The Friday Feast ~ the 31st of July

The personal finance community is filled with so many talented writers and truly inspiring people and families who want something much different in life than the traditional plan of buying lots of stuff and retiring in their 60s.  Here is a look at the best of this week’s personal finance blogs.

In this episode of Friday Feast: Living A FI, The Middle Finger Project, The College Investor, RetireBy40, Mr. Money Mustache, GoCurryCracker, Our Next Life, DebtlessInTexas. Continue reading “The Friday Feast ~ the 31st of July”

Make cheap, kick-butt picture frames that look like clipboards

If you are like me, you love free stuff.  But if you can’t get free, an inexpensive do-it-yourself project might be the next best thing, and that is just what my wife and I did over the weekend to come up with some truly nice looking picture frames that look just like clipboards.

clipboard-1

These clipboards are light-weight and easy to hang and make changing out your 8×10 pictures a snap.  Cheap, too.  A few bucks each gets you a unique and creative way to hang your photography.

Total cost: Including the photo, each clipboard “frame” cost about $6 bucks. Continue reading “Make cheap, kick-butt picture frames that look like clipboards”

Back in the saddle after Glacier National Park

Hey guys, my wife and I have returned from an absolutely wonderful vacation to Glacier National Park in upstate Montana.  It was tough to return, primarily because of our JOBS that we must satisfy until we are fully ready to retire early and travel the country in 2017.  This trip only solidified our plan of full time RV-living, traveling around this beautiful country, taking in our national and state parks, and spending as much time as possible outdoors.

Our companion web site, FullTimeExplorers.com, will showcase our photography through magazine-style articles.  The Twitter account will provide more up-to-date stream of consciousness posts (with photos, occassionally), and lastly, our Instagram account will hit you with our visual updates, every step of the way.

Okay, enough with the social media.  Before I start re-posting about thinking, saving and retiring, here are some of my favorite photos from our vacation to beautiful Montana.  Enjoy! Continue reading “Back in the saddle after Glacier National Park”

Achieving your Permanent Paradise

Hey kids, it’s guest post time!  As many of you know, Courtney and I are in Glacier National Park enjoying one of our nation’s most beautiful areas, and I am quite pleased to have Chris from MoneyMozart.com holding down the fort while we’re gone with a guest post about figuring out your permanent paradise and turning it into one big kickass reality.

Chris is one of my favorite money bloggers, and for good reason.  He’s determined.  He’s motivated.  And he, like me, wants to turn his permanent paradise into his full time day job.  And his blog is absolutely kick ass.

Thank you for the guest post, Chris.  Without further ado, please enjoy!

Continue reading “Achieving your Permanent Paradise”

How much does income affect your post-retirement lifestyle stability?

One of the most spirited debates within the early retirement community revolves around the influence that a high level of savings (as well as income) has on a person’s ability to retire early.  I have argued in the past that although a high income can help, an aggressive savings schedule is a far better measure to determine a person’s fitness for early retirement.

From our honeymoon on Maui
From our honeymoon on Maui

My rationale was simple: it is a person’s lifestyle that ultimately determines how long he or she can survive without a full time job post-retirement.  Meaning, a more frugal lifestyle will generally enable earlier retirement than a less frugal lifestyle, regardless of income.

But yet, I would be remiss if I did not address the obvious monkey in the room. Continue reading “How much does income affect your post-retirement lifestyle stability?”

The Friday Feast ~ the 10th of July

The personal finance community is filled with so many talented writers and truly inspiring people and families who want something much different in life than the traditional plan of buying lots of stuff and retiring in their 60s.  Here is a look at the best of this week’s personal finance blogs.

In this episode of Friday Feast: Money Mozart, Dividend Mantra, Our Next Life, Mom and Dad Money, Devoes On The Roll, The College Investor, Budgets are Sexy, Watson’s Wander. Continue reading “The Friday Feast ~ the 10th of July”

Crafting the Stories of our Lives: “A Million Years in a Thousand Days” by Donald Miller

I love to read non-fiction self-helpy type books that make me think. You might have guessed that from some of the Friday Feast articles I share. Self growth is very important to me. As the saying goes, “if you’re not growing, you’re dying” and in a large sense that’s true. Life is about learning, not only about the outside world but also about ourselves. What are our truths? What makes us Happy? Who are we? What are our stories?

donald-miller-million-miles-reviewThat last question is a new one for me. Steve and I think about our stories to come, our post-career lives when we can choose how we spend our days and the adventures we will have outside of full time jobs. That’s as close as I’ve come to “choosing my story”, a future daydream. That’s how most people choose their stories. But our real stories are what we’re doing right now…today. We are choosing the story of our life with each decision we make. What kind of story is it?

Donald Miller wrote an extremely interesting and inspiring book, “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years“, that made me really think about the stories we are crafting with our lives. A Million Miles tells Donald’s story. Donald wrote a very successful memoir and then settled back into normal life.  It wasn’t until 2 film producers decided to make a movie out of his memoir and asked him to help edit and change his own life for the big screen that he began to question the life we was living. Continue reading “Crafting the Stories of our Lives: “A Million Years in a Thousand Days” by Donald Miller”