Advice to my 23 year old self

When I was 23, I was just graduating from university with a semi-useless degree in the humanities and making some big decisions about my future. And, similar to when I was 18, I actually had no idea what I was going to do with my life. Here’s some advice for those who are just graduating from college: 1. Student loans are evil. If you were unfortunate enough to accrue them, pay them off as fast…

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Your Future Self and Money Choices Today

Thanks to my friend “S” for the heads up about this article over on Get Rich Slowly about becoming friends with your future self and resisting splurges today. What this makes me think of is delayed gratification and how important it is in life and with regards to personal finance. It’s a sign of emotional maturity to make long-term goals and to not give into all our short-terms wants that are most often not really…

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The Latte Factor

When people talk about frugality, something that gets kicked around quite often is the Latte Factor. That is people who go to Starbucks every morning and drop $5 on a specialty Latte when they could just make a cup of drip coffee at home and save themselves $4.80 each day, which adds up to over $100/month and more than $1000/year. And I get that. Frugality is all about the small choices you make each day…

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Energy Vampires

One of my friends talks about energy vampires a lot. By energy vampires, she means the people that will suck you dry until you have nothing. People can suck you dry in various ways, but some of the ways that particularly annoy me are the people who: 1. Constantly say sorry. Like basically apologizing for existing. This leaves the other person (me!) having to reassure them that all is indeed good and that they’re “okay.”…

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Living in Saudi Arabia: what’s your number?

My old English teaching friend and I have been talking about various options for where to move after Korea. I really could move to literally almost any country in the world because everyone seems to want a reasonably well-qualified and experienced English teacher. Except the only problem is that the places that are the most fabulous to live (ie: Thailand, Costa Rica, Eastern Europe) pay the least and are pretty weak on the benefits. While…

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Frugal Living: beauty supplies

Perhaps one of the first things that someone would notice upon entering my bathroom is the minimalism of my beauty products when compared to others, especially most girls who have bathrooms packed with various products. But, I’m not really a typical girl and it’s just something that I don’t really care about. Sure, I like nice smelling things but when it comes to shelling out large amounts of money for them, well, I don’t like…

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Frugal Living: beans are your best friend

Dave Ramsey is all about the rice and beans, beans and rice. And I’m most definitely on that bandwagon too. They’re extremely cheap, versatile, healthy and delicious. Except, if you use canned beans, you’re really doing yourself a disservice; they’re full of salt and chemicals and are significantly more expensive than the dried ones. It really is easier to cook dried beans than you might think! Just as an example, here’s how I cook chickpeas:…

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A splurge

I used to the queen of the frugalistas when I was paying off my student loans. These days though, I’ve been toning it down a little bit because I have a substantial amount of money in the bank, and I actually make a lot more money than I did compared to say 5 years ago (almost double). So this means that I am willing to have things that increase my enjoyment of life (2 cats,…

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Frugal Living: Yo-Yo Dieting

Thanks to one of my coworkers and friends for this blog post idea. She mentioned that not only is yo-yo dieting bad for your health, but it’s also bad for your pocketbook. Nobody would argue that it’s bad for your health and as I’ve talked about before, being unhealthy costs you money, so it really is in your best interests to be as healthy as possible. The other way that yo-yo dieting costs you money…

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Frugal Living: air-drying clothes

I’ve been living in South Korea for almost a decade and have adapted pretty much to the culture/way of life here and actually like most things a lot more than living in Canada. Not that it wasn’t hard at first: it most definitely was. And the one thing that disturbed me perhaps more than others was the lack of clothes driers. Koreans just hang-dry and while I guess you could maybe, perhaps, possibly buy a…

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Frugal Living: Organic Vegetables and other things

At first glance, it wouldn’t appear that eating organic is cheaper or more frugal than just eating regular food from the supermarket. Organic food on average is maybe 1.5-2x more expensive than the regular stuff, and can be even more for certain things. So how could I possibly call eating organic living frugally? By taking a medium to long-term view of things. The healthier I eat and the less chemicals I put into my body,…

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Frugal Vacationing: Camping

When I was a kid, my family went camping for basically all our vacations. We’d load up the car and meet up with the aunts and uncles and cousins at a lake near my Grandma’s house and do the usual camping thing. Swimming, building massive fires, napping, playing catch, eating and then thinking about the next meal. And we actually slept in tents, on the ground. These days, I still really enjoy camping. There’s something…

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Frugal Living: Work Clothes

I’m quite fortunate in that I quite often don’t work 5 days a week; it’s usually 4.  And, at my current place of employment, there are multiple campuses, which means that I’m usually only in one location for 2- 3 of those days.  What does this mean?  I truly don’t need that many work clothes, which can save a significant amount of money over the l0ng-term since I really only need 3 complete outfits to…

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I have too much stuff

Back in another lifetime, I hiked (most of) the Appalachian Trail, which is a 4000km or so hike across the USA. I fell into the ultralight category, which was strongly influenced the Ray Jardine’s book, Beyond Backpacking. Essentially, it’s carrying as little as possible in order to move long-distances with as little effort as possible. And this has carried over into my “real-life” these days. I have a few comforts, but really am okay living…

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Anti-Frugal living: My travel obsession

I’m all about the frugal living, except for one major weakness: travel. My thinking is that I’m young and healthy and that I have the vacation time to do it. And the fact that I get 5 months paid vacation makes it all the better. When I’m budgeting for the vacation, I plan not to spend more than what is coming in during that time (ie: a 1 month vacation budget cannot exceed one month…

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Frugal Living: Board Games

Board games are one of my favorite forms of entertainment for the following reasons: they involve using your brain, there’s an element of competition, the atmosphere is conducive to chatting and socializing, it’s a great way to meet new people and it fits in kind of perfectly with the frugal lifestyle. I’m lucky in the city that I live in that there are a couple of active groups that meet up regularly for some gaming…

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New Online Venture: Home Cooking in Korea

One of my favorite hobbies is cooking. I’ve talked about it before on this blog how cooking is an essential part of living a frugal lifestyle so this new blog I’ve started goes along with the frugal living theme quite well. Basically, I take pictures of what I cook at home, give a basic introduction of the dish, where I got all the ingredients and then a basic description of how to cook it, along…

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Frugal Living: lifestyle creep

I’ve lived in South Korea, working as an English teacher for almost 10 years. For the first 7 years or so, I lived extremely frugally. Like, I always rode public transport and tried to avoid taxis, didn’t have a smart-phone, stayed in the school provided housing and had no pets. And like I would really consider it seriously any time that I spent more than about $5. My weakness was travel, but I almost always…

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Friends on a Budget: is it Possible?

Building Passive Income: 2 Main Factors 1. Living frugally so that you have more money to invest in things like dividend paying stocks. 2. Putting the time in to develop the passive income streams through building websites, books, Iherb, Amazon, etc. Going Out in South Korea Usually Involves Drinking Living in South Korea as an expat (I’m originally from Canada), one of the things that frustrates me is that “going out” usually involves hitting up…

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Frugal Living: House Size

I know a big part of frugal living is most definitely not having too large of a house.  It costs more to maintain/heat/cool/light/clean and it’s really quite easy to just fill your space with more stuff.  Here in Korea, space is at a premium because there are so many people crammed into a country with 70% mountains and the average house sizes are far, far smaller than what you’d see in Canada or the USA.…

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Frugal Living: the dreaded “B” word

I’ve talked about in previous posts about the relationship between frugal living and passive income, cooking at home to save money and frugal hobbies.  But, today is the dreaded “B” word which=budget.  While I love the idea of a budget, as a general theory and believe it can be very important when trying to live a frugal lifestyle (as does Dave Ramsey), I don’t do it.  This probably seems quite strange for those who know…

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Frugal Living: Cooking at Home

Rice and Beans, Beans and Rice As Dave Ramsey says, when you’re trying to get out of debt the only time you should see the inside of a restaurant is when you’re working there. And that those who are in debt should be eating rice and beans, beans and rice. Although I’m not in debt, I love cooking at home for the following reasons: Cooking at Home is Healthy! I love the fruits and vegetables.…

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