How Martha and John Miller quit their jobs, gave away their stuff, and moved to Rome

Martha Miller and her husband John had a big dream to move to Italy from their home in Houston, Texas. They quit their jobs, gave away their stuff, and moved into a little apartment in Rome’s Trastevere neighborhood. Here’s their story: Friends wanted to know how we did it, and the truth is that my husband and I became really good at saving money in order to make it happen. We aren’t trust-fund babies or self-made millionaires. We started with a dream to move overseas for 21 months while John went to school, and thirteen months after we got married, we were on the plane to Rome. It was surreal and exciting. When we visited Rome the previous spring to evaluate the school, we were unexpectedly shown four apartments to choose from. We had no problem agreeing on the one we chose. It was a small apartment up three flights […]

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How to Get Rid of Paper Files by Setting Up an Electronic Filing System

Have you had enough with paper clutter, paper filing systems and bulky file cabinets? They seem so, well, 1990s, don’t they? Dream for a minute of having all of your files safely stored online, and having only one small accordion file for the few papers that are left. Dream of the space you’ll free up from having no file drawers and no complicated filing systems. Don’t you love it? If you haven’t done so already, here’s how to set up your all electronic filing system that’s safe and easy to reference and/or share with your tax accountant: Buy a scanner. To switch from paper filing chaos to organized electronic filing bliss, you’ll need a basic home scanner so that you can scan paper documents directly into digital format as you receive them. My system is to store all files and documents on my computer, except for originals like my car title and […]

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Why Melody Lopez and Her Husband Opted for Peace of Mind Over a Big House

When Melody Lopez and her husband were newly married, they opted for peace of mind over a big house. 19 years later, they’re glad they did it. “At the time when everybody was building huge houses, we opted for a small one,” she says. “We had just read a Wall Street Journal article about living simply, and the article mentioned Janet’s book, The Simple Living Guide. That article was huge for us. I loved the article and then bought the book and took the advice. That’s what gave us permission to make better choices than to follow what everyone else was doing. If we hadn’t read that article, my husband and I would have bought as much house as the bank said we could afford, and we wouldn’t own our house outright today. We got a 15 year mortgage and paid it off.  “We’ve been blessed ever since. “My husband […]

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I Want to Save but My Partner is a Spender!

You want to save, your partner wants to spend. What to do?  Or maybe you’re the spender and your partner is always on your case. Whatever your situation, know this – you’re definitely not alone. Did you know that finances are the leading cause of stress in a relationship? The leading cause! Not only that, but couples argue about money an average of three times a month! Who needs this stress? Seriously! Who needs it? You don’t, and your marriage definitely doesn’t need added stress. There’s enough going on in life already, and as you probably know, stress is the number one cause of all health problems. So it’ll behoove you to take some time to get on top of this. Even if you and your partner are at complete opposite ends of the finance spectrum – you can find ways to come together about your money differences.  But first, […]

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