Bank-Life Balance

Last week I gave an initial insight into some of our goals for our finances and what that could allow us to do in the future. By saving now, we will be able to pursue second careers, hobbies, or anything else we want without needing to make additional money (that doesn’t mean that we can’t though). Specifically, we push to save around 60% of our income every year to hopefully allow for financial independence within the next 10 years. That’s what we want for our future, but I want to talk about our present.

Let me lead off by saying that being present is not easy for me. I’m always planning for the future, thinking about how if we do this one thing now it will allow for this other thing in five years. This outlook manifests itself a lot in my job. As a part of a rotational program, I found myself taking a new role at work and within 2 months already beginning to think about the next position to start 8 months later. It’s not always healthy, and with that in mind I am currently working on a personal level to be more patient, to be more present, and to not worry every second about what is coming next.

If you ever become interested in the Financial Independence, Retire Early (FIRE) movement, focusing on the future and ignoring the present is an easy trap to fall into. One that I need to remind myself constantly to avoid. So while Allyson and I remained focused on saving as much as possible (mostly by avoiding the common money traps, like huge houses, new cars, and eating out too much), we also don’t let saving money get in the way of enjoying life. Some examples of this include going out to eat at fancy restaurants a couple times a month because we love good food prepared by other humans. For me, I don’t think twice about spending money to join soccer leagues because I get joy out of the team sport and exercise. Allyson loves updating our landscaping and buying plants to make it more beautiful. We spend quality time with friends at least once a week and love nothing more than inviting people over for a home-cooked meal and a garden and workshop tour to show off our hard work. 

I will always encourage people to take a second look at how they spend their money and make sure that it aligns with their values in life. I will try to point out opportunities in our lives that have allowed us to save money. And most of all, I will remind myself, and you, that our time here is limited. We need to enjoy every moment as we are in it, not miss out because we are so focused on the future. Thanks for joining us on this journey. I’ll leave you with some photos of our garden, something that brings Allyson joy and I’m so proud of what she has done with our yard in just 2 summers. My weekly coffee journey is after the garden photos, don’t forget to check it out!

Our backyard the day we moved in.
Our backyard the first summer in the house.
Our backyard as it is today, our 2nd summer in the house.
Our backyard as it is today (different angle)

Coffee World Tour

As I said previously, each week for the next 15 weeks, I will post a quick review of the coffee style from around the world that I made. This week was the Yuanyang from Hong Kong. I’ll go ahead and lead off with the fact that I only made this drink once over the course of the weekend. Every other coffee that I’ve tried I’ve made multiple times, which should tell you all you need to know about what I thought. This drink consists of 1 cup of coffee mixed with about a cup of black tea (in this case Assam). The tea is made with just an absurd amount of sweetened condensed milk. The recipe called for 14oz of the stuff, I only used about 8 and still felt like it was a gross amount, but to each their own. My biggest takeaway with this drink is that it really wasn’t coffee. The tea is a pretty strong flavor (and I do not like tea) and the condensed milk really made everything very sweet. I was able to finish the whole drink, and will admit that it tasted better than it smelled, but have no desire to make this one again. For those out there that enjoy tea this is probably one you’ll enjoy more than I did, but I sincerely recommend less condensed milk. I didn’t expect to enjoy every drink on the list, so hopefully next week is better! 


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