Pets Are Family Too

When we were travelling a lot we didn’t have pets. We always felt like the kids were missing out, but the practicality¬† of moving every couple of years meant that it would be unfair on animals to move them as well. As recent events have shown flying with animals has inherent risks.

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The Social Network

One of the biggest issues with not having a 9-5 job is that you immediately lose access to a a large social circle. Typically in a work group the people you interact with will provide a diverse pot of opinions, interests and thoughts. It’s likely they will take you out of the bubble of your usual friend circle.

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Art for Art’s Sake

Money for God’s sake (a little 10cc there for our older readers).

One of Portland’s odditys (who knew this town had odditys?) is the annual Arts Tax. This is a $35 tax levied on all adults in order to fund local arts programs and K-5 music and art programs.

So far so normal. The main difference is that this is not levied out of property taxes, local income taxes or a sales tax. Instead we have to literally pay $35 to the city each year.

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Kids and Money

Introducing kids to money sensibly and responsibly I think is an important part of any family’s DNA. Natural instinct is for kids to have anything they want and to shower them with gifts and presents, however it is also important they don’t become spoiled.

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February Financial Update

February was a crazy month. At one point the major markets were all down over 10%, which is an official correction. Things picked up a bit at the end of the month (although March has not started out well), but it looks like the good times might be over.

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Our Cheapest Meals

Cooking for yourself is one of the best ways of saving money. A lot of people eat out multiple times a week which with a family of 4 can be very expensive, a minimum of $40-$50 a meal if you avoid fast food. If you go higher end you can be looking at $100.

We are not huge eaters, breakfast is usually cereal or toast. The kids take sandwiches to school and our lunch at home is usually sandwiches or soup. So really when we are talking about costly meals we are considering dinners mainly.

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A Taxing Situation

I did our taxes yesterday. Let me be honest I enjoy doing our taxes, it’s the one time during the year when I can effectively do a “State of the Union” for our finances. This was more critical before we FIRe’d but even now it’s useful to see how things are doing.

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Vacation, Vacation, Vacation

For the frugal family on a budget, vacations are one of the trickiest things to balance. On the one hand it’s important to expose the children to different cultures and experiences. However it is also a potentially expensive proposition.

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The “R” in FIRE

So the “R” in FIRE stands for Retire, but what actually does retire mean. To different people it can mean different things from stopping working all together to having the time to pursue any passion projects or jobs you are interested in.

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The Cordcutters Guide to the Olympics.

When we moved to Portland, one of the things we were adamant about was that we weren’t going to carry a cable contract. Cable is expensive and it also comes with long term contracts.

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