September Expenses and Unexpected Insights

early retirement budget with big family

  Every once in a while, everything falls into place! It’s been almost 2 years since we walked away from the 9-5 jobs. September was a long-awaited “Ah-ha!” moment for me. Two big things happened for me in September. I worked. And I rested. And it was AMAZING! Ok, let me unpack that a bit […]

Start Your Budget at Zero

Have you ever seen a news article shared or story featured where a family was able to keep their expenses low, like really low… surprisingly low. And then you read the comments. It’s funny for me to read people’s reactions. They generally look something like this. “I would hate to live that way.” “That sound like […]

July Expenses: Renovation and Summer Fun

early retirement budget with big family

The Renovation Life In one of the mentoring questions, I talked about how I enjoy doing 2-week renovations. 2 of those a year would be a perfect balance. Time to build and create, then time for family, rest and other creative projects that are less physically tiring. But in July we took on a 4-week […]

Paying Cash for Our House is Only Half the Story

Growing up, I loved listening to Paul Harvey’s, The Rest of the Story. He has an amazing gift for taking a great story, then finding the bigger story behind the headline. We paid cash for our first home. But this is the rest of the story. Because after 10 years of pinching pennies it was one […]

How to pay cash for your first home

May Spending: manure, growing food, and hitting the gym

early retirement budget with big family

Farmers Market and Manure Planting our garden might be my very favorite weekend of the year! And buying plants from the farmers market is ABSOLUTLY my favorite way to spend money. I generally dislike shopping, and see it as a dull chore. But not for flowers, veggies and herbs! (Or books, who am I kidding!) […]

Cheap, Spendthrift or Frugal?

Cheap and Frugal are often used interchangeably, but I see them as vastly different ways of living and spending. One increases the size and quality of your life, the other makes life smaller and lonelier. How do we find more value in every area of our life? Is it EVER a good thing to be […]

difference between cheap, frugal and spendthrifts

Don’t Buy Everything You Can Afford

Whenever I hear people say, “We can afford it.” I feel a little nauseous. I break out in cold sweats. Everyone has a few pet peeves. This is mine. Perhaps this seems counterintuitive but let me explain. 1. If you can’t pay cash, you can’t really afford it Affording the payments isn’t the same thing […]

how to afford financial freedom