When Mr. MMM and I decided to blend our lives together, that meant combining animals. That puts us at a total of 2 dogs and 2 cats. They outnumber the humans in our house by 1. The cats are fairly innocuous, but the dogs are big and hairy. And unfortunately, they both have anxiety and allergies to boot. Needless to say, this can be a handful. Over the past few weeks, I noticed that one of our famous Mad Money Pups started to shed excessively. At first I thought nothing of it, thinking it might’ve been the recent change in food. However, since he never exhibited food allergies before, and since we’re currently experiencing sub-zero temperatures in our little corner of the world, I finally decided it was odd that he be shedding so much. Our green couch, now white. After considering everything, I picked up the phone and called our vet to make an appointment.
Now that the holidays are behind us, I’ve been working like crazy around the house to get all of our glorious decorations tucked away for next year. That sounded really good, but in reality I moved our decorated Christmas trees into our storage room, minus the balls :) I like to work smarter, not harder. Ha! That being said, I’ve also been getting every corner of our house back to tip-top shape. Being a minimalists, it’s very difficult for me to see stuff all over the place. Mission has finally been accomplished! The house is clean and in order and as I put the last load of laundry into the washer today, I realized how little laundry detergent I use compared to the manufacturer’s recommendation. At that moment I coined a new phrase: The Rule of Half.
A new year is upon us and that probably means you’re taking inventory of your life and making some new goals for 2017. Whether you’re deeply in debt or already on the path to financial freedom, there is usually always room for improvement. Mr. MMM and I haven’t always been on the FIRE (financial independence retire early) path. In fact, there were many years that we each spent in debt and blindly floating through life on paths we were not particularly happy to be on. What changed? Lots of stuff. We faced our debts head on, we decided what we truly valued in life and decided to go for it, and then…we met each other! Read more about our frugal 2015 wedding here! So, whether you’re married, single, doing well, or drowning in debt, this post has something for you! Read on for some quick financial wins for the new year. Yes it’s cliché, but I’m going to say it anyway…New year, new financial you!
I noticed something this weekend. Even though we are on the road mostly not taken to early retirement, we do not want for anything. At the beginning of the month we sit down to make a map for our money. I use the term, map, because it’s a loosey-goosey budget. We certainly don’t take the Dave Ramsey approach of every dollar, on paper, on purpose-although we think it’s great for the people who can make it work. It’s way too restrictive for us and, inevitably, we can never foresee every little expense that will come our way in any given month (think: a doctor’s visit and medication, ugh). Instead, we choose certain items and events that we want to purchase or attend at the beginning of each month. After allocating cash for our fixed bills and investments, we devote a certain amount of money to be used for entertainment. After that, we analyze Each. And. Every. Purchase. Any leftover Benjamins get shuffled into our taxable investment account in preparation for our next buy-and-hold real estate purchase. Yes! I swear this gets me more excited than buying a new pair of shoes!
Spending money doesn’t always come easy when you’re dedicated to early retirement. Since hopping on this bandwagon we have become increasingly more aware of where every dollar goes and where every dollar could go. In a concerted effort to retire in 2021, our household has cut all frivelous spending from our non-budget. Every frivelous expense is axed in an effort to pay off debt and increase investments. There are, however, a few exceptions…