Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Boredom, Cognitive Ability, and the Mental Retirement Effect

Boredom, Cognitive Ability, and the Mental Retirement Effect
Anybody bored these days? Me, neither. Things have been moving a good-but-hectic pace the last few months. Between all our house stuff, making a farmhouse table (credit to Mrs. Done by Forty for the cool stain and finish and our friends for all the distressing), work deciding to pick up out of nowhere, and learning how to maintain a pool on the fly, I don't have the gall to feel bored. At all. Every day has a list of things to keep me occupied, and I kind of like it.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Should I Stay in My Lane?

Should I Stay in My Lane?
Sorry again for the long haitus. We have been juggling a lot with unpacking, getting ready for our housewarming party, which was lovely, building a farmhouse table in time for our party guests to distress with random tools, and selling our house. In case you were wondering, we went with option 2, selling to the investor for $225k, with them paying for all the closing costs.

There are never any good excuses for not writing for three whole weeks, but I suppose these reasons are better than most that I give. We're settling back in to a normal routine and I'm aiming to publish something new every Monday until our next trip in July. Here's to making it happen.

Monday, March 27, 2017

We Up and Bought a House

We Up and Bought a House
Cayenne doing her favorite thing: chilling in the yard.
It happened: we bought a new home. And we freaking love it already. Through nights of packing boxes, selling things on eBay and craigslist, and bringing carloads of donations to Goodwill, we've managed to get all our worldly possessions from one house to another thanks to some good friends, a couple pizzas, and a lot of hoppy beer. I'm writing this post from the back porch with my dog and a beverage, and it's downright idyllic. 

Monday, March 6, 2017

Financial Resolutions

We're now into March, which is about the time when I realize that this is not the year that I'm going to finally lose those fifteen pounds, or learn to play guitar, and I'm going to be the same, overweight, non-musical slob I was last year.

Now, maybe you're one of those annoying people who "betters themselves" and "uses an accountability partner" and "doesn't eat four doughnuts for breakfast" which, if so, good for you. I am not one of those people. Still, I set goals each and every year, even if all past evidence points to me falling short again.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

How Millennials Are Changing The Way We Handle Money

How Millennials are Changing the Way We Handle Money

The following is a guest post authored by Jessica Cooper.

Born from the 1980s to the turn of the century, Millennials are careful with their money, but unlike their baby boomer parents, they're had to manage their money in tough economic times. Many of them put off marriage because they can't cope with the expense of a wedding - they also can't bear to be seen to be doing anything in half measures.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Backloaded Traditional IRA?

Backloaded Traditional IRA?
Not that Ira.
Disclaimer: the following post includes discussion of both taxes and investments, two painfully boring topics that are liable to put you to sleep. It is strongly recommended that you drink no fewer than two espressos prior to reading this blog post, and wait at least an hour before operating a motor vehicle or heavy machinery. Additionally, nothing contained below constitutes tax or investment advice.

We just filed our taxes, and got back about seven hundred dollars. This is just as we'd hoped for: to land within spitting distance of what we owe. With a couple of rental properties that might have unexpected expenses, and whose tenants might vacate unexpectedly, too, it's tough to predict a whole year's income and expenses ahead of time.

Monday, February 20, 2017

The Unsustainable American Dream

The Unsustainable American Dream
I like thinking about cliche stuff. Like what it means to be middle class, and how we're supposed to feel when we get there. And what it means when we talk about "the American Dream," since we spend so much of our lives pursuing it.

Personally, I think the American Dream means providing a better life for your kids than the life you had. We're most often talking about economics: we want our kids to have a better chance at a successful career, to be able to afford a college education, to buy a home, and to live a comfortable life.

Monday, February 6, 2017

2016 Was the Worst (Our Annual Spending)

Of all the terrible things that happened in 2016, with Russia and the head of the FBI openly messing with our elections, and the president of the Philippines calling Obama "the son of a whore" like it's no big deal, and a sixty eight year old Peyton Manning somehow winning another Super Bowl, the worst thing of all may have been all the money we spent last year.

Maybe I'm too self-centered.

Let's just get in to it. 

Monday, January 30, 2017

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Should I Stay or Should I Go?
I have a recap in the works for our Asia trip, but I'm working on a new format (and website) for that post, so you'll have to wait to suffer through my amateur photographs and mundane anecdotes. But in the interim, please step into our latest, ongoing mental anguish: whether we should stay in our current home, or move to a new one.

I know we've written about this in the past, and came to a decision that we thought was firm: to renovate our current home and make it pretty. And low and behold, we hem, we haw, and question our past selves. So why not crowd-source our living situation?

Come on. It'll be fun.

Monday, January 16, 2017

The Leap Away from Work

We're finally back from Asia, which was lovely. I'll have a summary next week, but today I have a quick post on leaping away from work.

I’m finishing Tess Vigeland’s Leap, which is maybe the best book I read in 2016. It documents her decision to leave the big, fancy job hosting Marketplace Weekend, without a specific plan for what would come next. No job lined up. Not starting a charity or a business or writing a novel: just an understanding that what she was doing wasn’t working all that well anymore, and that something needed to change. A real leap, without knowing where she would land.