Thank you 2016!

2016 was a great year
2016 has been a great year for our family. We have much to be grateful for.

It is sometimes easy to focus on the bad stuff in life – the irritations and the niggling worries. So this year I made a conscious effort to acknowledge all the wonderful things that I have to be thankful for. I sat down and wrote a list, and as I wrote I realised that I am indeed fortunate and have much to be grateful for.

Continue reading “Thank you 2016!”

The Importance of Trying New Things

Sailing the Med
We made some wonderful memories on our sailing boat, but the time has come to try new things

Five years ago my husband and I bought a sailing boat. We had never owned a boat before and did not come from boating families, so we had no idea whether we would like it or not, but we felt it was worth a try. Over the years we had some great times on the yacht with our kids – we got to see some beautiful scenery including lovely beaches that are difficult to access from land. We also crossed over to Sicily and spent long days lazing on Sicilian beaches and eating pizza and pasta. So it has been great and we are very grateful that we plucked up the courage to try it out.

Continue reading “The Importance of Trying New Things”

The Value We Derive from Going to Work

Breaking out of jail!
Some people talk about going to work as though it were indentured slavery – do we really only go to work for the money?

Many people often talk about going to work as though they were serving a prison sentence. This is particularly prevalent in the FIRE community, where bloggers talk openly about the number of years they still have to slog away before getting to the coveted holy grail of financial independence, when they would throw off the yoke of gainful employment and finally experience freedom for the first time. The fact is, however, that fixing your sights on a future date when you will be “happy” and “live life the way you want to” greatly reduces your ability to be happy in the here and now – which is very sad, for after all life is short and nobody can afford to throw away years of contentment during this journey we call life.

Continue reading “The Value We Derive from Going to Work”

Encouraging Girls to go Tech

Having fun on the beach in Summer
Summer living 🙂

It’s been a while since I last posted. Life can get in the way of blogging sometimes, particularly in Summer when the beach beckons and the heat makes you lazy.

Last week, however, something happened that kicked me out of my Summer stupor and motivated me to get writing again. If you read any of my previous posts you will know that I started a web development company 18 years ago. This became one of the leading digital agencies in my country and a few months ago I sold it to a big consultancy firm. Continue reading “Encouraging Girls to go Tech”

Teaching our children about money

Monkey see, monkey do. If you want your children to be responsible with money, then you have to demonstrate the same responsibility yourself!
Monkey see, monkey do. If you want your children to be responsible with money, then you have to demonstrate the same responsibility yourself!

One of the issues that worries me as a parent is whether I am doing a good job teaching my children about money. When I look around me I see people who have a totally dysfunctional relationship with their cash and even more so with their credit card, and the last thing I want for my kids is that they end up like them.

There are many different approaches to instilling a sense of fiscal responsibility in our youngsters. There are those who swear by pocket money, since it teaches children to budget – see my post about a cute Baby Looney tunes episode about saving money. Others give their children jobs and pay them for work done around the house to teach them the value of work. These are all good ideas and I use variations of them for my three children. Continue reading “Teaching our children about money”

Climbing the property ladder

We started small and then worked our way up the property ladder.
We started small and then worked our way up the property ladder.

20 years ago my friends and I had graduated university, were starting our careers and looking to set up house. The trend at the time was for first-time-buyers to max their budget when looking for a house. The reasoning was that they were buying a house that they wanted to live in for the rest of their lives, so it had to be big enough to accommodate their future family. So they all took out big loans and started paying off the bank.

I did not get it. I was single and had no kids, so what was the point of aiming for a house that was big enough for a brood of munchkins? Maybe they would come and maybe they would not, but it definitely did not make sense to take out a massive loan at that point in time to buy a big house for them. So instead I decided to go small and I started a hunt for a small apartment in a trendy area that was likely to go up in value over time. Continue reading “Climbing the property ladder”

Is FI a net worth pissing contest?

The Manneken Pis in Brussels - statue of a little boy doing his thing :)
The Manneken Pis in Brussels – statue of a little boy doing his thing 🙂

Money is a dangerous beast. You start off using it as a tool but it slowly gains a hold on you and becomes your master. There comes a point where if you are not careful, money will become the be all and end all, instead of a means to an end.

I write this after reading a post on another blog where the author bemoaned the fact that she sometimes goes on some of the well-known FIRE blogs whose authors are very open about their net worth and gets depressed after comparing their numbers to her own. I can understand where she is coming from. Man is a competitive animal and ultimately we are all too prone to getting pulled into a pissing contest. It happens to the best of us, whether we want to admit to it or not. Continue reading “Is FI a net worth pissing contest?”

The Bare Necessities: An anthem for frugal living

Yesterday we took our son to watch The Jungle Book (wonderful movie!) and when Mowgli floated down the river on Baloo’s tummy singing about The Bare Necessities it suddenly occurred to me that this song is an anthem for frugal living.

Take a look at the lyrics (shown below) and tell me if you agree. Continue reading “The Bare Necessities: An anthem for frugal living”

After selling my business – A wild rollercoaster ride!

Selling your business is an emotional rollercoaster ride
Up and down and round and round. It’s like an exciting rollercoaster ride!

It’s been a month since I jumped into a brand new chapter of my life after having sold my business and started a new career. It is also a month since I started this blog, which has proved to be a wonderful platform to get to know some really interesting people in the FI world. There are some very inspiring people out there!

Selling your business and embarking on a new career is like getting on a wild rollercoaster ride. It is exhilarating and scary and you sometimes feel like you are looping the loop, going around in circles. There are ups and there are downs, times when things are happening so fast they seem to be in a blur and you get a heady adrenaline rush and other times when things seem to be in slow motion. However totally changing my life was bound to be somewhat disorientating, so there’s no surprise there! Continue reading “After selling my business – A wild rollercoaster ride!”

Till Death Do Us Part: Merging finances with your other half

combining finances when married or living together
Combining finances after marriage or when living together can be tricky.

My husband and I have been married for 16 years and we have had a fight or two (dozen) about money. Most of us go into marriage, or cohabitation, without much of a strategy other than an “I love you and I want to make it work” so it is not long before the money issue rears its ugly head.

Now that you have both become a half of one whole, how will you manage your finances? Continue reading “Till Death Do Us Part: Merging finances with your other half”