Our Move to "Rich-ville"
Despite all of the rigorous (self) training we've subjected ourselves to on "how to retire before 30" (crap, we're already past 35), and "how to become financially independent" (it sure would help if I went back into engineering instead of calling myself a "photographer" or a "blogger" for one second longer), we recently moved from our ultra-affordable and perfectly nice starter home to a decidedly more luxurious home.
After many years of reading and learning and saving and spreadsheets and net worth discussions and LIVING FRUGALLY... we moved to the richest county in our state. It's a place where families have special garages for their golf carts. Golf carts that they outfit with more customizations than I can fathom. Golf carts that they drive to get dinner and groceries and to their kids schools that are within biking distance. Sometimes they even drive them just to be driving them. These carts can also take them to the incredible amenities that their (our) incredibly high property taxes afford them access to.
What were we thinking? Does our new overgrown mortgage really reflect our desire to not be beholden to a job? How did we come to accept a move to a land were we would be surrounded by so much stuff, so much money, so much... excess?
Our Focus on What We Value
Why yes, we still want to "retire" early, though admittedly the timeline could look a little different now. But "retiring early" is not a value. We don't move through the motions of life with the single minded focus of having a bunch of money in the bank. Money is just a means to an end and the end that we strive for is meaningful experiences and relationships both now and into our days of financial independence.
While I fully admit that our old neighborhood did provide opportunities to bond with other people and have fun times, our new place brought to light a whole new world of possibilities. It's a place where we can see a park, and a playground, and a pool from our front porch. At any given time you'll see kids going by on scooters and bikes, families playing together, and people waving at passersby.
What we were missing before, that this land o' plenty brought us is a fantastic community! (That, and some of some of the best public schools that money can buy.) While this new community did come at a sacrifice to our financial goals, we've seen in the few months that we've resided here that the incredible friendships that now surround our family completely support this difficult value-based decision that we made.
Teaching Our Children to Spend With Intention
Now that we've moved and are loving our new fancy world, one of the more important things that Mr. Sense and I ask ourselves is:
How will we teach our kids to use money wisely while they are surrounded by those who don't?
Finding and sharing the answers to this question is the ultimate mission of this blog. So with the affluence that surrounds our family serving as the impetus of my writing, I begin putting my thoughts to paper and screen as a way to document the ways we teach our kids to live and save and spend with intention.
If you're the type that wants to set your kids onto a path of healthy financial choices or maybe even early retirement (and you like reading really long sentences written by an engineering major not an English major), I hope you'll follow along. If not, why are you reading this? I'm sure your time would be better spent researching a lift kit for your 6-seater electric golf cart.