The Zombie Apocalypse Guide To Saving Money

Confession: I miss The Walking Dead (the new season doesn’t start until October).  We don’t watch that much television, but my Friday night treat used to be catching up on the show while drinking a little bit of wine.  It’s probably better to have nothing to watch during the summer, as there are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy like bonfires.  Abigail from I Pick Up Pennies recently did a fun post about money lessons from Buffy The Vampire Slayer.  If Buffy can teach us about money, then why not a show about the zombie apocalypse?  As I recently found myself wondering (again) about who ended up getting the bat in that crazy season finale, I thought of some lessons we can learn from Rick, his friends, and the walkers . . . about saving money.

Continue Reading →

New Side Hustle: How To Make Money Buying And Reselling Books

In our quest to pay off debt and achieve semi-retirement by the age of 40, I’m always on the lookout for new ways to save money and to make extra money.  I’m super excited about finding a great tool for buying and selling used books.  I have big plans for using it this summer at garage sales and book sales.


New Side Hustle


Continue Reading →

Road Less Traveled Challenge: Reverse Engineering A New Lifestyle

One of the things that constantly inspires me about the personal finance community is the enormous amount of diversity among our goals and road maps.  I think we can all agree that there are a number of guidelines (as opposed to commandments) that provide us with methods for escaping from traditional work requirements.  However, the individual strategies and destinations are all our own.  Our Next Life recently challenged bloggers to discuss how they’re traveling down a unique path to financial independence or early retirement.  This is the story of our divergence.



Continue Reading →

Five Innovative Ways To Save Money On Your Wedding

It’s crazy how much my thoughts about the world around me have changed in just a few years.  Nowadays, I find myself always analyzing expenses and ways to save money.  The recent wedding was no exception – taking note of money-related things here and there.  Full disclosure: my little sister did not have a frugal wedding.  In all honestly, as fun and beautiful as everything was, it pains me to think about the grand total.  I do have to give her credit, however, for finding some new ways to save money on the cost of a wedding.

How To Save Money On Wedding Expenses


Continue Reading →

Willow Block Wedding Blanket

This is a crafty post, but still has a lot to do with saving money. I spent many hours creating a Willow Block Blanket as a wedding gift for my sister, and all it cost me was my time.  A neighbor recently gave me a ton of yarn, so this wedding gift didn’t cost any money. I searched for the prettiest crochet granny square that I could find, and settled on the Willow Block. It works up so quickly and has a great design. I loved cranking out a square here and there, whenever my hands were free.  I assembled all of the squares, added a double crochet border, and now my sister now has a beautiful, handmade keepsake.

Willow Block Wedding Blanket


Continue Reading →

The Most Practical Baby Gifts

The arrival of a new baby is always exciting. I have a friend who can’t wait to find out next week whether she’s having a boy or a girl.  I’ve written before that babies don’t really need all that much.  However, you may still want to give a gift to friends or family to celebrate the upcoming arrival.  Many baby gifts, such as clothes, won’t last very long. They can grow out of something in a matter of weeks, so they could only get a couple of wears out of it.  If you want to make the most of your money, you should think about getting them something special, that will last. 


Most Practical Baby Gifts


Continue Reading →

Monday Medley: I’m Back

Wow, it feels like forever ago since my last post.  An extremely demanding work project came up at the same time that I was helping my sister prepare for her wedding.  I’m happy to report that all is well in the Smith household and we had a wonderful time celebrating with family and friends.  Now, it’s time to get back to frugal living, blogging, and hustling our way out of debt.




Continue Reading →

What To Do When Your Spouse Or Partner Doesn’t “Believe” In The Stock Market

The financial independence / early retirement community relies on several basic tenets in their quest for freedom from the “normal” lifestyle defined by working 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, until old age.  One of these golden rules for FIRE is that you need to invest 25 times your annual expenses in the stock market.  Upon reaching this milestone, you can then count on taking out 4% of your nest egg (representing average gains for the fund) to support you for the rest of your life.  The standard path to FIRE is not really an option for us, due to our sizable debt.  However, there’s another issue.  Mr. Smith doesn’t “believe” in the stock market.

Believe In The Stock Market


Continue Reading →

How A Work Meeting Inspired Me, To Keep Working Towards Early Retirement

Happy Friday everyone!  I had a rough day yesterday, between a little fight with Mr. Smith and feeling pretty depressed about being at work.  This is just a short post to offer some inspiration, because we all need a little reminder sometimes, of the purpose behind the struggle.


We had a meeting at work this week that was meant to inspire us.  The video was definitely inspiring, but not in the way that my employer intended.  They wanted us to get pumped up about work, productivity, marketing, and building a successful career.  However, as I sat there watching the video, my thoughts were on something completely different.  It was uncomfortable to sit there, portraying the engaged and motivated sycophant.  Instead, I kept fantasizing about standing up, calmly saying “F*** this,” and walking away.


You tell me: what does this video inspire you to do?



Have a nice weekend everyone – let’s all do a little hustling, so we can obtain the freedom to really live.