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: Money Bulldog, A Wealth of Common Sense, DINKS Finance, Go Curry Cracker, Dividend Mantra, the Frugalwoods, Enemy of Debt, Almost Fearless, and Reaching our Balance.
Here 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.
I encountered four blogs this week asking interesting or difficult questions. I love when they make me think!
Money Bulldog asked how little could you spend on food each week? Our budget has us at ~$60 a person if we include groceries and restaurants but how low could that actually go? Could we live on the US equivalent of the £12 a week that is mentioned in the article? Probably. Will we? Probably not…unless we really want a challenge. More than 50% of our spending on groceries each month is fruit and veggies, so we’re pretty okay with how we spend. But, it’s always a good idea to challenge our assumptions and look for future challenges.
Can people really change their financial behavior? This was the question asked by A Wealth of Common Sense. I agree with him that they can, it just takes work, thought and perseverance. One tip that helped us starting out was saving immediately (ie: never letting the money go into our checking account). It’s much easier to save what’s not there to spend.
DINKS Finance asked what is financial freedom? This one is a big one. I’m finding that financial freedom means different things to different people even here in the FI/ ER world. Financial Freedom to me is the ability to choose to be the person I want to be and live the life I want to live. Money is necessary for this goal but is not the end result.
Do you know what your retirement number is? Go Curry Cracker posted an amazing article explaining how to calculate that number and went in depth into the math behind the famous 4% rule. Even if you believe that you already have your number figured out, check this article out anyway. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a better explanation.
It’s all about the money:
Two great money articles this week caught my eye. First, Dividend Mantra is back with an extremely well written post comparing active and passive income. Steve and I discussed this article immediately after it showed up in our inboxes because the truth is we haven’t mapped out the tax implications of our future plans and how best to keep our money…well, ours. This article is going in our files as a MUST READ for our future lives without our full time income streams.
The Frugalwoods also continued their demystifying personal finance series with their 3rd topic: 401ks are your friend. While this was not news to us, it is a very well written article about why and how you should use 401ks to your advantage!
More self help or thought provoking articles this week to share. I’m always trying to learn about myself, to become self-actualized and strive towards my goal of choosing the “me” and the life I want. These posts got me thinking and hopefully they will make you think as well.
Speaking of choices: Want Success? Make the Choice! That’s what Enemy of Debt is encouraging this week and I couldn’t agree more. Everything, and I mean everything, in life is a choice. We live the lives we’ve chosen. So choose success and ….
Get started! This one is very tough for me. When I am scared or nervous about a venture or an idea, I will hem and haw for a very long time. This article by Almost Fearless got me off my butt and started on a new idea that I hope will bring great fulfillment to me but also help many others. We will see but I won’t know unless I get started!
Lastly, it is always a good idea to stop striving towards the future occasionally and to reflect on what I have like Reaching Our Balance did. I was sitting outside with Steve last night and talking about how I love our lives. We’re still working to better ourselves, and we still have plenty of future goals, but right now we have an amazing life and we need to make sure we our grateful for it and enjoy every second of it!
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
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.