I Dream of FIRE

In pursuit of financial independence and personal fulfillment

The $1,000 day at the flea market

The soggy wad of bills in my pocket had grown from $80 to over $300 in just a few minutes. Eight strangers were huddled under umbrellas in and around our rented UHaul yelling at me to tell them prices and then negotiate a deal.

“How much?”
“$20”
“How about $15?”
“$17”
“No, $15”
“Yeah, sure.”

With every sale I lifted the flimsy plastic poncho, pulled the mountain of cash from my shorts pocket, and added to it or peeled off tens, fives and singles for change. There were always three people who wanted my attention and two others telling me I better watch the rest because they’ll all rob me blind if I turn around.

Welcome back to the flea market. Continue reading

What I learned from a home energy audit

I consider myself rather energy conscious around the house.

Nearly every lightbulb in the house is an LED. I close air vents in unused rooms. We keep doors and windows open early in the day to cool the house, then close them as the outside temperature climbs to reduce our air conditioning use.

There’s always more to consider, so I was thrilled when my gas company called to offer a free home energy audit, where an expert would go through my home and look for ways to reduce our energy consumption. Here’s what I learned. Continue reading

Book review: ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’ by Viktor Frankl

This is the first review of one of the many books I plan to read over the coming months.

Viktor Frankl’s “Man’s Search for Meaning,” in which he recounts his experiences as a concentration camp prisoner during World War II, was  so highly recommended from various sources that I decided to make it the opening book for my studies.

My reviews will be mostly geared toward my interpretation and actionable takeaways, rather than a traditional high-level overview. There are plenty of those out there. Especially for this book! Continue reading

Check me out on the Chain of Wealth podcast

My first personal finance podcast appearance is in the books!

Denis and Katie of Chain of Wealth invited me on the show shortly after I began my break in April. Continue reading

My credit card company almost paid to fix my phone

A few months back, I wrote about “The credit card superpowers you probably forgot about.” I pored over all the benefits tucked away in the information booklet you get when you sign up for a credit card, including travel protection, life insurance, and an extended warranty on most purchases.

So when my cell phone started dying with more than half the battery life remaining, I figured it was time to put this warranty business to the test. Continue reading

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