Category: About the Banks (Page 2 of 3)

The Experience-Based Christmas

FLASHBACK: I’m eight years old. My mom and sister and I decided to be in the community production of “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.” I was a baby angel. Adorable, I know. We had rehearsals/performances every evening Monday-Saturday through Christmas Eve. It was fun and festive and everything always felt so Christmassy! But what about my dad? He couldn’t be in the play with us because rehearsals started before he was done with work. He came to several performances, but mostly, he was left to fend for himself most evenings leading up to Christmas. Christmas is about families and he missed us. Christmas morning arrived and we were all together. My sister and I came running down the stairs and saw the biggest load of presents around the tree I’ve ever seen! It turns out my dad spent his evenings buying us stuff… lots of stuff… to make up for not being with us. As the stuff pile grew taller and the wrapping paper pile got more out of hand, my mom got a bit tense. The following year my mom made a sweeping declaration: this wasn’t going to happen again.

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What I Learned In Ice Skating Class

Yesterday, I finished the ice skating class I took at the university. My final included me performing a routine to “Shut Up and Dance With Me” (best song ever, by the way). Yes, I know, you wish you could have been there. But let me tell you that I was the worst one in the class. Don’t think I’m being humble. I’m just being honest. I’m a terrible ice skater. My final routine included mainly skating forward, doing one turn, and stopping while skating. The teacher told me to skip the other stuff. I did fall down in the first two seconds, but then I got up and did the rest pretty well.

skating

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Northern Expenditure Retirement Soundbite

Happy Monday everyone! I hope your weekend was pie-filled and celebratory in meaningful ways. This Monday we’re doing something a bit different. Steve over at Think Save Retire issued a challenge to record a one-minute retirement sound bite. He posted an example (so fun to hear voices!). I started recording mine and suddenly it became a full afternoon of recording all the kids being crazy. Laughter ensued. While I cut most of that out to stay close to one minute, the family is all present. Enjoy our voices and we’ll be back to normal on Wednesday with our November plan update!

(music from Bensound.com)

Retirement Soundbite

Know Thyself: Do You

Lately, I’ve had a total breakthrough in achieving my goals. It has been a breakthrough for me to come to the realization (and admit) that I’m an “a lot at one time” kind of person and get stressed out about committing to do something every day. Granted, it’s only been a few weeks since I changed my tactics on my goals to reflect this realization, but so far things are going well. This all goes back to the most important thing you can do for yourself and your finances: know thyself. There are hundreds, probably thousands of personal finance blogs available, and it’s fabulous for your finances to surround yourself with good influences that preach the messages of avoiding debt, saving more, and finding financial freedom and independence. But the reason why there are so many is because there is no one-size-fits all approach to finances.

Do you want to know the absolute best way for you to get out of debt and save more money? The answer: The one you will actually do. 

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Our Next Life: The Series Continues

Based on an original series by Think, Save, Retire and continued by Our Next Life (the blog), I’m completing the “Our Next Life” series for Northern Expenditure. This means discussing the transition, the quitting, and the goals and plans for life after “work.” This is an interesting subject for me to tackle because instead of having super definitive plans, we’re sort of all over the place. But here’s where we’re at today:

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The About Series: The Banks!

At the beginning of the month, Think Save Retire issued a challenge to go beyond the “About Page” and give more detail about ourselves and our blog. I enjoyed the challenge as well as the participation of others, so we’ve decided to jump in to the party as well. So, here are a few juicy details about the Banks Family and Northern Expenditure.

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Sunshine Blogger Award

Our friends over at Two Cup House nominated us for the Sunshine Blogger Award. Thanks guys! If you haven’t checked them out yet, you should. They just got their small house delivered! Exciting times in the Two Cup life!

So, here are my answers to the questions they posed:

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My Biggest Money Regret

Luckily, I made my biggest money mistake when I was quite young. I was 8 or 9. As we did every year, we headed to Tillamook for our annual family reunion.

I spent a great deal of time at my great aunt’s house and she had an amazing doll collection. I wanted to be just like her in a lot of ways, but I had no fancy dolls. I had an American Girl Doll (Molly, if you were wondering), but nothing shelf-worthy like my great aunt.

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Liebster Award

The Liebster Award is a small blogger award that gets passed around to recognize smallish or newish blogs that deserve to be recognized. We are honored to have been nominated for the award by Try A Simple Life. I’ve read around and the rules are different with all nominations, it seems. (Is it like a big blogging game of “Telephone?”) Here are the rules as given to me:

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early retirement

The Blessings of Freedom

Every 4th of July my large extended family meets at the Oregon Coast for a big family reunion. The kids perform, the adults chat, and everybody eats. A lot. The dessert table is spread as full as the food table. It’s a glorious occasion that has been happening for about seventy years. The event begins with a parade through the room of the kids with tiny American flags while we sing patriotic songs. Because of this tradition, the 4th of July has always been an important holiday to me. It is a celebration of family, freedom, and the country in which we enjoy those things.

This year, I thought about this early retirement journey we just embarked upon, and how these blessings in our lives allow us to do that. The reality is that early retirement is not attainable for a lot of people.

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