Money Honey

Do Work You Love

06 Feb
by Jenny, posted in Consumerism/Minimalism, Money Honey   |  9 Comments

Imagine a life where you could choose to do work you want -- regardless of pay. Now figure out what you need to do and make it a reality.

Round and round and back again. It’s been a long time coming, but I finally feel that I’m in a place where I can choose work based on my interests rather than the income. I always dreamed of this place and thought it to be a distant fantasy rather than a reality for me.

Simplifying my life and finances has opened up the opportunity to do any kind of work I want. It’s been both liberating and overwhelming. Sometimes it’s easier to do something because you have to.

Having more options can be exhilarating. And terrifying.

When you’re forced to decide what your highest point of contribution is, work life becomes a bigger responsibility. Suddenly, your choices are not based solely on providing for yourself and your family.  Now you’re free to decide what you love to do. And what you’re best at.

Freedom is a blessing and curse. But the positives outweigh the difficulties by a landslide.

What do you think?

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Found Money Staring Us in the Face

31 Jan
by Jenny, posted in Money Honey   |  5 Comments

I’m not sure why we waited so long, but Kirk and I finally refinanced our mortgage to secure a lower interest rate. We have been trying to figure out how to pay off our mortgage sooner, but we didn’t want to lower our retirement contributions to get there.

Refinancing our mortgage allowed us to reduce our interest rate by 1.375%. We went with a 30-year fixed rate loan again, however, we’ll be paying the same amount we were paying before refinancing – even though our new mortgage payment is lower.

Since we’re paying the same as we were before even though we now owe less each month, we’ll actually be paying an additional $220 towards the principle of our loan each month. This will shave nine years off the term of our loan – even if we never raise our overpayment.

So, by not paying anymore than we have been each month, we’ll get through our loan nine years earlier. Like I said earlier, I’m not sure what took us so long to refinance with low rates like these!

Found Money

Even though I thought we shaved every possible unneeded expense from our budget, I overlooked the enormous savings to be had by refinancing our mortgage to lock in a lower rate.

Sometimes it’s the most obvious things that need reevaluated in our budget. Maybe it took clearing out all of the smaller clutter from our budget before we could see the single biggest opportunity for savings.

How about you? Is there a major beast sneaking under the radar in your budget too?

Did you like this post? If so, please consider leaving a comment, and signing up to receive updates by email or RSS feed from Ex-Consumer. It’s completely free and I never spam! You can also follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

Kiss Your Debt Goodbye: Three Steps to Debt Freedom

16 Jan
by Jenny, posted in Money Honey   |  4 Comments

Make this the year you tackle those lingering debts. Shedding the restriction and stress that debt evokes is well worth the effort. It may seem overwhelming, but you can break it down into manageable pieces.

Three Steps to Debt Freedom

1. Write down how much you owe.
Get a paper and pencil or spreadsheet together that simply lists out exactly how much you owe to each creditor and what your monthly payments are. This may take an entire month if you rely on bills showing up in your mailbox to tell you where to send your money, but it will be the most important step you’ll take. Knowing where you’re starting from gives you the leverage you’ll need to lunge forward. Continue Reading

What are Your Simplification and Money Goals for 2013?

11 Jan
by Jenny, posted in Consumerism/Minimalism, Money Honey   |  2 Comments

I’ve heard many people talking about how they don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions. Personally, I like to use the beginning of each new year to set a few goals. Doing this helps me to work toward aspirations that might otherwise feel overwhelming. Goals help me break down larger dreams into bitable chunks I can tackle with confidence.

This year I plan to work towards the following goals:

  • Remain consumer debt free.
  • Continue to simplify by selling or donating excess possessions.
  • Continue to contribute to our car savings until we have enough saved for Kirk to purchase his next car outright. Currently have $4,892 saved. Our goal is $20,000.
  • Raise the additional principal we pay on our mortgage each month. Currently only paying $20 additional per month. Our goal is to pay an additional $1,000 monthly.
  • Increase the amount we contribute to the kids’ college savings. Currently contributing $50 monthly. Our goal is $300 monthly.
  • Be more intentional and consistent with the message I hope to share at Ex-Consumer.
  • Explore the possibility of going back to work full-time. Continue Reading

Who are the Joneses in Your Life?

18 Dec
by Jenny, posted in Consumerism/Minimalism, Money Honey   |  6 Comments

the joneses

We’ve all heard the idiom “keeping up with the Joneses.” But who is this person, family or group we’re measuring our lives against? Odds are, my “Joneses” are different than yours.

The Joneses in your life can be any person, family or group that you compare your life against.

Most likely, the Joneses you choose to compare yourself with have more of something you feel you’re lacking. In fact, you may not have given something a second thought until you saw that Sally Jones had the very job, car, vacation, education, etc. you never knew you always wanted.

Suddenly you feel less than. If only you could have that job, car, vacation, education, etc. that Sally has. Then you would finally be happy. Or not. Continue Reading

Step back. Reflect. Repeat.

11 Oct
by Jenny, posted in Consumerism/Minimalism, Money Honey   |  13 Comments

The past few months have been a time of retreat and introspection for me. Periodically, I like to step back from my life and process my current circumstances. Occasionally these periods of reflection lead to great changes. This time, however, I’m quite happy with the way things are.

Since eliminating our consumer debt in August of 2011, Kirk and I have more flexibility in our working lives. I’m able to choose projects I want to work on and Kirk can choose work that’s a good fit for him. We don’t have to force ourselves into unsavory work or projects to pay creditors.

It’s a freeing feeling. Continue Reading

Enrichment Activities on a Dime

25 Sep
by Jenny, posted in Consumerism/Minimalism, Money Honey   |  3 Comments

In the city where I live, there are practically limitless opportunities for children to participate in enrichment activities. There are opportunities to partake in sports of every kind, music lessons, scouting, writing workshops, martial arts training, art classes, science classes, dance lessons, math enrichment and even manners training.

Allowing our children to try all of the things that interest them can get overwhelming pretty quickly. Continue Reading

Debt Busters!

04 Aug
by Jenny, posted in Ditching Debt, Money Honey   |  7 Comments

Today is my 35th birthday, so I’m going to be a bit self indulgent and send you a quick note about an exciting opportunity I was fortunate enough to participate in. On Wednesday, August 1st, I appeared in CNN Money’s Debt Busters! gallery, which you may have already known if you follow me on Facebook.

debt busters Continue Reading

Your Ideal Life

31 Jul
by Jenny, posted in Consumerism/Minimalism, Money Honey   |  8 Comments

What is your ideal life? How far away is your ideal life from where you are today? What can you do this week to start closing the gap?

For me, the ideal life involves a flexible work schedule that allows for plenty of traveling and time with my family. It also involves doing work I’m passionate about.

What do you love to do? How could you turn your passion into your work? What’s in the way?

For me, it was too much debt and too many possessions. Continue Reading

4 Ways To Effectively Manage Your Income (Inspired by The Ancient Egyptians)

28 Jul
by Jenny, posted in Money Honey   |  3 Comments

The following is a guest post from Mohamed Tohami of Midway Simplicity

Let’s have a quick look at one part of the economic system of Ancient Egypt.

Agriculture produce collected as government revenue was treated in the following way:

  1. A portion goes to state workshops to manufacture secondary, value-added products.
  2. Some of the value-added products were traded at a profit.
  3. Others used to pay employees and fund projects.
  4. The remaining portion of the agriculture produce was put into storage as an emergency stock.

What a simple, impressive economic system! This system was created more than 5000 years ago. Continue Reading

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