It’s Saturday, October 31!

Spooky! I’ll be dressed as Waldo tonight. Last year I counted 13 Waldos at the Halloween shindig I went to, so it ironically won’t be that easy to spot me.

The awesomeness of not being important by Steve, thinksaveretire.com. This is a great, if under-appreciated, goal to achieve in one’s career.

Volkswagen’s emissions cheating scandal has a long, complicated history by Megan Geuss, arstechnica.com. This has been a really interesting story to follow, both from an engineering point-of-view and a business point-of-view. This story goes into depth over the history of why (probably) Volkswagen did what it did.

Financial Independence: How Long Will It Take? gocurrycracker.com. An interesting look at how tweaking some numbers can make early retirement much more feasible, or at least move that retirement date a little closer. Always run the numbers!

The IRS Tax Code Makes No Sense – What You Should Know About IRA Tax Deduction Phase Outs, genyfinanceguy.com. The tax code is complicated. It’s especially interesting how marriage isn’t the financial benefit it once was, too.

BONUS: What I’m listening to this week:

Photo: I’m in this picture somewhere. Can you find me? 

It’s Saturday, October 24th!

Spend $25,000 to Save $9,000? by J. MONEY, budgetsaresexy.com. I don’t make quite enough money to have these problems just yet, but it’s interesting to see how the tax code works sometimes, and how the government kind of wants you to save for retirement.

A 23-year-old Google employee lives in a truck by Kathleen Elkins, businessinsider.com. I would definitely do this if my company served breakfast, lunch, and dinner for free. And if they made me work 100% of my waking hours. Relevant Dilbert.

How much is your job really costing you? by Steve, thinksaveretire.com. Unless you live in a truck, probably a lot more than you think. And if you live in a truck because you work 16-hour days, it’s probably costing you more than money, too.

My Three Favorite Really Stupid Reasons Not To Save For Retirement, proceeduntilapprehended.net. I’ve fallen guilty to every single one of these. No more! On a related note, I just upped my 401k contribution, so that’s cool.

BONUS: What I’m listening to this week!

Good Charlotte is in my fall music playlist, and since I’m currently in Oklahoma City and it feels more like fall here than it does in Florida, I pulled out some music that I used to listen to in middle school for all the nostalgia.

Photo: This is why I’m in Oklahoma. My first time climbing a wind turbine, and what a view!

It’s Saturday, October 17th!

…and I’m back from a brief internet hiatus. But lots of other things have happened in the past month that are worth looking into:

This is What a Real Bomb Looks Like by Adam Fabio, hackaday.com. Definitely not anything to do with minimalism or financial independence, but in the wake of the “bomb” incident in Texas, some perspective is in order.

Why Your $80,000 Car Doesn’t Impress Me Any Longer by Steve, thinksaveretire.com. I work for a Fortune-500 company, and these cars are everywhere. But I also see people who have no other purpose in life except for their job, so I guess it kind of fits in certain situations. Not for me though!

From zero to $15,000 in dividend income in 8 years, dividendgrowthinvestor.com. I’ve become a big fan of this blog because it gets into the specifics of (at least one way of) how to become financially independent. I’m in this guy’s shoes circa 2007, but dividend investing is looking more and more appealing to me as I research it.

BONUS! What I’m listening to this week.

Any guesses why? Hint: it’s in the first verse!

Photo: Another hint. 

Saturday Links! September 5, 2015

Welcome to the next great month! It might be fall for you, but it is still very hot here in South Florida. It’s great how technology can span the distances so well, and allow me to provide you with this great reading material.

Your job vs. your work: Retirement police, listen up! by Steve, thinksaveretire.com. A great piece about why people want to retire early, and it often involves much less golfing than you would imagine. If it were me, my hobby-turned-profession would be working on classic cars, or writing, or surfing, or any number of other cubicle-less activities.

5 Ways to Make Minimalism Work for Your Budget by Sam Lustgarten, nosidebar.com. A gentle reminder that minimalism and living inexpensively don’t necessarily go hand-in-hand. You can let anything get out of control. Be aware of everything you do, even if you’re doing less of it.

Shadow Work and the Rise of Middle-Class Serfdom by Brett and Kate McKay, artofmanliness.com. I’ve certainly noticed this in my daily life, I just never realized there was a name for it. One thing I have noticed, however, is that when conveniences are added to our lives, we rarely use them as opportunities to slow down. Rather, we use them as opportunities to cram more into our lives.

BONUS! What I’m listening to this week:

The latest from my favorite West Palm Beach band, Raggy Monster.

Photo: Spring 2010, surfing in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. I took a week long surf trip on the road with my truck and one of my friends from high school, covering every surf break from Virginia Beach to Jacksonville. 

Saturday Links! August 29, 2015

As Tropical Storm Erika lazily approaches my house, I have cleverly used the “publish later” feature of WordPress to bring you these interesting tidbits on-schedule even if my power goes out this weekend. Isn’t technology great?!

What Kurt Cobain Teaches Us about Freethinking and Minimalism by Brian Gardner, nosidebar.com. Minimalism through the eyes of the legendary frontman of Nirvana. From his music to his lifestyle, the advantages of living a simple life made Cobain the force he was.

Where the US Gets its Oil From by Randy Olson, randalolson.com. A huge symbol of our overconsuming lifestyles (at least in the United States) is our dependence on fossil fuels. But really, this is just an interesting graph that shows the difference between what people think they know and what is actually true.

How Much Is Your Time Worth by Stefanie, thebrokeandbeautifullife.com. Your free time isn’t necessarily worth the same amount, all the time. (I might argue that it’s definitionally “free”.) But it depends on context, and your opportunity cost. A very interesting read and a unique take on what you could bill your “free” time out for.

BONUS: What I’m listening to this week:

Honest, chill music. I might categorize it as shoegaze, but I’m no expert. Just a fan.

Photo: I helped my friends work on this old buggy a while back. Hard to believe, but it’s based on an old Volkswagen Bus. Volkswagens are very versatile and very minimal vehicles!

Saturday Links! August 22, 2015

The Routine is the Enemy Of Time, retire29.com. An interesting view on living life, and a way of life that asks us to pay attention to each moment before they all disappear.

Three Months of Early Retirement, livingafi.com. Early retirement has been a dream of mine for a long time, and it’s good to read about someone who’s just taken the leap. There’s hope out there!

What We Won’t Miss About Working, ournextlife.com. Speaking of which…

BONUS! What I’m listening to this week:

Just a good, honest jam.

Photo: Got a great deal on this surfboard, a Meyerhoffer XYZ, which arrived in the mail this week. Unfortunately there probably won’t be surf good enough to ride this board for another month or so. To maintain my minimalist cred, I’m selling a 7’2″ board that’s been sitting in my garage for a while. If you’re also interested in surfing, this is the deal about the funny shape:

Saturday Links! August 8, 2015

Welcome to August! I’m back from vacation and, after a brief break, ready to tackle the world. Enjoy these interesting tidbits from the interwebs.

Empty Decks and Misguided Frugality, retire29. I’ve gotten into this blog a lot in the past few weeks because the author is very nuanced in the way he sees the world. This is one of those things I’ve always noticed but never really noticed.

Lifestyle Inflation Illustrated, anythingyouwantblog.com. A great reminder that we should be aware of our spending whenever we come into more money. It doesn’t have to be from raises at work, either; it could come from inheritance or even our yearly tax returns.

Living in Switzerland Ruined Me for America and Its Lousy Work Culture by Chantal Panozzo, vox.com. Not every country has the work “ethic” that is common in the United States. Others actually seem to care about their employees and their work-life balances.

BONUS: What I’m listening to this week:

A deep cut from this classic 90’s album.

Photo: Catching some surf up at Corners, my favorite surf break in Jupiter. This was a few months ago, since there isn’t any surf in South Florida for most of the summer. 

Saturday Links! July 25, 2015

I have been trying to live a simpler life in order to make room for things that matter. Turns out a lot of other people have, too! I’m on vacation now, so this is a little shorter than normal, but I’ll be back soon!

The Four Horsemen of the Financial Apocalypse, retire29.com. An interesting take on four things that you should never do in the financial world. I’m a little torn on student loans because I have them, but I find them to be pretty manageable. The other three I am definitely on board with!

Why the Founding Fathers Were Broke, femmefrugality.com. All of the founding fathers lived hundreds of years ago, so it’s sometimes hard to put their lives in context since ours are so radically different. This article does a great job of it, though.

Add carvings of Outkast to giant Confederate monument, says petition, theguardian.com. Nothing really to do with minimalism, but this was just hilarious. I love Outkast, and I would definitely go to see this if Andre and Big Boy were on the side of a mountain.

BONUS! My favorite local band from Charleston, South Carolina!

Photo: My Beetle was in a classic car show! I actually caused a little bit of a ruckus here because I was all the way in the back talking to some hilarious Brits with classic Range Rovers when the show ended. They shut down the street for this, so when it’s time to go you have to be ready or you’ll be blocking everyone else from leaving. I had to run all the way back up to the front and strap the surfboards down before everyone else could leave! My Beetle isn’t exactly “showroom condition” either, so everyone who drove past me asked me if I had broken down. I hadn’t, I just thought the show ended an hour later than it actually did. 

Saturday Links! July 18, 2014

For Americans Seeking Affordable Degrees, German Schools Beckon by Soraya Nelson, npr.org. Why hasn’t the United States been able to figure out education while almost every other first-world nation has? It’s mind-boggling, and also sad because I’m one of those millions with student loan debt.

Jobs That Will Pay Back Your Student Loans, mrandmrsbudgets.com. If moving to Germany isn’t your thing, there are a lot of other options that don’t require you to graduate with crippling debt.

Perfection Is The Enemy Of Frugality, Mrs. Frugalwoods, frugalwoods.com. If perfection is the enemy of good, it’s also the enemy of frugality. Also remember: Advertisers create need, and that’s part of the problem for anyone trying to be frugal. The Frugalwoods’ (Frugalwoods’s? English is weird.) blog is one of my favorites and always a great one for inspiration on how to live contrary to how most people seem to live.

3 Ways to Get Help With Your Down Payment, femmefrugality.org. There are lots of ways to get a mortgage, and you absolutely don’t need 20% for your home, especially if you are a first time home buyer. I wish I had this information about four years ago!

BONUS: What I’ve been listening to this week:

Have I linked to Cobalt Cranes before? If so, they’re worth repeating. From California, but they recently made a stop through West Palm Beach. Pretty cool!

Photo: Think roaches are annoying? This is a Cuban Anole, a rather large, aggressive lizard that lives in my banana trees. This one is about a foot and a half long. When he shows up on the porch I have to chase him off with a palm frond which he usually attacks pretty viciously until I coax him away from humans. #tropicalproblems 

Saturday Links! July 11, 2015

I’m rich Baby! (And follow your Heart) by Mr. 1500, 1500days.com. How much money do you really need to be happy? What makes people rich? It’s certainly not a $700,000 kitchen remodel. At least, not in my experience. More stuff doesn’t necessarily equal more happiness.

The Health Benefits Of Early Retirement Are Priceless by Financial Samurai. I linked to a few articles last week about how great and non-boring it would be to retire early, and also it might be easy to just let yourself do nothing but watch TV all day if you retire early without anything to do. But consider that your job actually might be the thing that kills you, not the fact that you got out of it early.

A New Financial Reality at pewtrusts.org. A new study finds that “three-quarters of Gen Xers … have higher family incomes than their parents did at the same ages, but only a third have higher wealth.” Common explanations for this is the disproportionate increase in property values and education expenses, but I bet that spending habits play a huge part of this too.

BONUS! What I’m listening to this week:

I haven’t stopped listening to this album since it came out last year. Fantastic!

Photo: Last week, I showed you a picture of the pineapple I grew in my yard. Did I mention that I also have a grove of banana trees that make these cute little bananas? The only downside is that once the tree produces fruit, the tree dies and you have to cut it down. But these trees grow like weeds to it’s really not too bad!