As I’m sure you’ve noticed, the holidays are pretty much upon us. The traditions vary, but I’m sure that the long arm of consumerism makes sure everyone knows the holidays are here. It has been a strange year for pretty much everyone, with Covid touching every continent (at least as of yesterday). While this year has been a lot more challenging than most if you pause for a moment or two, we can all think of a few things to be thankful for. I am grateful for all of the front line workers and those working in hospitals, and those keeping the grocery stores moving. For all of the quiet heroes, thank you. We have all had a rough year, some rougher than others. Don’t forget all that you have gone through; even if things were pretty easy, our world flipped upside down, change usually takes time, and this year Continue Reading
Work-life balance is about just that, finding balance. Most of the popular literature leads us to think that there is a magical equilibrium where you work a little bit and have time for the rest of your life as a side effect of this. The reality is that this is rarely the case, it’s often a mad scramble to find that balance, and even when we do, it’s a razors thin edge you’re trying to balance on.
At the beginning of the year, no one would have thought that by March, we would be either working from home or out of work, but that happened. Covid has changed how we work for a lot of us in very drastic ways. Working from home has brought a whole new language with it; Zoom meetings were, in most cases, nothing more than fancy conference calls. Now they’re a way of life for a lot of people.
The FIRE community has always been about getting to the point of financial independence as quickly as possible and then retiring, at least that’s what popular media would have you believe. At least that was my initial impression because having to trudge through to your day job isn’t fun for many people. The money-twitter and side-hustling communities would lead you to believe that you have to do everything possible to get rid of your 9-5. Having a 9-5 isn’t a bad thing, at least not for everyone.
Life in the 21st century has become increasingly sedentary, and the pandemic, in my opinion, is exasperating this trend. We used to leave the house to go to the office and if you were like me, take a break at lunch to get some food at the food court. Now that many of us are working from home, we don’t even get the activity of the daily commute. At the beginning of the summer, my lack of activity was becoming more and more pronounced. Something needed to change.
We get excited about getting the latest iPhone but buying a used one, not nearly as much. A certain, often hidden, stigma comes with a used item even if it’s minor.
One of the basic tenets of personal finance is that you need to do one thing and one thing only if you really want to get ahead. Surprisingly this one thing is both simple and, in some ways, very challenging. All of the tips and tactics are great, but if you only manage to achieve this one thing, you succeed. What is this magical, mystical unicorn, you may ask? It’s simply living within your means. If you’ve been around the personal finance space or read a few blogs, you’ve probably heard this fantastic term. I think instinctively, we all get it, but I want to step back and define this, so we’re all on the same page. This is partially because everyone’s circumstances are different, and when I say living within your means, pardon the pun, it means different things to different people. Taking a very simple view, ‘Living within Continue Reading
We all know the pleasure of buying something brand new, the aura of freshness that comes when you first open the package. For me, this comes with an air of excitement as the packaging falls away, and the new item is first taken out still in its protective wrapping. That distinctive smell of ‘new’ in the air comes with the item’s promise radiating forth. Very often, as you open the package up, there’s a smell that comes with it, a real scent, not just a metaphorical one; it’s the smell of newness. When it comes to cars, they’ve tried to bottle that new car smell, which we all seem to know, though I think we might be collectively horrified if we knew what chemicals that produce it. All of this excitement, we feel for something new. Most of the time, we’re replacing something; BUT what happens to the old one? We’ve Continue Reading
Last weekend we did something we haven’t been able to for a couple of months, we got out of town to go camping. For us, they just opened up the campgrounds with restrictions and since we already had a booking, we took advantage of it. Now I have to add a little context, our ‘camping’ is taking the RV which has not only a bathroom, but a stove, a shower, and most importantly air conditioning! I should adjust my earlier statement, we went glamping! It was a very nice change from being locked down in the house, we went hiking, cycling, and swimming. It was great! There was a distinct feeling of normal on our trip which was much needed. With everything that has been going on in the world a little bit of normal and balance were just what we needed. It got me thinking more about balance and Continue Reading
When you look at a brick wall, there is strength, power, and utility in it. If it’s part of a house it keeps the occupants and their belongings safe from the elements and potential predators. It is strong and whole; we see it as a unit unto itself. But if you look at the individual pieces, the bricks and mortar they become much less imposing. A brick is tough, but it can’t keep you safe by itself unless you are a very small creature. The mortar to starts off as nothing more than powder. But add enough bricks and a little mortar together and you have an imposing wall. All of the small increments that we take for granted can add up to so much more. But we discount that all the time and when we stop adding these small increments we’re left with something very unimpressive. Add these small increments Continue Reading