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


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.

Continue reading “The Travel Necessities of a Professional Surf Bum”

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.

Continue reading “Costa Rica Surf Trip: A Travelogue and Budget”

The Resolution: September 2018


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.

Continue reading “The Resolution: September 2018”

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!

Continue reading “The Resolution: August 2018”

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

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

Continue reading “The Resolution: July 2018”

Nice Guys Finish First (But Never Beat Anybody)


Everywhere we look we can find conflict in the world.  Nuclear threats, civil wars and international trade conflicts come to mind on a geopolitical scale, but we also see it in our day-to-day lives.  It can apply to your stand-off with your roommate over who is going to be the first to scrub the bathroom or your relationship with your coworkers, spouse or another member of your family.

In all of these cases, objectively, it seems that both sides would be much better off if they could just find a way to cooperate.  And, in fact, they would.  However, each party is averse to being the one to cave first, at risk of being ‘the sucker’, even if it means a worse overall outcome for everyone.   In this way, we end up not cooperating even when it is in our mutual benefit to do so.

The Prisoner’s Dilemma

“The Prisoner’s Dilemma”,  is a standard example of a game analyzed in game theory. I recently listened to a great episode of the NPR podcast Planet Money, in which they featured Robert Axelrod, a career mediator and political scientist who eventually became a Professor at the University of Michigan during the height of the Cold War.  For this reason, he took a particular interest in this experiment that has roots in the 1950s.

Continue reading “Nice Guys Finish First (But Never Beat Anybody)”

Who’s Really Going to Lift That Heavy-Ass Weight?


Things haven’t been so easy of late.  I mean, nothing is really bad, by any stretch.

Just…not easy.

But that’s just it – it doesn’t matter how ‘good’ or ‘bad’ you have it objectively, it is up to you to frame your perspective in such a way that allows you to see your situation in a positive light.

So no, nothing bad has happened, and nothing has really changed.  It’s just that it turns out that having a goal and achieving that goal are not the same thing.  Things ‘come up’, all the time.  I could only imagine what it must be like for people with a more complicated life than mine, like those raising a family.

It’s hard to meet your budgeting and savings goals.   It’s hard to meet your blogging goals.  It’s hard to meet all your goals.  That’s why it must become a habit – something we just simply do without too much thought to it, allowing consistent action over time to be the real change maker. Continue reading “Who’s Really Going to Lift That Heavy-Ass Weight?”

What Will You Do? Run A Marathon in the Desert


I think one of the things that most potential retirees struggle with – or at least ponder a lot – is what to do with one’s self once they’ve gained an additional 40+ hours/week to fill?  Luckily for me, I am able to ‘practice’ retirement pretty often, as a result of my unique work schedule, as I have discussed before here.

When I started on this journey in 2016, my intention was to purchase my home in Mexico with cash and to have my basic cost of living covered by the rental income earned from that home.  From there, I would be free to explore new and interesting things as I please, some of which would inevitably earn me money, but the pressure to earn for the sake of paying my bills would be largely absent.

Continue reading “What Will You Do? Run A Marathon in the Desert”

The Resolution: June 2018

My Dad is incredibly punctual.  I don’t travel with him often as I am not interested in waiting in the airport 4 hours before my flight.  But, as should be expected, the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree.  Usually.

However, I am  also a firm believer in the notion of ‘better late than never’.  Mostly because it is really convenient, when you are late.  As I am here.

Continue reading “The Resolution: June 2018”