An Urban Life With Suburban Expectations

Managing expectations is a key aspect of living a happy, fulfilled life. It is also an important part of lifestyle design. The second aspect of managing expectations is being able to fully convey the same ideas clearly to those around you including your spouse, family, children and coworkers. Have you ever done something really awesome but still felt a little let down because of extremely high expectations? Have you ever had an experience exceed your expectations? That is a great feeling. Do you typically find that your experiences exceed your expectations or fall short? How much of that is external and how much is internal?

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My wife and I grew up in a suburban or semi-suburban area. I grew up with the notion that if I wanted to go somewhere (aside from my next door neighbor’s house) that I needed to ask my parents to drive me there. When my siblings got older they became the defacto shuttle service. And honestly, in my hometown, this is pretty much the typical, normal lifestyle. My wife grew up in super-suburbia. Literally, the movie The Joneses was filmed a few blocks from where she was raised. There were more Targets than poor people and even the neighborhood tennis courts and pools were a short drive away. My life was a little older, smaller town version of a relaxed neighborhood with big yards, average houses and lots of kids. I think we both grew up in the idealized post WWII portrait of the ‘American Dream’. Continue reading An Urban Life With Suburban Expectations

Best of Mr. Money Mustache Pt. II

Editor’s Note: This is Part II of the Best of Mr. Money Mustache. This is advanced reading intended for those who already have a basic understanding of personal finance. Start with Part I if you are just trying to get everything figured out.

Once again the reigning champ has returned for round two of solid financial blogging gold. I’ll reiterate what I mentioned in the previous post. With an author as prolific as MMM, the amount of content that is often produced can be staggering. As a long time reader (like ERE before), I’ve read every post since the beginning and I’ve sifted though all of it to pick out the very best. Like I said, start with Part I if you are just getting introduced; but if you are looking to pick up your graduate degree in financial freedom, here is the advanced reading list. I’ve also included some additional reading, book recommendations and other blogs that have similar types of early retiree/financial efficiency information contained within them.

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Continue reading Best of Mr. Money Mustache Pt. II

The Best of Mr. Money Mustache

Mr. Money Mustache is currently the North American (and maybe Canadian too) reigning champion of face punching financial efficiency. His posts are motivational, unique and inspiring for those who desire to live a more efficient life. His posts are also equally as offensive and painful to read for those who live a typical, inefficiently normal American lifestyle. If you are like me and desire to live a slightly lower impact lifestyle, not waste all of your money and still enjoy life you will be thoroughly entertained by his writing.

kudy-monetarymusings-logo3 (1)I try to read everything I can about personal finance and investing. I’ve been through most of our local library’s catalog and finished with all the popular authors. For me, it is rare to hear a fresh set of ideas when it comes to the age old topic of money. But MMM has done it. He is my current favorite author that is writing about money. I think the issue we often run into when we find a new author or blogger is filtering through all the content they produce to find the gold. And authors like MMM produce tons of awesome content but it can often be difficult for new readers, or even seasoned veterans, to find the absolute best that has been produced. I often find posts that are quite awesome but fail to bookmark them or ever read them again after they have been posted. Continue reading The Best of Mr. Money Mustache

Ways My Life Has Changed in Four Years

I suppose birthdays are always an entertaining reminder to look back and reflect on where we are and where we have been. It always surprises me how much our lives change. Even over short periods of time. Have you ever thought about how you have changed in the last few years? What is the same? What is different? Are you happy with where you are? Are there things in your life you would like to change?

For those who do not know me, four years ago I was just getting married, finishing graduate school and traveling around the globe. Since then, I’ve worked a little, read a lot, seen a few things and have gone though a surprising amount of intellectual growth. There are plenty of things I’m still working to improve upon but a few of the changes that I’ve made will stay with me for the rest of my life.2013-02-02 06.34.35 Continue reading Ways My Life Has Changed in Four Years

Our Grocery Purchases Revealed

Several weeks ago Ms. SE wrote a post detailing how our family managed to Eat Healthily on $200 a Month. The post was more popular than almost any of the things I’ve ever written and drew a tremendous response. The article was really designed as an intro and a starting point to figure out what you spend on groceries and what you eat. But the article also brought a slew of specific questions with it. Namely, do we really eat on $200 a month? Is that really possible? What exactly do we eat? Do we use coupons? (No) What do we consider healthy? So, what exactly did we buy?


April’s Grand total: $191 Continue reading Our Grocery Purchases Revealed