The Struggle Within: No Present for Me??!

Humor me as I struggle with my personal demon that is telling me that a little shopping can’t hurt. I have previously written about forsaking any physical gifts from Mr. G in lieu of a lump sum amount that I donated to charity. Ta dah! Two birds with one stone. But, as I draw closer to birthday/anniversary/Christmas 2016, I’m beginning to wonder if I should treat myself with a Season’s gift. On One Hand My mom always told me not to wait for someone else to make my day special.…

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…

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…

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…

Grocery Savings or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Discount

Grocery shopping shouldn’t be a status symbol, but for a while there it certainly became one for me. I regularly visited a store I shall refer to as Glitzy Grocer (because I really like alliteration) where I enjoyed swanking around. I enjoyed knowing the name of the farmer who produced my Italian Olive Oil, and got a certain kick from rummaging through aisles of overpriced organic produce. I especially enjoyed bumping into friends and co-workers at the Store. Especially post-baby, it ensured that I would get out of my pajamas on a weekend, and…

No Shame in Freebies, and Other Reasons to Keep Living Like a College Kid

College-me was penniless, and no free pizza – or free anything really – was safe from me. Working several minimum wage jobs, and limiting college debt propelled me to muscle through undergrad in three years.  Add a little more scrounging during grad school, and you might understand why I felt entitled to live like a “grown up” after I graduated. To me, that meant not penny-pinching, and spreading out my lifestyle to enjoy my generous income. Our newfound Journey to Financial Independence has changed that. If we want to squirrel away all our precious…

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,…