Weekend Wanderings #2: The Easy Life

Welcome to my weekend wanderings. I’m the Roamer here at Traveling Wallet. I hope you enjoy these videos. I know when you make big goals you often need inspiration and motivation and that’s what I hope you’ll get here in these segments.

Do you feel like life is hard? Are you running around like a chicken with its head cut off trying to climb some corporate ladder? So much to do so little time.

I often like to ponder such questions. Sometimes I don’t have all the words, or know all the right things to say. In these times I’m happy to defer to the experts.

In my head I made it a goal to include at least 3 videos for all my weekend wanderings but today’s video is so powerful and insightful it needs no other.

When I watched this video all I could think was yes.

I can relate with this speaker. I often think of and can’t understand why life is so complicated. Having what some would call silly wishes to live in the past. With an ideal that life was simpler, slower, and fuller all at once.

To me it seems the focus of this talk was having wisdom. Not just intelligence but wisdom. The wisdom to filter out all the noise in our current society. And my goodness are we living in a time of noise.

He admits it will be hard. People will call you poor they will think you’re crazy. I can see that. That is why I wish I was born in a different era because then I wouldn’t have to go against the grain. It would be normal.

But I see now with this video and this community that I can have that easy life. Today in this time, This ERA!

Passing it on to the next Generation

Part of living the easy life is breaking out of the endless cycle so I also wondered how can I teach my kids this. That the carrot we are told to chase is nothing but an illusion.  I wish I could sit my son down and have this talks wisdom wash over him. But though this talk is powerful it would not engage my son enough to have him listen.

Children’s books are a great way to introduce ideas. I remembered of a book which hints at a similar philosophy. Unos Garden.

Do you have kids? I recommend you this book. It has wonderful art

Shows the simple life, balance between people and nature
Shows the simple life, balance between people and nature

Uno's Garden

In this book children journey through and can see the effects of over production.  The effects it has on the people and on nature but it then also guides to a life of balance between people and nature. Essentially showing them living a much fuller simpler life.

Talk about counter culture.

Okay Okay so I guess I remembered I saw another video which touches on the same topic. So I will also include it here.

Another great example of simplifying life.

So to answer the question posed by the video, What are my basic human needs?

Freedom, Love, Learning and Growth….. Stripped down that is what I want to focus on here at the Traveling Wallet, but also what I want to strive for in my day to day life.

Freedom = Financial Independence (aka Early retirement)

Love = Parenthood( aka being with my family and raising my children)

Learning and Growth = Travel (new experiences, new people,new ideas and new perspectives)

Per the video food is a given basic human need, which is also applicable to me.  :) Another area that could fall under learning and growth.

So I guess equally applicable could be the tagline: Freedom, Love, Learning and Growth

I’m excited to take and share this journey with you. Most of us will take it a bit different. Both these people took a different approach then us FIers. They didn’t wait to have enough money to be free from societal constraints  indefinitely. They jumped right in.

I hope these videos inspired you to keep on your journey and seek other who share your dream.

Are you ready and willing to live an easy life.  To be call strange maybe…. even crazy?

Leave a comment tell me what you visualize as an easy life?

Wanderings and a Welcome

This weekend the Traveling Wallet has journeyed over to the wonderful blog 1500 days and was feature in the long running 10 questions and a pizza place.

So head over there first to check it out.

10 Questions and a Pizza Place with The Roamer at The Traveling Wallet

Traveling Wallet

Welcome

Are you new?

If you are new here I’d like to welcome you to my humble abode here in internet land.

I’m your host the Roamer here at the Traveling Wallet.

I have had a crazy year slaying the debt monster and other such discoveries.

I think you’ll find the following articles a nice sampling of me and what I’m about.

This is my most popular post. Where I tell you about how our family paid off the mighty sum of over 100k in 3.5 years.

To see where we started this year check out my salute to our debt.

While I  journey through life trying to reach FI  I don’t want to put off till tomorrow what I can do today. So I am trying to live a life of meaning . This includes spending time on things that matter. My children , my husband and our marriage.

I also don’t want to wait to do travel. As a family we have shifted gears and are focusing on family related trips but you can check out my previous travel records also.

Don’t be shy if you have something to say. Say it! Leave a comment below or email me through my contact page.  I look forward to answering your questions.

Also subscribe to my blog and follow me on Twitter @travelingwallet. As I shift from debt repayment to the loftier goal of FIRE( financial independence retire early). Let take the journey together.

 

Over 100K paid off in 3.5 years

When I started this blog, Traveling Wallet, I wasn’t in the death grip of debt. Actually I was about to make my escape.

I have written a few posts about my debt and my repayment journey.  But I really wanted to take the time and give you the whole big picture.

When I look at the numbers it just really amazes me. And I think its inspirational. That is why I am sharing.

Like I’ve said before when I graduated I had a ball and chain of student debt attached to me to the tune of $46,695. With $10k of it at a horrendous rate of

10.75%.

Can you say Wow!

But that wasn’t all. I had a car and no mechanical experience. To translate I knew nothing about this machine and when it started giving me problems and I drop some money into it just to have it give me problems again. I said if a fix is going to cost more then 1k then I’d rather “invest” it in a new to me car.

I didn’t want to get into more debt. I wanted to conquer my student debt before adding anything onto my plate.

But as green as I was in the whole matter well all I could see was that I needed a car for work.  The used cars at dealerships were not really a good deal. If its going to cost me that much I might as well buy new. Long story short say hello to $18,417.81 more debt. The bright side? it was at the much more affordable interest rate of 2.99%. When you don’t know what you don’t know any one can convince you that was the right choice.

I just didn’t know enough. I didn’t know how to go about buying from a private party and I didn’t know it would be cheaper.

So instead I did what I knew about, I bought new and with in a few months since  graduation my debt climbed to 65k.

Roamer debt
Snap shot of my old records.

Mr. Roamer and I were married in 2012 so our finances weren’t combined until then. But to simplify we will just take a snap shot of his debt at the same time Jan 2011 after graduation.

Actually scratch that. Let’s just make a time line and save ourselves the trouble.

  • Jan 2011
    • The Roamer graduates 46.7k of debt
    • Mr. Roamer graduates ~29k of debt
  • May 2011
    • The Roamer buys a car 18.5k of debt
  • September 2013
    • Mr. Roamer buy car ~20k
  • July 2014
    • Paid off all debt totaling ~ $114,200. One hundred fourteen thousand dollars 

So all in all we paid off 114.2K in 3.5 years. Now that is what I call aggressive debt repayment.

Still its slightly bittersweet because seeing that I think wow if only it was all assets instead. So much dropped on cars I regret it now. How much sooner would I be able to retire with another year of spending saved up and earning interest.

I’ve even considered selling. But for now the Roamer family isn’t ready for that change.

So how did we do it?

From the beginning we both had really good habits. Before we were married Mr rented a room out in California and reduced his costs. He naturally started to accumulate money in his account.

I focused on aggressive debt repayment right from the beginning. Going from a student to a worker meant there was a huge increase in my earnings and I made sure that a chunk would go straight to debt. Working to reduce costs I shopped around for the most affordable housing. I tracked my spending and I created a budget.

I also read. A Lot. about debt repayment. I learned about the snowball and I used small tips like rounding up my car payment of  $332 up to $335. I learned and understood about interest and so I purposefully focus on my 10k loan first.

I was aggressive by general standards but never as aggressive as I could be. I had this need to have a cash cushion and so I also started to accumulate money.

During this stage I know that what I did involved going to work and then coming home to my son.  Spending as much time with him as I could. I don’t remember feeling like I sacrificed but I was the sole provider for a family of 3.  My mom, my son and me.

There were challenges being the sole provider in our family situation but there were benefits too.  I got and still get “free”childcare.

But during this time I also experienced a major personal loss that could have derailed me financially one day I’ll talk about it more. So much just in 2011.

Then when Mr. And I got engaged we moved in together further lowering our costs. We discussed bigger spaces and even looked around but I just didn’t see the need. So we stayed put saved up and then had a meaningful wedding. One that focused on the marriage.

I never had the option to not be smart with my money. I had people depending on me as soon as I graduated college. I had no family to fall back on financially.  But I could count on my family to help out in other ways. Like for example the free childcare.

Do you have a debt Mountain to climb.

Your challenge might be tougher because you’ve already succumbed to life style inflation. But maybe you are ready to buckle down or maybe I’ve caught you at the perfect time right after graduation and meager college living.

What ever your circumstance I believe these steps will help you.

First steps to pay off Debt

  • Get you mind in the right place.  This means take a moment and think about what you truly value.
  • Track your spending. Why? Because now you need to see if your spending is in line with your values.
  • Adjust spending to = values. Lower your spending drastically on all the expenses that fall outside of your circle of values

Sometimes two of your values will conflict and it will turn into a would you rather scenario. Would you rather have your own space or would you rather pay off your debt. I’m not saying there won’t be some tough choices but at least you’ll know that they’re in line with your values.

It really is inspiring to hear other peoples debt stories. That is why I Roamer around other peoples blogs.

Leave a comment and tell me are you in Debt? Are you seeing the end of the tunnel? Or did you just cross the finish line?

 

401K I like you more then Presents

A bit a ago I wrote this article about the 401k and how we would use it.

I think it wasn’t super clear so let me paraphrase.

I talked about how I had an ah ha moment, that I didn’t have to wait until next year to max out my 401k, that I could do it now.  For this year!

Well at the end I said I would make the changes which I made.

Well Mr. Roamer then asked, I thought we were already maxing them out.

No sorry honey, like I mentioned in the previous post I had done the math for 12 months of contributions. Or I guess a rolling 12 months. But that’s not how taxes work so if we want to max it out for this year then we need to make some adjustments.

After, we calculated the new numbers. With those numbers we could guesstimate how much we were going to be bringing in for the following months. We couldn’t be sure since we didn’t know how much exactly would be taken out for taxes.

What was obvious was that since we only had a limited number of months it meant we had to set more aside all at once.

As things would have it December has turned out to be the month with the lowest take home  after the 401 K deduction.

1260.93 for her +1005.57 for him. We were only bringing in $2266.5.   Now this isn’t peanuts but as you can see this is very small amount of money.

If you break it down it works out to each of us earning a little over $7 per hour.

Extreme Goals call for Extreme Measures.

Fortunately since we have conquered our debt our monthly expenses have dropped substantially and are almost all covered by this. We keep a $500 cushion which will cover everything else.  And to top it all off I had much more success this month with side hustle. I was able to sell some baby clothes and made $60. Wohooo! Way better pay off then my yard sale experience.

Travelling wallet clothes
The Roamer makes $60 selling some baby clothes

So it really sounds like this is no big thing to us. WHY is it extreme at all?

Well I guess its extreme in context.

First off we are a family of 5 living in good old Southern California. That’s right SoCal and our so called cost of living.  We are saying that we will make it through a month just fine with funds that total $2826.5. Not only that I am saying that we will make it through the holidays just fine. December the month when most people increase spending will be the month we have the least amount to spend.

All because we want to meet a financial goal.

At the end of this month and end of year we will have accomplished another goal. We will have maxed out our 401ks*

Would you do that? I really want you to leave a comment and tell me what is the most extreme thing you’ve done to meet a goal?

How it’s safe for us

So I told you why its extreme, now I’m going to tell you why its a very calculated risk. Why really it’s even safe.

A long time ago we discovered and started practicing the, use last month’s funds for this months bills plan. Mr. Roamer gets paid once a month on the 15th and I get paid twice the 15th and the 30th. This means we also have a month cushion building as this month progresses. So in all truth it was November which was the lowest earning. However, that money just piled up until December rolled around and December is when we have to make it work.

Since we both make good pay it was a bit of a shock to see how little we brought in. I ran my numbers again just to be safe. I didn’t want to pull money out of our savings account. I’m looking forward to making it to the end of the month and seeing that we did fine and hopefully even save some.

* we will actually leave some dollars on the table due to everything being in percentages. I will lose out on $.71 and Mr will lose out on $46. If anybody out there can advise us I’m all for it. Can we over contribute and have them take out the exact 17500 or will we lose it because its over. This is what I’m concerned about and why we will lose some dollars to ensure we get what we can.

So working on this post prompted me to go see HR again to clarify. I mean I didn’t want to sacrifice $46.71 that could be funneled into my 401K. I was pleased to learn that the best thing to do when the amount you need to contribute is between percentages is to use the larger percentage. So over shoot.  Our HR personnel assured us that it would take out all the $$ that qualified and then everything else will show up on our paychecks. Well see how it all works out on pay day Dec 30.

So tell me what goals are you trying to reach? How extreme are you willing to go? Or as J money says how bad do you want it?

Weekend Wanderings: Include Language in your Journey

I have a little ritual I developed at work to cope with my dissatisfaction. I had listened to 7 habits cast and realized that effective people take responsibility for their lives.

I was feeling rather passionless when I started but I found that watching some TEDx talks always gave my mind a work out whether it was inspirational or informative or controversial. It got my juices flowing. So I’ve made it a point that every Friday I schedule 30 min. To be inspired.

After watching these I find a few that just are Wow and I want to share them. I use to email them out but it felt weird to just include specific people. And it seems limiting.

But now, I own a blog a place where I can share my thoughts and anything else. So introducing my new ( what I hope to be segment) Weekend Wanderings.

I for see it mostly being ted talks but it gives me a medium to share any other useful info as well. *

This weekend languages.

Watch the following videos and be inspired. I am bilingual and I can relate with Tim Doner’s message.

Some stuff just doesn’t translate. One word for me has always been Amor. In English you have love but love is used for. I love you so much honey and I love hot dogs so much. There aren’t to different words to express the different levels of affection that you feel for these two things. Unless you really do “love” hot dogs as much as your partner.

Any who enjoy the following video. As Tim Doner explains the values of language.

So if you watched the video all the way through then now you know the importance language has to culture. To building relationships.

Most FI people have this urge to travel. Well think about really getting submerged in the culture through language.

What about financially are there any benefits. I don’t know? Have you wanted to become an expat of your country. Networks are touted to be a key foundation step for business. Think of the doors that would open if you knew the local tongue.

What about locally? I live in California. I’ll be the first to admit limited data on whether there are better wages for multilingual people. But few can argue that there are most definitely more opportunities.

There have been many job descriptions here in California where Spanish speakers are preferred.  So at the very least there is potential financial benefit.

So now that you all are interested here’s another video with some tips for how to pick up language.

Language is very important to me, and its not because of the financial benefits. It’s because its part of my culture who I am.  Its so important that it’s one of the reasons I haven’t moved closer to work. My son is currently enrolled in a Dual Immersion School where he learns English and Spanish.  I don’t want to lose this program and its benefits.

I also truly believe that when you talk the local language you get a much more intimate glimpse into a culture. So I am excited to put these techniques to work as I brush up on Mandarin Chinese.

I also have to admit that I wouldn’t mind having the top 3 most widely spoke languages in the world under my belt. With my goal to travel learning foreign languages is just part of that bigger plan.

Finally, I’d like to close with this video.

I’m happy to be learning the PF language. I do relate. I understand debt, I understand wanting to follow a different path. I understand having big dreams!

I’m so glad to have found people who speak my language.

* I will work to tie everything into a financial perspective since our focus here is how money affects all our other life journeys.

What have you done this weekend? How do you stay inspired?

Extra Income Challenge Wrap Up

Last month I visited money manifesto, he had posted a throw down which I though was a great idea. So I took the extra income challenge.

Here is my pledge

The Pledge

I, The Roamer, accept the extra income challenge. I challenge myself to make an extra $100 of income this month. I plan to make this income through a yard sale where I get rid of unneeded items.I will also be registering to UBER to provide lifts. I will report my progress next month on the next Extra Income Challenge update.

And challenge it was.

I’ll just start with the punchline. I failed. Oh man did I fail.  Now let’s get to the details.

The Yard Sale

My yard sale was actually a community sale hosted by my son’s  elementary. There was a buy in cost (-$20), first drawback. I also logically expected there to be stiff competition. I mean more vendors potentially selling the same style items mean more competition right? Second drawback. But I also figure it would be heavily advertised and it would be quite a bustling scene.

I was extremely optimistic. I though I would sell at least $70. Which would mean netting $50 and covering the space.

I expected to much. There was indeed right next to me a lady with a mountain of toys. I was also trying to sell my kids unused toys. But the worst of it. NO SHOPPERS!

The school has a parking lot on a main st and a parking lot on a side less busy st. We were set up in the less busy st. For safety reasons and available areas to park it made sense. But there was/is no real drive by traffic. I swear the people buying where the people a few stalls down selling.

It was not good. I severely over estimated how much it was advertised. I was considering putting up a post on craigslist but got lazy and never did. Lesson learned.

For 4 hrs of work we netted about $23( So $43 but subtracted the 20 for the space). $10 of which my son got to keep for being a trooper and actually working to sell some toys.  So it was pretty much a fail.

My take away.

  • Don’t assume they will advertise.
  • If you are paying for a space make sure you can cover the cost.
  • Post ads everywhere, Tell everyone. Invite your friends neighbors and strangers.
  • Silver lining, good learning experience for my son.
  •  I honestly feel I would have made more if I was selling Candy…hey I’m just sayin’
  • My husband said head gladly pay me $13 to never have to do it again , HAHA ( I have to laugh to keep from crying)

Uber

I have to say I was pretty excited about adding some side hustle income into my daily tasks. I had seen some ads on craigslist for drivers a few weeks before and I was happy to have an excuse to pitch it to the Mr.

Unfortunately I should have done more HW. Uber was another bust. I had heard that you needed to have a new car. OK check. Drivers license, insurance, I live in an area where there is a lot of tourists and it seemed like it was going to be easy money.

However that was not the case. Though our car fleet is as MMM would say off the HOOK. Way fancier then anything he drives ( in the newness department) Apparently they were not good enough. We own a 2011 Toyota Corolla, and a 2013 Honda Civic. Come on those are some new rides. But No NO!  They are “compact” cars .

You need to have mid-sized cars to sign up. I didn’t know it had to be a specific size. Mid size car? No check.

Well there you have it.

November GOAL $100

November ACTUAL $13 (minus $10 for my son)

So if you have any advice on how to sell unused items I’d appreciate it. I still have some items to unload. Nice toys mind you and baby clothes. Any Advice I would be so grateful.

Comment Below with your success or horror stories of side hustles.

 

Lets give thanks

Happy Thanksgiving

Hi everyone. We prepped the Turkey today and got other things ready for tomorrow night. We are hosting our thanksgiving and I’m looking forward to having people over for delicious food and family games. Maybe we’ll play Pictionary, Euchre or some Wizard.

Since it is Thanksgiving time, today I wanted to take the time and talk about the things I am thankful for. There are many things.

My Children
Roamer babysitting costs
Have to make sure the little ones are taken care of.

To be able to come home to my kids and spend time with them. It doesn’t happen everyday that I get this feeling, but I still get days where I look at them and am blow away and so overwhelmed. It seems unbelievable, I have children and an overwhelming feeling of gratitude floods over me and it bring tears to my eyes.

My pregnancies and my labors with both my kids I was fortunate that nature was on my side. I recently heard 2 stories at work that ended with babies and mommies being alright, but it still made me realize how nothing is guaranteed. I’m just happy I had 2 healthy babies and was able to follow through with a natural birth since it was important to me.

Husband Time

This year we made some good memories and we made sure we spent some alone time together. It can be hard with kids not because you can’t make time but because it is a trade off of time. Still we made sure we had at least sometime to date each other.

So I am also really grateful to carpool with Mr.Roamer. Got to love how close our jobs are. When we take advantage of it we get to have some extra grown up time together when we don’t we at least get to be in close proximity.

The PF Community

I am so thankful for discovering this PF bloggers community. I have grown so much this past year. I have pushed outside of my comfort zone. Being able to read other people’s stories for inspiration and support. Its great to know I’m not the only one out there with aggressive dreams.

Our Financial Health

This year was a roller coaster and I will write again about our debt to wrap up the whole picture. We made some changes and now are sitting in a much better position. Mostly I am happy being 100% Debt free. It’s an amazing feeling.

 Living a more Passionate life

Rekindling old loves. I use to read so much before and I am so happy to be doing it again. It is in the forms of blogs but I’m so happy it includes paper backs. Currently trying to finish a book on Buddhism and starting the 7 habits.  I had stagnated for a bit earlier this year so I am glad to be learning again.

Oddly enough this part wasn’t going to include traveling. I want it so much but I guess I don’t need it.  Still I am thankful for all that I have been able to experience so far in my travels.

Our Families

My family. It hasn’t always been pretty I grew up through some tough times but no mater how rough I realize that it has built me to who I am today. Whether they were things worth keeping or traits I had to fight to break. Today I am a strong person because of it.

Mr. Roamer’s Family. I am thankful to have models of what a healthy marriage looks like. I know there is lots I can learn.  Plus hanging out with the entire side of that family is an amazing and new experience for me. To see cousins and uncles, aunts and just have big family gatherings is pretty awesome.

Well I’m getting sleepy so I will call that good. Still I am happy I went through this. I want our family to learn what the holidays are really about. Family, friends, togetherness. So I have to lead by example.

Take the time today to write down what you are thankful for. Share it with your family if you want. But at least take the time to acknowledge and share it with yourself.

Life flies by take the time to soak it in. It doesn’t have to be thanksgiving so even if it has already passed. It’s never to late to show gratitude.

Leave a comment about something you are thankful for.

This Year Lets Focus on Thanksgiving not Gift Giving

On today’s travel we walk carefully, opening and closing our wallet through the treacherous holiday season.

An open letter from the Roamer about the Holidays.

Just recently I was thinking about how Thanksgiving is getting closer and that of course means that Black Friday is around the corner.

As the holidays get closer you are probably starting to think about all the gifts you need to purchase. You are excited! Shopping is so much fun and gift giving is even better. Right?

And all those bills you’ll have to pay off next January, those are just a minor inconvenience. Right?

What about getting gifts?

Just thinking of all the gifts you’ll get, makes you so happy! You never get stuff you don’t like.

Well except for those silly salt and pepper shakers. Oh and there is that atrocious sweater, it was even 2 sizes too small.  And why would anyone think it’s a good idea to give someone cleaning products? Useful gifts? Come on people, be more creative!

Does this sound like you?
Yes!…no?

Well I don’t want that to sound like us, To be my family.

Mr. Roamer and I don’t own many things (we couldn’t even fully furnish an apt. ) but we still feel like we are drowning in stuff. We  have actually walked around our small apartment and said ” Man, I wish we had less stuff.” We have actually said this and honestly feel this way.

So for me the idea of gifts on special days is a double edged sword. First it puts the importance on the wrong thing. (Material goods) and then it also results with items I don’t need. Items most of us don’t need.

The holidays or any other special days are about more then just presents.

Holidays to me are about spending time together as a family. A day mom and dad don’t have to go to work and instead can spend time with the kids. I wish for that amazing moment to not be over shadowed by gifts. But you know what, sometimes…… Most times…. It is.

Everyone is mostly focusing on the gifts. The stores. The Deals.

I use to too, but not anymore. I am aiming for a simple life, a life rooted more on values of community, time, togetherness . Not things. They are values I want my kids to learn.

As such I am requesting a gift giving cease fire.

Now I fully understand that idea is to extreme for some. It just wont fly.

So…

So you still need to give a gift?  May I direct your efforts.

Earlier I wrote how silly useful gifts are. I was actually being sarcastic. The best gifts to me are the useful ones. So read along for wholesome valuable gift ideas.

  • Cook us one of your specialty dishes, this will likely involve us coming over,  value of community? Check
  • Write us a letter revealing the secrets of a long happy marriage.
  • Schedule a play date with us for the kids, my son loves seeing his friends.  Value of togetherness? Check
  • Call us and let’s have a long talk.
  • Gift us time to Clean out a closet. Time? Check

okay you say.

That’s you. What about the kids?

I’m a millennial so sorry if I use a reference outside of your time.

Have you read Harry Potter? The feeling of entitlement is a real issue with most kids these days. As for me, I don’t want to have a Dudley Harry potter moment.

Where Dudley on his birthday ask ” How many are there?”( speaking of his presents)

His father says ” There are 37, counted them myself this morning”

“37, 37?  but last year I had 38 gifts”

” Well this years gifts are bigger”

” I don’t care”

Yikes!

No. That is not what we want as parents.

 So let’s not give a free pass when it comes to the kids. Here too we should ask the question. Does this gift have value. Other then the thrill of “hey! Look at this new thing that is mine!” Just to be caste off for the next  brightly wrapped box.

The best gifts are those that encourage creativity. Not those toys that dictate use, like push this button for a song. Not those toys who if the battery dies are discarded.

A great toy that encourages creativity? building blocks ( to not be brand specific).

If you must give gifts to kids I hope they are meaningful and remember quality not quantity. So please limit your gift giving to the kids as well.

Yes Gifts? Well lets consider where you stand financially

So you maybe really enjoy the gift thing. Or maybe you’ve felt pressure by society to participate even as you struggle financially. Let this be your absolution.

For if you are in a bind your family likely knows. Those people exist in my family and when I see people strapped for cash hand out so many gifts the thought runs through my head,  why did you buy this if you are having financial issues. A better present for you and me would be to not have to worry about you financially.

If the thought of January’s bill cause you a twinge of discomfort maybe it a warning sign. So just say no to the obligation, you don’t need to sacrifice your financial security.

If you need to get a better idea of where I am coming from check out all these amazing articles.

I am starting to trend towards minimalism so help us live the simple stuff life and the full of love and experiences life. Do you want to live this life too?  Share this letter with your family and start your own new tradition.

Comment now and tell me what is your favorite holiday memory. Did it include a gift? What are you looking forward to this Holiday season?

I’ll start… my favorite thanksgiving was when my family actually sat together to eat it. (maybe that sound normal to you but it wasn’t for my family) And during we played some word and memory games, there was actual laughing involved. It might of happened again the year after that but I only have 2 memories of a thanksgiving like that. It really is a cherished memory, and I can tell you, I sure as heck don’t remember any of the gifts I got that Christmas.

So again.  leave me a comment below and share with me your favorite memory.

Funding the Journey through Parenthood, Early Retirement and Travel