Northern Expenditure Turns 1

Northern Expenditure Turns 1!

The first year of any life simultaneously speeds by and seems like forever. When I think back on where we were a year ago, it seems so distant. But every week on the blog has been such a joy, it’s gone by in a flash.

This blog was born out of a malaise with the norm. Ironically, though our situation hasn’t changed much, the blog has helped us find more joy in the current situation. Why? Because we’re doing something about it while also realizing even more that living in the present is important.

The absolute number one reason I’m so glad I started this blog is the connections I’ve made because of it. I’ve met some actual friends that are bloggers and those connections are awesome. I also love all the comments! The connections with you are WHY we do this. Our readers are amazing and every once in awhile, someone will comment a personal story or a tip or inspiration that completely rocks my socks! So thank you. Thank you for being here. Thanks for joining the discussion. Thanks for being my friends.

For our 100th post, we put together a clip show. Today, we will continue that theme and create the ultimate first year Northern Expenditure clip show! Look at the highlights from the past year (cue sentimental music…. “It’s something unpredictable… I hope you had the time of your life…”):

What Have We Accomplished?

Since starting the blog one year ago, we have made so many little changes that have added up to a complete lifestyle change. Over the past year, we:

We recently recalculated our plans and would have been frustrated by the numbers, but when you take into account the 4-year potential, I’m excited to see what lies ahead for us and love taking a look through the kaleidoscope toward that future.

I’m a researcher. I do it for work. I do it for fun. So periodically, I talk about research here on the blog. We’ve covered topics such as: temporal discounting (and the famous marshmallow study), regret (how to avoid regret, how to plan for regret, business regretsgeneral life regrets and my hilarious worst money regret), starting a new habit, feature fatigue, gratitude (also a possible antidote for temporal discounting!), relationships and finances, the brand name deceptionhow the rich live longer, and inflation and market returns.

We’ve also offered our own advice (though obviously for entertainment only) of various varieties:

If you’re looking for inspiration, we’re here to tell you that you need to Accept Yourself Now but we’re also here to tell you that if you don’t like something It’s Your Fault! and you should start by making one change toward where you want to be. You need to pick a path and make it yours, dream big, work out your life asset allocations, and be willing to go shirtless. We’ve also created a whole series of pinnable, printable inspiration for you that we like to call Northern Expressions.

As for your finances, we have some stuff to say about that, too. (Again, disclosure: don’t make financial choices based on some Alaskan blogger.) First of all, we believe that we won the birth lottery and that allows us to pursue financial independence. We also think that finances are relative, so you are the only person that can determine the best choices for you. We can tell you the basics and lay them out as simply as possible, but in the end, you are the one that you need to understand. You need to know your financial reflexes, your gazingus pin, your leaky spending, when your love is getting in the way, and whether you are a saver or a spender. The path to financial independence is long, but it gains momentum as you go, and the good news is: it’s not a marathon (or a sprint!).

Thanks for being along for our journey. We truly appreciate it. You inspire us. We hope we’ve been able to inspire a few of you as well. Here’s to another 20 years! Go and eat some cake in our honor! (I always approve of eating cake and I’m happy to give you an excuse to do so.)


Northern Expressions: Be a Columbus


Scheduled Unproductivity


  1. Congrats on your one year! Love reading your material – and especially as I am getting nearer to my own early retirement. Best to you in year 2 and beyond!

  2. Happy Birthday Northern Expenditure! What a great list of posts 🙂 You’re doing a great job on reaching your goals and I truly appreciate all of the encouragement provided to achieve our own dreams as well. Now, gotta go find that cake!

    • MaggieBanks

      Thanks for your support Harmony. What kind of cake did you eat in our honor? 🙂

  3. Happy blogiversary! Congrats on a great first year blogging and reaching your goals! Looking forward to what year two brings.

    • MaggieBanks

      Thanks Brian! We look forward to seeing what we’re capable of!

  4. Congratulations on an awesome year! As a new blogger – this is a real inspiration and I will be sure to go back and check out many of your posts. I see a lot of value (and fun) reading ahead!

  5. Happy Birthday, brilliant and beautiful blog! I cannot believe you’ve only been doing this for a year. I am going to come back this week and click through every single one of these links to make sure I haven’t missed a drop of wisdom. Cheers!

  6. Congrats on making it a year! Happy Birthday! Excited to ehar about your Euro trip and more articles during year two!

    • MaggieBanks

      I’m writing all about the trip next week with pictures!

  7. Congrats on the 1 year mark! Here’s to many to go.

  8. HAPPY BLOGIVERSARY!! So excited to see what comes in year 2!

    • MaggieBanks

      Thanks Alyssa. Maybe I’ll go nuts in year 2! Here’s to finding out… 🙂

  9. Congrats! I agree that interacting with commentors is one of the best parts of blogging. Also, thanks for your financial update. You are doing great in net worth growth! It’s truly inspiring.

    • MaggieBanks

      The people we’ve met are amazing! And thanks for the encouragement!

  10. TheMoneyMine

    Congrats guys! It certainly feels like you’ve been doing this for longer than a year, you’ve been so busy!!
    If you insist, alright, I’ll have some cake. We made a fig pie yesterday and it’s waiting for me downstairs. I’ll go have another slice for the occasion 🙂

    • MaggieBanks

      I love the idea of you and your wife eating pie together in my behalf. Cheers! 🙂

  11. Congratulations! Great accomplishments and a great year indeed. I’d say more but I’m running out the door to get CAKE!

  12. Happy anniversary! I’m having a hard time believing that we’ve only been friends for a year! Like you said, the time seems both short and long. Congrats on an awesome year of blogging and turning out consistently inspiring, thought-provoking content. I can’t wait to hear all about your trip, especially what it was like to be there doing the Brexit vote and lead-up… seems pretty crazy! xoxo

    • MaggieBanks

      Aww. As usual, you are too nice. And the Brexit thing was very interesting. My favorite moment the next day was when a guy on the radio had a student on and an older lady on asking them questions about the outcome. At one point, they just started yelling at each other. He said: “Pause a moment. Ladies. Pause a moment. You mustn’t speak across one another.” When it was clear he had lost control, he said: “I think I’ll play One Direction” and he put on a song. It was hilarious.

      • LOL — Can I use that line in real life? Like in work meetings when people aren’t behaving? “Alright, you all are being ridiculous. I’m going to play One Direction.”

  13. Happy blogiversary! You are awesome! 🙂

  14. The Green Swan

    Congrats on turning 1! I totally agree with the sentiment you shared about the connections with readers and other bloggers, it’s been one of my favorite perks since I started blogging which I didn’t necessarily anticipate.

    • MaggieBanks

      I didn’t anticipate making actual friends through this thing. It’s amazing!

  15. Happy anniversary! Yours is one of the sites I most often look for on Monday mornings! Keep up the hard work toward FIRE. It will be here before you know it!

    • MaggieBanks

      That’s so flattering that you check in on Monday mornings! You’re a true inspiration… having down it and all! We’ll get there someday!

  16. Congrats on the 1 year!! Looking forward to more great content over the years!

    — Jim

  17. Wow, what a first year! Congratulations!

  18. Happy blogiversary! What a year it has been for you guys! $38k increase in investments is so impressive! Wow! Thank you for sharing your journey with us!

    • MaggieBanks

      Thanks! In the moment, it feels like we’re going at a snail’s pace, but just like that, it’s already been a year and $38k gain is pretty darn good in our book!

  19. Congratulations! Looks like you guys had an incredible year! Hope you’re having an amazing time on your trip; looking forward to another awesome year two and beyond. Keep up the excellent work! 🙂

    • MaggieBanks

      Thanks so much! It’s been an incredible year for sure and it was fabulous celebrating with a big trip!

  20. I’m late to the commenting party, but congratulations on one year of blogging! We love your writing and the continual inspiration it provides. Hope you’ll keep it up for many years to come!

    • MaggieBanks

      Thanks so much, Matt! Coming from someone that is actually living the dream, that means a lot!

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