Liz Thames published her book Meet the Frugalwoods: Achieving Financial Independence Through Simple Living. It took me a while to get around to reading it (for reasons that I’ll mention later), but I’m glad I finally did. I discovered several things I did not previously know about their journey that impacted me in a meaningful way and that will inform our journey for some time.
Too often the narrative around financial independence focuses on depriving oneself of purchases so that you can increase your savings rate. While I agree with the essence of this discourse, it has a gaping hole of HOW. How do you go about reversing some of the most ingrained habits and behaviors? In my opinion, there’s no better way to help you change your behavior on the journey to financial independence than to leverage gamification.
Living in a high cost of living area or urban environment can be very expensive. But it does not have to be. If you are intentional, you can enjoy all of the perks of the great location without sacrificing your long-term aspirations. We’re on our way to achieving financial independence and our location has actually played a big part in that. We believe that living in a high cost of living area has actually allowed us to fast track our journey to FI.
Since discovering financial independence, I have begun to redefine my life’s priorities, including expectations around the size of our home. Adjusting your perspective is never easy, and my expectation around our home size is no exception. A big part of this transformation has been applying the financial independence concept of “enough” to these deep-rooted expectations around our home. As part of this change, I have gone from always wanting more to now understanding our home as a mansion. We have more than enough.
Over the past few years, my organization has grown rapidly and it has forced me to consider getting a Master of Business Administration (MBA). It originated out of a feeling of insecurity that I couldn’t be successful without a related degree. Many of my peers in similar nonprofits have either an MBA or MPA, so maybe it was time for me to do the same. Here’s what I was able to figure out.