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: Simple Organized Life, The Art of simple, Treading Your Own Path, Budgets Are Sexy, Big Guy Money, Frugaling and Retire by 40.
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.
Personal Inspiration and Living a Meaningful Life:
Sometimes I get so caught up in our future and our goals that I don’t pay enough attention to the present. This week a number of blogs touched on ways we all can feel more content today.
Simple. Organized. Life. reminded me to enjoy every moment by not rushing through them in their article on How Not to Hurry.
Tsh at the Art of Simple beautifully explained the art of noticing your three square feet and grounding yourself in the moment. Meanwhile, Leo at Zen Habits shared tips on Paring Down with the Declutter Habit so that three square feet of space makes you feel happy, not stressed.
Enjoying the moment can also be the perfect gift or splurge. Even though we’re only in our first year of marriage, we do not give each other gifts at birthdays or on our anniversary (except for cards….I love making the Mr. write a sappy message ;)). We give travel and experiences. They are amazing moments that we revel in. We want to have experiences and memories, not stuff just like Treading My Own Path.
Everyone has their own set of challenges in saving for FI and keeping to a budget. Reading of people’s successes when faced with big challenges always inspires me to continue through our own challenges.
Talk about a challenge….how would you like to set and keep a budget for a family of 8? Take a look at this guest post on Budgets are Sexy.
Not all serious FI challenges are money and budgeting related. Detoxing from bad habits is very hard physically and mentally. Big Guy Money went 30 days without soda and calculated how much he saved and how much mental clarity he gained.
And we sometimes fail. It takes a lot of guts to share failures. We do it even though it stings. It’s great to see when others fail and how they work towards success. Frugaling and their $200 food budget is a perfect example!
Are we doing the right thing? Should we plan differently? What will our friends/family/co-workers think? These questions occasionally plague me (though not so much the hubby who has an awesome don’t-give-two-shits attitude).
Part of this is due to the mental barriers I have broke through – set by society’s expectations. Before meeting Steve, early retirement never, and I mean NEVER, entered my head as a possibility. I was in my late 20s. Retirement was such a foreign concept. It took a lot (and is still taking some) to break through my own Mental Barriers and realize that we can do what we want and what is right for us, regardless of what society and everyone else thinks. I never thought of this process as breaking through my mental barriers until reading the post by Retire by 40 this week. Now I’m actively trying to realize my mental barriers to push past them to reach my goals. And BTW, the gym is a perfect example of this. Most of the time when we stop because we feel “tired”, it’s because of our brain, NOT our body.
Regarding the question about whether we are doing the right thing, Budgets are Sexy summed it up perfectly in My Answer to All Financial Debates. Do whatever excites you more and you are more likely to stick to your goal. So we’ll keep saving towards our down payment on a town home in Sedona next year and I’ll stop worrying about whether the money should go somewhere else. This is the right answer for us.
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.