Every breath you take; every decision you make, you should be watching you.

Remember reading those books where you get to choose the ending. I was always crap at those books. I read every ending. Unfortunately, in life you only get to see the path that you choose. If you really thought about it, you’d realize how very exciting, overwhelming, and empowering that is. You might also realize (all things being equal) how incredibly difficult it would be for you to go astray or screw up your life. For those of you whose lives are like ships in a storm because of a health crisis, or…

Housecleaning & How I Got Off the Habit Carousel

Grasshopper Confessional: Sooo, when I graduated from school and got my first high paying job, I did not immediately buy a car, or a Gucci purse. Nope. I began to pay for a cleaning service (yes. Maids!) to come to my house and clean for me every two weeks. Decadent. I know. And, I LOVED it. I figured that I was working full-time, and earning a lot of money. Ergo, I was entitled to use my free time to do fun stuff. And “fun stuff” did not (and for the…

Frugal Fashionista: How To Shop In Your Own Closet

Fall brings out the fashion plate in me. Well, Fall and the higher probability of being inadvertently caught in a photograph during the Holiday Season. Mr. Grasshopper is our trusty family photographer, who captures our every memory with a near-religious fervor. So, it’s not like we are ever paparazzi free. But, it seems perfectly acceptable to be caught romping around the yard, or frolicking on the beach in Spring/Summer wearing a threadbare band tee. Carefree even! On the other hand, Fall and Winter with their packed holiday/birthday/anniversary schedule seem to engender…

Know the Cost of Everything and Everyone You Add to Your Box Of Life

I have often thought of life as a box…No, not a box of chocolates (thanks Forest Gump), but an empty box we are all given at birth that we fill with the stuff of life. It’s the wisdom of how we pick and choose those additions that determines how heavy the box is, and how far we can walk with it. My box, for example, contains an education, a job, education loans, some family members, Mr. Grasshopper, Baby G, a few friends, a house (with a mortgage), a car (fully paid…

Being (A Responsible) Judgy McJudgerson & Keeping Your Friends On the Road to Financial Independence

This is likely the burden of the newly converted everywhere – a zealous urge to spread the WORD! In the recently converted Frugalist, this urge manifests itself in an annoying tendency to tut-tutt our fellow Man’s (and Woman’s) spending habits. Grasshopper Confessional There’s a certain guilty satisfaction to gossiping about the latest financial misstep of a friend or an acquaintance. The Grasshoppers found ourselves doing this over the weekend, and it struck me that (a) it did not make us very good friends, and (b) we were likely doing this to pat…

The Frugalist’s Omerta: Who Should You Tell That You’re On A Path to Financial Independence

As I set of on a path towards Early Retirement, I am caught between wanting my friends and family to understand my sudden obsession with frugality, and maintaining my financial privacy. The Code Of Silence Omerta comes to mind. It is – at least according to all those Mafia books I read as a kid – the code of silence; the honor among thieves. No thieves here, but as a traveler on the path to Financial Independence and (hopefully) Early Retirement, I’ve wondered how much, and to whom I can confess my…

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.…

Essential Self: A Touchy Feely Post About Accepting “the You”

Go grab your patchouli people because this is going to get a trifle New Age-y. But, while it is  not precisely a financial concept, it does form the underpinnings of my Journey to Financial Independence, and might even be able to help you. The only concept to grasp really is the Essential Self. I think each one of us benefits from knowing the real, boiled down to the basics version of ourselves – warts and all. Once you know about your warts, you don’t have to accept them. You can hack them 🙂 My Essential Self,…

I am The Grasshopper

Alright World, don’t squish this bug. I am a recent convert to the cult of early Financial Independence. Bombarded by gurus like Mr. Money Mustache, and my husband (Ha!), I am a little overwhelmed by the journey ahead of me. A little background: We are white-collar, high earners with just under a decade of our careers behind us. We have earned well, and we have lived accordingly. Until recently, I dutifully contributed to my 401k  (and when it was possible, a Roth IRA), but did so in a directionless manner.  I assumed…