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…

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…

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…

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.…

A Family That Saves Together Stays Together (and Retires Early Together)

Lonesome frugality is – I assume –  like being a solitary nudist; not that much fun. For the longest time, I battled Mr. Grasshopper’s frugality. I saw his inventive ways to cut back as deranged efforts to deny me the comforts I earned, and was happy to pay for myself. I couldn’t visualize the goal; so, the sacrifices seemed too great. It wasn’t until I sat on that dock during our vacation and envisioned a future with Financial Independence that I was able to sign on to purposeful spending. (http://www.grasshopperretiresearly.com/?s=i+am+the+grasshopper) While I still will…

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,…