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October 22, 2016

Our Hunt for Affordable Housing

A huge part of our early retirement plan involved selling our expensive home in the Los Angeles area, which has appreciated significantly since we purchased it four years ago, and finding something significantly less expensive. This has proved much more challenging than I anticipated.

October 15, 2016

Don't Call me Cheap!

Please wear shoes when you're saving money by doing your own yard work.
People have used a lot of colorful adjectives to describe me over the years, but the most common one is probably cheap, or cheapskate. I usually wear that title like a badge of pride, but it’s starting to wear on me. In my opinion there is a big difference between being cheap and being frugal. I want to believe I fall into the latter camp, and in this post I will explore the difference between the two.

October 5, 2016

How I Limit (but Don't Eliminate) My Frivolous Spending

My most frivolous purchase, as I found it.
We all want things we don’t need. Frugal people like me are better than most at resisting the urge to purchase those things, but every so often there’s something I just have to have. Fortunately, I have a system for regulating my frivolous spending, and I learned it from my dad—only use credit card cash-back rewards for frivolous purchases.

September 24, 2016

How to Save Money on a Fabulous European Vacation

Being cute in Lake Como. We got in trouble shortly after this for going in the water.
For many Americans, a European vacation is the ultimate in luxury travel. The “old world” has a mysterious draw that is hard to avoid. Unfortunately, it can also have a price tag that is hard to afford. Fortunately, I have a couple tips that can dramatically reduce the cost of an incredible European adventure.

August 31, 2016

Why We Bought a Brand New Car

Editor's Note: Sorry about the long delay in getting a new post up. We've been really busy with a bunch of exciting things you will read about soon, including the topic of this post.

Alternate Title: Why People Hate Car Dealers
I work in the automotive industry, so any time we are in the market for a new (to us) vehicle, I get excited. I tend to over-analyze every purchase, but with a car, I have much more expertise and can therefore extra-over-analyze it. What should have been a fairly simple purchase ended up being an extremely stressful experience, and we ended up with a completely different car than we expected.

August 3, 2016

How to Give Great (Frugal) Gifts

I recently read a post on another blog about how the author and her husband don't give each other gifts for events like anniversaries. They give some long-winded reasons why, but it mostly comes down to saving money.
I strongly disagree with this policy, so I will explain why I think gift giving is important and how to give great gifts without spending too much.

July 21, 2016

Why I'm Not Saving for My Child's College Education

Most financial advisers seem to recommend prioritizing saving for retirement over a child's college education. However, I'm taking that advice to the extreme by not saving anything for our child's education; let me tell you why.