Frugality

So long 2015, Onward and Onward to 2016!

Ever since I was a kid I've been very goal oriented and weirdly motivated by the endorphin rush that comes from checking something off my to do list. So it should come as no surprise I enjoy this time of year -- reflecting back on what goals I accomplished the past year, kicking myself with a few face punches (metaphorical) for the ones I didn't, and looking ahead and making lots and lots of lists for the coming year. 2015 was a mixed year for me, though I would say I leave it with a sense of generally pretty spectacularly amazeballs awesome -- overall, financially, it was a very solid year, though not without some important lessons. Personally, it couldn't have been better -- Sweetie Pie moved closer to me after being in a different city for two years; I traveled a lot and saw many, many old friends; I started to feel like my house is becoming my home; and I started exploring all sorts of new pursuits outside of work (like this blog!), and somehow managed to achieve some balance of not feeling perpetually "busy" (I chalk that one up to good old fashioned gratitude!). Professionally, however, last year was a disappointment -- I had some tough days at work and have been embroiled in some deep soul searching about where I might want to go next, how to get there, and the best recipe for lemonade in the meantime. In terms of my specific goals, here's the rundown: (more…)

By Cheddar Pie, ago
Frugality

The Best $4 I Ever Earned

There are so many things I'm learning on my path to financial independence -- one of those is that sudden recognition that I have no idea what I want to do with my time when I am no longer beholden to The Grind. I know I will always want to keep working to a limited extent, but I don't have a "dream" job in mind. Ihave a lot of hobbies I enjoy doing, but nothing that really grabs me as something I'd want to do even close to full time or would be capable of doing as a means of income production. In the dual interests of figuring out what I might want to do with more time on my hands and making the most of my current situation, I've been trying to pursue more creative endeavors this year and have generally been doing a pretty good job of that -- from writing this blog, to refurbishing my basement, to making lots of art, to maybe finally, eventually, really for reals opening that Etsy shop I've been talking about for so long.  (more…)

By Cheddar Pie, ago
Book Review

Book Review: The Total Money Makeover

Welcome to my book club! My dreams of having a real-life financial book club have faded dramatically as many of my friends have come to have grown-up things like jobs, kids, and overseas moves. So you get me instead, and I'm hoping this will be a monthly occurrence. To kick things off, it seems right to start with Dave Ramsey's The Total Money Makeover, which was the first actual hard-copy personal finance book I read after spending a couple of years following various finance blogs online. I was a skeptic -- celebrity finance gurus (or anything "gurus") like Suze Orman and Dave Ramsey tend to raise my BS meter to the moon. My impression was that they provide one-size-fits-all advice that's only applicable to a small segment of the population, while they make themselves a boatload of money preying on people's fear -- charging obscene sums for their workshops, courses, books, and celebrity appearances. Not my cup of chamomile, if you know what I mean.  (more…)

By Cheddar Pie, ago