Going Confidently and Joyfully Rogue on the Path to Financial Independence

Back in March Mr. Money Mustache (MMM), probably the most well-known FIRE blogger, penned a post he titled Money and Confidence Are Interchangeable. (Make sure to check out his Recipe for Badass Confidence towards the end of his post.) In this article he gives some examples from his own life to make the case that a person who has enough confidence could quit a job s/he doesn’t like to pursue work s/he does enjoy and make enough money to live a comfortable, happy life. MMM notes that since many people lack this confidence they stick with a well-paying job that makes them miserable because they fear they’ll be unable to create sufficient income streams on their own doing work that’s meaningful to them. Continue reading “Going Confidently and Joyfully Rogue on the Path to Financial Independence”

Looking Beyond Financial Capital on the Path to Financial Independence

The most well known and sought after form of capital is financial capital. Yet, there are a number of other forms of capital and they are almost never mentioned in the FIRE realm. Admittedly, they are for the most part less tangible and fungible, but they are forms of capital that are convertible inputs into financial capital. In fact, it seems to me all financial capital, at least initially, came about as a result of the conversion of another form of capital into money or financial capital. Combining different types of capital creates value. Creating value is the basis of creating wealth. While they don’t necessarily fit easily into spreadsheets, opening our eyes and minds to these other forms of capital can bring us closer to true financial freedom as well as a more joyful, meaningful life. Continue reading “Looking Beyond Financial Capital on the Path to Financial Independence”

My Guest Post on the Your Money or Your Life Blog

I was honored and delighted to be invited by Vicki Robin, co-author of the seminal and paradigm shifting book Your Money or Your Life (YMOYL), to submit the first guest post on her new blog.  YMOYL is one of the books most frequently referenced in the FIRE (financial independence/retire early) realm. It certainly had a strong impact on my life when I read it almost ten years ago.

Happy Reading….

 

Social Capital – an overlooked lever on the path to FIRE

Many of us pursuing financial independence and desiring to retire early are constantly checking spreadsheets, prowling the internet for more life hacks and optimization strategies, and sidehustling our way to greater savings. One thing I don’t hear discussed much in the FI world is the concept of social capital and what a tremendous lever it can be on our path to financial independence. It became clear to me this weekend when I made a presentation to my local ChooseFI group on the topic of building social capital how few people in the room were familiar with this terminology and line of thinking. Continue reading “Social Capital – an overlooked lever on the path to FIRE”

The Problem is the Solution – Waste Stream Diversion Part III

Fear sells so the media and advertisers inundate us with messages of scarcity. Having peered into many dumpsters and watched numerous documentaries on the subject of waste it seems to me that the real issue, which gets far less attention, is poor distribution and reuse of the abundance that surrounds us. Our current version of capitalism as well as the limiting beliefs under which many of us operate discourage the re-directing of so many still usable items from food to furniture to essentially everything that gets thrown out. Continue reading “The Problem is the Solution – Waste Stream Diversion Part III”

Sustainable Side Hustles – Waste Stream Diversion Part II

So much of what ends up in the trash may not be needed by the person throwing it away, but could easily be put to use by somebody else. Unfortunately, capitalism often makes it more economically viable for businesses and people to throw things away than to re-direct them to people and businesses that could use them. My rationale for dumpster diving melds my environmental concern with the obvious economic benefit of obtaining much of the food I eat, the clothes I wear, and many other items for free. In fact, I find so many still usable items of value in the trash that I am able to generate a couple thousand dollars every year selling this “waste.” Continue reading “Sustainable Side Hustles – Waste Stream Diversion Part II”

From Diplomat to Dumpster Diver – Waste Stream Diversion Part I

Okay, so the title is technically accurate, but I primarily used it for its alliteration and click-bait potential. For two and a half years I carried an official diplomatic passport issued by the U.S. government when I represented my country at an embassy overseas during my stint as a Fascell Fellow with the State Department. After that, I moved to Washington, DC., where I lived for eleven years. It was during this time that I first heard about and went dumpster diving. Continue reading “From Diplomat to Dumpster Diver – Waste Stream Diversion Part I”

(Slow) Food Launches a Triple Bottom Line FI Investing Journey

I will always be grateful to the friend, who introduced me to Slow Food. (She also opened my eyes to Jack Kerouac, WXPN.org radio in Phili, and so many other cool things.) My involvement with this international movement prompted me to start gardening in earnest and evenetually led to me volunteering at the amazing, mind-blowing, waist-enlarging bi-annual event that is Terra Madre held in Turin, Italy. Imagine spending a long weekend in a huge conference facility filled with unique heritage foods and the beautiful people producing these foods from around the world: tasting these delicious foods, discussing the challenges facing these food producers, and building cross-cultural friendships. Continue reading “(Slow) Food Launches a Triple Bottom Line FI Investing Journey”

My Triple Bottom Line Path to Financial Independence (FI) So Far…

I was fortunate to grow up with pretty frugal, thrifty, financially responsible influences around me. My parents and grand parents lived well within their means and other than mortgages for homes they lived in and possibly car notes didn’t tend to carry much debt. I realized that I had grown into someone with a strong aversion to debt when I completed 3 years of service as a Peace Corps volunteer plus one post-college year of study at a university overseas and could no longer defer the $13,000 in student loan debt I had accumulated during my days as an undergraduate student. Continue reading “My Triple Bottom Line Path to Financial Independence (FI) So Far…”

Why Not Just Invest in SRI (Socially Responsible Investing) Index Funds and Call It a Day?

According to the Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment, SRI (socially responsible investing) is an “investment discipline that considers environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) criteria to generate long-term competitive financial returns and positive societal impact. Often SRI offerings avoid companies that derive profit from such things as fossil fuels, firearms, and tobacco.” This is a good start, but those filters, used by most SRI options don’t meet the 3P (people, planet, profit) criteria. For example, as of April 30, 2018 the top ten holdings in Vanguard’s FTSE Social Index Fund Investor Shares (VFTSX) were as follows: Continue reading “Why Not Just Invest in SRI (Socially Responsible Investing) Index Funds and Call It a Day?”