The Resolution 2018: Wrap-up

res·o·lu·tion /ˌrezəˈlo͞oSH(ə)n/noun  
1. a firm decision to do or not to do something
2. the quality of being determined or resolute.

A “New Year’s” Resolution is just one way of making resolve

It takes resolve to see something through. A “New Year’s” resolution is simply a pledge to take something on at the start of a New Year that you intend to maintain throughout the year (or beyond). But we take make all sorts of resolutions of all shapes and sizes at any time we like. The turning of a New Year is simply a convenient tracking marker.

This year, I plan to focus much less on updating my blog with monthly spending updates, as they became the crux of the blog by the end of the year. The intention of The Resolution, of course, was simply to find out how much I really spend, on everything, which I have more or less done.* I will try to get back to writing about my journey to financial freedom and the meaningful adventures I make and things I learn along the way, while applying resolve in many other important aspects of my life and financial journey.

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Indexing: A Timely Check-in

With the passing of John C. Bogle recently, it is as timely as ever for this blogger to do a little quick-take on his investing strategy and to make sure all is still in line with his goals and beliefs.

Bogle, of course, was the man who pioneered the Index Fund, an investment vehicle designed to mimic or track its respective Stock Market Index. This index can be a particular part of the market, such as, say, Information Technology (VGT) or, say, all of the US stock market (VTI) by bundling many companies together in one ‘stock’ that an individual can purchase at a relatively low fee in comparison with hiring an active money or mutual fund manager.

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The Resolution: December 2018

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Ok folks.   Here it is.  The last entry of the 2018 Resolution series, and the last time (in 2018 anyway) that I will call you all folks.  This was just a small part of the blog at this time last year, but is currently all I am posting as I have found myself wrapped up in other creative pursuits with my free time such as a renewed focus on photography and have been learning some graphic design skills through online training in the Adobe Creative Suite, which has led me to even trying my hand at art, such as this*:

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It’s been a wild ride.  I started out strong and ambitious, with goals of spending as little as $12,000 CAD for the year.  It didn’t take long to realize that I needed to adjust that goal, and later I adjusted it again, ultimately settling on a goal of $18,000 spending for the year (less than $15,000 USD).

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The Resolution: November 2018

Nov 2018 Spending

The end is nigh.  The end of the year, that is.  And thus, The Resolution.

There’s no doubt my spending goals have slipped throughout the year, but things come and go, and you’ve got to stick with something in good times and bad in order to make any real gains.  Ultimately it will still be my most financially efficient year ever, and still likely my least expensive year in terms of spending money as well.  I am determined to reset the The Resolution in The New Year and apply what I have learned.

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The Resolution: October 2018

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Well folks, well more than half way through the final quarter and November itself, and here I am letting you know how my spending went in October!  Ugh.

Props to all them real bloggers out there that keep their practice alive day-in-day-out.  There’s no question my commitment to keep writing has waned in recent months, and I think it’s safe to say that my spending has been inversely correlated during that time.  I am going to assume that this correlation is actually a causal factor and do my best to get back to blogging about my spending, finances and thoughts on the matters more diligently and regularly.  After all, this all started as a reminder to myself of my goals and intentions regarding my lifestyle, finances and environmental and social impacts. Continue reading “The Resolution: October 2018”

The Travel Necessities of a Professional Surf Bum

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In my last article I broke down my trip to Costa Rica, highlighting some of the travel and excitement but also providing a detailed list of all expenses associated with the trip.  As I was re-reading it, however, I realized that there were some things I had not mentioned that helped me to save money and maximize my enjoyment.  A lot of these things are subtle little additions to my bag – or the bag itself – that my moderate amount of travel experience over the years has allowed me to pickup, and I’ve been building a list to help me prepare for future trips without forgetting (too) much.

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Costa Rica Surf Trip: A Travelogue and Budget

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Although this blog is premised around financial freedom and early retirement, I don’t consider it to be the best place for one to come to receive nitty gritty down and dirty theoretically sound numbers and figures on how to best invest their money or leverage their earnings.  No.  I mean, you will get a fair taste of data still – after all, numbers make the world go round and one needs to support their arguments with facts – but I am here more to compliment that data or show it to you in such a way that encourages you to re-think the way you go about approaching your retirement.  Your finances.  Your freedom.  I am simply out to show you another model.  Not the only model, not even necessarily a better model.  Simply another model.

In addition, the fact of the matter is that my ideal for life beyond full-time work will include regular travel, even more than I have been able to do lately.  Thus, it is not inconceivable that this blog will eventually be considered a travel blog above all else.

A Freedom Blog is what I have come to call it.

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The Resolution: September 2018

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September is one of those months.  Not quite fall, no longer really summer.  It doesn’t come with a lot of expectations besides back-to-school and the occasional way-too-early Christmas-themed items for sale in stores, yet it can be one of the better months of the year in terms of weather.  Combined with the slowing of the summer tourist crowds, it can often sneak up as one of the most enjoyable months of the year.  At least that is the case in British Columbia, where I grew up.  Here in Mexico, ‘muggy and buggy’ is the word during September.

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The Resolution: August 2018

Aug 2018 SpendingHere we are again, a little over a year since my first post on Freedom 33 last August.  And what do you know – it has been my least productive and most expensive month yet!  I won’t dwell on it – I was on a trip and have been working on some other personal projects a little more.  Let’s just chalk it up to a good healthy summer break.  But I am back!  And as you can see, I spent a lot in August!

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The Resolution: July 2018

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You know what they say, ‘what gets measured gets managed’.  I started this blog last August when I got fed up with failing to meet the savings goals I had in mind, and decided to take a closer look and, well, get my shit together.

It started with spending, and I remain largely focused on that.  I realize that I am earning a lot.  It may not be as much as Ramit followers think they need to earn in order to live lavishly guilt-free with no consideration for anything but their…guilt…but I do consider myself to be very fortunate by virtually all measures.  I suppose if I could find a way to start earning hundreds of thousands per year or more, perhaps my savings of an extra $30 here and there would be less relevant, as Ramit claims, but that wouldn’t consider the value of the habits and perspectives we’re developing by exercising our frugality muscles regularly, whether we’re financially independent or not.  Remember, it’s not just about you, it’s about the planet and the rest of the people on it.

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Photo by mali maeder on Pexels.com

When it comes to consuming, just because you can doesn’t mean that you should.

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