Extreme You: A Book Review And Reflections On Long-Term Career Goals

Sarah Robb O’Hagan has experienced some amazing successes in the marketing business, but she’s also made some embarrassing mistakes along the way.  Her book, Extreme You, is a guide to embracing and leveraging your individual strengths (and weaknesses) in order to be extraordinary, in pretty much any endeavor.  I loved receiving a copy of this book, in exchange for sharing my honest thoughts with all of you.

Continue Reading →

Our Unique Solution To The Problem Of How To Transport A Large Family

“You’re going to have five kids?!?”  This is what I’ve been hearing a lot of lately, in conversations that usually start with, “Is this your first?”  People seem pretty shocked at the size of our growing family and often start firing off questions about the practical issues, like whether we will have to move, will both of us parents be working, and if we’ve gone shopping for a van yet.  Well, we looked at vans, and decided that they were not the most practical solution to our dilemma of the best way to transport a large family.

Continue Reading →

A Tiny Glimpse Of Early Retirement

It has been a very strange week.  I have not reported to the office, but I’m not on vacation or at home recovering from childbirth and caring for a newborn.  My doctor took me out of work due to the risks involved with twin pregnancy.  The crazy thing is that, ideally, these babies shouldn’t be born until May – a whole month from now!  After hustling so hard, for so long, I’ve suddenly found myself with something resembling freedom.

 

Continue Reading →

Lessons Learned At 30 Weeks Pregnant With Twins

We gave quite a bit of thought into whether we should add to our family again, with three fairly young children already.  One of the reasons why we decided to “go for it” was the fact that my previous pregnancies have been fairly uneventful.  I worked full-time until the very end and gave birth to big, healthy babies that came home with me two days later.  At 30 weeks pregnant with twins, I’ve learned quite a few lessons, including that you should never, ever assume you can predict the future.

Continue Reading →

Should You Go Back To School For A Career Change?

The last few weeks of work have been really rough, even worse because I’ve now entered the third trimester of this twin pregnancy.  Before we decided to pursue early semi-retirement, I would usually start thinking about changing jobs or careers whenever work really stressed me out.  I enjoyed college, but as tempting as a change might be, we’re still paying off my loans from attending graduate school.  While making a career change with further education wasn’t a good decision for our financial situation, that doesn’t mean that others might be able to use that strategy to better their life and their future.  How do you decide whether going back to school for a career change is a good idea?

Continue Reading →

They Picked The Wrong House: Our Recent Experience With A Salesman

The details of the phone call seemed a bit strange, but we were enticed by the promise of a gift card for the grocery store.  It didn’t take long to realize that we had been duped into subjecting ourselves to a sales presentation.  The “snake oil” was a water softening and purifying system, for which we were offered a “great deal” on a ten-year lease.  We’ve been purposely avoiding sales pitches for the past few years due to our mission to fix our finances, so  this experience was actually somewhat, um, interesting.

Continue Reading →

The Better Way To Track Finances In 2017

I am so proud of the way that we are destroying our debt.  It is both rewarding and motivating to see how far we’ve come in just a few short years.  Tracking financial progress can provide an immense boost of resolve to continue, and even step up, our diligence.  That is why we’re trying something new in 2017, to keep better track of our finances.

Continue Reading →

How Are We Going To Pay For College . . . With Five Kids?

Reactions to our news about expecting twins, when we already have three young kids, have been pretty interesting.  There is usually a bit of shock, followed by one or more of the following questions: (1) are you going to move, (2) are you going to buy a new vehicle, and (3) how are you going to pay for college with such a large family?  The twins were a surprise, but whether we ended up with four or five children, it would still cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to take on the entire cost of a college education.  We have a plan, consistent with our new financial priorities and definition of success, for how our children will be able to attend college.  And, it doesn’t involve any type of regular contribution to investment accounts.

 

Continue Reading →

Milestones & Aspirations: Our Goals For 2017



January is all about making goals and getting motivated for an awesome new year.  It represents a chance to start fresh and focus on moving forward, instead of worrying about setbacks from the previous twelve months.  We all have tons of things that we would like to accomplish, but some things belong on a fill-the-bucket list, for some indefinite point in the future.  My plan for 2017 is to set a few specific goals, one for each quarter.  Then, we have a bunch of more-general, aspirational ideas for how to stay true to our top priorities throughout the year.

 

Continue Reading →

New Year’s Reflections: Getting Back To The Why

This past week has brought me back to the beginning of our financial semi-independence journey.  Whereas short-term goals may help keep you focused, I find that the vision of achieving your long-term goals can light a fire.  The full picture may be somewhat unclear from this distance.  However, the confidence that something extraordinary is waiting for you in the future can provide all the motivation and drive you need to get through trying times.

 

Continue Reading →