Wednesday, July 27, 2016

a note to feel more authentic

I feel like this space has kind of become a travelogue. 
And it has. We are blessed to be able to travel a whole lot.
But I want it also out there that my everyday life is perfect for me but fairly un-post worthy.
We hang out in the constant toy explosion play room and play, do art, and I sometimes do family history while all that is going on.

This space is missing some of my thoughts though.
Things that are super important to me.
We have goals, BIG goals, that we are constantly working towards.
Without mentioning these I feel superficial.

I want to have no debt.
We have no debt by some people's standards, but we still have a mortgage.
I don't want that.
Our mortgage is currently half of what we could sell our house for, and I play with a chart monthly to see how much extra we can pay and how it affects the payoff date.
Our current projected payoff date is June of 2022.
Working to make it sooner.

I want Curt to be able to retire early if he wants to.
On our brokerage firm's website they have a retirement calculator/check how you're doing.
Right now we're on track for a retirement at age 50 with some conservative assumptions to ensure we're ok.
(Assumptions: we live a long time after retiring, Curt's income doesn't go up in the intervening years, etc)

But life is a give and take, and while Curt has worked hard and smart to get to make sure that he has a good income to provide for our family, I want to acknowledge some of the things we don't do to enable the stuff we want to do.
-We had a year or so of intense frugality-
when we lived in Michigan and before we had kids we made it a game to see how little we could live on. this catapulted us ahead, way ahead, paying for Curt's MBA with no student loans ahead, and made our current life possible. 
-Our kids don't do stuff-
dance, gymnastics, extracurricular activities of any sort
we'll obviously revisit this if any of our kids express interest and a willingness to work for stuff as they get older, but for now this works and they're learning good things at home
-We don't eat out much-
Curt makes his lunch to bring to work most days, unless there's a specific reason not to. 
We used to really not eat out, like for all of 2009 we spent about $300 eating out, including all trips and even little things like McDonalds.
Currently we pick up something about once a week.
-We don't spend money on entertainment-
we don't go to the movies, we don't do theme parks, we generally don't do college or professional sports games.
-I didn't get a smartphone until 2014-
I waited until we could get a plan comparable in price to my non-smartphone plan and until our net worth was a few hundred thousand dollars.
-I don't spend much on clothes or other personal maintenance-
I love consignment shops for kids clothes, and even there I usually buy on the half off sales
I've never personally paid to get a haircut or dye, I've never gotten my nails done, or any other of the million different hygiene treatments I know exist.

I want to say here that spending money on any of these things is not bad, it's just bad if it is at the expense of your future goals. 
Each family is in charge of their own trajectory and priorities.

Some splurges we still make room for:
-we have a monthly book budget
-we have several charities that we love and give to
-obviously travel
But I do want to note that when we travel we don't spend willy nilly.
We use airbnb or points for our accommodations (or we stay with family), we generally choose free things like the Smithsonian museums and walking around to get a feel for a place over paying for attractions, although we will pay for an attraction if we've researched it and deem it worth it. We use public transportation over taxis. We grocery shop and do many meals at 'home' rather than eating out.

"The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel." -Steve Furtick
I'm not sure exactly why I felt compelled to share all this, but it might have something to do with the quote above. By and large I share the fun highlights of life on my blog, I do that on purpose and I don't really feel bad about it. But I also don't want to contribute to false notions that anyone can have it all and have it all right now.


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