budget ReportMy Profile

    • EvenStevenMoney
      1 year ago

      I would love to hear the honest response and reaction to the 5-10 year question. Where do you see yourself? Not working here! Are you crazy I’m going to save like a mad man/woman and live off my savings because anyone who wants to work in a cubicle for the next 30 years belongs in crazy town. Best Conversation Ever!

  • Wow great answers and great questions to your nominees. Really cool that so many of us started a blog as a way to record our FI journey and keeping us honest to ourselves.
    Tawcan recently posted…Comment on Things that saved us money recently by TawcanMy Profile

    • EvenStevenMoney
      1 year ago

      Thanks Tawcan, I have to hit everyone up on Twitter and let them know!

  • Always great to learn more about other bloggers. My wife and I also love Hawaii and would love to go back…didn’t get to go to Kauai…went to the Big Island, Maui, and Honolulu though. I have heard great things about Kauai.
    Andrew@LivingRichCheaply recently posted…Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Financial FreedomMy Profile

    • EvenStevenMoney
      1 year ago

      Yeah I would like to check out the other islands, Maui sounds great as well. I would want to spend a week or two to really enjoy it.

  • First things first, congratulations for getting 3 nominations and also getting a Plutus Award!
    I didn’t know about your eBay side hustle. I read your post, this was very interesting, it looks like you have organized it in a way to make it manageable and profitable, which I suspect isn’t an easy task.

    Travel is why I want to reach Financial Independence and at the same time it is the biggest expense that slows me down towards it. I have been to Rome a long time ago, it is a beautiful city you would surely love the place. Haven’t had the chance to go to Hawaii yet, but it’s on my bucket list.

    This is exciting that you are going to FinCon this year, I have heard great feedback about it I’m sure you’ll have a blast. Could we have a debrief on what the experience there is for those of us who can’t go? 🙂
    TheMoneyMine recently posted…Pay cash or Finance ? The Ultimate GuideMy Profile

    • EvenStevenMoney
      1 year ago

      Thank you sir! I’m sure I will bring back a story or two from FinCon, no worries there:)

  • Congrats on being a Plutus finalist! Enjoyed reading your answers. On the 10-year plan question, I recently read a more traditional retirement blog that said you should redefine your retirement every five years. So maybe you have the intensive travel phase. Then the golf and gardening phase. Etc. I love that way of thinking about it, and it seems like it could fit your situation, too. So you’d have a five-year plan between now and FI, then a plan for your first five years. That’s about what we’ve mapped out for our early retirement, though we fully expect our list of travel alone to take more than five years!

    • EvenStevenMoney
      1 year ago

      I like the redefine your retirement every five years, makes a lot of sense to me. We are similar in we have milestones during our 5 year remaining ER plan. I like that your travel is going to take more than 5 years, sounds like a celebration.

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