2014 travel wrap up

Guess what? For calling myself the Roamer and this site Traveling Wallet,  In 2014 I had made no written goals that we were going to travel. It wasn’t that we weren’t planning to. We have a standing trip to the In-laws at least once a year. It just wasn’t something I was going to focus my attention on.

My baby hadn’t even turned a year old so travel was not even on my mind. I mean how do you travel when you have what I would consider a newborn. (Less then a year is a newborn baby to me). So other then the trip home to Michigan which was required, specially because we had said baby, we had no other travel plans.

Yet even like that, in 2014 we all still hopped on a few planes as a family, as well as just the grown ups.

But before I jump into our Vacation wrap up lets talk about what the average American vacation looks like. This will give me something to compare to later.

So I guess first off the average american doesn’t take much vacation. It says so on the internet, and I can attest to that, as at my current job several employees have accumulated over 200 hrs of vacation.  Why would anyone do that? Then there are those who don’t travel anywhere for it. They didn’t call them staycations before but that is what happened.

However those who do vacation seem to spend quite a bit per family member.

So what does the standard vacation look like and cost. According to a few sources the average American family spend about $4,000 on vacation and it usually covers 4 people for a week now lets just assume it was a full 7 days and not 5 days.

According to vacationkids.com families should budget 5-10% of income. Hmm, so they are saying the more you earn the more you’ll spend.Then this other site has a nice info graphic.

So with all these rules of thumb being thrown around lets just go with the american express survey numbers. $1145 per person or $4580 for a family of 4.

I don’t know about you but that seems pretty pricey for the amount of time you get. So now lets see what the Roamer clan did this year.

Comparing Figures

How much did we spend on vacations/ travel all year?

$3951.67*

How big is our family?

4+1=5 , If you haven’t figured it out yet, our family of 5 consist of: Me, Mr. Roamer, Little boy and little girl and my Mom. So 3 adults, 2 children. Yes I live in a multigenerational household. (that’s a story for another time)

How many days of vacation per person?

  • 1 got 24 days- My mom**
  • 4 got 10 days- The Roamer clan
  • 2 got an extra 6 (that would be us, The Roamer and Mr.Roamer)

Where did we go?

All of our trips required flying as we live in California and our trips took us to

How much do standard american families spend?

A lot! And they don’t seem to get very much. Below I have a chart of what you’d get at the “standard family vacation”.  Seems like with a bit of planning and some savvy spending you can get much more bang for your buck.

Affordable Family vacations

For us the short impromptu trips were due to being invited to some weddings. We had known they were coming in 2014 but we didn’t really decided that we were going until late. Those trips were the most expensive per person per day.

Yet…

All in all it was a fun year and it look like we made out better then the typical Jones’.

We also saved a whopping $7496 compared to the average Joe (and Family). Sounds good to me I don’t miss traveling like the average joe one bit.

During our travels we learned some new things so Lets play a quick game of

Did you Know?

Did you know?

It is absolutely no trouble at all to take the bus from the airport in Milwaukee (MKE) to downtown.

It cost very little about 2.50/ person and the bus was mostly empty and felt safe. So if you’re ever flying in to that airport and staying in the downtown area. Skip the cab and the rental car. The buses work great and its a very walk-able area.

Did you know?

Denver has this awesome tool for transportation called the bcycle.

Its a pretty cool business and in a city were there are major bike routes it just makes so much sense. So if you are in Denver you might want to remember to pack your bike helmet and skip the car rental as well.

If your looking for low cost entertainment mixed in with a little nostalgia stop by 1 up arcade. I’m not a drinker but adult beverages are served and most(all) of the games are the standard quarter(check out their FAQ in you don’t believe me). I’m not an Xbox or PlayStation gamer but I really enjoy arcades(Pack-man please)

Oh! The power!
Oh! The power!

If you have kids like I do, another great thing are public parks and pools. Growing up I had never been to a community pool that included a mini water park for the kids. I thought this was awesome The cost? Okay I don’t remember exactly but it was about $2 per person.

Curtis Park, CO you can't tell in this google maps picture but it is so much fun
Curtis Park, CO you can’t tell in this Google maps picture but it is so much fun!

Did you know

El Salvador is home to these popular sites. Blah! I’ve never actually been. I really wanted to have some cool insight but without having been there well I’ve got nada.  When I get there on my own 2 feet I’ll share. Until then if you ever are in my neck of the woods I can cook you some authentic Pupusas!

Yum! Thanks Wikipedia for better quality pictures then I can take.

Thanks for reading

The Roamer

 How did you make out last year did you travel as much as you wanted too? What do you have planned for this year?

* Some thing to consider is that our total cost likely doesn’t include some numbers for example food costs. Some food costs might have been sorted to our standard monthly food budget. Still I checked and on our vacation months we did not go over our food budgets.  Same for gas. All this means is that if we were gone for a week we spent the same money we would have otherwise spent on food. It wasn’t above or beyond which is usually the case for vacations. Anything that was above and beyond was included in our cost.

** We only paid for the flight, all other costs were incurred by my mother. However I wouldn’t peg her spending anything more then $250 while she was out.

*** I am not getting paid for any of these awesome recommendations. I just think these are cool. Plus Mr. Roamer said that’s what he’d include if he was writing the post.  

Starting on 2015 goals, Tackling Blog Monetization

Time to test the waters!

As my 2015 goal state I want to make my blog able to sustain itself. I think it would be great if I can get it to pay for itself.

Traveling Wallet Goals

In that respect I’m finally jumping into the world of AdSense. As some of you may have noticed I have an ad on my side bar.

I’m excited! I’ve always wanted to start my own business but I’ve never really made the time to cultivate a passion. Starting this blog has been a nice jolt in waking up my brain and I’ve been learning so much.

Monetizing is just another step on the ladder.

Recently I just signed up for an AdSense account and now I need to figure out how all that works.

You’ll see some ads hanging around. I will probably move them around testing their functionality.

I hope to learn quickly and move into affiliates. I think this path would be better as I could focus on products I actually use and enjoy.

Today I clicked around trying to figure out how to block categories that were not pertinent. Get rich quick anybody??? hmm nope. Dating probably not. Clicking and un-clicking categories so far has been fun.

I am a little disappointing also though because I haven’t had a chance to really dig into it and so I haven’t been able to block all the ads that are just not useful or aligned to this sites values. For example I keep seeing a link for “is he cheating on you?” NO! I don’t want an ad about that shiizah. So please bare with me as I take on this learning curve.

For me this is also a way for me to explore the world of the side hustle. As well as the  multiple income stream world.

Now to pick your brain!

How about you? have you monetized your blog? How long did it take you to learn how to implement? What do you feel are the best and worst things?

 

2014 Family Relationships Reviewed

2014 Relationship Goals

2014 goals
2014 goals

Focus on the Marriage

Traveling wallet
Alone time with the husband. Big Goal for 2014! Picture in Frugalwood’s headless style.

In 2013 I ran across a great idea on Pinterest. A great little present where I had pre planned and partially paid for dates. I don’t want to get into to much detail about the gift but it was a fun and effective way to ensure Mr. Roamer and I were going to be spending some alone time.

In my household growing up I don’t have any memories about my parents dating. Yet so much of what I read now about healthy relationships highlights the importance of cultivating the spousal relationship. WHY?! because the kids will leave in 18 years and then it will be just you and the hubs. We don’t want our relationship to have fallen apart in those 18 years.

One date a month might not seem like a lot to some people but to me and my relationship history that was a good place to start.

As you can see it is also a nice set of SMART goals. I was very specific about who and what was involved. Its definitely measurable and since its broken into monthly increments you can see if you are on track. With only 4 hrs needed per day out of 30 days in a month attainability was a check. Having strong healthy relationships is very important to me, that makes this goal completely relevant. Time constrained absolutely whether you where looking at it as                   12 dates/year or 1 date/ month. There was a deadline for when the goal and its sub-steps had to be accomplished.

I had lots of fun with this goal and it got us practicing a good habit. Realizing that even though we are stuck at work so much and away from the kids that we still need to cultivate our relationship as well. Our relationship is equally as important. 100% accomplished.

Oh and just in case you are curious how much all these dates cost us. Well we spent ~$460 on the actual dates and ~$360 on babysitting costs( my in-laws babysat some and we don’t pay them). What I had allotted was $600 for the dates but since stumbling onto PF we removed some of the expenses. Total we made about an $800 investment in our relationship. 12 dates and 12 new memories to cherish.

Love

Focus on the Kids

The Little Roamers enjoying a tent in the living room.
The Little Roamers enjoying a tent in the living room.

Also for last year I made the not so specific goal of spending more time with my kids. As you can see it doesn’t fit the SMART framework.

This means I can’t really measure it to any set criteria.

So I will justify why I am saying we/I got 100% on this one too.

First Mr. Roamer has this wonderful schedule called a 9,80. If you’ve never heard of a 9,80 ( I sure hadn’t) it means you work 9 days out of 2 weeks that add up to 80 hrs in those 2 weeks. Which means he got every other Friday off. These Fridays gave him extra time to spend with the kids. 1 on 1 time with her while big brother was at school and 1 on 1 time with him while she took her naps.  All in all Mr. Roamer had approximately an extra 43 weekdays off that he spent with the Family.

I also took a lot of time off. Per my calculations I had ~34 days off. That’s 6.8 weeks! Just like Mr. I mostly got to spend 1 on 1 time with little girl while big bro was in school. But I also made it a point to go out with him without little sister. I can remember bike rides to the park with just him and some walks around the block.

What I think he cherished most of all was my volunteering at school and even attending a field trip (while he was in kinder). He talks about it often and he is requesting I help this year. This school year I haven’t volunteered yet I’m slacking.

Even our bed time routine has afforded us time to give focused attention to the little ones individually. Our mindset and practices have changed and because of that I will say we hit the mark.

PFL/FMLA

One of the reasons I was able to take so much time off was because in the beginning of the year I still had PFL time available from the birth of my daughter. I love PFL/ FMLA and I will post on it in more detail. One of the many benefits of California is that men also qualify so I am probably under shooting on the time off my husband had off because he also had some time left to use for his PFL.

However great these programs might be they do cause you to suffer a reduced paycheck because they only pay out up to 55% of your usual pay. This means you have to be serious about family and take the necessary financial steps to make this work. To me this was another way we showed commitment to our kids and our family.

Time with everyone else

I also planned to spend some one on one time with my sister and mother. Have a girls night. Like I said in a previous post they(everyone else) are at about 3rd on the list and I rarely make it that far down. So I made a simple goal.

Go out with them 2 times in the year without the kids. ( That last part is key because my attention would be diverted if I had either of the children).This goal was 100% complete and then some.

This is not to say that was the only time I saw them. Nope we hung out lots of times through out the year. But they were family affairs.

We also spent a good amount of time visiting with my In-laws. Whether we visited them or they came out to see us.  We saw them much more then we though or first projected at the beginning of the year.

What about the cut back on movies to 3 a week max?

I’m sad to admit that I stopped tracking the data for this due to the fact that we were killing it. We were going more then a week with out turning on the tv at all. Unfortunately that some how disappeared when I started blogging more seriously (the last 3 months of the year). It seems that since I was working harder I also wanted to play harder. I am pretty certain that Mr.Roamer and I had weeks when we watched more then 3 movies in a week.

The good news is that it really was the Mr. and I so as a family (when the kids were awake) we were not wasting much time with tv. Still it really was to make sure time was being made available for quality interaction so i’m still going to say that I failed this one since I know I wanted Mr. and I to have used the time better. No more late night freebies this year.

Record Keeping

I did a pretty good job of jotting down some notes to the kids in their memory books. Before 2014 started they lay forgotten with several month gaps between entries. This year(2014) it looks like I only missed 2 months. So I got 80%.

Relationships are so important they made the list for 2015 goals too.

I know they say that you need to focus on your audience when writing but I really enjoyed working on this post and reviewing my goals. Why shouldn’t you be mad that you just read through all this.

Well I hope you still got something out of it like the fact that dating your spouse doesn’t need to cost and arm and a leg even here in California.

And also that resolutions or Goals whatever you want to call them are so much easier to track if you are specific and break them down. I believe monthly is a nice way to track your progress.

So there you have it

Have you ever made improving relationships a new years goal? How do you measure its success?

2014 Goals Reviewed

How did I do with my 2014 goals?

Traveling wallet goals
Goals Before 2014 Started
Traveling wallet
paper reminder barely surviving a year of annotations

I am going to break them down. But the 3 major ones I am going to post on individually. Which ones are the 3 major ones? Well the ones that pertain to this site more specifically.

Relationships (Parenthood and family time), Travel, and Finances. I want to go into more detail for these 3 areas so I will post on them individually. My Finances will reveal our net worth for the first time(WHAT?) So stay tuned.  Now lets cover all my other goals.

Spiritual

Spiritual

FAIL! yes I did not really make an effort to get these done. That is why you see them up again on my 2015 goals. But lets break it down anyways. First off 2 out of 3 are not smart goals. They are too vague. Next 2 of them are really just one the first 2 are really one goal check out 4 different religions. Well how did I do? We went to a Buddhist temple but only made it 3 times.  4 churches 4 times equals 16 we only went 3 times, So that means it was 18% complete. Meh.

The journal writing is vague and therefore harder to “Quantify”.  Was I talking nightly? Unless writing these blog posts count as journal entries then I didn’t do so hot. However, when I put my son to sleep I do like to ask him what he is thankful for and a lot of times he will turn around and ask me right back. Do I get any partial credit?

All in all this could use some more attention.

Health

Health

I think I did pretty good in this area.

Mr. and I ran 1 mud run this year which was over 5K. However we did not just wake up and run it the day of, we did train regularly which really was the whole point, to exercise regularly. BUT.. we didn’t keep it up. So only 50% complete.

Dancing does burn calories plus it makes me happy, as in relieves stress, so I wanted to be more active in doing it.  I only did 6 months so 50% for this goal as well. But this one was more concentrated in the last 6 months. Hey maybe I was just switching up my exercises. Running first half and dancing the second. Am I trying to make myself feel better? Maybe?

I also wanted to take 1 class with Mr. Roamer. We ended up taking 2 yoga classes and also 2 cooking classes which focused on healthy cooking. ( They were all about the no gluten stuff). So I say we did 100%+ on this one.

If you average it all out that means Health got a 66% completion rate. Okay.

Language

Language

I have 2 motivators for having language as a goal.

  • First I want to make sure that my children keep their heritage alive and language is a big component of that
  • Second I have a life time goal of becoming fluent in 5 languages( I’m starting off easy but I hope that number will be bigger)

I’m super happy to report that I was 100% successful in completing these  Goals. Though I’ll admit I did go easy on myself.  The Spanish goal has been easier to accomplish because now that my son is enrolled in a dual immersion school I get to read his homework instructions in Spanish almost daily. Still the goal was to read some books which we also did this year. Kids books count Right?!

Quick history: I took Mandarin Chinese in University but I haven’t been actively practicing since 2010 so I’ve forgotten quite a bit. So I’m not starting from scratch but I’m not just counting items I already had memorized either. I know that what I really want is to speak Chinese, you know pronunciation and stuff, but I also want to be able to read it.  I have a CD that I use to practice listening so the focus this year was writing. I was able to reach my goal of learning how to write 24 character (properly). Total I know how to write 35 characters (actually words). YEAH!

I tried to write phrases up top then gave up and just jotted down the characters.
I tried to write phrases up top then gave up and just jotted down the characters.

Relationships

This section has a mix of SMART goals and oh so broad goals. Since this section is one of the big 3 I am working on an individual post where I can go into more detail. ( you wouldn’t want this post to get ridiculously long would you?)

Financial

We killed it on the financial front and I am working on a post that will talk about all these goals as well as reveal our net worth! Some exciting stuff if I do say so myself.

Work

Financial
Work and Financial goals were so on top of each other I couldn’t separate sections

 

My work goal would also classify as a non SMART goal.  Did I invest in certification. No I did not. However my company did allow me to participate in a LEAN Summit which allowed me to make some contacts and even gave me the opportunity to go work with a different company temporarily. This goal was really about getting out of my work funk and start growing again. Though I did not get a certification. I did get out of my funk and I was able to learn through the experiences I mentioned. I’m going to go a head and give myself credit for improving my work situation.  What do you think since it was a bit vague anyways can I give myself 100% credit?

What didn’t you see here?

Travel

It’s not even in my goals but  don’t worry I am working on a post for that too.

So how did you do in 2014. Did you set goals? what was your success rate?

Will you take the 31 day Challenge?

I don’t really write about minimalism but it is implied… oh wait I haven’t implied it either.

Well then ok… As an aspirational traveler but also a parent stuff can easily become burdensome. I’ve been working on trimming down on my possessions because they really have become more trouble then they are worth.

To help keep me motivated and also spurn me into action. Aggressive action! I am going to do the challenge posed by The minimalists( you can read more about it here).

I will be starting January first.  I will try to follow the rules but I am making one alteration. I know how difficult it can be to resell stuff so I am giving myself 30 days to sell the stuff that I think I can sell. Other then that I think I can trash/ recycle and donate quickly on the day of.

Will you join me? Mr. Roamer is jumping in the Game so that means we will be getting rid of double the amount.

How does this challenge tie in to the goals of this Blog?

Easy let me give it to you like this

Do you pay for storage?

Get rid of enough stuff and you won’t have to. Bam! Money saved. If you don’t have a storage let me ask you this. How much cash have you spent buying bins or other tools for organizing? For things you don’t even use. Money saved there.

So we are addressing and improving finances.

Do you waste precious time organizing, fixing, and reorganizing stuff?

Well if you get rid of clutter that you never use you’ll save valuable time that you can use else where. Spend it with your kids playing games. Spend it growing your business. Or like me spend it writing a post. For me all those are great motivator. I would so much rather spend my time playing with my kids then endlessly organizing stuff! Plus less stuff means less to clean!

So here I’m picking Parenthood over stuff.

Do you want to travel the world?

If you plan to be a true Roamer you’ll realize that there is only so much you can carry. Trimming down items makes you more flexible.

Finally I am making myself and family more flexible to future moves and travel.

So there you have it how minimalism and this game/ challenge can help you start off the new year living the values I try to push here.

Mr. Roamer even asked Jr.Roamer if he wanted to do it. He said no way! Haha… We told him we would count each individual crayon but I guess he could feel all the pressure.

Actually the idea of challenges really sits well with me. Maybe I will make a new goal to have some sort of challenge month every month. Well see what happens.

So are you up to play a little game? Join me and let me know if you already have some stuff in mind.

Before you go, follow me on Twitter where I will post on my progress. And come back Feb 1st for the wrap up.

2015 This year make Goals not Resolutions

I am pretty obsessed with goal setting.

I know a lot of people who make fun of New Years resolution.  It’s become the running joke to fail. Frequently hearing people boast in February or in March well there goes that New Year’s resolution. I’ve even seen on my Facebook people complain because the gym is so packed in January wishing for all the newbies to fail. Stuff like I want to lose weight or I want to exercise more will fill our Facebook feeds in January. 

Some people do try admirable resolutions like I want to be a better person or I want to spend more time with my kids. But then what happens? how many months go by? how many changes have been made?

If you listen to them they don’t sound too bad. Most people really are trying to improve. But how can you tell? how do you know you’ve reached that resolution ? Most of the times you don’t and it’s because you never really made a plan.

I don’t remember when it started exactly my goal setting…. Scratch that! I know exactly when it started. It started when I was in college and I was expecting. I had so many things on my plate to balance; classes , extracurricular stuff and now going to the doctor and not missing any appointments. I had to learn to manage my time much more carefully. This led me to creating quarterly goals.

Every quarter for each school term I would make goals. Goals about my classes, goals about my activities, goals about my personal life. I was scared I was going to get stuck, I worried I was going to fail, so I worked to be proactive.

The habit stuck and Now I make them yearly.

The differences? They aren’t resolutions, they aren’t wishful thinking. They are what are called SMART goals. They are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely or Time constrained.

Making SMART goals is a great way to set a solid foundation for succeeding but that’s not enough. Another key factor is Visibility.

To be successful with my goals I’ve learned that I have to print them out, make them visible. Lately that has usually meant attaching them to my planner. So that I can see them everyday and measure where I stand and what I need to work on. However this year I’m going to up it a notch. You know what they say making it public helps with motivation and keeping you accountable.

So this year I’m pleased to publish my 2015 goals.

Traveling Wallet Goals

So why are these goals? Lets go into each a bit in more detail.

Spiritual Awareness

Currently I don’t follow any religion, but if I am then I like to make an educated decision. Instead of following a religion just because that is what I was taught I’d rather do some research. Not the research were you ask someone who let say practices Christianity about Buddhism.( Not that Buddhism technically is a religion) No instead I’d like to ask the people who practice that religion about that religion. So it is a goal of mine to educate myself by attending different religious services.  I’ll let you know how I do. This has been a repeat goal because if I have a chance this is the one that get put in the back burner.

Health

I use to be a runner. Nuf said. okay okay, I just generally use to be more active. I was never really concerned with baby weight staying on (if you recall my daughter turned one this year) but now that I’ve stopped nursing I am seeing the mid section going down hill. My goal ( which I just realized is missing) is to put on 10-15 lbs of muscle weight. My definition is almost non existent and I want to remedy that.  Mr. Roamer also doesn’t participate in college sports now a days so I’ve included doing exercise together.

Language

For me language has always been interesting. I come from a bilingual background and its something I really want my kids to learn. To me language helps you connect and in my future travels I want to be immersed in the locations culture. But you can only get so far when you don’t speak the language.

So its relevant as preparation for my future travels.

I also feel language is an art. So instead of painting this is my creative pursuit.

Relationships

One of the main reasons that I am so taken with FI is because of how conflicting work is for nurturing the relationships I value most. However, if I plan correctly I don’t have to wait until FI to help strengthen them. This section really focuses on carving out some one on one time for all my special people. My time is allotted in the following order

  1.  Children
  2. Husband
  3. Parents/Siblings/Myself
  4. Friends

and I rarely get past number 2.

Financial

In this we just keep the momentum. Building on this years success. We will continue to take advantage of our Tax advantage accounts through our 401k and all the rest will be saved in an online account with a better interest rate, saving until we are ready to take the home mortgage dive.

Blog

This is a new section. This community has been fun and I want to keep growing and learning. I know that means being a more active writer.  It also means getting out there. This weekend I am going to have a chance to meet jlcollinsnh who’s work I recommend here.

FinCon  is also on the hit list this year. I am sure it will be fun and informative and I plan to attend that as well.

Work

Work has been a pain and I’ve resolved to quit many times. Guess I’m scared to make the jump. So I changed my tune a bit and will instead focus on making some changes so that I am happier during my working time until I build up the courage to quit. This will include scouting out some new options and getting better compensation so that I can build my F U money to the point of courage creation.

If you glimpse my goals you’ll see that most follow the SMART goal format. They are I was detailed in exactly what I want to accomplish and by when. They are specific enough and measurable that I can see if I’m on track.

Are you making Goals

I hope you take the time to make some goals for yourself. The New Year is a nice time because of new beginnings. But really you can make them anytime during the year. Like I said before I used to have to make them 4 times a year because of my schooling schedule.

Some quick tips for setting goals.

Really importantly is setting baselines. This just means documenting the current state. Easy example of this are those before pictures you see in weight loss testimonials. So take a picture of your current state for any goals you want to identify because then you can better pin point your goal.

Then head over to Dividend Mantra for his explanation on how to make SMART goals.

Also check out Good Financial Cent’s post. I’ve been making yearly goals for the last 5 years but this article really made me remember the importance of setting quarterly goals (like I use to do) but also the longer where do you see yourself in 5 years kind of goals.

So gather your thoughts and set some goals. I am looking forward to hearing from you about them below in the comments

And seeing them pop up on bloggers sites everywhere.

* You will also find some of my 2015 goals added to my Goal page .

Tis the season of Hit and Runs

Ah life just when you feel its going so well something happens to bring you back down to earth.

This happened on Saturday evening. Mr. Roamer had ran out to get us a late night snack.* I remember thinking he was taking too long.

Just imagine you are busy typing away on your computer. When you hear that your husband(wife) was just in a car accident.

This is what happened to me. It had happened right around the corner. I literally ran out the door heart racing… Is he alive? While simultaneously calling his phone.

I turned the corner multiple cop cars there,I was searching for his car, searching for him.

I was still running when I finally saw him. I ran until I reached him, We met with a huge hug of relief.

He was shaken, So was I.

No more front bumper
No more front bumper

After checking that he was alright I learned that Mr Roamer was involved in a hit and run. Making a simple right turn on green. The other car ran a red hit him and another car.

Luckily everyone was alright.

Though I was really freaking out during my run as soon as I saw he was alright my mind turned to the problem at hand.

The Mr. slightly injured, major damage on the car and no one to take responsibility. What was our coverage going to do? What was our deductible? How does a deductible work anyway? Is there a max to how much the insurance will contribute for the repairs? Is the car even worth repairing? Do we get screwed if the cops don’t catch the party responsible? Dammit we just paid this off.

I kid you not. All this and more ran through my head. So I started asking the cop some questions.

We will be spending our days off this holiday with an Appraiser and an Adjuster. Losing out on $1000 at some point through out this whole process on our just paid off 2013 Honda Civic.  Oh whoopee.

Traveling wallet car damage

So now I will go into my Rant mode.

Why is it that the time of the year where we are all suppose to be spending more time with family is also the time of year when people think drinking is some sort of a competitive sport.

The cops and all the witnesses seemed to agree the hit and run was the due to a drunk driver.

Come on people. Is your beer, wine, shot of whisky any of it so important it is worth someone else’s life? We were fortunate to be safe but that is not the case for everyone. There are sad ending like thrifty peach’s account.

The sad part is most people are guilty of doing it. Being careless while drinking (or after drinking)

I just had one. I’ll be fine to drive. How about you have none if you know you have to drive later. Call me crazy that I think people should er on the side of caution. Better too safe than not safe enough.

Do you have family member who drink please send them this post. Send them any post that illustrates how these actions affect other people.

Or if you are living paycheck to paycheck realize that life doesn’t just happen to everyone else. Unfortunately we will all be dealt a bad had in our life and being prepared makes a big difference. Covering costs during an emergency is the last thing you want to think about. So think about it now. Build a safety fund and make sure you get it up to $1000.

What can I say sometimes I really feel like life sucks! Good thing start to happen and then I feel like life just always wants to knock me down a peg.

Was this a major financial set back for us? probably not. Huge F-ing disappointment? Completely. Life Scare? Indeed.

Are you being careful this Holiday season? If you are planning to drink what precautions are you taking to make sure you aren’t that person?

**Please come back on Wednesday to read the post I initially had planned for today, my 2015 goals and good goal planning.

 

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?