What are your trade-offs?

Essentially all of life is a trade-off: when we say yes to something, we’re saying no to something else. We trade our time and energy 40 hours a week at our jobs in exchange for a paycheck, which means saying no to the myriad of other things we could or would rather be doing during that time.

When we say yes to an evening in reading a book or watching tv, we say no to an evening out somewhere or spending time with friends. And vice versa.

When we stay up late writing blog posts, we say no to getting more sleep. Ahem, I digress. Continue reading “What are your trade-offs?”

What I learned from my meditation experiment

At the end of last month I wrote about how I was going to start meditating every day for the month of November. Remember how I said I was making it an experiment, not a challenge, because that way I couldn’t fail?

Friends, if this had been a challenge, I would’ve failed miserably.

I missed a few days here and there in the first two weeks, and over Thanksgiving I didn’t meditate a single day. I’m still at over 50% success rate for the month so far, but I don’t know that it’s much higher than 50%.

Luckily though, this was an experiment, which means I haven’t actually failed! In addition to not-failing, my month of haphazard meditation has actually taught me way more than I was expecting. Continue reading “What I learned from my meditation experiment”

The secret life of a FIRE blogger

Lucky for me, there’s a pretty convenient bus route that runs near my apartment and takes me quite a few places in this city. It’s a good way to get to multiple big nightlife areas, places I’ve been to countless times over the years. That means I’ve taken that bus quite a few times, including a lot of nights where I was drunk and headed home way too late (after having forgotten yet again that nothing good happens after 2 am so just go home earlier!). I vividly remember hopping on that bus a few years ago around 3 am in costume, on my way home from a friend’s Halloween party. Continue reading “The secret life of a FIRE blogger”

The intersection of money and mental health

While this is ostensibly a personal finance/financial independence blog, I don’t want it to be strictly about money. I tell a lot of stories about my life to illustrate points, that yes, are related to personal finance, but I want to continue talking about travel, food, privilege, mindsets, habits, and my ridiculous collection of brightly-colored flats. This blog is about my journey, which involves way more than the cold, hard numbers of grocery price comparisons.

Here’s a big thing I haven’t talked about yet: I deal with depression and anxiety. Continue reading “The intersection of money and mental health”

Of lemons and rice: a price comparison of pantry staples

Ah, Trader Joe’s. The bargain store spoken of in hushed tones of reverence usually reserved for sacred spaces and museum exhibitions of old masters (or no, is that just me speaking as an history nerd?).

Despite the many glowing reviews, I can probably count on one hand the number of times I’ve shopped at TJ. The closest one to me was either in Virginia or a drive halfway across the city. I’m a fundamentally lazy person at heart but paradoxically living here has made me quite the city slicker: walking a mile or two is way less work in my opinion than having to get in the car to drive somewhere (and losing the prime parking spot I usually snag on my block). Plus I generally refuse to drive across this city on principle. Continue reading “Of lemons and rice: a price comparison of pantry staples”

October 2017: the calm before November’s spending storm

This month I visited the west coast for the first time, got a part-time weekend job, and tried (and in some cases failed) to resist the urge to spend money.

I also went hiking a bunch (fall foliage yay!), bought a plane ticket for the second month in a row (super unusual for me), and got yet another reminder of how much I love my car! Continue reading “October 2017: the calm before November’s spending storm”

Some of the things I’ve bought over the years

(aka Amazon is sometimes a dangerous game)

I’ve talked before about how I’m a natural spender. I’ve been noticing a tendency lately to want to buy things—and I succumbed and bought two prints the other day. At some point I’m going to run out of wall space for those, but I suspect it’ll be that event that makes me finally stop, not some act of self control on my part.

I had a tab open earlier today for a pine-scented candle. It took me a few minutes to blink, take a second look at that tab, and close it out. I’ve got a bunch of candles. Hell, I have the supplies to make my own. I don’t need an expensive holiday-scented candle, as fantastic as that would smell. I’ve got better things to do with my money. But I still had that tab open. Continue reading “Some of the things I’ve bought over the years”