Why do I live where the air hurts my face

This morning on my journey work with blowing snow, crap roads, and -31 wind chill, I asked myself this question.

The place I live is not the most economical or FI-friendly. There are plenty of cheaper AND warmer places to live on the planet. Why do I live here? A popular meme comes to mind:

cartoon of why do I live where air hurts face
Credit to depressedalien.com for for original artwork

Alas, alligators, snakes, nor stupidly large spiders are the reason. I mean, it doesn’t hurt that there are none of these attempting to enter my home.

But when I REALLY think about it, here are the reasons.

    • Family. My parents are here. My husband’s family is here. This is really #1. If I could up and move our families to another, better locale, it would happen in a heatbeat! Of course the dads would complain, but like, small price to pay while mom, Hubs and I drink Mai Tais on the beach. Yeah, I know this is a romanticized view of what would likely happen. Well I don’t care and this is my blog. Harumph.
    • I really like Canada. I like the attitude of the country for the most part. I like the freedom**. I like the great standard of living**. I’m willing to pay more in taxes and cost of living for these things. The weather is not the greatest, I fully admit. Now I have thought of moving to a place in Canada with better weather (BC, I’m lookin’ at you). **I realize these things may not apply to everyone in Canada. We still have work to do to ensure all Canadians have equal rights, freedoms, and opportunities.
    • Hubs actually likes winter, and well defined seasons. He isn’t into summer-esque weather all year round. That said, could I maybe talk him into a more relaxed winter as we might experience somewhere slightly closer to the equator. Also I should note that the air only hurts my face about 3 months out of 12.
    • Healthcare? This would be something to consider if we move to another country. To be honest I’ve never explored healthcare options outside of Canada. I know for sure in some places we would be worse off, but perhaps there are pockets of world where we could be equally-good off, or better off. We’ll likely have to pay more than we would if we stayed in Canada, so that will affect our expenses during FI.

 

  • Side note: I enjoy living (relatively) coastal. I love the beach. There is something appealing about the fact that I can be ON THE OCEAN, possibly eating cake, within an hour. I grew up in a port city, both of my parents grew up in a port city, their parents grew up in a port city, etc. etc. I think it’s just in my blood now. This is something that could easily be achieved in a warmer climate. Sorry, landlocked places, you have lots to offer. REALLY YOU DO! Plenty of people don’t care about coasts. Or, they are just happy enough with lakes. *shrug emoji*

What are the post-FI options?

    1. Stay here forever. I don’t think I wanna do this.
    2. Move to a warmer climate and stay there forever. Again, Hubs isn’t too keen on this, but we might be able to find a slightly more temperate and agreeable location.
    3. Become a “Snowbird”, either before (if I can find a work-from-anywhere gig) or after we reach financial independence. Or even when I reach “barista-FIRE”, or what I like to call “semi-retirement”. For a definition of barista-FIRE, and other types of FIRE, please visit this excellent article on How to Create a FI Plan. While you’re at it, maybe create a FI plan if you haven’t already. Snowbirds are what we call Canadians who summer in Canada, and winter somewhere warm. Often these individuals own property in attractively cheap southern locales so they can just zip to and fro at the beginning and end of winter.  I’m sure you are wondering: are Snowbirds judged by those in Canada to be “softies”, and those in their winter homes to be “annoying temporary immigrants”? Yes. Do I care that much? No. Am I convinced that this is the way? No. Although being a Snowbird has it’s appeal to be sure.
    4. Travel around nomad-style without any particular home per se. I like the idea, but I imagine at some point we would tire of this and want to settle somewhere for most of the year.

What I need to know is, what are YOUR plans? Do you already live in the *perfect* place for you? Are you all set up fine and good a la Mr Money Moustache? What will you change post-FI regarding your locale? What ideas am I missing that I should consider? Please let me know all your smarts in the comments below!!

 

SPAR! Habit Building App Review

Hello, Interwebs! Well, if you read my recent post about my recap of “No Internet Month 2019”, you may have noticed me mention a new app I am trying out called SPAR!  My financially savvy friend, who I’ll call MR, introduced me to it. Now I’m hooked! I’ve been meaning to write a review of this app so I thought now might be a good time, since I’m slacking off on all the good habits post-vacation, and I need SPAR! to kick me in the pants.

This Review has been updated to reflect 2021 information and is not sponsored. You are getting the raw, unedited opinions of me, myself and I.

Continue reading “SPAR! Habit Building App Review”

Sunshine Blogger Award Nomination

sunshine blogger award logo

Back in November of 2020, I was kindly nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award by a very talented FI Blogger and Podcaster, Chrissy at Eat, Sleep, Breathe FI, and Explore FI Canada.

Firstly, I am blown away. Secondly I am extremely honoured to be nominated by such a talented and successful blogger, so THANK YOU Chrissy! I would also like to say I feel serious impostor syndrome, since I’m included in a list of nominees that have the most amazing and prolific blogs. the list of nominees can be found in Chrissy’s Sunshine Blogger Award post.

What is this all about, anyway?

The Sunshine Blogger Award is given to bloggers by other bloggers to recognize their excellent blogging efforts, and to learn a bit more about the person behind the posts. I dug through The Google to try to find out the origin of this award, but alas, I was unsuccessful. Please comment below if you happen to know where this award began!

Sunshine Blogger Award Rules

When nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award, there are four rules to follow:

    • Thank the person who nominated you. Add backlinks to their blog.
    • Answer the 11 questions they posed to you.
    • Nominate another 11 new bloggers and give them 11 new questions.
    • Include these rules in your post and use the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post.

Since I’ve already thanked Chrissy and encouraged you to visit her AMAZING BLOG, Eat, Sleep, Breathe FI, let’s get on to the questions!

Sunshine Blog Award Questions

1. What’s your number one tip for someone just starting out on their financial journey?

Track your money in and out using YNAB. Along with net worth, income vs expenses, age of money, and a bunch of other cool stats. This was easily my biggest win of 2018.

2. If you could start your financial journey over, what would you do differently?

I would start earlier. Like, in my 20s. I started aiming for FI at the age of 42.

3. If you have a partner (or if not, a close friend or family member) what’s one way they’ve inspired you to do better with your finances?

Although my blog is anonymous, I have a small circle of people in my personal life who know about it.  A couple of my friends even follow the blog and provide me with positive feedback which has been very inspiring. Thanks friends!

4. Name one area in your financial life that you’d like to improve on.

I would like to learn more about investing. Right now my strategy is very basic; which is ok. However better investing knowledge would help me grow my FI nest egg even further!

5. Can you share your top three money-saving apps?
    1. YNAB! Although I prefer the desktop browser version as it has more features, the YNAB app is great for reminding me how much I can spend on things while I’m in the store. Psychologically it is very effective for me and saves me tons of $$.
    2. Facebook. Weird but true. Before I buy anything new (well mostly anything), I check Facebook Marketplace to see if I can get it used. This saves me TONS OF CASH. I also sell items on Marketplace which recoups some of my previous money spent.
    3. There is no third. I should work on that.
6. What’s your most unconventional money tip?

Hmmm…great question. There are lots of money tips, but not many unconventional ones. Anyone on the path to FI knows that to optimize expenses, one must constantly challenge them. Particularly monthly expenses like utilities, internet, insurance, bank account fees, etc. Although it’s not exactly unconventional, not many people seem to challenge these regular monthly bills often enough. Instead, they just let their credit card or bank account get charged for years (read: me, 5 years ago). I think it’s really important to check competitor rates regularly and contact your providers to see if your rates for these regular things can be lowered.

7. Other than blogging about money, what do you most enjoy doing in your free time?

I enjoy spending time with my family, travelling (pre/post COVID), getting out into nature, playing video games online with my friends, being crafty, drinking coffee, reading other people’s blogs about FI/RE.

8. Tell us something about yourself that would surprise your readers. (It can be anything—it doesn’t have to be money-related!)

I initially began my education studying to be a marine biologist specializing in cetology, but I wasn’t good at calculus. I just REALLY LIKE WHALES. *shrug* Now I have a degree in English Literature.

Whale swimming in ocean
D’awwww!
9. What’s the most impactful eco-friendly (or eco-frugal) thing you do everyday?

Drive my second hand hybrid vehicle to and from work.

10. If you had one environmental wish for our planet, what would it be?

To reverse the damage we have caused through industrialization. This would allow humans in delicate climate areas to thrive once again and give a better chance of survival for all the other species on the planet.

11. Which blog post of yours do you absolutely love, but doesn’t get enough attention? Also: why do you love it?

Probably “How my attempt to reduce waste is saving me money“. I like this post because it helped me realize how much I am doing to help reduce our family’s impact on the environment which makes me feel good. Also I like to re-read it on occasion to remind me about things I’ve gotten a bit slack on doing. I see you, individually packaged stuff in my Costco cart! Historically I’ve just felt guilty that I’m not packing all my waste for a year into a single mason jar.

Sunshine Blogger Award Nominees

Well that is it for the thought-provoking questions! Now on to the fun part: nominating bloggers for the Sunshine Blogger award! Here are my nominations in no particular order. These are all finance-related blogs that I have enjoyed visiting. Thank you for creating cool content! Also, please do not feel obligated to write a post like this one, you can just enjoy being nominated. Great work!

My Sunshine Blogger Award Questions

Here are the questions I pose to you, Sunshine Blogger Award Nominees!

    1. Will you retire early? If so, what will you do after you retire? If not, what is your plan for future work?
    2. What has been your most successful strategy to date financially speaking that could help others starting their journey?
    3. What is a “luxury” you allow yourself on your financial journey?
    4. Name one area in your financial life that you’d like to improve on.
    5. Other than blogging about finances, what do you most enjoy doing in your free time?
    6. What is your favorite “free and fun” thing to do?
    7. Do you have a side gig? If so, what is it? If not, tell us your best money-saving tip.
    8. How do you keep yourself motivated on your journey?
    9. What is your favourite book that has helped you on your journey?
    10. Tell us one thing about yourself that might surprise your readers.
    11. Which blog post of yours do you absolutely love, but doesn’t get enough attention? Also: why do you love it?
Congratulations to all of the Sunshine Blogger Award winners, and thank you everyone for stopping by. Keep it going by visiting all of the cool blogs listed above!

Monthly Financial Independence Report – Jan 2021

Good day All! Welcome to my first monthly report in 2021. I bet you thought there would be no more monthly reports. SURPRISE! I’m feeling a wee bit motivated financially speaking. This is SOMETHING! Continue reading “Monthly Financial Independence Report – Jan 2021”

January Challenges

Par usual in January, I’ve signed up for some challenges…I said I was NOT GOING TO OVERDO IT as I have in previous years, and I think I’m kinda following my own advice? Continue reading “January Challenges”

T’s Family Update

Well, we got a pet.

I’ve been wanting a pet for quite some time, having not had one since our 17 year old cat, “Stickabudda”, passed in 2011. Our delay in getting another pet was really around Hubs being a bit pet-shy. Stickabudda had some health issues in the latter part of her life which made caring for her much more difficult and expensive. However, after much encouragement from me and M (read: us constantly talking about it, texting cute photos of pets who need a home, etc.), we finally decided to take the plunge. Continue reading “T’s Family Update”

FI/RE Progress – Metrics and Whatnot

Good Day!

I decided today that I needed to do some high-level analysis on my progress in terms of FI/RE related metrics.

Namely,

    • Increasing income
    • Reducing expenses
    • Increasing savings/investing

Continue reading “FI/RE Progress – Metrics and Whatnot”

Creating Systems, not just setting Goals

Do you ever get in a rut and not prioritize the important things because you’re too busy running around working and doing the lower priority life things?

Do you ever think you just need to slow down to sort it out and re-jig your life to give more time to the high priority things?

Do you ever wish there was more time in the day? Continue reading “Creating Systems, not just setting Goals”

How are YOU doing?

Hi everyone. How are YOU doing? Are you surviving in these trying times? I’m doing okay, thank you. Things are a wee bit overwhelming right now, between busy work days, holiday planning, parenting stuff, and pandemic navigation, it’s difficult to find time to take a breath and reflect on life. Oh! And, find time to blog. Continue reading “How are YOU doing?”

Monthly FIRE Financial Independence Report – September 2020

You’re probably thinking, “T!! Do you realize it is November and you are just now posting September’s Monthly Financial Independence Report?” Continue reading “Monthly FIRE Financial Independence Report – September 2020”