The Intersection of Wealth and Health

Intersection of London and Paris

By the time you’re reading this, we should have already arrived in London.  When we first found out we’d be moving, there was one person who could not contain their excitement.  Based on her reactions here and here, I think she may have even been more excited than we were!  It’s only fitting then that on the day we arrive in the UK, she’d be the first personal finance blogger to make a guest appearance on this blog.

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, today’s post is brought to you by Maggie Banks at Northern Expenditure.  We’re so glad Maggie was gracious enough to write a post for us and we hope you enjoy! 

Mr. and Mrs. DTG are great about focusing on healthy living as part of their overall financial journey. This message on their amazing blog has always resonated with me (I’m an early fan). Health is important. Continue reading

A Big Change Sets The Stage For Deliberate Lifestyle Design

White Sands

As of today, I have 72 calendar days left as a full-time wage slave.  If you subtract weekends and projected time off, I’m down to 37 working days!  Not that I’m counting or anything 😉

With my formal working career coming to a close and our military move to the UK less than three months away, I’ve been thinking about all the ways our life is about to change and what we can do to purposefully design our new life.

For us, this move couldn’t be coming at a better time.  Over the last two years, and especially this past year since we’ve started blogging, we’ve realized that we don’t want to follow the life that has been scripted.  A huge change in circumstances, like our upcoming move overseas, will allow us to completely ditch our current lifestyle and build a new one from scratch, one that better aligns with our priorities and goals.

One of the biggest differences, aside from the funny accents and driving on the wrong opposite side of the road, will be our housing and living arrangements.  We currently live in a 5 bedroom, 3.5 bathroom, 3,200 sq ft house in the suburbs of a sprawling metro area with a population of over 2.3 million.

In contrast, the region of the UK we are moving to is characterized by small villages of around 10,000 residents.  Additionally, houses in the UK are much smaller than what is found in the US, particularly here in Texas.  In the area we’ll be living, houses seem to be around 1,100 – 1,400 sq ft for a typical 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom detached or semi-detached home falling within our overseas housing allowance.

These houses offer the essentials without the fluff we’ve become accustomed to.  No more separate game room, media room, or office.  Although the extra space is nice at times and I’d really like to have a dedicated office, what else do you really need besides a kitchen, living room, bedrooms, and bathrooms?

Smaller villages also mean everything is in closer proximity and should lead to a much more walkable lifestyle.  This is perfect for me since we are planning on downshifting to a one car household.  Our ideal location would be within walking distance of the town center and biking distance to parks and other local attractions.  We also want to live relatively close to the base to limit Mrs. DTG’s commute time and allow easy access to the base amenities like the gym and library.

Our current city is built around driving and without two cars it would be very difficult for us to get around on a daily basis.  A few weeks ago, I came across a website that allows you to calculate the walk score of a particular residence.  I typed in our address and the scores below confirmed what we already knew, painting a bleak picture that we’re actively seeking to avoid when choosing our next home.

Walk Score SA2

Walk Score SA1

Scores are out of 100.  As you can see, these are not very good.


Finally, the biggest change I mentioned upfront is that I will no longer be a full-time employee!  I’m not really sure what I’ll consider myself, maybe a semi-retired stay-at-home dad?  Now that’s a mouthful.  Or how about family asset manager?  Blogger?  Fledgling entrepreneur?  Regardless of how it is defined, I’ll need to adjust to my new role within the family.

Although we’ve been implementing changes into our lives over the past couple years, we’ve been clinging to some of our old habits (damn DirecTV).  Moving, in our case to another country, gives us a clean break from our present lifestyle and allows us to sculpt our new life just the way we want it.

How do you prefer to deal with change?  Would you rather it be slow and gradual or do you prefer to take a huge leap all at once? 

5K Complete! Took Home Some Unexpected Hardware

Give Cancer the Boot

A few weeks ago I wrote about a race the hubby signed us up for.  Well, we did it!!  Eight days ago, that is.  Sorry for the delay :/  It went really well and we had a ton of fun!  The best part is that it was for a good cause, so that’s always a plus.  While I was running, maybe only a mile in, I did ask myself, “Why did I pay to do this again?!”  Haha.

Being a first annual race, not everything went so smoothly.  Actually, it sort of turned into a big charlie foxtrot.  There were course marshals along the way, but no signs or arrows or mile markers.  And apparently the volunteers hadn’t been briefed on where to direct people, and no map had been sent out to the runners beforehand.  Some people ended up running less than a full 5K and others may have run farther. Continue reading

Time to Get My Ass in Gear

Run Post

Sooooo… DTG just signed us up for a 5K.  For anyone who has no clue what the flip I’m talking about, that’s a 3.1 mile race.  It may not sound like much, and in reality, it’s really not a big deal.  But it’s still a race that we paid for.  And I haven’t actually run 3 miles straight in who knows how long.  We paid someone to run and get a shirt we may never wear again, but there’s something to be said about the energy, inspiration, motivation, and fun to be had from an organized race that you just can’t get from running on your own.

We’re no newbies to races.  Neither of us have ever run a full marathon, but we’ve run multiple 5Ks, 5-mile Turkey Trots, 10Ks, and half marathons.  Well, I’ve only run one half marathon, not multiple… I was too busy being pregnant for what seemed like an eternity.  Plus, I don’t actually like running.  That’s the real reason 😛 Continue reading

Embracing Life’s Seasons

Wind Spirit Boat

For the last couple months, we’ve been listening to audio books during our daily commutes to and from work.  I know many people listen to podcasts, but we’re old school and have rediscovered the public library and the awesome resources available there.  During this time, we’ve listened to works on Buddhism, psychology, genetics, economics, memory, generosity, and healthy eating.  Personally, I’ve found this to be a great way to be more productive and actually learn something during the hour to an hour and a half it takes me to complete my daily 24-mile roundtrip journey.

On Friday, I finished listening to Continue reading