Summer Vacation for 5 in Europe: 9 Weeks, 8 Countries, 14 Cities, $10,000


The Root of Good family is ramping up for an epic adventure across Europe during the summer of 2017. The five of us will spend nine weeks traversing an all new (to us) continent by train, plane, bus, car, and foot.

We really struggled to narrow down the itinerary to something feasible for a family with three young children. As a result this trip will NOT include London nor Paris nor a dozen other cities we would have loved to visit. What we will see are museums, parks, castles, palaces, cathedrals, caves, mountains, seas, rivers, lakes, and canyons scattered about the rest of western and central Europe.

Many will view this as a “trip of a lifetime” or a “dream trip” but I choose to view this as just another cool vacation in a series of vacations we have already taken and will continue to take.

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February 2017 Financial Update


Two months into 2017 and things are off to a great start for us. Our income of $4,893 for the month greatly exceeded our expenses of $2,108. Our net worth climbed another $38,000 to $1,756,000 primarily due to solid stock market gains.

Our taxes are filed and we’re due small refunds from the state and the feds totaling several hundred dollars. My first effort at paying quarterly estimated taxes in 2016 were a huge success since I came very close to our actual tax liabilities without giving our state and federal governments unnecessarily large loans. Our overall tax liability is higher in retirement compared to our working years thanks to the self employment tax due on blog earnings. At least I’m increasing my future social security check slightly.

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January 2017 Financial Update


January is over and what a fine January it was for our finances! Our net worth climbed another $38,000 to $1,718,000 and in the process we broke through another $100,000 milestone. Income for the month of January was solid at $5,068 while expenses remained roughly on budget at $3,378 in spite of a few large, lumpy quarterly or annual expenses.

After finishing 2016 about $1,000 under our $40,000 budget with total spending of $38,991, we are off to a great start in 2017.

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Living a $100,000 lifestyle on $40,000 per year – 2016 Expenses in Review


“Oh you live on $40,000 per year? Guess you like camping in the van underneath the highway bridge huh? Still enjoying those rice and beans? Three kids cost $40,000 per year right off the bat so it’s clearly impossible!”. This complainer clearly doesn’t know how we spend money.

Living well on $40,000 per year is possible and I’m here to explain exactly how by going over all of our expenses during 2016. Later in the article I’ll explain why our spending affords us a lifestyle that costs most other people $100,000 per year. And I don’t think many would argue that a $100,000 per year lifestyle is a tough way to live.

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