All in Alternative Lifestyle
“If you’ve got a billion dollars and you’re not grateful, you’re poor as hell.” - Tony Robbins
So it’s been a few days now since I left the Unleash the Power Within (UPW) seminar with Tony Robbins and I am still reeling. I’m a fan of Tony Robbins and found a lot of amazing insight from his book Money: Master the Game and from watching the Netflix documentary, I Am Not Your Guru, but nothing really prepared me to experience Tony Robbins live.
Give a man an education and he will build a new world, but give a man a loan and you can own that man forever.
It’s been 10 years since I graduated from grad school. I still proudly hang up my diploma because it put me on a better path for my career and my income. It was also FREE. No loans, no debt, no soul to be sold. With that, I thought I might offer some ways to help reduce debt if you are a college student or have a child that is about to head to college.
“It’s been freeing to focus on what works for me rather than what’s wrong with me.”
I just recently finished reading Gretchen Rubin’s The Four Tendencies. In the Four Tendencies, Gretchen Rubin, outlines four different personality types based on how each one deals with inner and outer expectations: Upholder, Obliger, Questioner and Rebel. By understanding our Tendency, we can harness that to find our own internal and external motivations.
“After you leave home, you may find yourself feeling homesick, even if you have a new home that has nicer wallpaper and a more efficient dishwasher than the home in which you grew up.”
Next week, my parents will complete the sale of their home and journey back to the Philippines. Whether they end up staying in the Philippines for the remainder of their retirement or come back is yet to be decided. For the past few months, our entire family has gone through the exercise of cleaning out the house that we’ve called home for the past 23 years.
I don't want to protect the environment. I want to create a world where the environment doesn't need protecting.
Back in June I launched a financial independence blog, not because I wanted to, but because I needed a way to crowdsource the information I haven't been able to find anywhere else on the internet. What is it that I couldn't find on the vast internet, where all the answers to so many of our questions are just a Google search away? Well, no search engine was able to lead me to any websites discussing how people can achieve FI while pursuing a triple bottom line, which equally values people, planet, and profit (3p). I think it can be done, but it's not as straight forward as setting up monthly automatic deposits into low-cost broad based index funds or investing in rental properties and later living off the 4% withdrawal rule, which seems to be the mainstream approach to FI currently.
“Right now, your prosperity is provided by a plentiful supply of clean air, water, food, and energy. Although some of you like to take all the credit for this, it’s really my ecosystem that does all the hard work: the plants, animals, oceans, air currents, and especially the atmosphere. Without these services, you would lose your ability to create the food and products that form your current prosperity.” - Earth, Mr. Money Mustache
My two passions of sustainable living and sustainable investing are merging as I dive deeper into making my money work for me in a way that aligns with my personal values.
“A goal should scare you a little and excite you a lot.”
This past weekend, my husband competed in his first ever half triathlon, let alone his first ever Half Ironman. To say that I am awed and inspired my him and all of the other athletes is an understatement. As I was watching the entire race play out before me, I couldn’t helping think about some of the similarities to the Journey to Financial Independence. So here are my thoughts.
We recently created these postcards as a friendly reminder of the many things we can do today to set ourselves up for financial independence. The 3 Guidelines of Personal Finance is Spend Less, Earn More and Invest the Rest. These are what I also call the 3 Wealth Building Strategies. Do all 3 and you are sure to have a sizeable nest egg to help you fulfill your dreams, but I am going to change the order a bit and actually make it Invest First, Spend Less, Earn More.
The point of FI is social enterprise. Do you agree or disagree with this statement?
Perhaps, I am being idealistic with thinking that the point of financial independence is social enterprise, but what is the point of putting yourself in a position of financial security, of having time to do what you want? Is the freedom that we all crave all for the sake of building our own islands, separate from everyone else? I would think such a life to be boring and unfulfilled.
“Most people are living in an illusion based on someone else’s beliefs.”
I was a great student in high school and mostly in college. I did what I was supposed to do. I memorized facts. I handed in work on time. Today though, I wish I wasn't a good student. What I am realizing today in my 30s is that being a good student was actually a detriment. I was so caught up in having the right answer that I barely made mistakes. I didn't fail enough to want to keep trying again. I didn't fail enough to be more resilient. I took things just as they were without questioning why. Today, I am unlearning everything.
"A big part of financial freedom is having your heart and mind free from worry about the what-ifs of life."
I recently came across an article written by Whitney Cummings on the last page of Money Magazine. She talks about her personal money management, but more importantly how she started substituting the word money for the word freedom. So I thought I would compile a list of phrases with this substitution. It's important to note that sometimes changing our language changes our mindset in a whole new way even if we haven't fully internalized it yet. Try these on for size. Speak them out loud. How does saying one versus the other make you feel?
"Our luxury baseline has changed."
This is one of those small quotes that stood out to me from The Opposite of Spoiled: Raising Kids Who Are Grounded, Generous, and Smart About Money. The quote was in context to the fact that today's and tomorrow's kids have a different baseline for luxury. Their expectations of the world are completely different from ours. Most kids growing up today have everything at their fingertips. While we should be grateful for the new luxuries available today, we should continue to instill good values that allow ourselves and our kids to appreciate the simpler ways of doing things. This is the same for us adults too.
It has always been my parents intention to retire in the Philippines. I have never known them to say otherwise. This year, they will return to our home country and setup a new life there. It’s been an eye-opening experience to watch my parents plan and finally make this goal a reality. I am happy and sad at the same time. Happy that all of their hard work will allow them to do this. Sad that we will be many time zones apart.
Doing so will allow them to take advantage of a concept called geoarbitrage.
Hindsight is always 20/20.
My sister and I (who are in our 30s) recently sat down with our 22 year old sister to talk about finances and lessons learned. This got me thinking about some of the things I would change if I could to get me to financial independence faster. Of course, these are nice to think about and perhaps if I really did come across a time machine, I may change one or two decisions, but I do have to also say that the decisions we make get us to a certain point in our lives and we just need to learn and let live.
"If I were asked to name the chief benefit of the house, I should say: the house shelters daydreaming, the house protects the dreamer, the house allows one to dream in peace.”
My husband and I just closed on a condo a few weeks ago. After a few calculations and looking at the prices in the market and towns we wanted to be in, we came with a number that we were comfortable with. When we first started the process, we met with a mortgage loan officer and provided our financials. His first statement to us was “you know you could afford more,” but we stuck to our guns and kept our original budget in place.
Someday. It's a code word for "never."
Someday, I will start saving. Someday, I will open that retirement account. Someday, I will take control of my finances. Someday...the most dangerous word in personal finance. As the old adage says, "Don't put off what you can do today!"
Here’s the kicker when it comes to the waste we produce: this is also money.
We may not realize it right away, but each item we buy not only costs us money, but costs us time. We have to start thinking about the consequences of our consumption. It is actually our consumption that is depleting our natural resources. There is an excess demand for extra stuff. This results in more being made and manufactured. The outcome is not only waste byproducts, but also wasted materials. The lifestyle of product is so short nowadays that it essentially goes from the store to our hands to the trash in a matter of days or even minutes.
There's many reasons why I wanted to start this site. You can find that here. After reading many personal finance books for women, written by women (and men), I don't think these five reasons are addressed enough. While I am all for equal gender pay, there are still some areas where men and women differ and these reasons are why we need to be addressing women's personal finances differently.
A library is infinity under a roof.
Today, I want to talk about the library. I know, for most adults, the library was probably a thing of the past. For many of us, we probably stopped going to the library after middle school or after college. With everything available on the internet, it's easy to rely on Google or Amazon for all of our information needs. I want to challenge that thinking and encourage you to get your library card and take advantage of what your local library has to offer. I think the library is one of the most underutilized resources out there. For anyone starting the FIRE journey (Financial Independence/Retire Early), don't discount the library as a tool for your journey.
"Modern society will find no solution to the ecological problem unless it takes a serious look at its lifestyle."
One of the things that we talk about a lot here and in the FIRE community is the concept of living an alternative lifestyle that focuses less on consumption. An average American will spend their day working and then consuming what they just earned without thinking about the consequences. Today, I want to bring up the Zero Waste Lifestyle.