Financial Independence

“The steeper the mountain, the harder the climb, the better the view from the finish line.”

– Unknown

The Goal: Financial Independence

Lego sons, Financial IndependenceOne of my long-term goals is Financial Independence (FI). This goal is born out of several things. On a more superficial level, I have a naturally defiant or at least contrary personality. It motivates me when I’m told ‘it can’t be done’.

The other two influences are my kids and my father. The experience of being a father and the experience of having been a son continue to drive this goal.Continue reading →

UPDATE: My Routine and a Needed Shift

A few weeks ago I gave you an inside look at what my day-to-day routine looks like. I also identified that one of the major parental problems I face is that I spend too much time propelling my kids through the day and not enough enjoying the day with them.

I’ve spent the past few weeks trying to rectify this problem. While I haven’t been wholly successful, I think I’ve made some pretty good strides. For starters they have been a lot more accommodating when it comes to our routines.

I’m not sure what changes, but getting them out the door in the mornings and through dinner time in the evenings just seems easier. They are listening better, having less meltdowns, and generally more pleasant to interact with.Continue reading →

Bonus 6th & 7th Financial Lessons from My Childhood

financial lessonsFirst let me say a huge thank you to the commenters on my recent 5 Financial Lessons from my Childhood post. The comments are really encouraging and very much appreciated.

One comment in particular struck a nerve and actually reminded me of something I had forgotten about. Cameron over at SSDD (Save Splurge Deny Debt) commented about a “rough stretch” in his childhood where money was “pretty tight”.

This reminded me of a similar rough patch my family underwent. To be honest it wasn’t all that rough, at least not from my perspective, which is why it probably didn’t stick out when I first wrote about my early financial lessons.

I do remember my dad sitting us down and explaining that our finances would be tight for a while. He told us the company he worked for wasn’t doing well and as a result we’d need to cut back.

Two lessons came out of this experience; the first was of the ‘don’t do what I did’ variety and the second, well it was a lesson that went far beyond the financial.Continue reading →

Marriage – A Reflection on 10 Years of Wedded Bliss

Lego Wedding

10 Lessons in 10 Years

Yesterday was my 10-year anniversary. After 10 years of marriage I’ve come to the conclusion that I am a very lucky guy. I mean that in two different sense of the word. To help me explain let’s look at two quotes.

“No matter what your laundry list of requirements in choosing a mate, there has to be an element of good luck and good fortune and good timing.”

– Patty Duke

When I think about all the factors that had to come together in order for my wife and I to meet and fall in love, I can’t help but think luck played some role in our relationship.Continue reading →

5 Financial Lessons from my Childhood

lego child with money, 5 financial lessons from childhoodThe Early Years

In many ways my family is the embodiment of the American Dream. We moved to America in the early 80’s when my brother and I were just kids.

The intention was to only stay for two years. However, my parents fell in love with the American way of life. They both came from lower-income backgrounds. America offered opportunity, which was exactly the environment they wanted for their children.

My father had a good job. This allowed my mom to stay home with us until we were in high school, when she returned to school herself. We lived a prototypical, middle class American life.

As a kid I was unaware that my parents were instilling financial values in me. Continue reading →