Best Entertainment For The Dollar?

My son suggested today’s topic: What is the best form of entertainment for your dollar? As a family, we talked about a few things: books, music, theater, sports, movies, television, and games. Books emerged from our conversation as our #1. As a family, we started a ‘Summer Reading Club’ at the beginning of summer and I’ve read a record 5 books in 4 months. My … Continue reading Best Entertainment For The Dollar?

AARP – Worth It?

A few years ago, when we turned 50, we were greeted by invitations to join AARP, the American Association for Retired Persons. My birthday is 8 months before my wife’s, but for some reason hers came first. We didn’t join the organization, even though it’s only about $15 a month. I didn’t even give it much consideration, even though I’ve checked out personal finance articles … Continue reading AARP – Worth It?

How Far Would You Go To Save $1,000?

How far should you go to save $1,000? How about almost twice that amount? For us, the answer is at least 2,130 miles, or 30.5 hours of driving. That’s how far my son and I are currently going to pick up the SUV that I bought. We live in Minnesota, and yesterday we drove through Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, and into Asheville, North Carolina. … Continue reading How Far Would You Go To Save $1,000?

A New Job In Early Retirement

“Uh oh.” That’s what I texted to my wife after I dropped the glass soap dispenser into the bowl of our powder room sink. I was just finished wiping the granite countertop off when the soap dispenser slipped out of my hand and smashed the porcelain bowl. Unlike most of my family, I don’t recall anyone ever calling me handy around the house. I always … Continue reading A New Job In Early Retirement

Thrifty Thursday – Christmas Gift Challenge

It’s been fun to spend a few days Christmas shopping over the last couple weeks. I started a week ago on Monday and went on a full blitz yesterday – stopping at 19 different stores before I was done. Today I’ve been wrapping and watching a couple cheesy Hallmark Christmas movies (check out this funny Hallmark Christmas movie drinking game). When we exchange gifts with … Continue reading Thrifty Thursday – Christmas Gift Challenge

FIRE Travel – Driving On The Wrong Side

More than anything after returning from our vacation last month, everyone wanted to know what it was like to drive on the ‘wrong side’ of the road when we were in Great Britain. All together, we drove almost 20 hours from London to Bath, the Cotswolds to York, from Edinburgh to Inverness. Like many Americans, I had never piloted a right-hand drive car and driven … Continue reading FIRE Travel – Driving On The Wrong Side

Thrifty Thursday – Best Times Of The Year To Travel


I recently wrote about our travel plans in early retirement and the advantages of traveling off-season.  A friend of mine said that the three best times to travel were in January/February, May, and September.  This is when rates may be as much as 20-30% cheaper than the times when most people can fit in trips between work & school schedules.

I thought it was good advice and it certainly proves out when you look at this chart from which Continue reading “Thrifty Thursday – Best Times Of The Year To Travel”

Thrifty Thursday – Free e-Magazines To Check Out

Here’s a great deal I found out before leaving on our recent vacation: through our local library, I can download dozens of magazines to my tablet without any cost.   We were leaving for our recent cruise and I looked into downloading a book onto my iPad.  That’s unusual for me, as I am more often reading magazines and newspapers than full books.  Short attention … Continue reading Thrifty Thursday – Free e-Magazines To Check Out

Thrifty Thursday – Cruise Ship Excursions

Our family has taken quite a few cruises over the years and I am always amazed at how often folks pay big bucks for excursions through the cruise line companies.  This is a key source of revenue for cruise companies, but not really necessary for most ports. Our last trip was a good example.  We were on a Scandinavian cruise and porting for the day … Continue reading Thrifty Thursday – Cruise Ship Excursions