Welcome: What’s in a Name?

My wife and I have recently come to a conclusion that we need to drastically change our lifestyle.  We are in our mid 30’s, have a one year old daughter, a great marriage, an active lifestyle, a supportive and loving family, awesome friends and a strong Christian faith.  However, we feel smothered by standard 40 hour work weeks that dominate our lives, and we are tired of living for the next weekend or vacation while neglecting these things that are most important to us on a daily basis.  We want to work less and live more!  However, there are many unknowns in the equation that make this a daunting decision.

What do we want our futures to look like?  Will one of us choose early retirement from our current professions entering our peak earning years?  Will we both retire early?  Or maybe both work part-time?  Or maybe we could pursue seasonal or project based work allowing more flexibility?

The uncertainty and potential high costs of buying our own healthcare for the first time in our lives and the cost of it for the next 30 years are daunting.  This is the single factor that we feel most has us bound to the 40 hour work week.

We’re also examining how much is enough to have saved/invested before we stop working or at least stop adding to our investments.  When and under what circumstances should we begin to tap into our savings?  Are we currently making good decisions to limit our tax burden, how can we improve in this area and how will this change when we change our work situations?  Do we have adequate (or too much) insurance to protect us from potentially harmful occurrences?  What is the cost of giving up the security of our current comfortable, but often unfulfilling, lifestyle for the opportunity to pursue what we believe will be something much greater?

Faced with answering these many questions and making large, life altering decisions, one could look many places for inspiration and guidance to get started.  I found these things in a most unlikely place.  At work, I was trying to entertain some kids who were in our office with a Highlights Magazine when I came across a riddle.  Q:  What is the best way to eat an elephant?  A:  One bite at a time.  The kids were not entertained or amused at all, but I couldn’t get this thought out of my head.  If we are going to change our lives we just need to start by taking one bite, answering one question, making one decision, taking one action at a time.

Our plan is to make this blog a part of our journey.  We will share our experiences and the knowledge that we acquire in a thought provoking, honest and entertaining way.  Our goal is for this blog to become a place for exchanging ideas for people who look to use their finances in unique ways to develop a better lifestyle than the standard “American Way” of working 40+ hours per week until you retire at 65 just to support a lifestyle of consumerism.  So if you’ve read this far, we hope you’ll continue to join us on this journey as we eat this “financial elephant”, one bite at a time.

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10 comments on Welcome: What’s in a Name?

  1. Thank you for what you are doing with this site. I stumbled upon it while reading comments over at Radical PF.
    I knew I found my people when I read your term “dirtbag millionaires”! Ha, ha.
    I have felt the same way but never had a good way to describe it until now. May I borrow it when I describe my personal finance type to others? I will attribute back to you:)
    My wife and I hiked and camped on our first dates. We love to travel internationally with backpacks and roam around without formal plans. We took our 2 little girls on their first camping trip in the smoky mountains nearby earlier this summer. Dirtbag is way of life.

    Our financial independence story heavily involves real estate. I have flipped properties since I graduated from college but now focus mainly on income properties, private notes, and also some index fund investing for a little balance (after a good read of Jlcollins). I write weekly about my own ideas and journey on my blog if you are interested.

    I look forward to following your story and to exchanging ideas. Thanks again!

    1. Chad,

      Thanks for the kind words. Feel free to spread the “Dirtbag Millionaire” message and anyone you could send back our way would be appreciated.

      We are currently looking to diversify into real estate as we continue to phase away from our careers. I will check out your blog and may be hitting you up with some questions in the future.

      Cheers!
      EE

  2. I’ve been reading personal finance blogs for several months now, and I’m so glad to have stumbled upon yours. I’m attempting to realign my life so I can spend it in more meaningful ways. If that can always include being outdoors, I’ll be just fine. My first step is to pay off debt. I’m blogging my journey as well, and I look forward to reading through your posts to maintain motivation to work toward a more meaningful life. Cheers!

    1. Glad to have you reading. Hopefully we’ll continue to cross paths on the web and even better on a mountain some day.

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