Church of FI- Killin’ it cooking, cuttin’ bills and August expense reports

Cooking FI-style

Some people are just good cooks. After cutting out restaurant expenses two years ago, Mr. TJL and I are well on our way to cooking the best food in town. We aren’t naturally good, though. We have searched out and tried many new recipes. Some have been complete failures (or maybe it’s just our execution?).

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Kid’s Ledger – Teaching Children About Money

Welcome back to the Kid’s Ledger, a section especially dedicated to cause my child future embrassment. I usually use this space to spin some tale about my child and then tie it loosely back into to some lesson about personal finance.

 Patty Moore writes at Working Mother Life, a blog about managing a career while being a single mother. She covers a variety of topics including parenting, family finances, and work-life balance.

In today’s guest post, she offers useful advice and tips about how and when to introduce children to responsible money management.

Thanks Patty!

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The Big Scratch – September 2017 Net Worth Report

As mentioned in last month’s Big Scratch, we had a garage sale to help cover the cost of some home maintenance this fall. We made a whopping $255! This should cover a 5-gallon can of paint and some brushes.

Luckily, we also have a friend who has a summer business washing windows. Since he will be starting his winter gig soon, he offered us use of all his ladders, power washer, and sander. This should save us significantly in rental fees.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:

Community is an effective wealth preserver!

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The Ledger –August 2017 expense reports

Holy Sock!

Achieving financial independence early isn’t easy. You don’t need an exceptional income to do it, but you do need exceptional dedication to the process (and PATIENCE; lots and lots of patience).

Many believe that we can only aim for FI because I make a healthy salary, and while that is true, our household income is only slightly above average. There are lots of people with a lesser combined income that have the same lofty FI goals.

I want to emphasize, though, that our real progress is due to something far more powerful; controlling our expenses.

This is the main reason that this blog focuses so much on expense reports.

At the beginning of our journey to FIRE, we cut our spending by about half . This has by far been the most powerful tool to increasing our savings rate to nearly 70%. In fact, we are on track to saving $80,000 this year because of it.

Additionally, we haven’t suffered day-to-day at all. Instead we have thrived.

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Church of FI- Real Estate obsession and August 2017 expense reports

I have long been obsessed with real estate. After buying my first house in 2005, we pretty much tore up and replaced every floor, refinished every door, and painted every wall. After that, we remodeled the bathroom and the kitchen to our taste (which is unfortunately only our taste). Seriously, no one else would like it, think mint green and doo-doo brown.

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Church of FI – Guest Post from Dollar Diligence

I am pretty unfamiliar with student debt and side hustles, so I was delighted when Jacob of Dollar Diligence offered to write a guest post of his experiences paying down his student loan debt.

Jacob is a high school teacher, who destroyed $33,000 of debt in 18 months after having a money epiphany.  After a change in attitude and lifestyle, he become debt free and is working his way through various financial goals.

The clock to financial independence starts when net worth equals zero! It is easier to get to zero when you eliminate or significantly decrease your debt! A side hustle might be just the ticket.

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The Big Scratch – August 2017 Net Worth Report

I am on a mission to get rid as much crap as I can, so this month we will be having a garage sale! I have spent considerable time this summer, cleaning out the kitchen, the closets, and opening drawers that I have not opened in years. There’s no telling how much we will actually sell, but anything leftover is going straight to charity.

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The Ledger –July 2017 expense reports

We had better than average income in July due to an uptick in the art business. Mr. TJL sold a few commissioned pieces and several pieces in local galleries. Whenever we sell in a gallery, we incur fees that can be 15 – 40% of the sales price. Some of these places take quite a chunk.

We might have outgrown our hometown. A few scouting trips early next year, might reveal better opportunities to get exposure and lower commission fees! We also like the idea of participating in regional summer festivals to get sales up more!

But first, we need to fix our camper (again!).

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Church of FI- Podcasts and July 2017 expense reports

I found a few new blogs to add to the Church of FI this month. I continue to be on the lookout for other blogs that share monthly expenses. Please leave any suggestions in the comments.

Millennial Revolution published a great post on spending habits and reducing “green and yellow” zone spending to increase overall happiness. I could not agree with them more. I personally went through a decluttering of my expenses over two years ago and since have watch my net worth double! This is such a powerful exercise, everyone should try to get down to optimum spending and ideal happiness levels. Stress corrodes your life! The number one stressor? Money problems. Take control now.

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Kid’s Ledger – Developing Financial Intelligence (and basic competence, dammit!)

“Ugh, not another one of these.”

This past year in school, Little Miss learned about commerce. She became particularly interested in marketplaces and started making all sorts of crap to sell.

She tried to sell us, her customer base, scraps of paper and weird little creatures made out of foam paper called sushi monsters (love the name by the way, hated having them all over my house). Then she priced all the stuff in our house and tried to sell it back to us. Even the dog was for sale.

Dog for sale only $5!

This particular dog is always trying to find a new home anyway, so why not get a little money for it.

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