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…

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…

Housecleaning & How I Got Off the Habit Carousel

Grasshopper Confessional: Sooo, when I graduated from school and got my first high paying job, I did not immediately buy a car, or a Gucci purse. Nope. I began to pay for a cleaning service (yes. Maids!) to come to my house and clean for me every two weeks. Decadent. I know. And, I LOVED it. I figured that I was working full-time, and earning a lot of money. Ergo, I was entitled to use my free time to do fun stuff. And “fun stuff” did not (and for the…

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…

Frugal Fashionista: How To Shop In Your Own Closet

Fall brings out the fashion plate in me. Well, Fall and the higher probability of being inadvertently caught in a photograph during the Holiday Season. Mr. Grasshopper is our trusty family photographer, who captures our every memory with a near-religious fervor. So, it’s not like we are ever paparazzi free. But, it seems perfectly acceptable to be caught romping around the yard, or frolicking on the beach in Spring/Summer wearing a threadbare band tee. Carefree even! On the other hand, Fall and Winter with their packed holiday/birthday/anniversary schedule seem to engender…

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…