Solving the World’s Problems… Starting with Mine!

Solving the World’s Problems… Starting with Mine!

When it comes to solving the world’s problems, I’m the man.  I’ve got it all handled.  Call me “Mr. Fix-It”! Ok, maybe that’s far from true.  I’m not solving the world’s problems at all.  In fact, I sometimes struggle to handle my own problems. But, I’m good at adapting and actually enjoy change.  I have an engineer’s/programmer’s mindset and like to logically find an optimal solution to problems. And now that we’re living in Panama, I get to push my problem-solving to a different level.  We live in a small town in the mountains called Boquete.  There’s no Walmart, Target, or Home Depot here.  The closest counterpart I’ve got is a small discount store called Novedades La Reyna and a

Do Low and Negative Interest Rates Scare You?

Do Low and Negative Interest Rates Scare You?

A couple of weeks ago, I brought up the idea of negative interest rates with my nine-year-old daughter, Faith. Yes, this might be something a little weird to talk about with your kid, but it piggy-backed off of our personal finance class during homeschooling.  And of course, I kept it pretty high-level. I had kept it simple talking about how banks pay interest to people who store their money there.  The banks then take that money and loan it out to others and charge a higher interest rate to them for things like buying a home. These concepts are important for kids to understand.  Eventually, we can talk about some of the causes and effects, but for now, that’ll suffice.

Our First Week of Homeschooling in Panama

Our First Week of Homeschooling in Panama

We’ve been preparing for our move to Panama for over a year now.  When we decided to move, we knew we were going to be homeschooling for at least the first year we’re here. Immediately, I started researching homeschooling and have been trying to figure out this new world.  There are so many different philosophies and strategies on how to homeschool that I wrote about previously in my post, Homeschooling Research… Aarrgghh!!!!. I quickly realized this was going to be an ongoing learning process for all of us and a big adjustment! For this first week, I didn’t plan too much as far as lessons go.  Jim and I came up with a daily schedule for each day of the

Boquete, Panama Places to Live… We Found a Rental!

Boquete, Panama Places to Live… We Found a Rental!

Looking at places to live in Panama is kind of an adventure.  There are a lot of nuances you need to be aware of or you could end up very unhappy. For instance, if you don’t know to ask, you could get a place that has what they lovingly refer to as “suicide showers” here.  And by that, they mean that it doesn’t have hot water! A lot of the local Panamanians here are used to that and that’s just how they live.  But imagine not knowing, moving in, and then jumping into the shower for the first time.  SURPRISE!!!  YIKES! But if you know what to look for, you can find some real gems.  Although costs aren’t as cheap

What the Hell Is Going On with Our Living Expenses?!

What the Hell Is Going On with Our Living Expenses?!

Boy, this has been one helluva rollercoaster lately.  Our living expenses have been all over the map this year. We’ve had a ton of abnormal spending (both more and less) throughout the year.  The biggest factors for this were: Preparing for our big move Enjoying our July adventure Living in Texas with family for most of August Now living in Panama For a guy with control issues, this is throwing me off a little.  The roller coaster ride we’ve been on this summer is just about wrapping up, but we’re still not running a normal budget right now. It’s been so crazy with so many unknowns that I’m struggling to project what our living expenses are finally going to settle