Financial Independence, Fight Club and the Mindless Consumer Zombie Narrative

I know you’ve heard this one before: the narrative of “working a job you hate to buy things you don’t need to impress people you don’t like.” It’s what I’ve come to call the Fight Club narrative, a distinct strand of the FI movement that posits consumerism as public enemy number 1. And while it’s a compelling narrative, here’s my case for why it’s harmful, and what we should be talking about instead. Continue reading Financial Independence, Fight Club and the Mindless Consumer Zombie Narrative

$100 to Spend, or a Day of Retirement? Think in Days, Not Dollars, to Speed Your Progress

Vicki Robin’s book Your Money or Your Life had a huge impact on how I view money, asking us to equate money we might spend with the life force it represents, in other words, the time it took to earn it. And while that’s a great starting point for shifting our thinking about money and spending, I have a different proposal for how we should think of that money to speed our progress toward financial independence, focusing not on how long the money took to earn, but on how much time it buys us back. Continue reading $100 to Spend, or a Day of Retirement? Think in Days, Not Dollars, to Speed Your Progress

Calculating Our "Enough" -- Determining the Numbers Behind Our Financial Independence and Early Retirement Plan

How We Calculated Our “Enough” Number for Early Retirement

Today I’m (finally) sharing something that I’ve wanted to write about for a long time, but haven’t tackled because there is no easy formula: how to determine what is “enough” to save for early retirement. “Enough” is perhaps the centrally important concept to early retirement, but it can feel overwhelming to quantify your own. Here’s a breakdown on how we calculated ours, and how you can do the same for your own circumstances. Continue reading How We Calculated Our “Enough” Number for Early Retirement

The Dose Makes the Poison // Radical Moderation in Frugality, Saving and Spending -- not trying to save too fast or spend too perfectly en route to financial independence or early retirement

The Dose Makes the Poison // Radical Moderation in Frugality, Saving and Spending

There’s a principle in medicine that the dose makes the poison. Which means, very few substances are good or bad for us no matter what. Instead, what matters is how much of them we take. And it’s exactly the same with money. It’s easy to make symbols of things like buying lattes or paying for cable, but those behaviors aren’t objectively a problem. What might be the problem, however, is the dose. Why we’re big believers in focusing on the dose, in context, and embracing a sense of radical moderation. Continue reading The Dose Makes the Poison // Radical Moderation in Frugality, Saving and Spending

OurNextLife.com // Why “Saving Money” Usually Means Spending Money, and the Mindset We Foster Instead // avoiding the trap of chasing deals and seeing spending as "saving"

Why “Saving Money” Usually Means Spending Money, and the Mindset We Foster Instead

It is a natural thing to want to save money, and those of us pursuing huge financial goals innately find the idea of saving even more powerful. The problem comes when marketers deliberately blur the line between saving and spending, convincing us we’re doing one when really we’re doing the other. Today, recognizing when saving money is actually spending money, and how to keep the focus on the saving itself. Continue reading Why “Saving Money” Usually Means Spending Money, and the Mindset We Foster Instead

That Thing? You Don't Need It // Invest in things that add value to your life, not things that just add cache.

You Don’t Need That Thing // On Cachet Vs. Value

We are not the poster children for frugality or for minimalism, but we are constantly surrounded by people who have bought all these things. And we want to shout: you don’t need any of it! It only makes you look like you are good at something, versus actually being good at it. Here’s how we learned to separate the things that only add cachet from the things that add actual value to our lives. Continue reading You Don’t Need That Thing // On Cachet Vs. Value