About

This website is for anyone aspiring to a financially independent lifestyle while simultaneously trying to pursue a triple bottom line, which equally values people, planet, and profit (3P). While this is not a common consideration on the path to financial independence (FI), I’ve seen and heard enough comments on popular FI websites, group Facebook pages, and podcasts to know that I am not alone in this sentiment. There is very little on the internet to offer guidance to those of us working towards FI who would like to be mindful of how our investments and actions impact our planet as well as all the people and animals who share it with us. I created this website to crowdsource ideas, resources, and inspiration for all of us seeking a 3P lifestyle.

ABOUT ME

Hi, I’m Laura. I had a pretty mainstream North American childhood, living in middle-class suburbia mostly oblivious to the downstream effects of my actions. Once I got to college, where I majored in international studies, my horizons began to broaden exponentially. Studying abroad led to service as a Peace Corps volunteer, grad school, and then a US Department of State Fellowship, which propelled me on to jobs that required me to visit and collaborate with people in numerous developing countries as well as marginalized communities right here in the United States.

Along the way a budding interest in the Slow Food movement as well as my desire to be outside more getting to know my neighbors after I bought my first home in Washington, DC (along with the free seedlings my City Council member gave away at his annual picnics) led me to start gardening. This proved beneficial on multiple fronts. Not only did I interact a great deal more with my neighbors, I grew my own food. That eventually led to my discovery of permaculture, which greatly influences my thoughts and actions today.

Somehow in about 2010, while I was living and working in Washington, D.C. I found myself reading The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris. The examples and ideas in this book appealed to my nomadic, free spirit and provided the catalytic spark for a paradigm shift in my thinking about how life could be lived. Soon afterwards, I was able to convince my employer to allow me to quit my full-time job and hire me as a part-time consultant. To compensate for the reduction in income I got a roommate, the rent from which almost completely covered my mortgage.

Three years later, in search of a life in a more affordable location with better weather I sold my house and spent two years exploring the southwest. I camped, Couchsurfed, house-sat, and crashed with friends and family all over the region. Even my strong case of wanderlust and love of hiking though, couldn’t overcome my desire to nurture my own garden and integrate myself into a supportive like-minded community. In the end, I ultimately decided to settle right back where my journey started before I left for the Peace Corps 25 years ago in St. Petersburg, Florida.

I’m not pursuing FI in the mainstream way of investing in index funds or real estate and then planning to retire early and live according to the 4% rule. Instead, I’m aiming to create multiple streams of passively and actively generated income to cover my monthly expenses in addition to the solid financial foundation I’ve already established. A key priority of mine is to align my financial investments with my values. That means emphasizing environmentally and socially conscious as well as local investing.  I am single, childless, in my late forties, and carry no debt. The house is paid for and I earn regular rental income by having a roommate. I’m also exploring various side hustles, which I’ll share in more detail in other sections. I’ve put away some money in my retirement accounts, including a self-directed IRA, as well as a small emergency fund. Today, I find myself somewhere between agency (according to J.D. Roth’s six stages of financial freedom) and lean FI, with a strong emphasis on frugality and the triple bottom line.

Personal Disclaimer: I am a work in progress. As much as I want to make decisions that equally value people, planet, and profit, I’m not perfect and I don’t always manage or choose to do it. I’m not judging anyone who isn’t walking this  path either. I just wanted to create a space for people who are interested in this topic. So internet police I’m putting that out here for the record…..

8 thoughts on “About”

  1. You make me feel it is possible to create a simple way of looking at my personal finances, which for me, are not based on the US dollar, but on the services I provide with my time and labor to share this planet softly and not have a direct impact on such a vulgar exchange as money.
    Your stories, and the way I know you personally, give me great hope for changing my point of view about the almighty dollar.
    I look forward to your next email.

    1. Thanks, Cristy. I appreciate your perspective and have experienced it myself at times. My preference (like yours) will always be to secure goods and services through a time bank, swap meet, barter circle, local Buy Nothing Group, etc. Not only does this eliminate the need for money it strengthens community and in some cases reduces the need to ship an item and eliminates more packaging materials. These days for the times that I do need to buy something I’m trying to view money more as an exchange of energy and load my side of the exchange with intentionality and positivity. I view every dollar I spend as a vote for something (and often against many other things) so I try as often as possible to direct my spending towards sustainable and/or local purchases that enrich my life and my community while doing as little harm as possible to the planet and others and hopefully even improving things.

  2. Hi Laura,
    I just found your blog through your guest post via the Your Money or Your Life site, and I am super-psyched. I’ve been thinking lately about how I have the basics down, but I need to up my game. I need to up my financial independence game (and finally make that leap from Stability to Agency), to up my garden game and grow more of my own food (the primary topic of my blog), and– most recently– to really think hard about my footprint and do a better job of ensuring my actions benefit my community and environment. I look forward to trolling your site a bunch more! 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for commenting and introducing yourself, Maria. I love gardening and am always delighted to connect online and in person with fellow gardeners and nature lovers. I am delighted you’ll be trolling my site. I look forward to doing the same on yours and walking this more sustainably-minded path to financial independence together.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *