The Post Christmas Declutter

Christmas is a pretty exciting time in our household. We were able to spend a lot of quality time with our immediate and extended family, eat tons of delicious food, and relax without many external distractions. The highlight of christmas is really spending time with people we care about, but we also enjoy the gift giving process as well. Although the Christmas season is a time of extreme accumulation for many individuals, it can also be a time to evaluate everything we currently own and the new things we received. One of my goals this years is to end Christmas with less stuff than I started with. Is that even possible? What about with kids? We currently have a lot of stuff (and added plenty more), but in the next few days we will take some time to go through our stuff and donate/recycle/sell anything will not be using in the near future.

Christmas TrashBoth my wife and I come from very generous families who really enjoy the holidays. We get a few things and the grandkids get all kinds of crazy stuff. They really enjoy it. I enjoy it too, but I also dislike the deadweight loss of Christmas and the over-consumerism that tends to expand each year. We have done pretty well about communicating our expectations and keeping the entire holiday season focused primarily on spending time with each other. Somehow, we still end the year with lots of new things that make it into our house and take up our valuable space. Continue reading The Post Christmas Declutter

Getting What We Don’t Deserve

We are pretty lucky. Our lives are filled with abundance and we should be thankful and grateful. We received a pretty lucky historic roll of the dice. Sure, many of us work very hard. We often take advantage of the opportunities that are afforded to us. We define our obstacles and overcome them. But overall, there are so many blessings out of our control; we just need to sit back and be thankful for life and the opportunities presented before us.

medium_2915376577We hear a lot more stories about bad stuff happening to good people. We hear about tragedy, sickness, war, conflict, famine (especially on the international scale). We rarely step back and give appreciation to the fact that we are very fortunate people. If you read the Simple Economist, or any other blog for that matter, you are a member of the elite group of people who has received an overabundance of good fortune and luck in life. We have options, we have freedoms, and we have our health (at least enough to enjoy reading on the internet). We are pretty lucky. Continue reading Getting What We Don’t Deserve

Are you planning to retire early? Extremely Early? Our Plan.

Family, children, and travel. The simple things in my head that made me consider the idea of working towards financial independence at an early age. The idea of retirement is pretty simple to me- getting to the point where I no longer need to work a mandatory job to cover our family’s expenses (ever again). Will we continue to be active and productive after we complete our mandatory employment? Sure. Idleness in not the end goal, choice is. I enjoy my current employment and lifestyle, but there are certainly a few tweaks I would make if money was of no concern.

Goa SunsetHave you ever considered becoming financially independent at an early age? What would be a good target? 30, 40, 50? Have you ever stopped to consider what it would be like if you never had to work for an income again? Any changes you would make? I would love to have a little more time in my days. The primary motivations for me are: time with my family, financial simplicity, and a lifestyle of minimal environmental impact. Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin have been writing about this type of financial lifestyle for over thirty years since the original publication of Your Money or Your Life in 1992. Continue reading Are you planning to retire early? Extremely Early? Our Plan.

A New Edition To The Simple Economist Family

It has been a pretty incredible week. We added a new member of the family on Thursday and we were able to come home from the hospital this weekend. It has been a fun few days adjusting from a single little one running around to having two. It has been a blast. Our little lady seems to be getting along with her new baby brother so far. Everyone is healthy and we couldn’t ask for more!

baby jamesHere is our little Baby James. His two favorite hobbies are eating and sleeping and he is pretty good at both. It will be interesting to see how adding a new one effects the financial picture but most of that impact will be much further down the road. The biggest thing I’ve noticed is how much I enjoy spending time with my kids. If there is anything that can motivate me to financial independence (faster), it would be the ability to spend even more time with my growing family! I’m looking forward to seeing him grow up and I’m really enjoying watching our two year old girl learn tons of new things every day.

Unexpressed Gratitude Communicates Ingratitude

I’m pretty sure we all have people in our lives that we are thankful for. I’m sure you can think of a few off the top of your head. I have more than I can count. However, it is very rare that I actually communicate my gratitude to the people I care about. I know I should be more intentional about letting people know when they impact me in a positive way, but I rarely take the time to extend my gratitude.

gratitudeOne of the hardest parts about expressing gratitude for me, especially to other guys, is the difficulty of getting over the awkwardness it takes to randomly send someone a message of thanks. It is easy after I have recently interacted with them; however, many of the people I’m extremely grateful for I do not see very often. I actually received an email out of the blue from a really good friend. It was a simple thanks for being a friend but it was very encouraging. In addition, the subtle joy of a quick message was just enough to motivate me to pass along some gratitude myself.

Who are you grateful for? I know we have moved past the traditional thankfulness season, but I think it is worth extending (and possibly building lasting habits). Have you let the people you care about know recently how much you appreciate them? Do you think it is possible that unexpressed gratitude can actually communicate ingratitude? Continue reading Unexpressed Gratitude Communicates Ingratitude