Frugal Turtle

One woman's slow journey to Financial Independence

June 21, 2016
by Frugal Turtle
2 Comments

What A Week Without the Internet Taught Me

Week without internetOne Long Week

I recently spent almost a week without access to the internet at home.

Almost two weeks ago a storm came through our area, and there was a lightning strike frighteningly close to our house.  While we didn’t lose power, our router was destroyed. What was once a perfectly fine router wouldn’t even turn on.  Since the lightning struck late on a Sunday night, Mr. Frugal Turtle decided to wait until the next morning to get a new router.  That night, however, I spent a couple of hours playing games on the computer to help pass the time before I went to bed.  I got pretty good at Spider Solitaire!

When I woke up the next morning I walked into the kitchen to find Mr. Frugal Turtle very frustrated.  After work he had gone to Wal-Mart to buy a router.  Unknowingly to Mr. Frugal Turtle our internet service provider only works with certain routers.  When it came time to try to connect the router, it wouldn’t work with the router he bought.  When he called our service provider to find out how much one would be, he was told it would cost around $115.  Ever looking to save money where possible, Mr. Frugal Turtle was determined to find one cheaper.  He did some research on his phone and was able to order a compatible router the next morning for about $50.  Score!

Now we just had to wait for the router to get delivered.

While I do have a smart phone, it’s only smart-ish at this point.  It’s an older phone that doesn’t support apps any more.  I can’t even get Facebook on it anymore!  I pretty much use it only for texting and calling.  Mr. Frugal Turtle has a Galaxy S6 with Mobile Hotspot, so the one night that he had off when we were without internet I did use his Mobile Hotspot to catch up on Facebook and e-mails before I used up too much of his data.

The days where we had no internet I soaked up the awesome new book The Simple Path to Wealth by JL Collins.  You can read my review here.

The router finally showed up in the mail that Friday and by Saturday morning we were up and running with internet again.  Yay!

The Low Information Diet

We lost internet the day after the mass shooting in Orlando.  I’m almost glad that we lost internet when we did.  Since cable and satellite television do not exist in our household either, I was starved of all media  If we had internet then, I would have been reading news article after news article on the shooting.  I would have been more saddened and shocked than I already was.  Instead, I experienced a weird feeling.  It almost seemed like I was less depressed.  I wasn’t aware of all the horrible things that were happening in the world.  I don’t consider myself depressed and I still don’t.  I think it was calmness that I felt.  Maybe sad news articles fill me with more anxiety than I thought.

The Guardian published an article in 2013 titled News is bad for you – and giving up reading it will make you happier. This is a paragraph from that article:

News is toxic to your body. It constantly triggers the limbic system. Panicky stories spur the release of cascades of glucocorticoid (cortisol). This deregulates your immune system and inhibits the release of growth hormones. In other words, your body finds itself in a state of chronic stress. High glucocorticoid levels cause impaired digestion, lack of growth (cell, hair, bone), nervousness and susceptibility to infections. The other potential side-effects include fear, aggression, tunnel-vision and desensitisation.

Whoa.

I think I may try the Low Information Diet that Mr. Money Mustache suggests.

I think I need a break from hearing about mass shootings, ISIS, politics, and every other heartbreaking, and maddening story that the media throws at us.  I attempted this before, but failed.  I never deleted the MSN and CNN and local newspaper bookmark from my computer.  Every time I logged on, it was just so easy to click and see the news of the day.

I think I’ll start out small, maybe two weeks, and see if I actually do feel calmer and more relaxed when I avoid the news.  If I do, I may consider turning the Low Information Diet into a permanent thing.

Would you ever avoid the news?  Do you feel more anxious or depressed when you read the news? 

 

 

 

June 20, 2016
by Frugal Turtle
0 comments

Book Review: The Simple Path to Wealth

SPW cover finalThe Simple Path to Wealth

I was so excited when I found out that JL Collins, author of the awesome and witty blog jlcollinsnh.com, was writing a book!  I’ve been reading (and rereading) his blog for years. I’m thrilled that I now have all of that information (and more!) in a single book titled The Simple Path to Wealth.  While I was reading the book, I realized that I am definitely on my own path to wealth.  It took me some time to get there, but I am finally on an accelerated path to financial independence.  I have JL Collins to thank for showing me how.

In the first few pages of the book JL Collins has a list of guidelines that I would consider rereading every few months.  Probably my favorite guideline, and one that is extremely important to remember is:

“Money can buy many things, but nothing more valuable than your freedom.”

These guidelines are something that I would consider printing out and posting on my fridge!

F-You Money

JL Collins is all about having F-You Money!  If that means eating rice and beans, then so be it.  The Monk and the Minister parable in the beginning of the book is one of my favorites.  I think of it often when I’m thinking about how much I want to retire.  I would rather live on little than cater to the king.

This book is for anyone seeking financial independence.  It actually gives very clear instructions on how to do this.  The hard part for most people is to actually follow these instructions!  One of the instructions for anyone seeking financial independence is to save 50% of their income.  This is something that I can see many people struggling with, but honestly, it really helps speed things along!  My own net worth has been skyrocketing ever since I’ve been able to sock away 50% (or more) of my income. Continue Reading →

June 6, 2016
by Frugal Turtle
2 Comments

May Financial Update

May Financial UpdateHello June!

I am super stoked for this summer.  It’s the first summer in a long time that I’ll get to enjoy the beautiful evenings every night.  I’m slowly adjusting back to a day shift schedule and let me tell you, it feels amazing!  I just feel better and happier in general.  Seeing the sun really agrees with me!

May was a great month for me financially.  I officially maxed out my IRA for 2016 and my net worth went above $80k.  I have a goal to reach $100k by the end of the year, and if things keep going the way they are lately, I should surpass $100k!  However, I know not to get too excited.  Things can change so fast in the stock market.

I’ve also been looking forward to June because Mr. Frugal Turtle and I have an exciting camping trip planned at the end of the month.  We are headed to Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park to check out some caves, and go hiking, and just relax in general.  Plus, we have a trip planned to a winery on our way back from camping.  Hopefully we can come back home with some delicious wine!  I booked a site at the State Park for three nights for a total of $77.  Not too shabby!  Plus our annual State Park entrance pass is still good from when we went camping last year so that’ll save us $25.

My expenses for May were a little less than normal for the year, to date.  I don’t really know how that happened, because I spent some $$$ on my Mom for Mother’s Day. I also went out for a movie date one weekend and the next weekend I took Mr. Frugal Turtle out to eat at our favorite restaurant.  I got my oil changed and also had to pay Bluehost for a hosting fee. Oh, and I also saved a few bucks by getting discounted gift certificates to the grocery store.  It just seems like my expenses should’ve ended up being higher than they ended up being.  Not that I’m complaining!

When Mr. Frugal Turtle and I went out for our movie date (Captain America: Civil War), we went on a Tuesday, and it just so happened that all movie tickets on Tuesdays are $5 each.  Plus, if you have the theater’s loyalty card, they give you a small popcorn for each ticket purchased.  Score!  I’d actually been waiting for a Tuesday night when we both had off from work and there was a movie we wanted to see.  Everything finally aligned, and we enjoyed a frugal movie at the theater!

May Net Worth

On May 31st, 2016 my Net Worth stood at $84,377.63.  I’m getting more and more excited to hit $100k!  Earlier this year I didn’t think that was going to be a possibility, but now it’s looking like I’ll definitely hit that goal.  

May Savings

In the month of May I managed to save/invest $3,611.60.  I had a crazy week at work last month where I ended up working over 70 hours.  Because of that, I had a very nice paycheck and was able to fully fund my IRA for the year.  If only every month was like that… Continue Reading →

May 22, 2016
by Frugal Turtle
10 Comments

GoodBye, Overnight Shift

photo-1429277158984-614d155e0017Tomorrow I officially start my new shift.  I’m excited and nervous at the same time.  After working a twelve-hour overnight shift for five years, it’s going to be quite the change to move to an eight-hour day shift position.  This weekend I’ve been trying to shift my sleep schedule to a normal nighttime sleep.  When I woke up at 11am today, the sun was shining and birds were chirping and I was happy.  After I finished my morning coffee I dragged a camping chair from the garage and set it up on the lawn in the bright sunshine.  I sat in that chair and soaked up the beautiful sunshine for almost an hour.  Pure bliss.  I’ve missed that sunshine for such a long time!  It’s great to see it again.

I wanted this new position.  Mr. Frugal Turtle wanted me to get this position.  Unfortunately, he could still be stuck on the night shift for a long time yet.  As soon as he is able to, he wants to join me on day shift.  This, unfortunately, means that we won’t be seeing each other as much as we have been.  We’ll see each other in the morning after he gets home from work and before I leave for work.  We’ll also have the occasional weekend and probably a random weeknight together, but still, it’s going to be hard.  I’m going to miss seeing him at work.  I’ve always told him he has a calming presence.  If I get upset or worked up over something, just seeing him and talking to him calms me down.

I haven’t decided how to spend my extra time.  Normally when I worked the twelve-hour shifts I wouldn’t have time or I would be too exhausted to really do anything when I got home.  I tried to batch cook on my days off so I wouldn’t have to worry about cooking during the small amount of time I had between sleeping and working.  Laundry was always done on weekends along with the grocery shopping or other necessary errands.  Basically my non work life was crammed into my days off, and honestly I spent a large part sleeping or napping trying to recharge my body and get ready for the next string of work days.  I felt like I didn’t have a life.  However, those days are gone! Continue Reading →

May 10, 2016
by Frugal Turtle
2 Comments

April Financial Update

April Financial UpdateHello May!

I’m excited for May because I’m pretty sure I’ll be hitting 80k net worth at some point this month.  Keep on keepin’ on!  But first, let us take a look back at April.

April was actually a pretty boring month financially.  My accounts really only made any gains due to the money that I put into them.  But, at least I didn’t go backwards!

I’m also pretty excited because I kept my expenses in check this month.  It’s my first month spending under $1,000 since November of last year.  Mr. Frugal Turtle and I didn’t really do anything too exciting last month.  We went out to eat once with my family to a pizza and sub shop.  Nothing too extravagant there!

I did have a little scary set back on the health front.  I woke up one day and my neck was so stiff I couldn’t turn it from side to side.  Luckily I had that night and the next night off from work.  There was no way I would’ve worked for twelve hours the way I was feeling.  I was in a ridiculous amount of pain.  I called my chiropractor and made an appointment for later that afternoon and had to get Mr. Frugal Turtle to drive me there (which he happily did).  I spent the rest of the night icing it and just relaxing.  When I woke up the next day I felt a little better and as the day went on I felt better and better.  I am so thankful that Mr. Frugal Turtle was able to drive me to the chiropractor.  If he wasn’t around I don’t know how I would have gotten there.  It’s kind of hard to drive when you can’t look from side to side!  Anyways, I should be getting that bill this month some time.

April Net Worth

On April 30th my net worth stood at $78,899.63.  I have to say that I’ve been checking my Personal Capital account every day to see if I’ve gotten any closer to 80k.  Unless the markets take a dump in the next couple of weeks I should hit that goal very soon! Continue Reading →