episode 51. Happy (not-too-spendy) holidays!

This is our final episode of the year, so we celebrate the holidays by - how else? - talking about the financial implications of gift-giving! We also discuss our differing reasons for buying the gifts we do and we offer up some giving ideas that don't contribute to the build-up of stuff in people's lives.

Throughout the episode, we mention a few interesting sites and resources. One nice article from A Cup of Jo about creating a weekly ritual helped us think through how we could do the same. We also mentioned a great place to buy bikes for kids (Islabikes) as well as a couple of sites that could make great gifts for those interested in learning new skills and enhancing creativity (such as Storywonk and Creative Live).

Have a great holiday season everyone! We'll see you in 2018.

episode 50. Happy-making

Holy cow has it been some time since we last posted an episode. Sincere apologies all around; life and a bad back have slowed us down. But we're back with episode 50, in which we spend a bunch of time discussing the all-important question of how to make, and sustain, happiness. We run through a great list of ideas and consider their implications. We also catch you up on our finances, Chris's purchase of a new iPhone using drug money (I kid...there's no need to alert law enforcement), and other fun things. Finally, in Love Notes, we show some gratitude for all the little ways we've been keeping each other afloat in busy times.

episode 49. A real wrist slapper

In this episode, Chris turns 40! Then he gets his wrist slapped. And rightfully so as we discuss last month's unfortunately exorbitant 'entertainment spending.' But we cover the good stuff, too, like how we've finally achieved one of our minor goals of saving almost all of Kelsey's paycheck. And, we answer a listener question on where best to put savings, a Fidelity account set up by one's parents, or a Vanguard Index Fund. Finally, we offer up some love notes about celebrating the good times and spending quality time together.

episode 48. The high five of endurance

This episode is all about the little things. We start off with a Status Update, in which Chris describes giving up caffeinated beverages completely (WHAT.), and Kelsey gets prematurely excited about all things winter (it's still 104 degrees here guys). In Home Economics, we talk through the many small ways we've cut costs, created efficiencies, and otherwise streamlined, in-sourced, and life-hacked our way to a happier, simpler life. Finally, we talk through a listener question on 'buffer amounts' in checking accounts, and we share our lovely Love Notes. Kelsey mentions our first true - but giggly - work meeting. And Chris reveals the High Five of Endurance.

If you want to learn more about our tips and tricks for cutting costs, we've detailed most of it on our blogs. Here are a few relevant posts:

Going paperless in the kitchen

Going paperless in the...ahem...bathroom

Cutting your and your kids' hair

Creating a capsule wardrobe for women

Creating a capsule wardrobe for men

Reducing the number of cars you drive

Saving money with packed lunches

...and lost of other great posts on living a voluntarily simplistic lifestyle!

episode 47. Feel the burn

On this episode, we share a bit of good financial news after a run of unlikely and unexpected expenses. Chris talks middle-age heartburn and Kelsey chats about books she's been devouring recently (including Fangirl and Carry On, which Chris also loved).

In Home Economics, we discuss our late-to-the-party conversion to Costco shopping. And we describe just how much we nerded out determining which Costco items would save us money compared to Trader Joes (hint: it was quite a lot).

Finally, in Tools You Can Use, we go back to the basics and walk through our budget as well as our use of Mint.com in helping us spend based on our values while keeping us honest in terms of our spending. And in Love Notes, Chris appreciates Kelsey's listening skills while Kelsey's loving the shared commute (during which she's done much of her listening).

episode 46. One crazy summer

We're back, and we missed you dear listeners! In our first episode of season 2, we catch you up on the heckuva summer we experienced...the good and the bad. In our new Home Economics segment, Chris talks about his new job and how we decided, together, to take it. We also talk about the crazy expenses that came up for us and how we handled them.

In Article Club, we discuss a great piece from the Boston Globe on recent research related to clutter and stress. Reserachers from UCLA followed 32 middle class families and documented all the ways stuff gets in the way of life.

And, in Love Notes, Kelsey talks about how much she appreciates the time Chris gives her to get away from the madness of a household of 2 (+1) boisterous boys. And Chris talks about how appreciative he is that the philosophy of less is a shared and cherished one at the HiFi House.

episode 45. Summer simplicity

In this somewhat belated episode, we talk about simplifying, saving money, hitting our healthy stride, and sewing. We also drop some important news. Are you ready dear listeners? OK...

We'll be taking a summer break to refocus, retool the show, and come back this fall with a new and improved Matrimoney!

So, this will be our last episode for a few months, but keep up with us on Instagram as well as our blogs and you'll be in the know when new episodes start coming out again.

Now back to your regularly scheduled show notes:

In Life, Chris describes his harrowing run-in with a bald eagle (no shit). And in Money, we talk about how we've done with budget categories we have a hard time containing (entertainment...argh) and those we are killing it on (groceries, yeah!). We also talk about ways we'll be looking to save even more money through the summer.

Finally, in One Big Thing, Kelsey talks about finding her healthy groove, and Chris talks about one of his new ventures, writing for a brand new, multicultural, online sewing magazine called Sew Sew Def! You can find out more here.

Enjoy the summer everyone. Feel free to continue to hit us up with questions via email; we're not going very far. :)

episode 44. Much ado about health

On this fun episode, we overcome insane allergies (thanks global warming) to talk all things health. We cover what we think of as health (it's pretty comprehensive), how we support our own health and that of our family, and what we spend on health-related stuff. (Chris also mentions a great web site where you can do good research on purchasing a good bike for your kids. Visit that site here.)

In life, we go a bit into our taxes and how we dealt with them this year. And in One Big Thing, Chris attacks the reductionist way we think about health while Kelsey discovers the 'Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck.'

episode 43. Let's talk retirement!

Today's episode is a doozy! After chatting about a phenomenal day date we had (facilitated by College Nannies and Tutors - check them out here and let them know we sent you!) we discuss all things retirement! We got inspired by Kelsey becoming vested in her employer-based retirement account (YES!!), so we run through what it is, how to do it, and how to deal with threats to a good retirement plan. We also chat about 401Ks and pensions, personal savings and passive income, and Social Security. And we run through some ideas on how to strategize for long-term saving, even putting tomorrow's retirement planning in the context of today's crazy politics.

And, in One Big Thing, Kelsey like so many others is missing Richard Simmons, and Chris is lightly contemplating the fundamental structures of American democracy.

Oh, and to play along, check out these great resources. They'll help you think through your own retirement plans:

  • To set up a Social Security account so you can track your own contributions and estimated pay-outs, go here.
  • To check out Vanguard's excellent index funds, which is our main non-employer based long-term savings, visit this site.
  • To learn about 401Ks and 403Bs, here's a quick little explanation.


episode 42. Spherical living

In this episode, we chat about the joys of having no weekend plans, Apple TV, and delicious desserts.

In Money, we offer a snapshot into our bank accounts, giving you all our balances down to the dollar as well as where we're at with our major savings goal (you can see a breakdown of our budget here). And we chat about shrinking our 'sphere of living,' trying to minimize the distance we have to travel to get to the places we need to go day in and day out.

Finally, in One Big Thing, Chris chats about Warren Buffett and his incredible bet with a hedge fund manage proving definitely that passively managed funds are the MAJOR winner against actively managed funds (you can learn more in this Forbes article). And Kelsey talks about how enjoyable it is to let Facebook fade into the background of life.