Advice to my 18 year old self

I just recently had my 35th birthday and it was a good chance to reflect upon my life and the choices that I’ve made. I’ll be doing a series of “advice to myself” posts and this first one will be to myself when I was just graduating high school and figuring out what to do with my life. The advice will mostly be about money and finances, but a few life things as well. 1.…

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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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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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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: 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 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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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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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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Why I don’t have a TV

Part of not having a TV has to do with living in Korea. It’s just kind of a hassle to get it all set-up with cable, etc. and it just seems not even worth it because there aren’t that many channels I’d actually watch. And even when I’m in Canada or the USA, there really isn’t that much I like to watch. So, it’s not really a big deal. But, I love not having a…

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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: Clothes

Clothes are definitely one of those things that you can spend hundreds of dollars every month on, or almost nothing. I definitely fall into the latter category, as my students and good friends I’m sure could tell you. I rotate among the same 3 sweaters, 4 pairs of dress pants, 8 or so shirts, and 2 pairs of shoes at work. And for casual wear, it’s much the same, but even less. Maybe 2 pairs…

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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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Frugal Hobbies: My Favorites

  Frugal Hobbies: Freedom Through Passive Income Style I talked on a previous post about how frugal living and building passive income streams are closely related to each other.  While there are plenty of ways to live frugally, especially with regard to transportation, housing and food (which I will talk about on later posts), hobbies are one of those things that you can either spend almost nothing or an enormous amount.  While I understand the…

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Frugal Living and Passive Income

Frugal Living and Passive Income: Are they Related? On the surface, frugal living perhaps seems it doesn’t really relate that closely to building passive income streams, but in actuality, frugality is very necessary until you reach a certain level of passive income, at which point it doesn’t really matter how much money you spend, or don’t (to some degree….there are limits of course!). If you have $5000 a month coming in, with little to no…

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Spend Less Than you Earn

Anyone can do it! No matter your income level, spending less than you earn is by far the most important thing. We’ve all heard those stories about people earning millions of dollars a year going bankrupt. Conversely, we all know about the guy next door working at some average job who ended up dying with millions in the bank. The difference is that one guy spent more than he earned while the other one didn’t.…

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