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A Young Person’s Guide to Life Part I: Leaving the Nest

2010/09/07

The purpose of these chapters are to help you, the high school aged American Citizen, transition from the suckling momma’s boy you are into a self sufficient member of modern society. At the age of 30 I have the life experience you’ve yet to acquire, but I’ve not quite become a complete tool like your dork parents.

A triumphant symbol of independence. Young men literally brought home this bacon.

This puts me in the perfect position to help dispel some misinformation you may have received from your friends (who don’t know shit) and your parents (who are jealous of your freedom and want to keep you down). You’ll be especially surprised at how much of what your folks have been telling you is bullshit. Please do not hold it against them, they cannot help but to hold you back. No parent wants to be outdone by their offspring. It’s embarrassing.

EDUCATION:

Don’t need it. This is probably the biggest lie your elders will feed you. Age 17 to 25 is the prime of your life, yet the “normal” thing to do is make them the years you work the hardest. How illogical! It’s painful for adults who wasted their prime see that you’re smart enough to do what they did not. Ignore their advice about college; it’s rooted in jealousy, not your best interests. Your best interests, oddly enough, are to be more short-sighted. Secondary and University education is, if anything, detrimental to your well being. Once a man has devoted his best years to study, he feels compelled to make use of that education no matter how he ultimately feels about his career choice. An educated man will shun his true calling of being an artist, musician or blogger and settle into a dead end software development job that he feels obligated to hold. The college educated individual is unhappier, and surprisingly (generally) worse off financially.

An educated man hating the job he spent his life preparing for.

Check out this random sampling of people who have and have not received a formal education past the elementary level.

Chester Thompson
Formal Education: 4 years Syracuse University
Occupation: Unemployed Accountant
Accomplishments: Married to a woman he doesn’t love and has three kids who hate him, which makes sense since two of them are his brother’s. Also made, like, the awesomest batch of chili last night. It was a new recipe and he wasn’t really sure how it was going to turn out, but he substituted sirloin for ground beef which makes a winner out of everything. It’s so nice outside today. I think I’ll take a swim. Aw, sweet! Ghostbusters is on!
Judgment: Miserable, openly despised, and needs to adjust the privacy settings on his Facebook page.

Benjamin Franklin
Formal Education: 2 years primary school
Occupation: Publisher, Ambassador, Scientist and Postmaster General.
Accomplishments: Founded America. Invented lightning.  Banged a lot of French chicks.
Judgment: One of history’s true geniuses and a complete badass.

I’ve never seen a “Chester Thompson” statue.

Whose life would you rather have? No way in hell Franklin obtains all that fame and glory if he went to the candle making academy like his father wanted him to.

Society says you must have at least a high school education or you will not be able to support yourself. Of course we can see this isn’t true. Why spend years of your life and go thousands of dollars into debt for something that isn’t practical or enjoyable? Believe it or not, even minimum wage is enough to support your lifestyle. Check it out.

MOVING OUT

Are you ready to live by your own rules? Then let’s replace your parents with a couple people who understand you! Leaving home is even more awesome when shared with friends. All it takes to obtain a $150,000 party house are three people on minimum wage! $7.25 times three is $21.75. That’s doctor money, but more stable. If the doctor loses his job, 100% of the household income is gone. If one of your friends gets fired for coming in an hour late again, you can get by on 66% wages for a bit. It’s much easier to land an unskilled position than it is a doctor job, too. Income will be back up to 100% in a week. You also get to divide all of the house and yard work three ways. It’s more efficient, and everyone has more free time.  This well oiled machine is the optimal short or long term living situation, and it requires no forethought, preparation or planning whatsoever. You could grab two friends, quit school for fast food jobs, and be set up for life before this weekend.

FINANCES

Of course you’ll need some extra money for the occasional large purchase. Maybe you want to take a few vacations this year. Maybe it’s time for a third car. Let’s talk about a couple simple money saving/making tricks.

The first is tax related. Did you know that getting a big springtime refund actually screws you over? “Refund” does not mean “bonus”. This is money you are owed. Every time taxes are taken from your paycheck, you’re giving an interest free loan to The Man, and every April he settles up by returning your money to you. This country makes money the same way a bank does. It invests your (forced) deposits and turns a profit that you don’t get a part of. On top of this, your refund is actually devalued thanks to inflation! Fixing this problem is easy; all you need to do is submit a fresh W-4 to your employer. Fill it out as normal, but put the word “EXEMPT” into box 7 and you’re good to go! You won’t have any tax deductions from your paycheck, and you won’t get that phony bonus check each spring.

Sticking it to The Man

The second trick is more fun. There are three things needed to make money. 50/50 odds of winning, the magic number 4 (more about this later) and patience. That last one is what deters most people and keeps this method a little more secretive than it should be. But if you’re willing to put in a few extra hours work at the casino, you can double your paycheck in an afternoon.

A golden (palace) investment opportunity

Blackjack. This is a tried and true method you may have heard of before. Bet $20. If you win, bank it and go again. If you lose, bet $40. If you lose again, bet $80. Once you break even by winning on a double bet, you can go back to banking 20s. Let’s talk about that magic number 4 now. If you’re performing any activity that has even odds, the point where the chance of repeated results becomes almost infinitely improbable is 4. For example, if you flip a coin 4 times, there’s a 1 in 65,536 chance that it will land heads 4 times in a row. You can apply this same logic to blackjack losses. Just make sure you have enough reserve to cover 3 losses and you will be fine! The $20 is just an example. Divide your paycheck by 7 to obtain the value of your starting bet. If you’re extra paranoid, only take half of your paycheck to the table so you can get two tries. The odds of having the coin land on heads 4 times in a row twice are 1 in 4,294,967,296.

Roulette. Here’s a new one, and the one I prefer. It’s a proven fact that the roulette table already gives you the best odds of winning. Now let’s enhance the chances even more. We can apply the lessons from the blackjack table here for some red/black betting. The odds of landing on red or black are 50/50. Remember the rule of 4 from earlier? Watch the table until either black or red has hit 3 times in a row, and then bet everything you have on the other color. You’ll have a 99.998% chance of winning!

That’s it. Everything you need to know about life in 1,300 words.

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