Don’t Think Up. Think Down.

Don’t Think Up. Think Down.

When it comes to overcoming fear and uncertainty, it helps to think "down", not "up". Let me explain.

I’ve had some animated discussions with some folks lately about what it means to have “enough” when it comes to financial independence. The answers vary wildly but there’s a common theme for some of us: the number can insidiously creep ever upward.

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Bonus Points and Rewards: Fiat That!

Bonus Points and Rewards: Fiat That!

I’m writing to you today as a sip my dark roast coffee at my favourite local coffee joint. Yes...it's a Starbucks. 

It’s my preferred location to meet friends for coffee and to write/read/research when I need to get out of the house and surround myself with other adults, which is once a week, at most. This is my daily barista. 

When I order my coffee, I dutifully pull out my iPhone and let the barista scan my electronic gold card’s barcode to both pay for my purchase and to receive the bonus star I have coming my way for buying yet another tall dark roast coffee.

I carefully consider my actions every time I perform this ritual to make sure I stay mindful. Here's why.

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Third Update - Living More with Less in 2015

Third Update - Living More with Less in 2015

On January 15, I declared that I was going to live a simpler and richer life by having and buying less stuff and doing more of what matters. I'd outlined three main themes as part of this plan:

  1. Don’t buy anything unless it’s urgent - yes, it’s a flexible definition.
  2. Use (and enjoy) what I have.
  3. Focus on spending time with and giving to others.

In March and May, I published my first and second updates, giving myself a "B-" and a "B+" respectively. Am I maintaining my "B" average?

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Debt and Drugs - 10 Things Big Banks and Big Pharma Have In Common

Debt and Drugs - 10 Things Big Banks and Big Pharma Have In Common

The 2008-2009 crisis was shocking to many. Banks were vilified—though not punished—and we’re still recovering to this day. 

The U.S. market may be at an all-time high, but the financial system is still sick and it may possibly suffer another blow because nothing has changed and some aspects of it are getting worse. The U.S., banks that were “too big to fail” are getting bigger, the same powerful people are running the show behind the scenes, important consumer-protection legislation has been eliminated, consumer debt levels are still high, the government’s financial position would make it difficult to weather another financial crisis, and the “fiscal easing” policy may backfire due to the risk of inflation it poses.

If you think the above is frightening, there’s another industry that should worry us just as much, if not more. It’s as big, as bad and as dangerous as the banks, but it doesn’t get nearly enough attention. Big Pharma is also out to get us and it has more in common with Big Banks than we might think.

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Financially Independent, Despite Herself

Financially Independent, Despite Herself

Hey there F2P readers! I’m pleased to say that my post for today is featured over at The FIRE Starter (TFS), a UK-based blog I’ve enjoyed reading because of its “average guy” tone and content.

My post over at TFS is about my early blunders and, more specifically, how you can stumble repeatedly and still come out ahead of the pack when it comes to living the life you want to live 

Here’s a sneak peek:

The pull of the marketers’ call is strong. We’re bombarded with messages every day about who we need to be and what products and services will help us get there. No matter what we’ve acquired though, the feeling of finally having what will make life better just doesn’t last and we start looking for the next item that will be the key to feeling we have it “together”.

The trouble with these marketing messages is that those we notice most aren’t those that reinforce purchases already made, but those that inform us of what we need or should strive for next. And hearing and internalizing these messages has nasty consequences, not only on our pocketbook, but on our life choices.

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