• two-cents-photo

    July 2015 Financial Update

    Adios, July! You were great. We just returned home from our seven week vacation in Mexico where we ate tons of crazy delicious food, visited amazing places, and had lots of fun. We thought about whether we could retire abroad and patted ourselves on the back for packing very light for our trip.

    July left our finances in great shape. Our net worth continued its climb to $1,544,000. Income for the month was ridiculously large at $9,751 (read on to find out why). Expenses were ridiculously tiny at just $498. A wondrous month of travel and adventure, income 20 times our expenses and a big bump in net worth means we had a superb month in financial and non-financial terms.

    Read more »
  • backpacks-on-street-in-tulum

    The Gear Post: What We Packed For A Seven Week Trip With Kids

    First a bit of philosophy. While we were on our trip, we wanted to be nimble and not encumbered by heavy bags. Large luggage with wheels means checked bags on airlines and the need to flag a taxi if you’re going more than a few blocks. We chose to pack light and take smaller bags so we could walk a mile or so if necessary without needing to take a taxi. Light bags mean we can stop at a store and grab something quickly without fumbling with huge luggage. Packing light also let us hop on and off local buses and subways instead of calling a taxi. This meant spending $1.30 USD to get to and from the airport in Mexico City, for example, instead of $20+ for a taxi. It also means we can exit the plane with all our luggage in hand and proceed directly to our destination and not wait 30+ minutes at baggage claim (if the bags ever show up at all!).

    Our light packing made us look a little silly at times. We sometimes get the question “where is your luggage?” because we’re only carrying bookbags for a two month trip.

    Read more »
  • tacos-al-pastor

    Eating Our Way Across Mexico

    Our seven week trip through Mexico is slowly coming to an end. As we work our way across the country, we are doing our best to sample every menu item possible. Since we only have seven weeks, we are setting ourselves up for failure given the regional and national diversity of food in Mexico.

    The food was a key motivator in our decision to come to Mexico. It’s good. Really good. So good that I eat it all the time at home (mostly cooked in my own kitchen). In fact, while we were on our summer vacation in Canada last year, I suffered from Mexican food withdrawal in Quebec City. Here in Mexico we are (obviously) surrounded by Mexican food every day. And I love it.

    Read more »
  • kids-by-lake

    My Semi-Retired Summer

    Guest post from John at Action Economics: One of the major advantages to my line of work is that I tend to have the entire summer off. I work as a contractor at nuclear power plants during refueling outages, which normally take place during the spring and fall months, since the plants want to be producing power during the peak usage summer and winter months. Having summers off helps our family save a decent amount of money and headache by reducing our childcare expenses, but it also gives me a sneak peak of what early retirement may be like. Currently I am planning to hit Financial Independence by age 45, which is “only” 16 short years away. Having the summers off has shown me that regardless of whether I have to go back to work in September, I certainly won’t be bored with a surplus of free time.

    Read more »
  • diego-rivera-mural-national-palace

    June 2015 Financial Update

    June is over which means we are half way through the year already. After climbing for most of the year, our net worth reversed course and dropped to $1,519,000 due to fluctuations in the stock market. Our income outpaced our expenses by a few thousand dollars and spending for the year remains within our budget. I’d say we are doing pretty well in spite of the drop in net worth.

    Right now we are at the midpoint of our seven week vacation in Mexico, so our spending is very different than it normally is while at home in Raleigh.

    Read more »
  • mexico-city-cathedral

    Retiring Abroad – Could We Do It?

    We are in the middle of our seven week adventure in Mexico right now. Although we traveled to Mexico just for fun, I’m also viewing the trip as an opportunity to explore a few places where we might spend prolonged periods of time in the future. That might mean spending a year or more living abroad or spending summers or winters chasing nice weather.

    Mexico tends to top the lists of places to retire abroad. I think I know why: inexpensive living, good weather, and close proximity to the US. But it’s not all rainbows and unicorns south of the border.

    Read more »

July 2015 Financial Update

two-cents-photo

Adios, July! You were great. We just returned home from our seven week vacation in Mexico where we ate tons of crazy delicious food, visited amazing places, and had lots of fun. We thought about whether we could retire abroad and patted ourselves on the back for packing very light for our trip.

July left our finances in great shape. Our net worth continued its climb to $1,544,000. Income for the month was ridiculously large at $9,751 (read on to find out why). Expenses were ridiculously tiny at just $498. A wondrous month of travel and adventure, income 20 times our expenses and a big bump in net worth means we had a superb month in financial and non-financial terms.

Read more

The Gear Post: What We Packed For A Seven Week Trip With Kids

backpacks-on-street-in-tulum

First a bit of philosophy. While we were on our trip, we wanted to be nimble and not encumbered by heavy bags. Large luggage with wheels means checked bags on airlines and the need to flag a taxi if you’re going more than a few blocks. We chose to pack light and take smaller bags so we could walk a mile or so if necessary without needing to take a taxi. Light bags mean we can stop at a store and grab something quickly without fumbling with huge luggage. Packing light also let us hop on and off local buses and subways instead of calling a taxi. This meant spending $1.30 USD to get to and from the airport in Mexico City, for example, instead of $20+ for a taxi. It also means we can exit the plane with all our luggage in hand and proceed directly to our destination and not wait 30+ minutes at baggage claim (if the bags ever show up at all!).

Our light packing made us look a little silly at times. We sometimes get the question “where is your luggage?” because we’re only carrying bookbags for a two month trip.

Read more

Eating Our Way Across Mexico

tacos-al-pastor

Our seven week trip through Mexico is slowly coming to an end. As we work our way across the country, we are doing our best to sample every menu item possible. Since we only have seven weeks, we are setting ourselves up for failure given the regional and national diversity of food in Mexico.

The food was a key motivator in our decision to come to Mexico. It’s good. Really good. So good that I eat it all the time at home (mostly cooked in my own kitchen). In fact, while we were on our summer vacation in Canada last year, I suffered from Mexican food withdrawal in Quebec City. Here in Mexico we are (obviously) surrounded by Mexican food every day. And I love it.

Read more

My Semi-Retired Summer

kids-by-lake

Guest post from John at Action Economics: One of the major advantages to my line of work is that I tend to have the entire summer off. I work as a contractor at nuclear power plants during refueling outages, which normally take place during the spring and fall months, since the plants want to be producing power during the peak usage summer and winter months. Having summers off helps our family save a decent amount of money and headache by reducing our childcare expenses, but it also gives me a sneak peak of what early retirement may be like. Currently I am planning to hit Financial Independence by age 45, which is “only” 16 short years away. Having the summers off has shown me that regardless of whether I have to go back to work in September, I certainly won’t be bored with a surplus of free time.

Read more