With the New Year comes new dreams, new objectives, and new plans. In our case, this year is our new baby year, where we will focus all our energy on raising our baby girl, but there will be much, much more to come.
This is all part of our life plan. We do not plan every little bit of our life, we need some spontaneity, but the general outline greatly helps.
Since I started reading one book per week, this has been an enlightening experience and I highly recommend it to everyone. I used to read three, maybe four, books a year. Slightly better than the three American out of ten who did not pick up a book at all during the past year but still less than the 12 books per year readers go through on average.
I don’t know where you are at the moment but where we are from, it is snowing. It is snowing a lot and it will snow much, much, more in the next 4 months to come. When we were living in the city, we had an indoor garage and ever since we owned a house, we paid someone to plow our driveway.
What if we started spending all of our paychecks instead of saving half of them? What if we started living paycheck-to-paycheck without regard to savings or investments?
After all, everyone else is doing it!
With all that money, we could drive brand new cars to work. Nothing fancy but we could finance a 2018 Honda Civic sedan and, since everyone else is doing it, an SUV to go with it.
The year-end is right around the corner, leaving us a bit more than a month to finish on top. As part of our Better Self series, we explore the little things that can, over the long-run, make a big difference in your life.
Revise your finances
In this Holiday time of gifts and expenditures, it is important to keep your spending in line with tools like Mint or Personal Capital and cut the inessentials.
This week, I have been reading The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith. This 1776 masterpiece reflects upon economics, the division of labour, productivity, and free markets at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. However, even if it is centuries-old, it is still very enlightening and I highly recommend you pick up a free copy at your local library.
It got me thinking how strange it is that things you value the most for their use have often very little value in exchange and those with the greatest value of exchange have very little use.
Feeling trapped is exhausting, it can drag you down. Keep you in a slump. Once you get out of that slump, once you are free, you can finally live again.
You might feel dragged down by your student loans, car loan, or maybe you went a bit over your means with that credit card and now, you simply do not know how to get out of it.
Since we started saving over half our income, our budget has slightly changed. We now shop less, eat out less, buy less, but that’s all good things!
We buy a lot less stuff, but we value experiences a lot more anyways. We still travel a lot, eat out in amazing restaurants, and do fun activities… We just spend way less time at the mall.
In our journey to financial freedom, we face a dilemma. To reach our goals, the math does not lie; we need to either reduce our spending, or increase our income, or both!
We try to increase our income with constant self-improvement and career development. For example, I studied a lot while working full time to pass new reglementary exams which got me sweet promotions and, most recently, got a 15% raise by switching companies.
This week, we have a contribution from Mr. Groovy from Freedom is Groovy. He and his wife are groovy freakin freedomists from North Carolina who blog about financial freedom and libertarianism. They are a great read and it is an honor to have them share with us today. Enjoy.
Prior to my fortieth birthday (I’m 55 now), I was a financial moron.