Keeping a Budget

Firstly, apologies for the long hiatus. A mixture of moving into our new house, getting the kids set up for school and general settling in meant it was impractical to keep the blog going on a regular basis through the summer. The plan from now on, though, is to write twice a week.

Now that we are settled into a more normal routine, we have set up a budgeting system this is how it works:

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It’s Food Week on the Financial Blogs!

A lot of the financial blogs are talking about food this week so here is my take. Don’t worry, I won’t be posting food porn pictures.

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Moving Teenagers

Buy a car … check
Buy a house … check
Sign the children up for the next school year … check
Join the library and start getting to know the city … check
Start volunteering in the community … check
Find a way to get my teenager involved with new friends … ermmmmmm

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First Week Finances

We have now been in Portland a week! We are currently staying with family, so the biggest financial concerns this week were a house and a car; the two largest expenses most families deal with. Continue reading

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The Journey to Financial Independence.

Clearly it takes a certain mindset to become financially independent, and the earlier you start the better.  There are several ways to achieve it, and our way is not the only way. I’ll expand on some of these points in coming weeks, but this is how we did it.

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Leaving Home

Not until you leave your home do you appreciate what you had.  As we slowly say goodbye to our favorite haunts I pause to reflect on how much fun we have had in this city.  This is the first city our children have really known, the first house they will remember forever, the first place where they played in the park with friends without parents around.  Catherine biked all over the neighborhood, at one point driving so dangerously that a Mum and very dear friend let me know.  Ironically a few years later I had to tell the same Mum that her son was doing the same on his bike.  I remain uncertain whether it is better to live all over the world or to live in the same place as you grow up.  What my own children have gained in new experiences and independence, they have lost in not having the security and comfort of constant home and friends.

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What is Financial Independence Retire Early (FIRE)?

Put simply, financial independence is the ability to live in an appropriate level of comfort without having to rely on income from a traditional 9-5 job. Thus you need to have a nest egg that is large enough to support your lifestyle.

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‘The Path Less Traveled By’

A year ago we had a choice of two paths, and we took the path less traveled by, and hope that will make all the difference.  To give up two  well-paying jobs, consistent income, and excellent health insurance for an uncertain future and impending college expenses is questionable at best, but here we are.  I suppose the ultimate question is,

“What is life all about?”

Over time our lives became so dominated by work and making money that our definition of life revolved around work.  Only when we were forced to stop and evaluate what we wanted did we recognize that our lives had taken a course we did not like.  So we quit!  We washed our hands of the oil industry and decided to retire to Portland, Oregon.  Perhaps in Portland we will find out what life truly means, at least for us.  Everyone has his or her own definition and we are still seeking ours.



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