This past Sunday, a meetup was scheduled at Gas Works Park in Seattle as part of the Financial Freedom book tour. I don’t remember exactly how the conversation started on Twitter, but somehow it ended with Seonwoo buying plane tickets for the weekend first for himself and then for Moriah to show up for the event (thanks travel hacking and an over abundance of credit card miles).

Once their tickets were booked, we ended up planning a bonfire and dinner party at my house for Saturday night prior to the Sunday meetup since they would be in town anyway. That grew into offering Moriah a place to crash on our air mattress and making plans to meet up before then as well.

When it was all said and done, with the weather uncooperative and quite rainy, we ended up with a couple dozen people crammed into our little house, including a bunch of personal finance bloggers (and a couple other non blogger FIRE folks): Seonwoo Lee, Our Table For Two (Moriah), Fetching Financial Freedom, Millennial Boss, A Purple Life, and of course Millennial Money and Fly To FI since they were in town for the Financial Freedom book tour as well (*affiliate link).

The documentary Playing With FIRE just became available to download to Kickstarter backers (you can see my blog name in the credits), we ended up having an impromptu viewing party in our family room that night as well, though I ended up in the kitchen cooking up dinner and watched the documentary later this past week.

It was totally fun to see FIRE get taken seriously and a full documentary filmed with a bunch of people I know, either personally or just a little bit in the online world. It’s not available to the public yet, but it will be soon, and fingers crossed it may show up on Netflix as well.

Such a fun night

Friday’s Frugal Five

1. A neighbor texted me to say that she had some food to share with us again, though not asparagus this time. A friend of theirs is apparently a fisherman and did some kind of event where he ended up with WAY too many fish at the end, so he shared with her, and she in turn shared with me.

And by with me, I mean my husband and my son, because fresh frozen sardines are not something I’m ever likely to want to eat. They’ve only ever eaten sardines out of a can, so they’re both quite excited to try them out. Perhaps on a night when I’m not home, because no thank you.

2. I had another fully vegetarian day on Sunday, again thanks to tofu pad se ew for lunch. Moriah let me know that she had never eaten Thai food before, so I knew that had to be rectified before the meet up at the park. While I quite enjoy a number of Thai dishes, tofu pad se ew is one I’m just as happy eating with tofu as with another protein source, so it’s been my go to as of late.

While I don’t expect to ever go fully vegetarian – and the guys in my house even less so – part of paying attention to my environmental footprint includes a reduction of meat in my diet, and what I do eat, mostly from local, sustainable sources. That said, it’s not always easy to know where the meat comes from at a restaurant, so it’s a good time to pick a vegetarian meal. That, and it’s just tasty.

I need to learn to make this at home

Thursday ended up a second vegetarian day, and two in a week may be a new record for me. I ended up having a Caesar salad for lunch (again – actually picking up take out during the week) and didn’t get any meat on it. Cheaper, and simply just having a good meal with no meat. Dinner was cereal since my husband cooked up some shrimp that my father had caught and I had no real interest in. I spent a lot of my childhood choosing to eat cereal over another dinner, and it really is one of my favorite meals even today.

3. My husband cleaned our roof. Again. The biggest (and one of the only) downsides to living backed up to a park full of evergreen trees is that our backyard and roof get practically no sunlight and our roof gets covered with pine needles. And since it rains here a lot, that combined with the lack of sun means that our roof grows moss at a horrifying frequency. And so we have to clean the roof and the gutters three or four times a year.

Before we had our son, I used to help with said roof cleaning, but I’ve only been up there once since then since one of us really needs to be on the ground with the kiddo at his age. It’s never been my favorite chore either, so I very much appreciate that my husband gets it done, and it’s something that I never have to remind him to do. He just does it.

I’m not exactly sure how much it would cost to pay someone to clean our roof and gutters as well as de moss it, but a quick internet search tells me that it would cost us in the ballpark of $150 per cleaning plus moss killing, so the DIY job saves us a decent amount of money over the course of the year. We’ve lived in our home just shy of eight years now, so we’re talking about thousands of dollars over that period.

The trees are worth it though

4. A friend of mine has been focused recently on really paying attention to her spending and tackling her debt. She has two little children and has a number of expenses in her life, but she’s been making some really impressive strides lately. A while back, we’d sat down and gone over her expenses and her income in detail and she was able to get a fuller picture of her financial status.

She then took it from there, updating me now and again when she’d paid something off or down or put more money into savings. This past week she texted me and let me know that she had completely paid off her credit cards!! She is on to new goals now, and I am so freaking proud of her for paying them off. Well done, friend. You are impressive and amazing.

5. If this week couldn’t get any better in that regard, I wanted to share a text I’d received from another friend of mine:

Ok I just want to say I love the blog entry you just posted.

And I also want to say…You have motivated me a lot this year. [Husband] and I are on track to pay off all of our credit card debt by July. And I fully saved for our 1 year anniversary vacation…the first time ever I will not have to put travel on a credit card. We have a lot of the little things to still tighten up (aka coffee and craft beer 🤣) but we are so much better than we were a year ago…and now I’m excited to do more…

I really am so glad you started this blog…it’s inspired me more than any other “money management” book I have read.

It’s hard to beat that kind of message, ever. One of the very best parts of this blog is knowing that what I’m doing and sharing can be an inspiration to get others to take control of their finances and change their lives in that way. As much as I love sharing a month where we hit a super high savings rate, this is even better. This friend has decided to share her debt free journey on Instagram, so if you want to follow and cheer her along, you can find her at Budget & Brews.

Exercise Update

I drove into Seattle to meet up with everyone on Sunday, but I parked once a few blocks away from the lunch spot and then we walked over to the park and back. Spending part or an entire day with the car parked reminds me how much more active I would be if I didn’t own a vehicle, or if we lived in a downtown. Again, not feasible for me at the moment, but days like Sunday sure make it tempting to think about.

Monday I ran a 5k distance and it felt great. The weather cooperated and I got to run along the lake, which always makes for a lovely route. Tuesday I walked into work after dropping the kiddo off at preschool, but halfway through the three mile trip my right foot really started to hurt. I’m not sure what I did, but it’s been very painful this week.

Of course, we went out to dinner that night and I didn’t want to get back in the car once we got to my in laws house, so I walked another couple miles on it and ended up with a 20,000 step day. Whoops. No wonder it didn’t feel better on Wednesday. Or Thursday. Finally feeling like it’s on the mend today.

Have you seen the Playing With FIRE Documentary yet? What did you think?

27 thoughts on “Friday’s Frugal Five (2019 – Week 15)

  1. Jealous of the meetup! I need to make it to the Seattle area one of these days…

    And I am along the same lines in terms of meat consumption. Not sure if I will ever go fully vegetarian, either – but I’m trying to cut back. And *definitely* cutting back on red meat.

    1. Well, you know, if you ever make it out here we would assemble the troops!

      And I think cutting back (in all areas of life, not just meat consumption) definitely counts.

  2. I have a park behind my house which I LOVE and would never trade for but I’ve found the same thing, my gutters and roof need way more maintenance because of the tree debris. It’s totally worth it though!

    1. Well, at least you know the struggle well! Our neighbors finally moved across the street (and sold us our house) because they were sick of cleaning it after 41 years 🙂

  3. That sounds like a great meetup. We’re trying to eat more vegetarian meals too, but it’s tough. I’m not very good at cooking them.
    We have to clean the gutter 4-5 times per year too, but at least I don’t have to go up on the roof. I try to minimize that as much as possible. Our roof is too steep.

    1. Vegetarian meals can definitely be tasty, but I feel they take a lot more effort to make them just as good (especially for the carnivores in my house).

  4. Oooh the meet up sounded like a really good time! I also love the financial wins you’ve been getting feedback on, I love to hear people excited about the progress they are making with their finances! It makes our efforts all the more worthwhile. Have a great week-end 🙂

    1. I loooooove hearing about progress! Seriously energizing. And the meetup was pretty fabulous as well.

  5. I haven’t seen the documentary, but it’s probably something I’ll watch if it becomes available to stream on Netflix or Hulu eventually. I want to see who in all I “know” who gets included. Hope your foot feels better! Good job on going vegetarian for two days running! I eat a little bit of meat every day, but it’s a pretty small amount (and it’s chicken, not beef), so hopefully it’s not too terrible for the environment.

    1. On the days I eat meat I’ve definitely been working on smaller portions as well (and then of course, being smart about where that meat comes from as well). Putting my foot up at the moment but it definitely feels like it’s on the mend.

  6. Nice, looks like the meet up was a lot of fun with the other PF bloggers. Haven’t seen the FIRE documentary yet but will watch whenever it’s available at the library. Should be available later this year!!
    Haven’t been running lately since MwC wants to do walks with me along a lake close by our place. She wants to get some exercise in before baby #2 is due a few months. I don’t really mind since I still get a workout from walking and spend quality time with her.

    1. Only a few more months til #2 arrives!! How exciting! And family time just the three of you is important 🙂

  7. haven’t seen the movie yet, but might try and watch that motley crue one instead. mrs. smidlap made “tofu wings” a few weeks ago. i don’t know why she did that but they were edible and i didn’t have to cook them so i’m always grateful for that.

    it stinks when some body part just starts hurting out of the blue. i’ve been lucky this time around that nothing hurts yet. feel better and happy easter.

    1. “They were edible.” Well now that’s just high praise haha.

      I feel like thirty one is maybe too young for random body parts to start hurting, but apparently not.

  8. Yum tofu pad se ew looks yum! Have you ever been to Pop Pop Thai Street Food? It’s in north seattle and they do street style thai food authentically. It’s delish! The best thai place I’ve gone to in terms of freshness and authenticity.

    1. Okay no I have not. Noting that and I will need to go. Perhaps we could even go together? 😉

      1. My old hood! Everything is delicious there. The Taiwanese bakery in the same plaza has really good red bean buns (save room). The meetup looked fun, I’m so close yet so far away!

  9. I can’t wait to see the FIRE documentary. Sounds like you guys had a great time! And what a great text message. Makes it all worthwhile, doesn’t it?

  10. I’m a seasonal vegetarian. I eat mostly no meat in the summer due to the abundance of garden veggies from mid July through October/November and just really finding meat too heavy in hot weather. Once it gets cold, I seem to crave meat a little more.

    I’d be curious to see if there’s enough people around to do a meet up in Toronto… I hear of other meet ups but they’re all in the US. Sounds like you guys had fun!

    I’m (somewhat) patiently waiting for Playing With Fire to be released to the public so I can watch. Hopefully that’ll be soon. Either way, it’s awesome it’s been made.

    1. I think I remember hearing that from you before. Makes a lot of sense to me.

      And I bet there have to be enough people for a meetup!

  11. I like how you split the picture with the emoji face peeps on the left and the non-anonymous peeps on the right, did you actually mean to do that? Pretty damn cool you had a group of bloggers like that at your home. I myself took a group of MMM forum friends that are now friends in normal life out for a big hike, interesting how the online world becomes reality in person.

    Nice work on the no meat week, I have zero cravings for it ever anymore (except if I smell a plat of fresh buffalo wings in a restaurant). Keep up the effort on this front as I am sure you could make it more a part of your life easily.

    As for your friend not eating Thai food, I’m glad you fixed that terrible mistake quickly lol…what is the world coming to ? 😉

    1. Ha, it was complete luck that we got split like that, but it worked out well!

      I don’t expect I’ll ever go 100% meat free, but I’m definitely looking for more of a balance. Perhaps I could do it if I lived alone, but probably not even then 😉

      1. For your meat, then focus like you have prior. 100% only local sustainable products, make the choice for the environment and say no to commercialized destructive big business. Do you remember the 100 mile food campaigns?

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