After a long, cold winter where daytime high temperatures routinely dipped into the high 60s and lower 70s, it is finally springtime once again in southern Arizona. And true to form, we Arizonans persevered through it all – the biting cold, frosted windshields and 6-foot high drifts of grimy snow. Oh, wait…
Okay, so there were nights where we had an extra blanket on the bed, and the bitter cold in the frigid 60-degree air at times required the use of a wind breaker during the day. But I tell you, my wife and I got through it, and we learned a lot about ourselves during this time of pain and anguish. We’re total DINKWADs.
It is this kind of winter stress and torture that separates the men from the boys.
But no, seriously – springtime in southern Arizona means that 100-degree temperatures are right around the corner. In fact, the forecasted high temperatures this week are flirting with the 90 mark already.
No bother. I’m a sunny skies and warm weather kind of person, so Arizona has been a wonderful state in which to call home. This morning our sliding back door has been open, allowing the pleasantly cool springtime air to fill our home, and lets our two dogs roam the backyard at their leisure.
A wonderful Saturday during early spring, once again.
Wait a second – what’s a DINKWAD?
My wife and I didn’t know what this meant either until Budgets Are Sexy wrote about the phenomenon. If you’ve been around the business of personal finance and early retirement long enough, you’re probably aware that DINK is an acronym that means “Dual Income No Kids”, meaning both adults work and, of course, are without children.
Where does the WAD come into play? In this case, WAD stands for “With A Dog”. Putting it all together, DINKWAD means “Dual Income No Kids With A Dog“.
Actually, we have two dogs, but who’s counting. Their names are Penny and Patti, both rescues and abused in an early life. They are great dogs, and pictured below. Penny is on the left and Patti is on the right. Both pictures were taken by yours truly. Patti loves to eat. I mean, total fatty.
The plan for the spring has a remarkable resemblance to our now-finished plan for the winter – stay frugal and save as much money as humanly possible, getting us a bit closer to that deliciously-sweet, dripping with syrupy caramel goal of financial independence and early retirement.
I tell you – keeping track of all of these goals from season to season sure is confusing. “Okay, so are we actually trying to save money this time, or not?” Umm, yes. The answer is always yes.
The real change is in how we have fun. Outdoorsy by nature, my wife and I love to be out in nature. In fact, we are setting up a little sitting area in our backyard next to the pool, shaded by a porch roof. We resuscitated two old-as-hell wooden chairs that we had lying around for what seemed like years.
We applied a little elbow-grease in the form of some sanding and a can of stain and they are practically good as new.
The wife is hand-making a rug for out there as well, made of bed sheets that we died different colors. Rugs are expensive, and the frugal-inspired creativity within us suddenly came to life as we dreamed of having something soft and cushy to rest our feet on when relaxing out there.
Here’s a look at what it looks like today with the stained wooden chairs and a table that we found at an auction for $30 bucks.
The next time that I take pictures of our setup out back, there will be a colorful and soft hand-made rug underneath the chairs and table, and with enough room to rest our feet. There may even be a couple of nice and colorful cushions on the chairs on which to rest our butts, too. Yes, comfy butt support.
Of course, we aren’t waiting for rug completion before we enjoy the space. I’ve been known to enjoy a good cigar and vodka tonic as I take special note of how the ripples in the pool are affected by the warm desert breezes. The ripples are important stuff, after all.
Oh, I also like watching a yellow jacket who likes to hang around the pool and take a swim in the water every now and then. I’ve named him Charlie.
Don’t judge me.
What about you? What are your major goals for the spring?
Steve is a 38-year-old early retiree who writes about the intersection of happiness and financial independence. Steve is a regular contributor to MarketWatch, CNBC, and The Ladders. He lives full-time in his 30′ Airstream Classic and travels the country with his wife Courtney and two rescued dogs.