Expidition Happiness: A Film Reviewed and a Lesson Learned

Most nights we end up in front of the TV. I’m not proud of it, but at the same time I don’t feel that guilty. At least in the moment I don’t. That’s because as a family with two toddlers, we don’t get a lot of down time, and while being productive after bedtime is an option, what we really need is some time to just relax. So that’s what we often do. Recently we watched a documentary that just popped up on Netflix called Expedition Happiness. It’s the story of a German couple, Felix and Selima, who decided to[…]

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A Sub-Optimal History

While Mr. TOC is fascinated by the world of financial independence and early retirement, Mrs. TOC has been drawn to posts by people who are sharing their stories about escaping mass amounts of debt.  It seems odd that I rarely think about debt much anymore, since it was only last year that we paid off the last of our student debt, leaving us now with just the mortgage. That got me thinking about why I wanted to start a blog to begin with.  In my first post, I mention that I wanted to be a voice for people who haven’t always made the best financial[…]

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Why I bought an E-Bike

Before learning about the financial benefits, I used to enjoy biking as a relatively inexpensive hobby. Sure you could spend a ton of money on a nice bike, but I only spent about $600 on mine and have used it for both exercise and enjoying the outdoors. You see I noticed something when I got into biking. People smiled and waved at each other from their bikes. When I used to run a lot, I found that other runners mostly just ignored everyone else in an effort to preserve energy, and rarely did they seem happy. Now I realize many[…]

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An Experiment in Travel Hacking

Just wanted to put out a short post today to let you all in on our little experiment. I never liked the idea of travel hacking. It seemed like a trap designed to get even the most senior savers to spend more money than they might otherwise. I’m giving it a chance anyway. But first a quick explanation of what travel hacking is, or at least what it means to us. The idea is to use and abuse the sign up bonuses associated with opening up bank accounts and credit cards. I’m sure you’ve seen it in the mail or[…]

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Calculating your FI Number

In my last post I mentioned our FI number is $750k.  I figure now is a good time to tell you how we got that number, and how you can figure out yours. A long time ago in a college far, far away, three finance professors at Trinity University completed a study that would attempt to define “safe withdrawal rates” for retirement portfolios.  Basically they wanted to know what to tell retired people who were asking, “How much of my money can I spend every year without having to worry that I’ll run out before I die?” There’s gotta be[…]

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