Money Money Money

Let’s talk about money. Wait, don’t go! 

I know that this can be a touchy subject for some (while also the favorite subject of others), but I think it is important for me to occasionally touch on Allyson’s and my approach to our finances. After all, from day 1 of this blog I’ve been planning on discussing personal finance and now seems like as good a time as ever to breach the subject. 

Ironically, part of what pushed me to discuss this topic today came from someone who has made more money than you (I’m assuming) and I will ever make in our lifetimes. Andrew Luck. For those of you who haven’t heard or don’t care (like Allyson), Andrew luck is was the starting quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts. In fact, he was one of the best quarterbacks in the league who had been on pace for a Hall of Fame career. However, on Saturday Andrew Luck retired at the age of 29, leaving the game of football in his prime (and passing on ~$58 million in the process). Now, I understand Colts fans being frustrated and upset; to be honest the part of me that loves to watch the best of the best play their respective sport is disappointed as well. But the human part of me, the part of me that has empathy and cares about others, is really proud of Andrew’s decision and hopeful that it will bring about the joy and peace that he is seeking in his life. Because if you take away the astronomical amount of money Andrew has made in his life (~$97 million), and the fact that he had a job many of us think* we would want, he made the decision to do something many of us hope to have the freedom to do. He retired from something that didn’t bring him joy anymore in order to pursue a life that made him fulfilled. That is the key idea that Allyson and I would like to follow in this life.

Now, obviously, no one is about to pay me $100 million dollars to play a sport and I don’t believe Allyson is about to sign a free agent deal either. That doesn’t mean that we can’t work towards the goal of “retiring” early and pursuing fulfilling work (even if that work pays, hence “retiring” in quotes). For us, this looks like saving where we can and spending money on the things that bring us joy (check out Allyson’s garden on Instagram, @BranchBarks). By being intentional with our money (i.e. thrifting) and cutting back in areas that do not matter to us, we can save a large enough percentage of our income that leaving our corporate jobs can happen way earlier than the average American. This is one of the best summaries of how saving and investing the money you save can lead to an early retirement from my favorite blog.

So there you go, a small insight into our goals with how we save our money. Hopefully it wasn’t too bad. I plan on going into more detail regarding what the particulars look like in our life and how they may look different for everyone else. I’m hopeful that one day I’ll make that decision to leave something I don’t love to pursue something I do, and in the meantime I will continue to pursue joy in every aspect of my life that I possibly can.

*While you may think being a professional quarterback is one of the best jobs around, consider the emotional and physical toll a cycle of injuries could have on someone. I’ve found that many jobs seem great on paper, but the reality of the job can be drastically different.

Coffee World Tour

As I said previously, each week for the next 17 weeks, I will post a quick review of the coffee style from around the world that I made. This week was the Ca Phe Trung from Vietnam. This one was a bit wild. It was my first time drinking a raw egg, although I do eat runny eggs quite consistently. For this drink I used genuine Robusta coffee. If you’re unfamiliar, Robusta generally has a higher caffeine content than the Arabica coffee used in the majority of the coffee Americans drink. It also typically tastes pretty terrible (in my opinion). The roast I used was a combination of Death Wish coffee and another high caffeine coffee that I can’t remember. I’ve had this as a plain cup of coffee and it typically tastes burnt above all else. That is important to state, because although the sweet condensed milk and egg yolk added to this coffee wasn’t the best cup of coffee I’ve ever had, it was way better than a plain cup of Robusta coffee. I can completely understand why you would make this your staple drink if you only have access to lower quality coffee. So although I won’t have it again, I was pleasantly surprised with the taste. Once I got past the mental hurdle of the egg being present, it just tasted like a normal coffee with some milk and sugar. I am not sure that I could taste the egg at all beyond a slight aftertaste that was hard to pin down. So if you’re feeling bold, I encourage you to make your own Ca Phe Trung coffee next weekend.

Some of the strangest ingredients I’ve ever had in a cup of joe.

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