Happy Last Friday – Fred

Last Friday was pretty special, and since it’s still making me happy a week later, I figured I needed to write about it and share it here.

My Last Friday

The gorgeous library - with free tea!

The gorgeous library – with free tea!

I started the day by waking up in a 400+ year old monastery in Ecuador, not quite wanting to get out of bed as the fire in the room had gone out overnight and it was a little chilly.  But it was the last day of my trip in this beautiful area, and there was free time built into the Chautaqua‘s schedule to take advantage of it.  So while curling up with a book in the library would have been nice, I also wanted to get out and see some more of the countryside by foot.

The downside to this plan was that, despite being 7-weeks post foot surgery, I still needed to be pretty cautious and not overdo it.  So… when a big group of folks headed off on one more ambitious hike, I decided to opt for the one that was more of a “walk” than hike. Thus, at the fork in the road just a minute or so into the hike, they headed left up the hill, and I headed right, towards a flat lane that would lead me on a pretty easy walk through the countryside.

Continue reading Happy Last Friday – Fred

PoP Balance Sheet – October 2016

Welcome to our October 2016 Balance Sheet!

We use the structure of a monthly income statement and balance sheet in tandem to make sure we are keeping our expenses low and planting our pennies wisely. If you’re not already tracking your finances using these two methods, go to mint.com and get started today! If you have any questions about how we do this just post a comment and we’ll be sure to help!

Balance sheet was really boring this month.  The stock market went down a little more than 1%, and we put enough into our investment accounts to *not quite* balance that out, ending the month down a little.  Boring, but boring feels pretty good!

Here are the numbers for October:

  • Our total assets down $3.2K
  • Our total liabilities went down by $0.5K 
  • Net worth went down by $2.7K 
  • Total net worth as of the end of September is $1,236.8K, which represents a 0.22% decrease this month.

For the details…

Continue reading PoP Balance Sheet – October 2016

PoP Income Statement – October 2016

Welcome to our October 2016 Income Statement!

My No On 1 yard sign lives right underneath The Tree for all the neighbors to see.

My No On 1 yard sign lives right underneath The Tree for all the neighbors to see.

Mr. PoP and I put these income statements together for two reasons. First, we want to be transparent about our finances because we’re trying to be role models for other people who are trying to plant their own pennies (and end up with dollars someday!). Second, we do this to make sure we’re on track to meet our own long-term goals. If you’re not tracking your income statement and balance sheet, we highly recommend you start using a program like Mint to keep track of it all.

All in all, October was actually a pretty good month when it comes to PoP spending. Apparently being immobile most of the month is not a bad way to cut down on spending! Joking. Well, mostly.

My favorite spending this month was a donation I made to Floridians for Solar Choice (as well as buying the “No on 1” yard sign in the picture right there). This group has been leading the charge against this False Solar amendment, and though I try to stay outwardly apolitical, the dirty tricks surrounding getting this amendment on the ballot compelled me to do something to support their efforts because I kept encountering intelligent adults who were reading the ballot text of the amendment and getting confused as to whether or not it was actually “pro-solar”.

The Bottom Line

  • Earnings before principal paydowns and savings allocations of $9,067.  

And the details…

Continue reading PoP Income Statement – October 2016

Design Dilemma

This is what it's like today. The white door leads to the garage, and the cabinet built into the wall is a shallow spice cabinet built between the wall studs.

This is what it’s like today. The white door leads to the garage, and the cabinet built into the wall is a shallow spice cabinet built between the wall studs.  The broom closet is the void without a door.

Due to my foot being sliced open about a month ago, I’m still largely benched when it comes to helping out with our ongoing remodel. (Recovery definitely progressing, but slower than some of the optimistic estimates, sadly.)  Nonetheless, I did help Mr PoP hold a measuring tape this weekend, though. Twice!  So yay for progress!

While I’m in no shape to be helping Mr PoP lift or flip our countertop – definitely a two-person job since it’s heavy solid wood over 1.5″ thick, I have been trying to use the time I’ve been spending sitting on my butt thinking through some of the remaining decisions we need to make.  There’s one decision that I can’t seem to come up with a solution to, though. So while I absolutely HATE when people offer unsolicited design advice, today it’s completely solicited.   At least with the caveat that I offer no guarantees that I will like what I hear or follow any of your suggestions.  =P

Today’s Problem: The Broom Closet

Continue reading Design Dilemma

How Much Does Burning Man Cost?

As Mrs. PoP and I get closer to FIRE, we’re slightly more inclined to loosen the purse strings when it comes to awesome travel destinations and interesting experiences. Going to Burning Man this year checked both of those boxes for me, and it’s been something that I’ve had on my bucket list for at bm2016least a decade now. True to the purpose of this blog, here is a complete run down of how much it was for a first timer like myself to get to Burning Man and back.

So What Is Burning Man Anyhow?

There are as many answers to that question as there are people at the event, but here goes. Burning Man is a temporary camp/art installation/party of 70,000 people erected every year in the middle of the Nevada Desert. It lasts for 7 days, relies on a “gift economy” to exchange goods and services, and involves more fire, art, drugs, music and just plain weirdness than anything else that I know of.* You are completely responsible for your own safety and are expected to leave no trace when you leave the desert-this means bringing your own food, water, shelter, transportation and packing it all back out when you go.


It’s basically magic.

Temperatures range from 100F during the day to 40F at night; sandstorms cause white-out conditions most afternoons and the EDM music shakes the whole playa from sunset to sunrise, making the whole event look like a cross between Mad Max and a rave. If this sounds like your thing, congratulations, you’re probably as sick of your office job as I am of mine.

Everybody’s trip to BM is different; mine involved flying across the country to San Francisco and prepping for 3 days with a good friend before renting a U-haul van and being at the event for 4 days/3 nights. Included are all expenses, including those incurred in San Francisco while getting our proverbial shit together.   Continue reading How Much Does Burning Man Cost?