About

Is it possible to achieve financial freedom in a way that helps solve the environmental challenges and social injustices plaguing our world instead of causing them? That’s the question I set out to answer back in 2017 when I launched my earlier website Triple Bottom Line FI. When I created that website my primary objective was to identify socially responsible ways to invest and manage my money.

During the almost two years that blog existed, I realized that another important message I want to emphasize for my readers is that leading a rich and resilient life requires more than just a solid financial portfolio. I created this website to share resources, ideas, tools, and inspiration that can foster lasting abundance and well-being in our lives, our communities, and for all of the creatures with which we share our beautiful planet.

ABOUT ME

Hi, I’m Laura. I had a pretty mainstream North American childhood, living in middle-class suburbia mostly oblivious to the downstream effects of my actions. Once I got to college, where I majored in international studies, my horizons began to broaden exponentially. Studying abroad led to service as a Peace Corps volunteer, grad school, and then a US Department of State Fellowship, which propelled me on to jobs that required me to visit and collaborate with people in numerous developing countries as well as marginalized communities right here in the United States.

Along the way, a budding interest in the Slow Food movement, as well as my desire to be outside more getting to know my neighbors after I bought my first home in Washington, DC (along with the free seedlings my City Council member gave away at his annual picnics), led me to start gardening. This proved beneficial on multiple fronts. Not only did I interact a great deal more with my neighbors, I grew my own food. That eventually led to my discovery of permaculture, a design science that looks to nature’s closed-loop system as the model, which greatly influences my thoughts and actions today.

Somehow in about 2010, while I was living and working in Washington, D.C. I found myself reading The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris. The examples and ideas in this book appealed to my nomadic, free spirit and provided the catalytic spark for a paradigm shift in my thinking about how life could be lived. Soon afterward, I was able to convince my employer to allow me to quit my full-time job and hire me as a part-time consultant. To compensate for the reduction in income I got a roommate, the rent from which almost completely covered my mortgage.

Three years later, in search of a life in a more affordable location with better weather I sold my house and spent two years exploring the southwest. I camped, Couchsurfed, house-sat, and crashed with friends and family all over the region. Even my strong case of wanderlust and love of hiking though, couldn’t overcome my desire to nurture my own garden and integrate myself into a supportive like-minded community. In the end, I ultimately landed right back where my journey started before I left for the Peace Corps 25 years ago in St. Petersburg, Florida.

As I settle more deeply into this next phase of life, I’m tapping into what Vicki Robin, co-author of Your Money or Your Life, refers to as the ABCs of Wealth. These building blocks of wealth consist of a wide range of resources and assets beyond financial capital that fill our lives with meaning, riches, and resilience. Some examples from my life of what that involves include establishing a small olive grove and food forest in my yard; finding and (responsibly) harvesting from the trees that drip delicious subtropical fruits into the alleys and sidewalks of my neighborhood; getting to know my neighbors; building a diverse multi-generational circle of friends and creating inviting outdoor and indoor spaces at my home in which to spend time with them; as well as learning how to blog to share this with the growing number of people who are craving this information.It is this foundation of multiple forms of wealth and capital that gives me the confidence to earn, spend, manage, and invest my money and live my life in ways that truly align with my values. I am single (in a committed long-term relationship), childless, in my late forties, and debt-free with a home I own free and clear. I’ve opened up a self-directed IRA through which I’m investing to save the planet and I’m pursuing financial freedom on my own terms. Today, I find myself somewhere between agency (according to J.D. Roth’s six stages of financial freedom) and lean or entrepreneur FI, with a strong emphasis on frugality, sustainable living, and the triple bottom line (people, planet, & profit).

Personal Disclaimer: I am a work in progress. As much as I want to make decisions that equally value people, planet, and profit, I’m not perfect and I don’t always manage or choose to do it. I’m not judging anyone who isn’t walking this  path either. I just wanted to create a space for people who are interested in this topic. So internet police I’m putting that out here for the record…..

If you find value in the content here at Rich & Resilient Living, please consider supporting my work by ‘buying me a cup of tea’ using the Ko-fi button just below and then selecting the red support button on the right hand side of my Ko-fi page. Thank you very much indeed.


I’VE BEEN FEATURED ON:

CNBC | FIRE Drill Podcast | Your Money Your Life

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8 Comments

  • Reply
    Albert Risemberg
    June 12, 2018 at 8:54 pm

    I want to commend you on a job well done. I feel inspired…….Thanks

    • Reply
      3pfi
      June 12, 2018 at 9:25 pm

      Thank you, Albert. I appreciate that and am delighted you feel inspired.

  • Reply
    Cristy Abbott
    July 17, 2018 at 2:06 pm

    You make me feel it is possible to create a simple way of looking at my personal finances, which for me, are not based on the US dollar, but on the services I provide with my time and labor to share this planet softly and not have a direct impact on such a vulgar exchange as money.
    Your stories, and the way I know you personally, give me great hope for changing my point of view about the almighty dollar.
    I look forward to your next email.

    • Reply
      3pfi
      July 17, 2018 at 2:35 pm

      Thanks, Cristy. I appreciate your perspective and have experienced it myself at times. My preference (like yours) will always be to secure goods and services through a time bank, swap meet, barter circle, local Buy Nothing Group, etc. Not only does this eliminate the need for money it strengthens community and in some cases reduces the need to ship an item and eliminates more packaging materials. These days for the times that I do need to buy something I’m trying to view money more as an exchange of energy and load my side of the exchange with intentionality and positivity. I view every dollar I spend as a vote for something (and often against many other things) so I try as often as possible to direct my spending towards sustainable and/or local purchases that enrich my life and my community while doing as little harm as possible to the planet and others and hopefully even improving things.

  • Reply
    Maria
    October 2, 2018 at 8:59 pm

    Hi Laura,
    I just found your blog through your guest post via the Your Money or Your Life site, and I am super-psyched. I’ve been thinking lately about how I have the basics down, but I need to up my game. I need to up my financial independence game (and finally make that leap from Stability to Agency), to up my garden game and grow more of my own food (the primary topic of my blog), and– most recently– to really think hard about my footprint and do a better job of ensuring my actions benefit my community and environment. I look forward to trolling your site a bunch more! 🙂

    • Reply
      3pfi
      October 2, 2018 at 9:47 pm

      Thank you so much for commenting and introducing yourself, Maria. I love gardening and am always delighted to connect online and in person with fellow gardeners and nature lovers. I am delighted you’ll be trolling my site. I look forward to doing the same on yours and walking this more sustainably-minded path to financial independence together.

  • Reply
    Jenny Nazak
    December 3, 2018 at 11:21 am

    Great meeting you at the Convergence! I look forward to reading more of your writing, and sharing ideas.

    • Reply
      3pfi
      December 3, 2018 at 6:11 pm

      Thank you, Jenny. I enjoyed getting to meet you as well. There is a great deal of synergy in our thinking.

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