I love learning. Always have. So when I find a blog or writer that interests me I devour everything I can find. Every day I move countless amazing articles from an array of  frugal, simple living, FI-minded writers into my Amazing Reads folder to be read at my leisure. These articles inspire me and the Mr. to think about things in different ways, to keep open minds and to constantly keep learning so we can be the best possible us.

In this episode of Friday Feast: Even Steven Money, Enemy of Debt, Reaching Our Balance, Retire by 40, Root of Good, Choosing Voluntary Simplicity, NW Edible, and Money Mozart.

readingHere are my picks for this week’s Feast. I hope they inspire you to set financial goals and take control over your heart, mind and – yes, your pocketbook.  There is a fire lit within each and every one of us, and the sooner we find that flame, the quicker we can use it for the energy we need to master our own happiness.

Money & Friends:

One of the things Steve and I lament over is that we don’t have any close friends with whom we feel comfortable discussing our future plans of ER and travel. I have a friend on the East Coast who I think it would be awesome to discuss it with but our bi-monthly phone calls don’t seem the place. We are lucky to have this online community and we know it, but sometimes face to face discussions over some food and drinks would be awesome. Anyway Even Steven Money got me thinking about how almost none of our friends know our plans when I was reading his article about Talking Money with Friends. It is true that even the people we are closest to make decisions that are radically different from our own…especially when we’re choosing an alternate lifestyle. It’s great when a discussion can still be had, even coming from such different places.

I have always had 1-2 really good friends where ever I was in life but lots and lots of ‘friends’ who I guess are really more acquaintances. It’s fun to hang out with them but they would not be who I celebrated joy with or called for help in times of need. Still, I used to very much care what they thought. Or what my neighbors thought. I still have those moments occasionally but I’m working on saving my energy and caring about the more important things and people in my life. It’s helpful to remember that a lawn mower is NOT a status symbol as explained by Enemy of Debt.

Early Retirement:

A few thoughts on early retirement this week. First, for many early retirement comes as the result of financial freedom (I know this is what we’re working towards). However, we already have it….financial freedom that is. Reaching Our Balance realized this week that they already have financial freedom, perhaps not to the point of early retirement but they are financially free. Do you agree? Looking at our numbers makes me realize Steve and myself could consider ourselves fnancially free as well. If I were to lose my job tomorrow, it would change our plans but not necessarily for the worse. How freeing is that?

Retire by 40 tackled why early retirement is a terrible idea. Or should I say disproved the concept. Early Retirement is not the right path for everyone but for some it is and he explains why. I love the point about being replaceable. It’s too true.

Lastly, I have to say I have wondered and daydreamed about what our lives will look like in 2019 when we’re retired and living in Sedona, or traveling to who knows where. Will I still wake with the sun? Probably but I won’t HAVE to….that’s a huge difference. Will we still go the gym every day? Definitely if we’re at home. etc.etc. I love that Root of Good mapped out what his typical week looks like now that he’s retired and compares it to what it looked like pre-retirement. So much to look forward to.

The Hard Thoughts:

Change, the unknown, it’s hard. Very hard. It’s much easier to daydream about the lives we want then to actually live them. It’s much easier to complain about the things wrong in our lives then to actually do anything about them. It’s a fact of human nature that we want to stay safe and comfortable and change pushes us out of that zone. However, it’s often for the better! So what do we need to do to live the life we want to live? I’m no expert but this couldn’t hurt.

First it’s all about attitude. ~Choosing Voluntary Simplicity

Second you need to realize what you believe and what makes you happy. ~NWEdible  This is actually pretty difficult to do. I’m working through it right now and plan to share the process in an upcoming article.

Third (for this week) you need to realize you need a change and get off your butt and do it! ~Money Mozart

With Montana’s Glacier National Park quickly approaching and our dreams filling up with a myriad of camping and hiking trips, Steve and I are planning a nice hike up on Mt Lemmon this weekend (it won’t be 100+ degrees up there!). I realized that we have all these hiking plans for our ER future but why wait? If we think that will make us happy then why are we saving it? Why not be happy now too? So we’re going to start exploring Tucson more and hiking in the area on weekends. Life is busy but we realized we need to make the time to do the things that bring us joy. Now. Not later.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

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Did you read something inspiring this week? If so let us know in the comments below!

They have been at a great feast of learning, and stolen the scraps.
– William Shakespeare

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