Money Diet Challenge: Top 5 Tips

And so it Begins The money diet is starting tomorrow and although it’s been a few years since I’ve gone on a diet, I’m super excited for this challenge. In years gone by, I’ve totally kicked butt at money diet challenges and don’t think I’ve ever lost one. Here are my secrets and even though they’re secrets I’m going to share with you because I want to help my readers be as awesome as they…

Continue reading

Money Diet Challenge

One of my Biggest Fears I’ll be leaving my home for the last 10 years, Korea and going to Canada in about a year from now. In preparation for this move, I’ve been officially on money-spending lock-down and am all about the frugal living, even more than I was previously. There is truly nothing scarier to me than arriving in Canada with basically nothing more than what I can fit in 2 suitcases, nowhere to…

Continue reading

Too late to Start Saving for Retirement?

It’s never too late to start planning for retirement You might be reading this post when you are in your late forties, fifties or even sixties and thinking that your financial landscape is pretty bleak. You are perhaps thinking about if it is too late to start saving for retirement. Perhaps you have lots of debt, including credit cards, no emergency fund and nothing in the way of retirement savings or other assets such as…

Continue reading

Wal-Mart….what has happened to me?

After living in South Korea, land of way overpriced consumer products and no big “everything under 1 roof” stores for almost 10 years, Wal-Mart in Canada seems like it would be a dream. Cheap, huge selection and everything you could possibly want. Except I went yesterday to pick up a few hard-to-find things in South Korea and came away with very little and I spent considerably less than I had budgeted for my “Wal-Mart in…

Continue reading

Short-term vs. Long-Term thinking and how it relates to financial success

These past few days, I’ve been working away on my new book about financial freedom for teachers abroad and the following thought has been running through my head. Financial success all comes down to short-term vs. long-term thinking. There are lots of people who don’t think beyond the immediate in front of them-today, this week, this month and next month. These people often struggle to pay their bills each month and live in the land…

Continue reading

English Teaching and Passive Income Building

I was just talking to a coworker of mine this morning about how he views the job that we do as more of a part-time thing and that he has other stuff going, as I do with this blog and other online ventures. And I guess that that’s the best part about the English teaching overseas gig – most jobs are not really “full-time,” as in 40 or 50 hours a week, but are generally…

Continue reading

Assumptions and why they’re not helpful

Everyone knows the old saying, “Assumptions make an ass out of you and me.” It’s kind of cheesy, but it’s definitely true in almost all areas of life, and especially with regard to personal finance. Just because someone doesn’t own a nice house and a fancy new car, doesn’t mean that they don’t have 200 000 or 500 000 or a million dollars in the bank. Maybe it’s that they choose to live a different…

Continue reading

Advice to my 30 year old self

5 years ago, I was just finishing up my third decade on the Earth, and had been working for a couple years at my first “real” job at a Korean university. I lived in the beautiful Korean countryside and life was good. Here’s some advice for my 30 year old self: 1. Your student loans should be paid off by now. If not, get on that. And unless you have a house mortgage, all your…

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading

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.…

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading

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,…

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading

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.…

Continue reading