No Spend November With the Grasshoppers

No Spend November sounded like an awesome idea until I realized the spending freeze would coincide with my birthday and Thanksgiving. Well poop! On the other hand, go big or go home, right? Also, the Grasshoppers are planning a winter road trip to visit family, and this month-long spending freeze will make us feel better about any money we spend during that trip. For all of my readers who are scrambling to get a foothold on the concept of No Spend November: It is a whole month where you avoid spending any of…

Save Money By Being A Producer Instead of A Consumer

Faced with some spare time, I’ve realized it is so much easier to consume vs. produce. And consumption often spends your resources much more quickly than production. Things have been quiet at work for the last couple of weeks. This makes me very twitchy (I like to be busy), and leaves me with hours that I need to occupy. After accomplishing the obvious chores around the house, I was still stumped. So, I created a mental list of the things I could do with my time. Exercise: Go for a walk…

Love Means Being Able to Say “No” to Expenses

“It is not shameful to admit I cannot afford something my friends/family ask me to do.” Now say that to yourself when you are next asked to be in a wedding (bachelor/bachelorette party, clothes, etc.), celebrate a destination birthday, or simply attend an expensive dinner for a friend’s birthday. We have all said “yes” when we really meant “oh no!” Expenses like these can jettison a carefully crafted budget/savings plan, but we’d rather bite our tongue than admit it. Recently, my amazing family informed me that they would be traveling to Boston in December.…

Make Memories, Not a Dent in the Bank

It is obvious that the Grasshoppers were not on the Financial Independence band wagon when we chose important dates such as birthdays, and anniversaries. With November and December birthdays and a December wedding anniversary, we managed to make a costly season even more financially sapping. But that, I assure myself, is in the past. No more extravagant dinners and expensive birthday presents for this set of bugs. Nope. This year we approach the holiday spending with the same caution and planning as the D-Day Invasion. I am convinced that we can…

Cable is Dead! Long Live the Internet!!

Five years after discontinuing our satellite cable television subscription, we could not be happier. Cable is the opiate of the masses. Not only because of the sludge it delivers in the form of programming, but because it foists a precooked entertainment “bundle” on you. Your choice between a relatively low-cost prepackaged “deal” with a few channels, or a more expensive prepackaged “deal” with a lot more channels is really no choice at all. For every channel you actually consume, there are a dozen others that you subsidize even though you never watch them. For…

No Shame in Freebies, and Other Reasons to Keep Living Like a College Kid

College-me was penniless, and no free pizza – or free anything really – was safe from me. Working several minimum wage jobs, and limiting college debt propelled me to muscle through undergrad in three years.  Add a little more scrounging during grad school, and you might understand why I felt entitled to live like a “grown up” after I graduated. To me, that meant not penny-pinching, and spreading out my lifestyle to enjoy my generous income. Our newfound Journey to Financial Independence has changed that. If we want to squirrel away all our precious…