Golden Handcuffs and Early Retirement – The Mental Challenge of Choosing Freedom when Slavery is Lucrative


Many of us pursuing financial freedom early in life struggle with making the decision to stop our current jobs and make the huge transition into the unknown.  This is a big life decision and it understandably makes everyone nervous.  And a lot about the struggle is about the numbers. Continue reading “Golden Handcuffs and Early Retirement – The Mental Challenge of Choosing Freedom when Slavery is Lucrative”

Gamify Your Journey to Financial Independence

Financial independence, especially early in life, is a very ambitious goal. The most reliable way to achieve this goal is through saving a lot of your income and investing it well. But this is not a get-rich-quick scheme. It’s a reliable get-rich-slowly approach that takes many years of consistent savings. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Now I don’t know about you, but I don’t really enjoy running and I certainly don’t want to run a full marathon (i.e retire after 40 years of work). How can we turn our journey into a half-marathon instead? After all, doesn’t 20 years (or less!) working sound much better than 40?

Continue reading “Gamify Your Journey to Financial Independence”

Buying Expensive Clothes Can Be Frugal

I thought it was time for a more light-hearted article.  We’ve been covering a lot of investing topics lately so I felt like a change of pace.

This article highlights the difference between frugal and cheap with regards to clothes purchases.  Many people mistakenly think frugal and cheap are the same thing but they are not.  Cheap is looking for the lowest cost with little consideration for anything else.  Frugal is concerned with getting the best value.  In fact, many people, including myself broaden this even more and think of being frugal as trying to get the maximum happiness for our spending.

This difference between cheap and frugal leads to some interesting contrasts.   Continue reading “Buying Expensive Clothes Can Be Frugal”

2016 and the Last 10 Years in Review -Money Fun During the Final Stages of the Journey to Financial Independence

This post will cover both our 2016 progress as well as a look at the last 10 years from a financial perspective.  I started tracking data more carefully 10 years ago so this is a perfect time to do a decade in review.  Our total financial journey has really been 15 years since graduating and starting work but I’ll focus on the last decade where I measured things more carefully.  A key point of this post, in order to help inspire those that are early in their financial independence (FI) journey, is to show the magic of what happens near the end of a many-year journey of saving aggressively and investing.  At the final stages of “accumulation” is where your net worth increases a lot each year.  It’s a fun place to be and is the reward for saving a high percentage of income over time and investing it in appreciating assets. Continue reading “2016 and the Last 10 Years in Review -Money Fun During the Final Stages of the Journey to Financial Independence”

Think about saving time, not just money

Here in FIRE land, we talk a lot about money but we don’t always talk enough about time.  While we are working, we are trading our time for money.  When we are FI, we no longer need to do so.  Instead, our money is able to buy us time.  The assumption is that we have things to do with our time that are so much more meaningful to us than working that it’s worth the cost to buy that time. That’s why I get so confused when I sometimes see people wasting a lot of time.  It’s the same thing as wasting money.  In fact, since your time is finite and money is not, time is even more valuable so you should think even more carefully about how to allocate it. Continue reading “Think about saving time, not just money”

Take your already-awesome cast iron skillet and increase its value over 5X!

I enjoy cooking. It’s one of the many things I look forward to spending more time doing when I am not working so much. Cooking is also one of those activities where the equipment you use can make the experience better. Working with a really good sharp chef knife compared to a cheap, poorly balanced, and dull knife is a good example. While the happiness research clearly shows experiences are better for happiness than material goods, material goods that enhance or encourage happy experiences through use are usually worth acquiring if those are experiences that you personally enjoy.

One of my favorite Continue reading “Take your already-awesome cast iron skillet and increase its value over 5X!”