10 Questions with The Hidden Green

Hey everyone, it’s Earth Day! Don’t worry, I’m not going to get all political, but I have some stuff to say before I turn the post over.

When I was in Boy Scouts, one of our mottos was to leave an area a better place than it was when we arrived there. After we had broken down camp, we’d scour the campsite, leaving it as pristine as possible.

I wish to apply the same principal to my life. Through donating my money, volunteering, instilling good values in my children and living right, I hope to die knowing that my existence positively impacted the world.

No matter what you believe about global warming, eating animals, politics or <insert a hot-button issue>, isn’t it better to take and consume as little as possible? Isn’t it better to treat the people and creatures around you with respect and dignity? I think it is and I hope you do too.

Today is the 44th edition of our periodic guest post series called 10 Questions. We have a list of 17 questions we pose to fellow financial bloggers, and they are free to pick and choose 10 or answer all of them. Let us know if you would like to be featured in a future edition of 10 Questions.

Today’s 10 Questions on Green Day comes from Ryland at The Hidden Green. Ryland’s blog has a green twist to it, so he asked if I could publish hist 10 Questions on Earth Day.

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Tell me about your blog and why it’s great.
The Hidden Green is about growing your stash by wasting less and living better.

My articles dig deep into social norms. Why do we follow them? I give readers a new view that uncovers how to live a more creative, efficient, and fun life that boosts their stash while they’re at it – the hidden green. Oh, and each article comes with one of my favorite songs. 🙂

Here’s a few the site’s most popular articles:

The Difference Between an Orgasm and a Workout

I’m In Too Deep. F*ck it. WRONG.

Enough, and Its Relation to Happiness

Tell me how you’re going to change the world with your blog (dream big or don’t dream at all!).
So it’s obvious the blog is about money. But there’s another part of the blog that may not be as obvious. It’s that the blog is also written for the environment.

The environmental impact happens when one person wastes less, stashes more and learns to live free of financial constraints. I have found the synergy between growing your net income, improving your life and benefiting the environment to be absolutely amazing.

I write about it here: The Hidden Mission of The Blog

What goals do you have for your blog, short and long term?
Short term, I want to give each reader a hunger for a new definition of success that is custom fitted for their life. Something different than society’s false construct that wealth, power and fame are life’s paramount. And more toward a future success that fulfills their personal hopes and dreams.

Long term, I’d like to save the world from self destruction by turning people’s unneeded consumption into their freedom stashes. Wish me luck!

1500 Days is about early retirement. Do you have early retirement dreams? At what age do you think you will retire?
Ah, the early retirement debate! I view early retirement as a lifestyle, not a number.

In the financial independence space it’s obvious that early retirement isn’t martinis and umbrellas on the beach. It is living and doing the things you love without any reason for money, even if those things are work related.

I believe you can get to your early retirement lifestyle before hitting the early retirement number 4% rule. If you live on $30,000/yr you need $750,000 to hit early retirement by the numbers.

But under that same assumption, you can very easily go off and start living your early retirement lifestyle somewhere around $400-$500,000. It’s not like you’re never going to make another dollar, you are an advantageous early retiree! You may reach the number a 3-5 years slower, but you get those 3-5 more to live the life you always wanted! That’s the point of this whole game, isn’t it?

My takeaway is you can’t go after early retirement solely for the number. You have balance the number pursuit with improving your lifestyle. I read too many bloggers that lose site of the improving their lifestyle part because they get caught up in hitting the number. I was even one of them!

So for me I hope to get to my early retirement lifestyle by 28. And I plan to hit my early retirement number by 35. But that won’t be as big a deal if I’m already living the lifestyle!

How do you handle people with different views on money, ie spendy people
This is one of my goals! To find a way to connect with even the spendiest of people on the benefits of financial independence. I think that starts with listening to and understanding other’s views on money.

My girlfriend is on the spendier side. I’ve learned a ton from listening to her perspective, especially around the balance between financial independence for the number and the lifestyle. We’ve made some awesome strides understanding each other’s views that I think has benefitted both of us. So I’m working on this on the reg!

Do you enjoy writing?
Oh, yes. I love writing. Writing of all kinds. Here’s one of my poems:

There’s only
So much time
You get to waste in this life

You can fill it with
Meetings and
Fine print

…and before you know it
they will overfill you – not a minute


You can waste it.
tickling your fingertips
in life’s compost
just enough to stir the microbes
that somehow
bring your soul alive.

Personally, I hope to become a full time freelance writer over the next few years.

What is your favorite style of beer – and what is your favorite beer in that style?
Two beers, any style, and I’m having a real good time!

We notice a lot of frugal people are into board games – what is your favorite?
Cards Against Humanity count?

What is the best thing you’ve read lately.
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

What do you do for exercise?
SURF, cycle, hike. And just now learning to kiteboard!

A great big thank you to Ryland for sharing his answers to our 10 questions. Keep up with him at thehiddengreen.com or on Twitter.

Join the 10s who have signed up already!

Subscribing will improve your life in incredible ways*.

*Only if your life is pretty bad to begin with.

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12 Responses to 10 Questions with The Hidden Green

  1. Excellent tie in with Earth Day!

    Even better poem, haha. I like how either choice is still wasting time. The poem has a nice brevity and casualness to it…a nice reminder to not take life too seriously.

    Best of luck with the long term goal. I love seeing more people connecting frugality with being economically AND environmentally friendly.
    Distilled Dollar recently posted…Smart or Stupid? My Emergency Fund ApproachMy Profile

  2. I didn’t know that frugal people are more into board games. It makes sense though since there’s no recurring cost. I love CAH, but I’m a Chinese national, and almost all of my Chinese friends don’t really get most of the references. We tend to play those super logical and strategic games, like Werewolf.

    Fortune Cookie Millennial recently posted…Welcome to Fortune Cookie Millennial!My Profile

  3. I like the answer regarding other peoples’ view on spending money. It is always fascinating to me as well. I’ve found with some people, you can rationalize and explain the benefits of living more frugal and they may agree, but still not necessarily change their lifestyle. I suppose it can be hard to break out of the mold and form new habits.

    The Green Swan

  4. Nice blog, I didn’t know the Hidden Green but I’ll probably be hooked for the weekend to read all his blogs! I’d also like to write more about the great combo of frugality/enviroment/FI, it really makes sense to me.

    Nice poem also, probably gonna use it someday 😉
    Meneer en Mevrouw recently posted…Waterverbruik kwartaaloverzichtMy Profile

    • Glad you dig the blog, and the poem, Meneer! I was nervous to share the poem, but am glad you liked it! I also got your comment on my site about a few links not working. Must have been from an update I did 2-3 weeks back, I’ll double check all of them soon. Really appreciate you letting me know!


  5. Really like where you are going with the hidden green. Cool concept and its definitely different then all the other blogs I see out there. Kuddos to coming up with that awesome idea.

    Will be sure to check it out!
    Alexander @ Cash Flow Diaries recently posted…How Investors Can Benefit From The Millennial GenerationMy Profile

    • Thanks so much, Alexander! I really appreciate the words and am so stoked on the financial independence scene, and am in awe how well it syncs with caring for the environment. Hope to keep in touch through reading/commenting on each other’s blogs.


  6. I like your style Mr Hidden Green!

    Especially the part about living the FI lifestyle before you hit your number. That mirrors my thoughts on the subject massively. Why waste an extra 4-5 years in a job you don’t particularly care for just because of some random number you made up*

    *Just like to point out that comment is not aimed at Mr 1500!! – as despite aiming for the number I know you have been living a decent (hectic but decent) life for a long time now.
    There are a few blogs I’ve read though where they are working themselves to the bone and bitching about work whilst having say 500,000 in the bank. FFS man just cut loose and find a more satisfying way to make money, that’s a pretty big buffer in anyone’s book!? I think most people are way too conservative with this sort of thing but then I have always been a bit of a risk taker and also very impatient so it’s always likely that I will bail sooner rather than later 🙂
    theFIREstarter recently posted…a brief history of the value of timeMy Profile

    • Right on, theFIREstarter! Thanks so much!

      I feel the exact same way about FIRE. We are all in this for the lifestyle — personal freedom, not the final number. The sooner we can get to the lifestyle, the better we are playing the financial independence game.

      I was totally playing the lifestyle wrong for my first 2.5 years, but as of recent am really taking great strides toward the lifestyle and it feels great! Really cool to hear we are on the same page there. And hope to stay in touch online as we both continue on the journey!


  7. Mr. PIE says:

    It’s easy to get drawn into the relentless mission towards FI. The MadFientist wrote an awesome post on the mistakes he made and unhappiness he experienced chasing a goal that became all consuming. Life is not a dress rehearsal. And certainly not a dress rehearsal for FI.

    Balance, balance, balance. …..
    Mr. PIE recently posted…Cognitive Distortions on the Path to Wealth – Part IMy Profile

    • He did! The first time I recognized the difference between the relentless mission and the enjoyable journey was in Todd Tressider’s interview on The Madfietist’s blog 6-8 months back. It was enlightening! And then he wrote that article a few months later and it totally felt confirmed it my mind.

      Huge kudos to The Madfientist for that post. That article is not an easy write/review of his time working toward FI but the honesty is amazing and so beneficial to his readers.

      My girlfriend also helped push towards this better balance too. She’s a yoga teacher and I think she nailed it with the “balance” part you mention above. That’s a big reason why I think its so important we all really listen to the spendier people too. We’d be missing really important things if we didn’t!

      Cheers, Mr. PIE

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