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The Best Juicy Frugal Tips Starting with Coffee

Maybe it's because I live in Louisiana.  This part of the country drips with warm weather, great food and drink, and a constant stream of live music.  And we share some of the same European "squeeze  the juice out of every moment" daily lifestyle habits.    Like the love of coffee.   It's a $4-6 per day habit in my house, even when I make most of it at home.  Some say cut it out of your budget, it's a waste.   I say that's ridiculous.   In fact,  I propose that you cut something else out of the budget just to keep coffee in!  Why?   1) It's good for your health (and this is from the people and research at Harvard , mon ami).  2)  It's one of the best inexpensive ways to add a frugal juiciness to every day of your life.     The Belgians love coffee so much that they serve chocolate with every cup -- free of charge.  It's a visual    If you want to immerse yourself in the Belgian way, check out this blogger's post  about the Belg
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Ireland Trip 2022 – The Fruits of Frugality

Can you live below your means while spending more on what love? It is not only possible – it is the key to building wealth, financial freedom, and staying there.    Why is it so important? Because we can never get enough of what doesn’t satisfy us.     But if we take the time to discern what does fill up our lives and our souls? Then binging on shopping and food and what other things we go looking for to stuff inside our houses or our bodies – well, it just doesn’t happen.   The craving for more is gone.   We  don’t even want it.   Finding our spending satisfaction is one of the most important skills we can learn. Today’s post is about one of my satisfiers -- spending wisely on travel with friends.   It might be yours too?   When I see new cultures, meet new people, visit far-flung family, create new memories with travel buddies, I’m happier and richer inside and out.   Is Travel Your Jam?   Let’s Talk about How You Can Make the Trip of Your Dreams Happen I am flying to Ireland with a

Hitting Your "Number." Top Three (Free) Tips for Anyone in Life's Dumpster Fire Still Striving to Hit Their Number.

Five years in one sentence:  A catastrophic flood, three hurricanes, two moves, a condo sale, a home purchase, a dream job assignment come true out of the blue, an engagement, a once in a lifetime freeze in the tropics, a parents' death, my first grandbaby, and a pandemic.  No wonder I didn't post any blog updates.    But I've graduated from work-life again!  And I hit my number with a big safety margin this time.   So what were the top three things I did, free of charge, that helped me survive those swings?   #1)  LBYM . Living Below Your Means gives you a McGyver tool kit of skills to survive financially, no matter what.   If you don't know where to start just look at how much you spent over the last three months. Was there more income than outgo?  If so, that's great!   Because that "spread" is how much you truly earned in the quarter.   Let me repeat it -- if you spent $1,000 less last quarter, then that's the increase in your Net Worth.  Your Ass

Money Screw Ups: And the Frugal Living Lessons that Will Save You - 1

2015 was quite a money ride.  Some of the progress toward financial freedom made following my own frugal living tips (outlined in this post " Can I make it on $3k per month?"   got tossed overboard.      Cushion the Body Blow with Frugal Living   I can recover because my frugal living ways helped me saved.  That and the personal finance software addiction and fascination with minimalism and aggressive downsizing .  But my pride and confidence hit the surf and it felt like I slammed into concrete.   Worse, it may have derailed complete financial freedom by a year or more.   And some of it I could have avoided by listening to those much wiser than myself.      Surfing Lessons From the Sages 1.  Retirement really is a psychological journey and you might want to prepare for that. The first time I retired was about 15 months ago.   As the retirement sages on www.earlyretirement.org  said might happen,  I experienced a sudden depression. 

What's Enough Money to Be Happy?

Some say that $50,000 per year and a paid up mortgage is the prime point of greatest happiness.  Other writers like Wes Moss, host of Money Matters and author of the book "You Can Retire Sooner Than You Think," imply that you need around $65 - $75,000 per year to retire -- which is when you can be happiest. Most of us seem to believe that more money means more happiness.   But according to the research described by the University of Texas & Indian Business School professor teaching the online Coursera course " A Lifetime of Happiness and Fulfillment ,"  it just ain't so.    Dr. Raghunathan and his visiting lecturers including such leading thinkers as    Dan Ariely (author of Predictably Irrational), Ed Diener (“Dr. Happiness”), and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (author of Flow), m oney is just a medium that people believe will lead them to happiness.  And our perceptions about that path are often wrong.    But wait!  That's new age nonsense,

We've Got to Start Talking About Money

You May Be More Financially Secure than This Successful Author, Script Writer -  Who Can Never, Ever, Stop Working This Atlantic Magazine stor y , the Secret Shame of Many Middle Americans, outlines the story of a prosperous looking author and script writer, who can't find $400 to cover an emergency and will have to work the rest of his life to cover his debts.   It's also about the shame and realities embedded in our US middle class money mess.  As the author pointed out --   50% of Americans, can never stop working.      Neal Gabler isn't homeless, or a casino gambler or a criminal.  His life looks like a dream come true.   Gabler has written and published books.  Gabler has been paid to critique movies on television. He is a great Dad with successful children.  A great husband.  He is so well-known in his industry that he was paid to write a movie script.  His reality-money-show reveals a different backstory, though.   Because he made a series of unders