Thermostat Wars: Freezing to A Popsicle In The Quest for Financial Independence

Inspired by the dual urge to save money, and help the environment, Mr. Grasshopper has turned into a thermostat dictator. He is also buoyed by the fact that because of the octogenarian house, he’s the only one who can understand the heating system. As I work from home with my bathrobe over my sweater and jeans, and a hat on my head, I am unable to reverse his evil machinations.   For the purposes of science (and this post), I just asked Mr. G what temperature he keeps the house at. His…

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…

Mindful-ling My Way To Frugality

Truth is, I’ve never really understood mindfullness, but I think I may be on the way to getting it. On the other hand, I may not and if that’s the case, just humor the crazy lady with the blog. Since the Grasshoppers hopped on the FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) wagon, I have found myself pondering ways to channel more money into my savings. In most cases that includes trimming the fat from our pre-Journey lifestyle (remember the maids?), or finding innovative ways to cut down expenses (goodbye toilet paper).…

Watching the Bottom Line: The Grasshoppers Say Ta-Ta To Toilet Paper

I feel like we’ve known each other long enough for a rather personal confession. Here it is: The Grasshoppers have bid adieu to toilet paper for environmental, health-based, but mostly economic reasons. I grew up in a culture that doesn’t do toilet paper. My people use water instead. So, while I have traveled extensively and was certainly no stranger to the concept of toilet paper, I did not embrace it as the sole means of (*ahem*) my toilette until I was in my late teens. Grasshopper Evolution There are times in…

Frugal Foodie: When Life Gives You Bananas; Make Pancakes

For every gorgeous bowl of fruit decorating your kitchen counter, its overripe cousin likely got thrown in the trash. In fact, some basic Google-fu taught me that “Every year, consumers in industrialized countries waste almost as much food as the entire net food production of sub-Saharan Africa (222 million vs. 230 million tons).” http://www.worldfooddayusa.org/food_waste_the_facts In fact, “in the USA, 30-40% of the food supply is wasted, equaling more than 20 pounds of food per person per month.” Yikes! I really can’t judge. I have been just as bad a food waster as anyone. Sometimes…

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…

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…

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…

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…

How Millennials Can Embrace their Inner Grasshopper, Be the Ant, and Retire Early

A well-known fable tells the story of a hard-working Ant, and the flighty Grasshopper. While the Ant saves her food throughout the Summer, the Grasshopper sings the summer away. The Ant cautions the Grasshopper to stop singing, and start working. The Grasshopper does not listen. Come Winter, the Ant is warm and fed in her house, while the Grasshopper starves. It is, of course, a morality tale cautioning young people against wasting their youth in frivolous pursuits when they should be saving for the Winter of old-age. But I reject the notion…