Browse Category by Move forward

Financial independence – FI

You know it’s time to move when you look through pictures of your home after you remodeled it and realize you’ve changed out most pieces of furniture.

My brother Phillip was in town visiting for the holidays recently and as usual we got into talks of our hopes and dreams. He showed us this amazing video of a man named Slomo in San Diego who rollerblades all day and night and is living his best, and happiest life.

The conversation then shifted to financial independence. Phillip asked if we had heard of the FI movement, and the answer was yes. Back when we lived in Colorado I remember reading Mr. Money Mustache’s blog a few times, as he was located just 15 min from where we lived, and I’ve always been fascinated by personal finance. I had also just read this NY Times article on the FIRE movement (Financial Independence, Retire Early). During this conversation Zach and I became acutely aware that we have gotten too comfortable.

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Business planning, Buying houses, Debt Free Living, Fixer Upper, Investments, Move forward, Planning, Small living, Smart money, Uncategorized

Easiest way to save money.

Zach has been out of college and in the workforce for 8 years now. For the past 8 years he can count on one hand how many times he has paid to go out for lunch, impressive! Going out to eat for lunch is such the norm and most people don’t think twice about how much money they are spending. Based on the idea of paying $10 a day (which I wouldn’t be surprised if this number was actually higher) 5 days a week… you are looking at $200 a month. Now, what if you are a double income family, and both of you are eating out every day? That’s $400 a month!! Four. Hundred. Dollars!

So, if you can afford eating out for lunch every day, you can afford a house. If you and your partner were to pack a lunch every day for the next 22.5 months, less than 2 years, you would have enough money for a 3% downpayment on a $300,000 house. That’s right. Less than two years from now, rather than having nothing to show for your $400 a month… you could have $9,000 saved and be moving into your first home. Start packing!


Buying houses, Move forward, Planning, Small living, Smart money

My engagement ring, and why it says so much.


When Zach proposed to me, he defied all rules. He didn’t ask my Father’s permission, he went against his parents advice, he didn’t kneel down on one knee, and he asked me to marry him with a simple, white gold band- no diamonds. We were sitting in his car parked on a street that had maybe a little bit of a city view and that’s where our eternal commitment to each other started (I later found out he was so nervous he was just driving around with me in the car looking for a place to propose).

When I told people we were engaged, they thought I was kidding. Why didn’t they believe me? Well, my ring didn’t have a diamond on it. I had multiple people tell me “you can just get a cubic zirconia to wear until you can afford a diamond”. One time a girl who heard I was engaged asked me to see my ring (naturally). When I held out my hand, she twisted the ring around and said “You didn’t want a diamond?” With an extremely confused look on her face.

When Zach decided he wanted to ask me to marry him, he went into the local jewelers and asked “what’s the least expensive ring you have?” Zach had about $100 to his name, and spent about $40 of that on my ring. I cannot express how grateful I am for this! We were surrounded by others who were getting engaged and taking out loans to buy rings that cost thousands of dollars. And here Zach was, being financially responsible*, not going into debt, and allowing us to start off our marriage right.

Getting engaged was not about a diamond. And it definitely wasn’t about buying a cubic zirconia to give off the image of wealth and conformity. It was about having the man I loved, and love even more today, ask me to spend the rest of our lives together. The ring was a symbol of this commitment and nothing more. To this day, my ring reminds me of the love Zach has for me and it now symbolizes how we try to live our lives: simple, debt free, and committed.

*Some may argue that getting engaged with $100, well $60, in your bank account would not be financially responsible, but we were college students and I’ll admit, it was a little crazy in hindsight.

Be decisive, Debt Free Living, Move forward, Small living, Smart money

Don’t listen to the naysayers.


Too often in life we are swayed to do things, or not to do things, based on what other people say. Of course there is a time and a place to look to people we know, love, and trust for advice… but sometimes, even these people can’t know what’s right for you.


An example from our personal lives took place when we purchased our second home, that was smaller than our first home, we decided to keep our first house as a rental. We had numerous people who we looked up to tell us that we should just sell our first house, then use the equity to buy one bigger house. We were determined to keep the first property to rent it out and did just that. We continued to get this advice (as well as other reasons to not purchase) on each and every property we bought, but we stayed on course with our long term plan. It would have been easy to sell and get a nicer home. However, we always had a detailed, thought out, business plan. This plan helped us see past immediate wants and needs and allowed us to stay focused on our end goal.

Be smart about what you want and how you want to invest your time and your money. If you feel good about your decision, and are able to execute your plan, then move forward, don’t listen to the naysayers and embrace what you are doing. Push through the barriers and give your self a chance to succeed. You can do it.


Be decisive, Business planning, Move forward, Smart money