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…

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…

Decluttering For Dollars On The Way To Financial Independence

Frugal in and frugal out! A new motto in the Grasshopper household that helps us remember to be purposeful in our consumption (making savvy purchases) and dispersion (getting rid of our junk). In the past, I’ve been lazy about getting rid of things I no longer use. As a result, stuff either sits around the house until I grow frustrated and throw it in the trash, or gets donated to Goodwill/YWCA. I still enjoy making donations, but I am trying to be more purposeful about how I treat my possessions. I…

Five Ways To Enjoy the Long Slog to Financial Independence

Saving towards achieving early Financial Independence reminds me of my pregnancy. When the “big day” was nine months away, I didn’t think about it. But, by month seven and a half I was a bundle of anxieties, and excitement. Simultaneously, time suddenly began to move veeery slooooowly. I had to learn to enjoy the smaller milestones so that the time warp wouldn’t overwhelm me. This new Journey to Financial Independence requires similar mind tricks. Plugging along with life seemed like no big deal when I assumed I would retire at a ripe old age.…

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…

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…

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…