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.




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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


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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.




Monday Medley: The Evolution Of Priorities

As time goes on, you begin to adopt new priorities.  The phases you went through before, start to become different versions of yourself, not quite individual characters, but more like varying shades of you.  I’ve been thinking about the past a lot, and how much I’ve changed in just a couple of years.  I’m sure that past-me would be really confused if allowed just a brief glimpse of what present-me has been up to.



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My Fill-The-Bucket List: Dreams Completed And Those Yet To Be Achieved

I really should have written this post a while ago.  Maggie at Northern Expenditure challenged other bloggers to come up with a list of accomplishments, or “awesome opportunities you’ve taken.”  She wrote about a friend who was disappointed about not checking everything off of her to-do-before-I-turn-30 list.  In comparison, Maggie decided to come up with a list of the noteworthy things she has done so far in her life.  As much as I am working hard for my family’s future, it’s important to look back on our progress and the experience along the way.  The inspiration for finally adding this post came from a bucket list I found on my Evernote, which was drafted way back in February of 2014.  I jotted it down when I was still pretty lost and before starting this blog.  It was encouraging to realize that I had already completed some of the tasks on that list and it made me think about all of the other awesome things I’ve been able to do by the age of 33.


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The Art of Calm, While Maintaining Your Frugality

My sanity is dependent on indulging in a little me-time here and there.  It’s necessary to occasionally escape from the responsibilities and stresses of being a working mom of three little ones, with extra endeavors on my plate.  While I may advocate for multi-tasking whenever possible to maximize your productivity, it’s also important to work a little peace into each day.  I was excited to receive a book called The Art of Calm, by Rebecca Ascher-Walsh, which promised to provide “photographs and wisdom to balance your life,” in exchange for providing an honest review for my readers.

art of calm with some coffee (3)


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The Cost Of A Good Education: What Is It Worth?

As you formulate new strategies in life, priorities start to shift. Much like a line of dominoes, things that you held to be absolute truth for decades of your life can suddenly be thrown out the window.  I always believed that I would freely pay any expense we could afford in order to provide my children with advantages for succeeding in life, especially when it came to education.  Yet, over the past few years, I’ve been questioning many of my ideals previously thought of as sacred and automatic.  The most recent one has been whether my children need an expensive education.


cost of education


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Side Hustling 101: Why You Need To Start A Blog TODAY

I was reading a post yesterday that asked for comments about money epiphanies and what has changed in our life since then.  One of the first things that came to mind (besides paying off a ton of debt) was how I created this blog.  The original purpose of it was to document our journey, with the hope that it would make money.  However, blogging has become such an integral piece of my efforts to escape debt, achieve balance, and reach financial semi-independence.  And the benefits go beyond pennies for page views . . .


side hustle start a blog


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Why We’re Not Having A First Birthday Party

My youngest is about to turn one year old. I ran into a friend at daycare the other day, who asked about plans for his birthday party. She seemed genuinely confused when I told her that we are not having a party for him. Why in the world would we not celebrate our baby’s first birthday party? I gave her a vague answer and excused myself to go fetch my children. If there had been time or I had a desire to more-fully explain myself, I could have given her plenty of reasons to skip out on this typical parenting responsibility.


save money kids parenting


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