Mixing Maroons - Spend Less, Save More … Get Marooned!

Mr. Maroon,Mrs. Maroon

March 4, 2015


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2015.03.04-1Exciting things are happening here… The folks over at Slowly Sipping Coffee have nominated us for the Liebster Award! This is a way for all of small-time bloggers to share the love with each other. We appreciate it Mr. and Mrs. SSC! First, here are some random facts about the Maroon household:

Mr. Maroon

* I’ve always held the notion that if something can be done, I can do it. I can get into trouble with it for sure by getting projects started but having to force myself to stay on track to finish it. But often times, it works in my favor, and I finish with a sense of satisfaction.

* I would imagine that I have a bit of a bias here, but Mrs. Maroon agrees with me, so it must be true – I think I’m funny. I can often bring laughter to the room with my stories.

* I absolutely despise talking on the phone.  It doesn’t matter if it’s someone I know and love or a perfect stranger.  Every time my phone rings, I get just a little perturbed.  And if I can screen it, you better believe I will.

* My sister has always insisted that, no matter what I do, no matter what happens to me, I always come out smelling like a rose.  It doesn’t just happen; I’m all about hard work, dedication to my pursuits, and an astute awareness of my surroundings.  I find it is true that the harder you work, the luckier you get.  I did find it humorous, that I received the following fortune in my cookie at Panda Express a couple of weeks ago.

 Roses I tell you. Roses!

Roses I tell you. Roses!

* I have sustained a fair number of head injuries in my life.  I have a dent in my forehead from accidents on back to back days as a five year old.  The first day, I was running through the house, tripped over a rawhide dog bone, and fell into our maple coffee table.  The story is I got right back up and kept on going.  The following day, I was outside learning to ride my bicycle without training wheels and fell, hitting my head on the curb and knocking me unconscious.  I have a scar above my left ear from getting run over by an errant bicycle.  Twice in the same year I had double black eyes.  Conveniently, that was the year that my eye socket height equaled that of most of the doorknobs in our house.  While riding bicycles, I ran into my dad’s back wheel with my front wheel and launched myself tail over tea kettle.  My parents were told on a number of occasions that I might be forced to wear a helmet if I didn’t settle down.  The question that plagues me is:  Would I have been relegated to a much simpler life, but the head trauma knocked some sense into me and allowed me to achieve the mental fortitude to become an engineer; or would I have had the mental capacity to provide much more brilliance to this world, but I’m just a lowly engineer because I bonked my noggin?


Mrs. Maroon

* I like to load the flatware in the dishwasher with the same items in the same spot… two baskets for spoons, two for knives, and two for forks. It makes unloading so easy. Type A personality here – speaking of which, Mr. Maroon is just as Type A as me. I wonder why he’s never caught on.

* I have some strange tendencies with cheese products. I mean, who doesn’t like cheese? But I like to dip my grilled cheese in ketchup. Mr. Maroon finds it repulsive. I also have a bizarre fondness for fake cheese – as in pimento cheese (only with Fritos, please) and Velveeta. So unhealthy. But I can’t help it. I can’t stand the fake, canned nacho cheese though – I gotta have some standards!

* I met Mr. Maroon in calculus. Yes, the makings of a true romance when you start talking about integrals and … I don’t remember – who actually uses Cal 2? Anyway, it wasn’t until four years later that we both got our heads screwed on straight and actually started dating. But it all started one fateful day when he asked if I could turn in his homework as he went on a class trip…

* The first car I drove was a candy apple red Dodge Dakota that my grandfather won in a raffle. Yes, people actually win those raffles! Then my parents surprised me with a lime green VW Bug for my 17th birthday (note, we will NOT be buying brand new cars for our Minis!). I was actually a little sad to see the truck go. But I drove that Bug – with flowers in the vase – for many years. It was so worth it when I watched Mr. Maroon on the receiving end of male cat-calls while filling up with gas in a certain area of Houston. 🙂

* I wore cowboy boots for our wedding reception. Seems only appropriate since the only witnesses to our engagement were the red Angus cows out at the beach!


Questions from Slowly Sipping Coffee:

1. Since everyone’s reason to achieve FIRE, or just RE or FI, seem to be different, what is your driver for reaching FIRE?

Mr. In one word: FREEDOM. The absolute worst part of my day is when I am forced to kiss my Minis good-bye and leave them in the care of someone else so that I can give my time to someone else to earn a paycheck. My ideal day starts with waking by the Minis talking, or perhaps the rooster crowing, instead of that blasted alarm clock. From that point forward, I would much prefer to spend my whole day immersed in agricultural pursuits, as opposed to going to a J.O.B.

Mrs. In line with Mr. Maroon’s answer, that freedom leads us to CHOICES. I want to have the choice to spend my time as I see best each day. I don’t have illusions of sitting around in my PJs all day long. Quite the opposite in fact. I would much prefer to spend my day immersed in activities that are meaningful to me – anything with the Minis, gardening, cooking, sewing (need some lessons here!), tending to animals, and many more. We will have the choice to live where we like instead of being limited by jobs. We will have the choice to create a self-sustaining life for ourselves to reduce our dependence on the world.

2. What do you do for fun when you have free time?

Mr. I enjoy working on projects, particularly building things. For bigger activities, I enjoy hunting, fishing, camping. I want to expose our Minis to new things. Making it fun to help them learn about the world around us. A huge goal of mine is to be self-sufficient – I want to be the one that is mowing the yard, or working on the truck. It may lead to a huge mess, but at least it’s a mess I created and not someone else.

The recent swing set

The recent swing set

Mrs. Ha! Free time? What is that?? With full time jobs and two minis now, I feel like we are pretty hard pressed to find free time these days. Before Christmas I started a sewing project. I have never done one before and really started to get into it. I enjoy cooking – on the weekends when I have more time. I like starting from scratch and seeing what I am able to produce. Other than that we get our entertainment (for free) from the Minis!

 Fresh bread

Fresh bread

 3. If you could have an afternoon to spend with anyone from history, who would you choose and why?

Mr. Our founding fathers. I’d like to ask them what they think of our country now. Is any of this what they envisioned centuries ago? If they had known what the world was going to look like so many years later, what would they have done differently?

Mrs. A multitude of moms that have traveled the same journey of motherhood that I negotiate each day. I’d want moms from all different times in history and from all different backgrounds. We’d sit down for a discussion on what it takes to raise happy, healthy children that grow into intelligent and successful adults. And a large part of the conversation would also involve how to keep your own sanity while raising those independent and lively kiddos we long for!

4. Do you have any heroes? What is it that makes them a hero to you?

Mr. My grandfather. He is a man of the most incredible integrity I’ve ever witnessed. At the young age of 90 years old, he told me that he got down on the floor every day just to prove that he could get back up. He worked to support his family as a general contractor while still saving his best effort for those people and pursuits that mattered most to him. He was honest, reliable, caring, diligent, resourceful, and very well respected.  I would consider myself to have lived the ultimate life if I could imitate his.

Mrs. Past, present, and future members of our Armed Forces, plus their families. They sacrifice almost everything so that here at home, we can enjoy the freedoms and choices we are seeking.

5. If you could live anywhere outside your home country, where would you choose and why?

Mr. I’d probably go with Western Canada. I love the mountains, and am most at home outdoors. I said it before, but it bears repeating, I love to go fishing, hunting, camping, hiking, etc. The lure of the scenery is enough to have me headed north – though I might have to live alone for half the year… Mrs. Maroon is not too high on harsh winters. Picking a different country was tough for me, because I could see myself living in many different states before choosing to leave the country.

Mrs. Without giving it much consideration, I’d say a rural winery somewhere in western Europe. I have no idea about the cost of living, political climate, etc. But so long as I could enjoy the scenery and delve into projects with the grapes and wine (unlimited wine!!), I think I’d be happy. But like Mr. Maroon I think there are some other neat places we could live here in the States.


Coming up Next

It’s our turn to nominate some of our favorites… Debtless in Texas has recently popped up on our radar. Love his stuff, especially details on SEO, which I have yet to comprehend. Plus they have a baby coming soon! Christina at Embracing Simple is also one I enjoy a lot. A large part of our plan to reach financial independence is because it will simplify life. And part of what will enable us to reach financial independence is simplifying our life. So with that, here are your questions:

  1. If money were no object, would you still have a job? What would you do?
  2. Do you / have you held debt? How does it affect you emotionally?
  3. As you rock on the front porch at 90 with a coffee whiskey (you’re 90, so enjoy it!) in your hand, what do you hope to look back on as your greatest accomplishment?
  4. If you watch your spending closely, are there any areas where you refuse to skimp just to save money?
  5. Which of the five senses is most important to you?


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  1. Comment by Brian @ Debtless in Texas — March 4, 2015 @ 10:29 AM


    Y’all certainly deserve it, the hard work and personality shines through the writing.

    Thanks for the nomination!!!
    Brian @ Debtless in Texas recently posted…LastPass Password Manager ReviewMy Profile

    Mrs. Maroon Reply:

    Thanks! And you deserve it too. Perhaps I’ll finally be able to up my tech-savvy by reading your stuff. I mostly rely on Mr. Maroon to be all of the tech support. Can’t wait to read your answers!

  2. Comment by Mrs. SSC — March 4, 2015 @ 7:09 PM

    Awesome answers! It is so much fun to learn more about the non-financial side of everyone! And I love the boots! Mr SSC and I were thinking about picking up some boots next time we are in the mood to splurge… “When in Texas?” Right?
    Mrs. SSC recently posted…Even Steven Money guest post!My Profile

    Mrs. Maroon Reply:

    Yes, we do have a non-financial side too! And definitely go get some boots. They are some of the most comfortable shoes I own. I love them!

  3. Comment by Emily @ Simple Cheap Mom — March 4, 2015 @ 7:42 PM

    That’s really cute that you two met in Calculus!

    Oh, and Vancouver and Victoria in Western Canada have some pretty mild winters, for what it’s worth.
    Emily @ Simple Cheap Mom recently posted…Grocery Shopping on a Budget of $200: 6 Lessons LearnedMy Profile

    Mrs. Maroon Reply:

    We may have to chat more to define ‘mild winters’ and how that might relate to Canada… I need more information!

  4. Comment by Jason @ Islands of Investing — March 5, 2015 @ 3:37 AM

    Congrats on the award Mr and Mrs Maroon, and loved reading your responses (I’m completely with you on the phone Mr Maroon! Although once I get going, I think my phone-voice volume is uncontrollably high for some reason…)

    And Australia is a pretty great place to live if you’re looking for other options 🙂 Hopefully you can make it down this way for a trip at least one day. But if I had to choose somewhere else to live, there’s probably a huge number of places in the US I’d pick too!


    Jason @ Islands of Investing recently posted…Long Service Leave – take the money or the time?My Profile

    Mrs. Maroon Reply:

    I’d LOVE to visit Australia one day. We don’t have huge aspirations of traveling the globe, but Australia is on the short list!

  5. Comment by Christina @ Embracing Simple — March 5, 2015 @ 2:55 PM

    Congratulations, I loved learning more about you two!

    Thanks so much for the nomination! I actually was nominated by Chonce from My Debt Epiphany a few weeks ago and have yet to get my post up because I recently posted some facts about myself and didn’t want to bore everyone to death with another….since I don’t consider myself interesting enough to have two! Hah.

    I’m going to share my answers here, hopefully that’s not breaking the Liebster rules 🙂

    Q: If money were no object, would you still have a job? What would you do?
    A: Yes, and I would actually be doing what I do right now. I do freelance writing and marketing from home and really love it. If I’m fortunate enough to be doing this around retirement age, I don’t plan on ever retiring!

    Q:Do you / have you held debt? How does it affect you emotionally?
    A: Yes, we have car debt as well as our mortgage. We recently paid off my Husband’s student loans and his credit card debt, so this is a big improvement for us. We are feeling pretty good about where we are at right now, and are looking forward to a little over a year from now when we can take my car off the debt owed list.

    Q: As you rock on the front porch at 90 with a coffee whiskey (you’re 90, so enjoy it!) in your hand, what do you hope to look back on as your greatest accomplishment?
    A: That I raised children who feel happy and fulfilled with their lives and wake up loving what they do every day, no matter how much money they may have to their name.

    Q: If you watch your spending closely, are there any areas where you refuse to skimp just to save money?
    A: Organic produce for the “dirty dozen”. I’ve been so leery of what my family ingests since I was pregnant (my daughter is 8 months old now), and it’s very important to me eat organic where it makes sense (I don’t buy organic bananas or other items where it doesn’t really matter too much).

    Q: Which of the five senses is most important to you?
    A: This one is hard! I think sight. I hope that doesn’t make me sound superficial, but at least then I could still (easily) go for my walks around our neighborhood and run after my kid.
    Christina @ Embracing Simple recently posted…Frugal vs. Cheap: What’s the Difference?My Profile

    Mrs. Maroon Reply:

    Very good stuff. Thanks for answering! I don’t think the Internet police are going to come after you for breaking any rules…

  6. Comment by Kalie — March 6, 2015 @ 6:36 AM

    We also met in calculus! I guess it’s a good place to meet thrifty number-crunchers! Thanks for sharing about yourself. I know my husband also hates leaving the kids to go to work and that is a huge motivator for saving for early retirement.
    Kalie recently posted…How We Paid Off Student Loans While Vacationing in EuropeMy Profile

    Mrs. Maroon Reply:

    Glad to meet other calculus-goers. I may not use what I learned in that class everyday. Wait, check that. I NEVER use what I learned in that class. But I gotta say I’m pretty pleased with the outcome of it…

  7. Comment by Jon @ Money Smart Guides — March 6, 2015 @ 8:03 AM

    I like how your sister says you come out smelling like a rose in situations. I feel the same way about myself. I believe that everything works out for me in the end. In the moment things go wrong, but they usually set me up for something better in the end.
    Jon @ Money Smart Guides recently posted…15 Things You Didn’t Know About MeMy Profile

    Mrs. Maroon Reply:

    It is a fortunate trait of Mr. Maroon’s. As the wife that watches, sometimes it’s maddening knowing that I would likely not come out with the same resolution. But I certainly appreciate it when I get to benefit from his successes!!

  8. Comment by Harmony — March 6, 2015 @ 4:01 PM

    Congrats! I was going to nominate you myself, but got beat to the punch.

    Mrs. Maroon – your description of a day immersed in meaningful activities sounds perfect. I can’t wait for both of us to get there 🙂
    Harmony recently posted…2015 Liebster AwardMy Profile

    Mrs. Maroon Reply:

    I look forward to that day too. So much better than plugging away for the ‘the man’ like today.

    And congrats to you for your nomination!!

  9. Pingback by The Liebster Award | Debtless in Texas — March 7, 2015 @ 1:14 PM

    […] folks over at Mixing Maroons, also known as Mr. and Mrs. Maroon have kindly nominated me for the Liebster Award and I would like to take the opportunity to thank some fellow Texans! I enjoy the dynamic that […]

  10. Comment by Mrs. Frugalwoods — March 8, 2015 @ 7:43 AM

    Congrats to you, well deserved! And, so fun to learn more about you two! I love, love, love the cowboy boots with your wedding dress. And, totally agree with you on the freedom and choices that FIRE will bring–for me, it’s all about the prospect of being able to control my own time.
    Mrs. Frugalwoods recently posted…Weekly Woot & Grumble: Mornings Are For WinnersMy Profile

    Mrs. Maroon Reply:

    Thanks! Freedom and choices are what drive us for sure. Both relate to being in control. What could be better than living purely on your own terms instead of needing to worry about someone else’s??

  11. Comment by Tonya@Budget and the Beach — March 10, 2015 @ 7:28 AM

    We have very similar reasons for wanting financial freedom or independence! I just saw a travel show on Western Canada. I’ve been to Vancouver but never to the interior just east of that and it was stunning!!! Like the Lake Louise area. Im putting it on my bucket list.
    Tonya@Budget and the Beach recently posted…The Importance of RestMy Profile

    Mrs. Maroon Reply:

    That sounds wonderful! Canada will be on the short list for travel once the Minis are old enough to appreciate it.

  12. Comment by Vawt — March 17, 2015 @ 2:23 PM

    Congrats on the nomination! I learned a lot about both of you in this post.

    Also, keep up the good work for Group Freedom in Moneystepper’s 2015 savings challenge.
    Vawt recently posted…February UpdateMy Profile

  13. Comment by Kara @ The Daily Whisk — March 25, 2015 @ 9:40 AM

    I do the same thing w/ silverware in the dish washer!
    Kara @ The Daily Whisk recently posted…Chow on the Cheap #2: Black Bean and Cheese QuesadillasMy Profile

    Mrs. Maroon Reply:

    So glad to learn that I’m not the only one with OCD tendencies!!

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