I've finally decided to start a journal. I'm hoping this will help me focus on keeping expenses low by putting the numbers out there for public viewing. I have two big challenges for figuring out when I'll actually make ERE: my budget fluctuates wildly each month and I don't know where and in what situation I'll be living in ERE. For now I'm just concentrating on saving money with the goal of being that much closer to retiring when I finally do settle down. I'm going to be in one place for the next few months, so that will help with the wild fluctuations.
Since May 2010 I've been location independent. My husband and I have been traveling around the US and Canada by staying with friends, renting places, sleeping in our vehicle, and most recently tried wwoofing. I have a full time online programming job that pays well. DH is working seasonal jobs so he can spend time with his son during the summer and also is a full-time cheapskate.
I own a house which I lived in before we began traveling. It's currently rented out to an excellent tenant who takes care of the place, never complains, and pays on time. I understand this is a lucky situation as an absentee landlord though, so we'll probably sell the place when she moves out. For now it's almost zero hassle and slightly profitable. It's not a house I would buy again as an investment, but a great place to live (1BR, lived there 3 years car-free, nice neighbors).
Investing in the stock market seems kind of scary to me (yes, I know this is somewhat irrational). Both sides of my family have become wealthy through owning businesses and real estate but avoiding the stock market. Ideally, I'd get comfortable enough with stock/bond investing that it could be an additional income stream. For now I have my 401k/roth/IRA savings in plain mutual funds and I feel exactly like the clueless buy and hold indexer that I am. I put my taxable savings in a savings account (probably losing money there due to inflation) and also into paying the house off early (the mortgage is only 3.375% though).
All budget numbers I post are for *two people* since DH and I track and share everything jointly.