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…

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,…